My Axolotl Journal

PatientStars
  • #1
HI all! Just starting this thread to keep track of what I'm doing with my new little axolotls! I just bought them about a week ago, after months of wanting them and doing tons of research. I resigned myself to having to get them shipped from a breeder, when one day I walked into a not-so-local fish store, and they had just gotten three in stock! Needless to say, I left with two of them.

These are my newest little buddies, a leucistic named Hiccup, and a melanistic named Toothless. They're both around 3 inches long, and absolutely adorable.


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They live together in a fully cycled 20 long for now. I just got my ice probe chiller in the mail today and set it up in about 10 minutes. They were in 75° water at the pet store (poor dudes), and have been in about 70-72° so far at home. I was struggling to keep the temp down, but now that I have the chiller, I hope things will be easier! It's hooked up to a ZooMed aquarium thermostat that I have set for 65° with a two degree differential. It was 70.3 when I took these photos around 5:45 pm, after just plugging it in. Fingers crossed that it keeps things cool enough for Hiccup and Toothless!


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Goldfishfreak
  • #2
They are so cute!

Is that a little hammock in the corner?
Keep us upstairs on how the chiller works because I want some axolotls and I would definitely need something to keep the water cool In summer
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
They are so cute!

Is that a little hammock in the corner?
Keep us upstairs on how the chiller works because I want some axolotls and I would definitely need something to keep the water cool In summer

Thanks!

Yes! It's a reptile hammock. It took them a few days to figure out that they could get up there, but now I catch them on it when they're not on a plant.

I definitely will. It was around $100 on Amazon, and the thermostat was less than $20. Worth it if it works!
 
Goldfishfreak
  • #4
Thanks!

Yes! It's a reptile hammock. It took them a few days to figure out that they could get up there, but now I catch them on it when they're not on a plant.

I definitely will. It was around $100 on Amazon, and the thermostat was less than $20. Worth it if it works!

Awesome thanks!
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Ok, so, update on the chiller. I checked the thermostat today, and after getting to 69.9 last night, it was back up to 72.1. Not good. I reread all of the directions and realized that because I had it hanging from the lid, the entire ice probe was not submerged in the water. I immediately treated some water with Prime and added enough to raise the level in the tank so that almost 100% of the probe was covered. That was around 2 PM, and the temp was approximately 72.

I got home from a concert just after midnight, and was happy to see the temp at 66.5! Seems like making sure the entire probe is submerged is the key to this chiller's success. I guess it's in the directions for a reason! haha

I'm interested to see how well it maintains the temp overnight. We usually turn off the a/c on the first floor when we go to bed (which is why I think it struggled last night). If it keeps the temp down tonight even with the a/c off, I will consider its trial period a success!
 

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PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
The boys are doing wonderfully! Toothless eats like he has a bottomless pit for a stomach. Hiccup hasn't been eating much, so I'm a bit worried about that, but he seems ok otherwise.

The chiller has been consistently keeping the tank between 65° and 68°. I do notice that if we leave the air off overnight, it struggles to stay below 70°. We are having insanely hot and humid weather, though, so I'm not terribly surprised by that. I think it's been doing well enough.

I picked up some great rocks in a creek today when I was out hiking and swimming, so I can't wait to clean them up and get the bigger tank started. I think I'll do a layer of black sand and then build little caves with these rocks. It's gonna look awesome!
 
Goldfishfreak
  • #7
The boys are doing wonderfully! Toothless eats like he has a bottomless pit for a stomach. Hiccup hasn't been eating much, so I'm a bit worried about that, but he seems ok otherwise.

The chiller has been consistently keeping the tank between 65° and 68°. I do notice that if we leave the air off overnight, it struggles to stay below 70°. We are having insanely hot and humid weather, though, so I'm not terribly surprised by that. I think it's been doing well enough.

I picked up some great rocks in a creek today when I was out hiking and swimming, so I can't wait to clean them up and get the bigger tank started. I think I'll do a layer of black sand and then build little caves with these rocks. It's gonna look awesome!

I'm glad it's going well!!!

Just keep an eye on the parameters when you put the rocks in they could raise the ph but it might be ok
 
Fanatic
  • #8
I could never keep these guys where I live.
Texas is not the place, my tanks are 79.9 without a heater!
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I'm glad it's going well!!!

Just keep an eye on the parameters when you put the rocks in they could raise the ph but it might be ok

Will do!
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I could never keep these guys where I live.
Texas is not the place, my tanks are 79.9 without a heater!

It's definitely been tricky with the heat we've been having!
 
Gamer
  • #11
Happy it's going good. I like your guys! I am wanting 2 that size soon.
 
Gamer
  • #12
Can I ask what you're feeding them now?
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Can I ask what you're feeding them now?

