MATHERFISH POND PLANTS
Welcome to the delightful hobby of keeping axolotls!
Axolotls resemble little dinosaurs but are really Mexican salamanders. Unlike other salamanders, these live in the water their entire lives, as a general rule. Their never "grow up" in that they do not develop mature lungs so they breath through their gills, like fish.
These animals, have been used greatly in scientific research because of their remarkable ability to regenerate limbs and organs when missing. If a leg or tail is bitten off, it will grow back!
The axolotl originally came from a lake near Mexico city, Mexico, but because of city expansion, it is almost extinct in the wild. Because of the wonderful ability to keep as pets it's population has grown greatly in the pet trade.
Axolotls grow to about 12 inches basically, but some have grown up to 14 inches. They can live up to around 15 years in captivity.
because of their size potential, it is best to keep them in at least a 20 gallon aquarium once they get larger than 5 or 6 inches long. They can be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium until then, but remember, they enjoy swimming, as well as walking along the bottom of the tank.
Reproduction is possible at an age of 9 months, but it is best that they are kept from reproducing until they are at least a year old, preferably 18 months old to give them a chance to finish maturing. They lay eggs, and can lay up to 1000 at a time. This can be over a period of up to 3 days.
The eggs will hatch in about three weeks, and do not need to be fed for the first day or two. After that, the babies which resemble tadpoles, need to be fed twice a day, and most breeders feed them baby brine shrimp. After about a month they can be fed live daphnia or live black worms. When they are around three months old, or largest enough to eat larger foods, they can be fed bits of chopped up earthworms, axolotl pellets or replasha (an axolotl food) or a variety of foods for carnivores. Their feedings should go to daily feedings as juveniles, and as adults they will generally not eat but every two or three days.
Their water should be kept between 64*f and 70*f. If it gets too hot t will stress the axolotl and cause fungus to grow on the animal. If you see white spots on the animal that looks like cotton, it is probably fungus. It is best to put the animal in a 2 gallon tote and add almond leaves or black tea to the water, doing a water chage daily until the fungus is cleared up.
Axolotls do not like bright lights and actually prefer low light. They also prefer a place to hide which can be an ornament from a pet store that has an ample place for them to get in and out of, or many people use pieces of pvvc pipe. Whatever you use, make sure it does not have rough edges to cut them, and the ornament does not have anything that would dissolve into the water.
Axolotls almost inhale their food. If there are objects in the tank that are smaller than their mouths, they may ingest it. This includes sand, pebbles or stones. These cannot be digested causing the animal's digestive system to become impacted. If not surgically removed by a vet, the beloved pet will die. Avoid the anguish by keeping these sort of things out of the tank. They may look pretty, but they are potentially deadly. It is best for the axolotl to have a bare boom tank. Even snails can be deadly if swallowed because of their shells.
Water changes, tank cleanings need to be done as needed, but generally should be done at least every two weeks for an adult, and every week for sub adults.
There are various types of axolotls, including leucistic, albino, wild and melanoid, and combinations of these. There is also a gene which some carry that causes the axolotl to have a "glow" of neon green when a black light is shown on them. Some axolotls also have iridisphores and leucophores which looks like sequins or sparkles on the gills or body of the axolotl.
Axolotls are great pets, and with a little proper care can be enjoyed for years!