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Axolotti/axolotl

Discussion in 'Private Collections & Pets' started by Cheetah fan, 1 Apr 2011.

  1. Cheetah fan

    Cheetah fan Well-Known Member

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    Can I ask has anyone kept any of these as pets? If so how hard are they to keep and what size tank is recommended for them? Just I have found a local pet shop selling them and I am intrigued into them after seeing the ones in Chester Zoo's aquarium.
     
  2. Jabiru96

    Jabiru96 Well-Known Member

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    I kept an albino (white,melanistic,whatever the light coloured ones are!) what I presumed male. They don't do much at all really, and are really innactive animals. He either used to just sit at the bottom of the tank or float and swim at the top. Nothing much else to say really.
     
  3. peacock

    peacock Well-Known Member

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    Axolotl's are very easy pets to care for and a great introduction to caudates (tailed amphibians) if you are interested in moving into rarer newts and salamanders. There is plenty of info (and misinformation) on the internet, but if you live in the UK the one recommendation is that you get an aquarium heater, as whilst they are often considered "cold water" i know people who here in Australia have lost theres on cold winter nights in unheated rooms. they grow pretty big, so i would suggest a standard 2ft tank - and a tight fitting lid!
     
  4. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I am afraid I disagree with Peacock. They do well at room temperature in the UK - and better if the room is cool. Their natural habitat is at high altitude (many interesting Mexican fishes come from similar habitats), so they do not enjoy high temperatures.
    You ought to have a filter in the tank and use a little coarse sand or fine gravel as substrate - they may swallow coarse gravel. Just like fish, they need regular partial water changes, and they prefer water that is slightly alkaline.
    If you keep 2 or more together, they have the charming habit of biting off each other's limbs occasionally (not due to spite, just a combination of low brain power, poor eyesight and considerable appetite). Don't worry too much if this happens, they can regenerate their limbs perfectly!

    Alan
     
    Last edited: 1 Apr 2011
  5. Cheetah fan

    Cheetah fan Well-Known Member

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    So they are relatively easy to keep then. Can I ask what they eat, how often(I note that they have big appetites). Are there habits like fish I.E awake during the day(with lights on in the tank) and asleep at night(lights off). And also what are there breeding habits like? Just that if I was to get some I would want a male and female. Sorry if its a lot of questions just like peacock has said there is a lot of misinformation(along with correct information) on the net and I trust the knowledge of members on this site with regards to animals.
     
  6. peacock

    peacock Well-Known Member

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    Maybe i got it the wrong way round re; temperature. I only had an axolotl once, as a teenager for a short period before I gave it to a friend when i discovered newts were much more active and interesting to me and made them my expertise. certainly they like their water nice and cold.
     
  7. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I should have replied here before. Like all amphibians, axolotls are carnivorous. I feed half-grown specimens on frozen bloodworm or Mysis (after defrosting and rinsing), twice a week. You can get specially formulated pellet food from Pollywog Pollywog - Captive Bred Amphibians & Herpetological Supplies and I keep saying that I must get hold of some.
    Adults enjoy larger morsels, such as earthworms.

    Alan
     
  8. carlos77

    carlos77 Well-Known Member

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    Axolotl may not be kept as pets in mexico in order to avoid illegal trade. I am familiar with the breeding facility at the Los coyotes Zoo. The large tanks of about 70 or more gallons hold a pair, but the animals maybe separated by a partion. Non breeding animals may be kept together in groups of 3 or 4. The aquariums are not heated except when temperatures go below freezing in December or January, or on very cold nights. This is the location of their natural habitat of course.The water is changed every day. They eat pellets, artemia and live fish. I suppose the UK aquarists know of the best conditions for these animals over there.
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2011
  9. 00000000

    00000000 Member

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    just to add on to gentle lemur, the Axolotl needs to be hand fed due to the fact that it cannot see more then an inch in front of it, therefore it hardly ever finds its food by itself. Also, even though they can regenerate limbs, i have had several of my Axolotls kill each other. If you get more then 1, try to make sure that they are relatively the same size. Also the tank size should be 15 - 20 gallons and the temp should be between
    57-68 F (14-20 C), but never above 75 F (24 C). You should also keep in mind that the colder the tank is, the less they eat, so you man have to adjust the feeding schedule accordingly.

    One final tip, resist the temptation to remove them from the water as they can die if left out for too long and even removal for short periods may stress them out. If removal is necessary, for gods sake don't put them on the carpet, their frills get caught in it and it just makes massive problems.

    If you do get one then good luck, and i hope you can learn from my many mistakes.
     
  10. Sun Wukong

    Sun Wukong Well-Known Member

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    Maybe some amelanistic variant might have poor eyesight, but enough live & healthy guppys, goldfish & platys have "disappeared" in axolotl tanks (> 2ft., btw.) over the years that one can suspect that they can hunt on their own just they do/did in their natural habitat.

    Not all amphibians are 100% carnivorous, btw., as species such as Xenohyla truncata indicate.
     
  11. findi

    findi Well-Known Member

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    axolotl care, breeding

    Hi,

    I've bred axolotls for decades, worked with them in zoos as well.

    Please check out my article on care;

    others linked there discuss conservation of wild populations, breeding,etc..comments/ questions welcome,

    Enjoy, Frank
     
  12. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Frank and Carlos,

    One question as to conservation: why cannot we use the large captive zoo community of in regeneration of wild axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum populations in Lakes Xochimilco and Chalco (previously its range extend possibly up to the connecting lakes Texcoco and Zumpango).

    There are also rumours vis a vis Lake Chapultepec whether this is A. mexicanum or more like A. velasci (research needed).

    There is also another species Ambystoma bombypellum in need of ex situ conservation breeding. Being relatively hardy and "easy" it is something the captive community might be quick to get results with. Alas - as you well know - both taxa are critically endangered.

    Really what needs doing is clean up of their habitat and affluents discharges from major cities, like Mexico C.G.

    K.B.
     
  13. findi

    findi Well-Known Member

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    axolotl conservation, A. andersoni

    Hi Kifaru,

    Great point; unfortunately, it seems that the captive populations have hybridized with neotenic Tiger Salamanders (populations that do not leave the water, retain gills throughout life and breed as "giant larvae"); a colleague of mine was involved and believes there are few if any pure axolotls in captivity. The original animals taken out of mexico were likely mixed in with tiger salamanders.,..a very interesting story, I hope to highlight it soon in an article. There is also a good deal of inbreeding, due to the small number of founders, etc. Those involved believe it would not be wise to use captives for re-stocking.

    Yes, there are a great many salamanders in the area in need of help. There are 12-19 related species isolates in mountain lakes, and all are unique. Some, i.e. A dumerelli, tolerate fairly saline conditions!

    Yet all may be savable...recently A. andersoni, nearly extinct in the wild, found its way into the trade and has been bred by a hobbyist in the US and several; in Europe. In fact, for awhile it was hard to place the progeny with zoos here! Please see this article for the story and photos.

    There is some work being done on lake Xochimilco, but it is in unbelievably bad shape. Chalco had been drained, or is close thereto. Amazingly, a new population of axolotls has been discovered in a park lake in Mexico City; likely releases, but still shows potential; you can read more here.

    Thanks for the most interesting discussions, Best regards, Frank