So a few months ago my husband and I discovered that Axolotls/Ooperloopers/ウーパールーパ can not only be kept as pets, but are actually fairly popular in Japan. We did a load of research, bought a bunch of supplies, started our own earthworm farm, and today we bought our very own ooperlooper.
So meet Zen!
We’re not absolutely sure of gender at this point, so we’re just using him/he for now. He’s still a baby, so he’s quite small. (We may have to get him a bigger tank once he reaches full size) He’s a leucistic with some wildtype spotting on his face and tail (which seems fairly standard for leucistics?) He’s also quite energetic. (Hoping that’s a good sign? Still new at this.)
As for care:
We have a thermostat controlled heater for his tank as well as a filter with an adjustable flow strength. The temperature is kept around 17c and the filter very weak to avoid stressing him out or damaging his gills. We’ve stocked up on frozen bloodworms and our little breeding colony of live earthworms that we plan to feed him on. The tank was set up a couple days before bringing him home and the water has been treated and tested to make sure the PH, chlorine, and ammonia were all at safe, comfortable levels for an Axolotl. And of course we got him a nice big shelter rock that he can hide out in even once he’s full grown, and a couple other tank accessories with hiding places. We have a piece of drift wood we’re planning to put in the tank too, but we’re soaking it until it stops floating. :P 
We meant to buy a plastic/acrylic tank, but we must have misread the box ‘cause it turned out to be glass… so currently he slides all over the place when he tries to push himself around. Oops. We’ll be buying slate for the bottom of his tank as soon as possible. Sorry Zen we didn’t know. orz

WHEW. I think that about covers it….? 
Just about everything I know about Axolotls and their care I learned from sillyaxolotls. They have a goldmine of Axolotl photos and care info and are always answering questions. One of the best blogs on Tumblr~ <3
(lol now I’m afraid they’re gunna see this and be like “well thanks but you’re doing everything wrong”)

(This is related to Engelbaum because he has the same color scheme as Momo. …Yeah let’s go with that.)

doxycycline for axolotls SAY NO

Last Wednesday I noticed a small cut on Antigone’s leg and some skin flapping off. Didnt look too deep but i still took her to the vet on Saturday tht week. He said it should heal no problem but to avoid any possible infections of the wound he said he would like to give her a doxycycline shot that would last 1-2 weeks. I let him do it and he was even nice enough to not charge for the med since axolotls would require much less than a dog or cat. 

Big mistake that was. Wed-Sat till the appointment Antigone was still eating like a monster as usual and swimming around happily in her tank and on Saturday before the appointment I even noticed that she started using her injured foot again. After the appointment and the doxyc shot when she got home she threw up her entire meal from couple hours in the past. Her beautiful wildtype skin started to turn to white dead patches all around her body at rrandom locations. She hasnt eaten a single piece of food in 5 days since the vet nor has she come out of her hiding spot more than once or twice this entire time. She just sits there and doesnt move, doesnt eat, doesnt do anything. I found some articles suggesting that doxcy is not a very suitable antibiotic for an axolotl, its semi okay if given in very small doses adjusted for the weight of your axolotl.

She probably would have been much better off without the shot and just with salt baths but i trusted the fact that an exotic vet would know what he is doing and it turned out just the opposite. Im letting you guys know so if you have to take your axolotl or any amphibian to the vet and for some reason a treatment for an antibiotic might be necessary make sure to put your foot down and say no. I didnt because i trusted the authority of an “expert” and my lil girl might die. If anything make sure its in incredibly small doses. Antigone (30 grams) got a 0.2 ml shot and the effects of it are horrid. I just hope she will pull through some how, so much weight on such little shoulders :(

fyi:im not saying all vets are clueless and dont know what they are doing but you definitely have to be careful with unusual pets like axolotls. The vet I went to said he treated axolotls before many times and look how it turned out

Autosomal recessive disorder. 

An affected person usually has unaffected parents who each carry a single copy of the abnormal gene (and are referred to as carriers). Two unaffected people whom each carry one copy of the abnormal gene have a 25% chance with each pregnancy of having a child affected by the disorder. Individuals that have this disorder are classified as Homo Sapien Pravitas, or more commonly, an Anomaly. 

A new anomaly that was not inherited from either parent is called a de novo anomaly.

  • heterozygous anomaly is a anomaly of only one allele.
  • homozygous anomaly is an identical anomaly of both the paternal and maternal alleles.
  • Compound heterozygous anomalies or a genetic compound comprises two different anomalies in the paternal and maternal alleles.
  • wildtype or homozygous non-abnormal organism is one in which neither allele is abnormal.