So far they've been getting frozen bloodworms and brine & mysis shrimp. I'm also starting to offer pellets, but so far they don't seem interested. They are finally understanding that tongs = food, so I'm hoping once that's solid in their heads, I can successfully convince them that the pellets are edible. Haha
 
Goldfishfreak
  • #14
So far they've been getting frozen bloodworms and brine & mysis shrimp. I'm also starting to offer pellets, but so far they don't seem interested. They are finally understanding that tongs = food, so I'm hoping once that's solid in their heads, I can successfully convince them that the pellets are edible. Haha

Once they know tongs=food they will eat anything I mean anything that in The tongs even if it's not food.

My betta freaks out whenever he sees the "red spoon" I feed him with. He'll actually jump at it even if there's nothing in it.
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Once they know tongs=food they will eat anything I mean anything that in The tongs even if it's not food.

My betta freaks out whenever he sees the "red spoon" I feed him with. He'll actually jump at it even if there's nothing in it.

Yeah, they're getting to that point! Haha the funny part is they they are incredibly bad at aiming. So even when I have a big chunk of bloodworms in the tongs, Toothless sometimes completely missed the worms and just bounces off the tongs a good inch above them. Their hunting skills are definitely not at the level of an apex predator!
 
Goldfishfreak
  • #16
Hey. I hope your axies are doing well. I was just wondering how the reptile hammock does under water. Does it fall. Off? Or does it do anything else annoying? Does it have sharp edges? I am looking into an alternative betta hammock instead of the plastic leaf I have now. My betta uses it but it's kind of small and he has a hard time getting comfortable to sleep on it. It doesn't look like the wholes in the net are too big so nothing would get caught. I looked into making one but I would worry that whatever I was using would leach chemicals into the tank. I imagine that of its reptile safe it's aquarium safe.
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Hey. I hope your axies are doing well. I was just wondering how the reptile hammock does under water. Does it fall. Off? Or does it do anything else annoying? Does it have sharp edges? I am looking into an alternative betta hammock instead of the plastic leaf I have now. My betta uses it but it's kind of small and he has a hard time getting comfortable to sleep on it. It doesn't look like the wholes in the net are too big so nothing would get caught. I looked into making one but I would worry that whatever I was using would leach chemicals into the tank. I imagine that of its reptile safe it's aquarium safe.

They are, thanks for checking! Finally got them to realize the new pellets are edible and they seem to like them. Win!

They absolutely love the hammock, it's quite popular. I haven't had any issues with it coming off, and it looks exactly the same as it did when I first bought it. It's really smooth, I haven't felt any rough edges or seen any fraying yet. Your betta would likely enjoy having all the extra room to lounge!
 
Goldfishfreak
  • #18
They are, thanks for checking! Finally got them to realize the new pellets are edible and they seem to like them. Win!

They absolutely love the hammock, it's quite popular. I haven't had any issues with it coming off, and it looks exactly the same as it did when I first bought it. It's really smooth, I haven't felt any rough edges or seen any fraying yet. Your betta would likely enjoy having all the extra room to lounge!

Yah! I'm glad they like the pellets.
That's what I am thinking. I'm am also considering getting a betta for one of my larger tanks and he would need a hammock because it is taller.
What company is it made by?
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Yah! I'm glad they like the pellets.
That's what I am thinking. I'm am also considering getting a betta for one of my larger tanks and he would need a hammock because it is taller.
What company is it made by?


This is the one I have.

Zoo Med Mesh Reptile Hammock Small, 14-1/2 Inch
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Sad news. This morning, I came downstairs to find that Hiccup had passed some time in the night. I suspected something was wrong since I got him, as he never ate much compared to Toothless, and often spit out several bloodworms before finally eating one. After comparing pictures to other lucys, I noticed that his stomach appeared to have an unusual black mass. I assumed he had something stuck, possibly gravel or some other foreign object (he was from a Petco, so who knows what kind of conditions he was in before I got him).

I was hoping that eating small worms would help get whatever it was out. It looks like he spit up the few worms he ate yesterday, and I could see that whatever was in his stomach got lodged in his throat.

Water parameters are good. Toothless is healthy and eating well. I just feel so awful that I wasn't around to try to help little Hiccup. Maybe if I had seen it happening, I could have done something.

RIP Hiccup, I wish we had more time together.


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brousecasey12
  • #21
I’m so sorry! Wishing you the best!
 
Goldfishfreak
  • #22
Sad news. This morning, I came downstairs to find that Hiccup had passed some time in the night. I suspected something was wrong since I got him, as he never ate much compared to Toothless, and often spit out several bloodworms before finally eating one. After comparing pictures to other lucys, I noticed that his stomach appeared to have an unusual black mass. I assumed he had something stuck, possibly gravel or some other foreign object (he was from a Petco, so who knows what kind of conditions he was in before I got him).

