filter canister

🐠 Fishblr Questions! 🐠

1. What was the first fish you ever owned?
2. What is your dream tank?
3. What is your favorite fish?
4. What was/is your most troublesome tank?
5. In your opinion, what is the best beginner fish?
6. What is your favorite fishblr blog?
7. Are there any fish that you dislike?
8. Planted tank or reef tank?
9. Favorite type of betta?
10. Favorite type of goldfish?
11. In your opinion, what fish should not be reccomended for beginners (but often is)?
12. Favorite species of shark?
13. What is the best brand/type of food?
14. Favorite invertebrate?
15. What would you do if you suddenly had an extra 200 gallon (757L) tank?
16. What would you do if you suddenly had an extra 10 gallon (37L) tank?
17. If you could remove any product from the shelves of a petstore (ex. Bettacube, ecosphere, fish bowls, etc.), what would it be and why?
18. Have you ever bred fish?
19. Gravel or sand?
20. Favorite non-fish animal?
21. Favorite fish fact?
22. What common myth about fish do you wish you could dispell? (Ex. Can live in bowls, 7 second memory, low maintenance, boring pet, throwaway pet, etc.)
23. Favorite type of filter? (Sponge, HOB, canister, etc.)
24. Do you start a siphon with a pump or with your mouth?

25. What do you think is the most beautiful fish?
26. What do you think is the most dangerous fish?
27. Best way to deal with an algae problem?
28. Natural or artificial decorations?
29. Saltwater, freshwater, or brackish?
30. How did you get into the aquarium hobby?
9

@ranaspkillnarieth asked to see photos of my tanks!
The top 4 are all the same tank over the years. I’ve had this tank since 2001 and it’s constantly evolving. It’s a 54 gallon corner tank with curved glass and has been a nightmare to light properly due to its shape (like a wedge of pie). It’s currently high-tech; custom CO2 rig with in-line diffusion, custom lighting rig (LED and T5), canister filter. Right now it’s plants only.
The next three are of my 12 gallon tank. I’ve had this tank since 2003 I believe. It’s been my shrimp-only tank for most of its life (well, okay, some snails too). Medium tech, with built in filter/sump, medium grade LED lighting with a heater. It too evolves over time, visually!
The last two photos are of my 8 gallon tank, I’ve had for a few years now. This is my betta tank! Built in sump filter, low grade LED lighting, heater.

anonymous asked:

How did you start your fish tank? I'd ;like to start one up myself but I have no idea where to start... Any tips or pointers?

Hello there anon! Thank you for the ask :DD

I’ve got tons of tips and pointers for ya :3 Below I’ll explain the basics of fishkeeping, the stuff that generally applies to all freshwater fish tanks like the basic supplies you’ll need to gather and explain the nitrogen cycle! (I’m not sure about saltwater stuff, though, as I haven’t gotten into that part of the hobby…yet ;p) The species you want to keep will dictate the specifics of your tank, beyond the basics, though, so keep that in mind going forward! :)


The Basic Supplies:
- Tank
- Filter
- Heater/Chiller (if required)
- Thermometer
- Substrate (optional)
- Décor/Hides
- Water Test Kit

Tanks:
Choose a tank that is sufficient in size for the species you plan on keeping! Long tanks are almost always better than tall tanks, as fish swim side-to-side and not up-and-down :) If this is your first ever fish tank, I’d start out with a fish tank no smaller than 5 or 10 gallons, if not larger! Larger volumes of water hold a stable cycle more easily! :)

Filtration:
There are three main types of filtration: mechanical/physical, biological, and chemical. Mechanical filtration is what filters out particles from the water, large or small. Biological filtration refers to the nitrifying bacteria that perform the nitrogen cycle! Chemical filtration is filtration that helps to take certain chemicals out of the water.

Types of Filters:
- Hang-On-Back (HOB) filters hang on the lip of the tank. They have a ‘media basket’ where the filter media goes (usually cartridges). If you buy a filter that requires filter cartridges, I recommend replacing those with a ceramic media, sponge media, or both since you’ll have to replace the cartridge eventually and that can disrupt your cycle. Fluval AquaClear filters are a great HOB filter for larger tanks, and come with sponge (physical, biological filtration), ceramic (biological filtration), and carbon media (chemical filtration)!

- Sponge filters are great for fish and other aquatic animals that prefer (or require) low-flow! These filters are basically blocks of sponge hooked up to an air pump. The air pump forces air up through the sponge, creating a vacuum that sucks up particles (mechanical filtration) and water (biological filtration). The air is forced out the top of the sponge, creating bubbles that agitate the surface, aiding in gas exchange!

-Canister filters are like HOB filters on steroids. Instead of a ‘media basket’ you get a literal ‘media bucket’ (biological, chemical, mechanical filtration). A canister filter (also called an external filter) is placed somewhere outside the tank, and doesn’t hang on the lip like a HOB does. Its great if you don’t want to see your filter or if you need a ton of filtration for a larger tank :p Mini canister filters also exist, if you’d like one for a smaller tank :)

- Undergravel Filters are something I’ve heard pretty mixed reviews about, and I’ve never personally used one. They’re usually grated, plastic, thin hollow block filters that you put under the substrate of your aquarium (I believe gravel works best with these filters, as I assume using sand or another small-particle substrate would fall into the filter? someone please correct me if I’m wrong .-.). They may provide enough surface area for nitrifying bacteria (biological filtration) if you have a very small bioload, or if you could fill them with some type of media…these are probably the most painful to clean, though, since you’d have to take apart your entire tank…

Heaters & Chillers:
Your fish may require a heater or chiller! If they do, its for good reason. Fish are ectothermic (like reptiles), meaning that they rely on their environment to help them regulate body temperature. (Humans like you and me are endothermic, meaning that we can produce our own body heat/regulate our body’s temperature.)

A fish that is too cold will become lethargic, stressed, and may refuse to eat. Temperature affects bodily processes as well, such as digestion, circulation, and metabolism regulation. Temperatures that are colder will slow down these bodily processes and warmer temperatures will usually do the opposite. Because improper temperature is stressful for any fish, they will experience a suppressed immune system as well, and will be more susceptible to illnesses as a result :/
Some fish require heaters/higher temperatures to function properly (Bettas, tetras, other tropical fish). Some fish require no heater, or the addition of chiller, to function properly (goldfish, minnows, danios).

As a general rule of thumb, heaters should be 5-10 watts per gallon. Adjustable heaters are always more reliable than non-adjustable heaters. Adjustable heaters also usually have thermostats, so they turn on and off automatically to ensure that the aquarium’s temperature stays constant(ish). Usually you don’t need a chiller unless you’re keeping a temperate- or cold-water species and where you live it doesn’t get below the high 70s all year.

Thermometer:
Yes it’s necessary! You need to be able to monitor what temperature your tank is, whether you have a heater, chiller, or neither :) Even if you have an adjustable heater with a thermostat, it may not be accurate to +/-1 degree. Avoid those strip-sticker thermometers. They’re not very accurate :/ You can buy glass ones at Walmart for about 1.50$ though! :p

Substrate:
There are lots of different substrates to choose from! Gravel, sand, plant substrate (like fluorite), or no substrate at all! Some substrates are ‘inert’ (don’t affect pH or other parameters) some substrates are ‘active’ (affect pH or other parameters). Some aquatic species have a very specific range of pH/KH/GH, like shrimp, and may require substrates that help you achieve that range of values. Some species require certain substrates for their health and safety, like corydoras, which require sand (or barebottom) as gravel and other rough substrates can cut up their tummies or injure their barbels. If the species you keep doesn’t require any special substrate, then choose whatever substrate you like best! It’s your tank! Have fun with it! :)


Décor:
One of the funnest (idc if funnest isn’t a word *3*) part of setting up an aquarium is decorating it!! Some fish have delicate fins (like bettas) that require either live or silk (material, non-plastic) plants and décor devoid of sharp edges. Hides are also important. Providing adequate caves and cover for your fish to hide in/feel safe in/explore is the functional aspect of décor. Make sure you’re meeting your animal’s needs :) Other than making sure that your décor is safe and functional for the creatures you plan to keep, go full ham!! Crazy color gravel with wacky colors and glow in the dark caves or an aquascaped, planted tank with driftwood and rocks! :D


Water Test Kit:
In order for you to maintain the health of your fish, you’ll need to know what your water parameters are :) You should at least test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, and pH. You may need to test for other things like copper, KH, or GH depending on the species you’re keeping. A liquid test kit (like the API Freshwater Master Kit) is easy to read and very accurate :) (plus you get to use test tubes n stuff…like the lil fish scientist you are *3*)


The Nitrogen Cycle!