I was hoping that eating small worms would help get whatever it was out. It looks like he spit up the few worms he ate yesterday, and I could see that whatever was in his stomach got lodged in his throat.

Water parameters are good. Toothless is healthy and eating well. I just feel so awful that I wasn't around to try to help little Hiccup. Maybe if I had seen it happening, I could have done something.

RIP Hiccup, I wish we had more time together.

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Aw. I'm so sorry.
If he had something in his stomach and it got stuck somehow then there probably wasn't anything you could have done. I'm sure he had a great home while you had him. If he came from PetCo they have terrible conditions from what I here so I imagine he ate something there.

I hope that you may be able to get another one.

With Love,
-freak
 
Rtessy
  • #23
I'm so sorry for your loss!
I agree with the above, I don't think there was anything else you could have done. Sometimes they're just too sick when they come from chain stores, and there's just nothing you can do.
You gave him the best part of his life he ever had, so hold on to that. You probably gave him the best treatment and best water quality he ever experienced, and I think that is a great thing
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Thanks, Goldfishfreak and DoubleDutch, for the kind words. I knew he was struggling to eat, but was hoping he would be one of the lucky ones. At least I know he was comfortable in cool water here, instead of the 75° tank they had him in at the store.

Toothless seems stronger and appears completely healthy, so hopefully he lives a good long life. I upgraded him (along with his cycled media) to the 40 breeder today! Still waiting on some plants to arrive, and have to make a nice mount for the chiller, but so far it looks good.

I'm also in touch with a breeder this time, hoping to get two more friends to join Toothless in the 40. She has beautiful mating pairs that throw gorgeous morphs, some of which are harder to find. And she has fantastic reviews from her customers, which makes me confident that I'll get healthy lotls, and hopefully avoid the heartache of Hiccup in the future.
 
Goldfishfreak
  • #25
Thanks, Goldfishfreak and DoubleDutch, for the kind words. I knew he was struggling to eat, but was hoping he would be one of the lucky ones. At least I know he was comfortable in cool water here, instead of the 75° tank they had him in at the store.

Toothless seems stronger and appears completely healthy, so hopefully he lives a good long life. I upgraded him (along with his cycled media) to the 40 breeder today! Still waiting on some plants to arrive, and have to make a nice mount for the chiller, but so far it looks good.

I'm also in touch with a breeder this time, hoping to get two more friends to join Toothless in the 40. She has beautiful mating pairs that throw gorgeous morphs, some of which are harder to find. And she has fantastic reviews from her customers, which makes me confident that I'll get healthy lotls, and hopefully avoid the heartache of Hiccup in the future.

That's great! Breeders are always better.
They will love the 40 gallon breeder, nice going!

Have lots of fun and laughs with your axie friends!
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
That's great! Breeders are always better.
They will love the 40 gallon breeder, nice going!

Have lots of fun and laughs with your axie friends!

Thanks! I'll post an update photo tomorrow when it's bright enough.
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Here's a shot of the 40 b at the moment. (Ignore the makeshift holder for the chiller, clamps will do until I get some materials to make a permanent solution!)

There are plenty more plants on the way for filtering purposes, bamboo and pothos, which will be placed both in the filter, and in breeder boxes along the back wall of the tank.

And in a few more weeks, I'll be adding sand so the grip on the bottom is a bit better.


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Also, exciting news! Before I lost Hiccup, I was in the process of searching for one more lotl baby to make a trio. I had found one I liked, and after losing Hiccup, I decided to order a second from the same breeder. I spoke with her last night, and she shipped my new babies this morning! They should hopefully be here on Monday.

The first one I found is a copper, and after losing Hiccup I decided to look for another leucistic. She had a really cute dirty Lucy, so I jumped on that one!

I can't wait to see them in person!!!!
 
SecretiveFish
  • #28
I am sorry you lost Hiccup! The little guy was lucky to have someone who cared well for him even if it was just for a short time.

I hope your new guys arrive safe and sound!
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
They're here! They're here!!!!

My new axolotls were safely delivered to my house this afternoon, and I just love them!!! The copper is a little bigger than I was anticipating, but he's still a safe size to share the tank with Toothless. The dirty lucy is the middle one now, size wise. I hope his/her freckles become more pronounced, they're adorable!

In keeping with the theme, I gave them both the names of famous dragons from literature and movies. Without further adieu, meet Smaug (left) and Elliot!!!!


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These three are just so darn cute! (And clearly fearsome, as dragons should be! )

Toothless, Elliot, Smaug

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Goldfishfreak
  • #30
They're here! They're here!!!!

My new axolotls were safely delivered to my house this afternoon, and I just love them!!! The copper is a little bigger than I was anticipating, but he's still a safe size to share the tank with Toothless. The dirty lucy is the middle one now, size wise. I hope his/her freckles become more pronounced, they're adorable!

In keeping with the theme, I gave them both the names of famous dragons from literature and movies. Without further adieu, meet Smaug (left) and Elliot!!!!

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These three are just so darn cute! (And clearly fearsome, as dragons should be! )

Toothless, Elliot, Smaug
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They are so cute!!
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
I did a tank makeover for the lotls yesterday! Added larger hides, which they definitely needed. Smaug especially prefers to stay in caves all day, and he was occupying the largest hide, leaving Toothless and Elliot without one. I love the new look, and it seems they do, too. So far, the castle decoration is a hit for hiding in! Plus, it's adorable when my little dragons are chilling on their castle. Haha

Oh, I also put sand on the bottom, with a few rocks I gathered from a creek for some added decoration. They definitely move more confidently on the sand; no more slippery glass bottom!


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PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
One more fix for the lotl tank. I had most of my lucky bamboo in a mesh breeder net, and it was driving me crazy. It was so obvious, and so ugly! So I did some hunting and found the perfect solution at Big Lots (like Wal-Mart, but nicer lol).

Kitchen sponge holders! I bought three little ones and a larger shower shelf thing to try out. Unfortunately, the larger one has holes just a bit too large that allowed the clay pebbles I was using to root the plants to fall through. So I ended up just using the small holders, but they turned out to be perfect. I can adjust them however I want, and they are clear so they're way less noticeable than the huge breeder net. Now my plants are finally spread all the way across the tank! And I mixed the lucky bamboo and the golden pothos around so they wouldn't look so divided. Can't wait to watch them grow!

Before:

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After:

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PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
I swear, these little things are addicting!!!! I now have a fourth axolotl who I am also over the moon about. (And don't worry, once they grow up, there is another tank to separate them)

Meet Fírnen! This little one is a green wild morph, and is named after a green dragon in the Inheritance Cycle novels by Christopher Paolini. He has the most beautiful golden irridophores on the front of his gill stalks, and a slight dusting on his head. I hope he gets more as he grows!!


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SecretiveFish
  • #34
Congratulations on your new addition! They are sooooo addicting it isn't even funny...

Just this week I got #28, a juvenile GFP copper melanoid. Why? Because I didn't have that color... He is going to be living in tubs until he is big enough to go in with my adults which will be a long time. :inpain: Add onto that he is used to having live black worms for food, so I have the challenge of getting him onto pellets since there isn't a place local that sells live black worms (and black worms are $$$). I am my own worst enemy.
 

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Anat3maDev1ce
  • #35
I'm in Dallas and we have a CPU fan blowing across the top of the tank. Water temp is between 65-66°F. When he goes into a larger tank he will have a chiller.
It's definitely been tricky with the heat we've been having!
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
Congratulations on your new addition! They are sooooo addicting it isn't even funny...

Just this week I got #28, a juvenile GFP copper melanoid. Why? Because I didn't have that color... He is going to be living in tubs until he is big enough to go in with my adults which will be a long time. :inpain: Add onto that he is used to having live black worms for food, so I have the challenge of getting him onto pellets since there isn't a place local that sells live black worms (and black worms are $$$). I am my own worst enemy.

28!!!! Holy cow! I wish I had room for a huge lowboy, that would be amazing. If I ever decide to trade out my fish, I could get more axies and put them in my 55...
 
PatientStars
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
I'm in Dallas and we have a CPU fan blowing across the top of the tank. Water temp is between 65-66°F. When he goes into a larger tank he will have a chiller.

I have a small chiller that has been doing pretty well. Now that the heat is starting to break at night, it hasn't had to work as hard to keep the temp down.
 
Dch48
  • #38
I would love to have one. It would be a type with the red gills. Probably a light spotted one. The only place I could put the tank is in the basement where the temps never go over 70. They do go down to 55 in the dead of winter so a heater set at like 65 might be needed. Would a ten gallon be enough for one of them?
 
SecretiveFish
  • #39
I would love to have one. It would be a type with the red gills. Probably a light spotted one. The only place I could put the tank is in the basement where the temps never go over 70. They do go down to 55 in the dead of winter so a heater set at like 65 might be needed. Would a ten gallon be enough for one of them?

Unless you end up with a dwarf or mini, a 10 gallon really isn't enough for an average size adult. I would suggest a 20 Long at a minimum.
 
Dch48
  • #40
Unless you end up with a dwarf or mini, a 10 gallon really isn't enough for an average size adult. I would suggest a 20 Long at a minimum.
I don't know. I have read at sites about their care that say a 10 can work for an adult.
 

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