*ALL* fish (yes that includes bettas…and all animals for that matter) produce waste. Because all aquatic animals produce waste, they require (biological) filtration of some sort to process that waste.

Fish produce waste in the form of ammonia. Ammonia is toxic above 0ppm (parts per million). So you’ve got all this ammonia floating around in the water, right? and you’ve got water running through your filter…so these bacteria start growing all over your fish tank, wherever there’s water flow, but we want to concentrate on the bacteria that are growing in your filter media. This bacteria will be processing the waste that your fish or aquatic animal produces :)

So your fish produced some waste, and it’s floating around in the water as ammonia. The first bacteria (#1) that grows will ‘eat’ the ammonia and then ‘poop’ out nitrites.

Nitrites are also toxic to aquatic animals above 0ppm though :/ so then another bactiera (#2) grows and it ‘eats’ these nitrites that are floating around in the water and ‘poops’ out nitrates.

Nitrates are safe for fish (up to 20ppm)! :D Since there’s no bacteria that’s going to grow to eat these nitrates that are in the water, we have to physically remove them by doing a water change. A helpful post about water changes, how they work, and why they’re important:
https://hella-free-space.tumblr.com/post/160931725969/whats-the-rule-for-water-changes-like-ive-seen

If you have live plants, they will use some of the ammonia, nitrite, and/or nitrates in the water as nutrients :) Some plants will use more than others, as some plants are heavy root feeders, some are floaters, and some prefer to be somewhere in the water column. (note: live plants SHOULD NOT totally replace water changes! water changes are still necessary even for planted tanks :3)

To recap:
Fish waste (ammonia) -> bacteria #1 -> nitrite -> bacteria #2 -> nitrate -> water change


If you have any other questions, Anon, please send me a message or another ask!! :)

If anyone would like to add onto this, or if corrections need to be made, please reblog/comment/let me know! :)

3

300 OVERHAUL!!!

And the hardscape is done!!! Finally. It took me literally 12 hours to take out old sand and put in new substrate and level everything out and put in dividers to make the scape taller and then the rocks and wood but here is something closer to being done lol.

The plan is its going to be planted and filled tomorrow. Hopefully. I’ll be buying plants tomorrow so it has to be done tomorrow.

Also, dont mind how dirty the tank is i was too lazy to clean it off for pictures.

Edit: i really wanted to make this scape taller but my canister filter is drilled into the bottom of the tank on both freaking sides so that limited me.

anonymous asked:

So I have a common pleco in my 30 gallon tank, and he's barely active during the day. He sits in the same spot, but then when I turn the lights off in my tank and in my room, he suddenly becomes very active! I'm not sure what's going on, and I'm not sure if he's eating enough because I'm usually going to bed when he starts swimming around at night. Any ideas?

Sorry I didn’t reply to this ask sooner, my phone wouldn’t let me reply to it, for some reason.

Thirty gallons is quite small for a common pleco, as common plecs can get to almost two feet in length when full grown! As for the inactivity, most plecs are nocturnal, which means they’re most active at night (and don’t fancy bright lights). 

How’re your parameters? I feel like the small tank may be a possible concern with ammonia toxicity, as plecs tend to produce an ungodly amount of waste, and would quickly overwhelm the space with waste.

People generally recommend 75 gallons+ (bigger the better) for common plecos, and have a heavy-duty canister filter rated at a higher gallonage to accommodate their potty habits.

Here are some pictures of full grown plecos (courtesy of Google images):

8

More tanks/plants/fish! McKoi and his tank are doing great, which is nice. 

 The extra ten gallon is still cycling and I still need to decide: one or two female pea puffers, or a school of celestial pearl danios with some red cherry shrimp? More research required. 

 Photos 6 and 7 are the current sad state of the rotala wallichii, which deteriorated when I left for 6 days. Thankfully all the pink growing tips are new and doing well, so eventually I will trim out those nasty algae covered stems. 

Last photo is the cryptocoryne undulata, which is finally looking nice and big! (Can you spot the noodle?) The 40 gallon has been a bit gross and sad lately (the 20 long is much worse) but it will be getting a canister filter upgrade as well as an inline CO2 diffuser to go with it! Hopefully after the next two months I will be getting it back in shape.

So here’s something I’ve never seen before. 

I help look after my parents shop aquarium, and today my Dad showed me this picture of some “weird moving white algae” to see if I could identify it for him (the alien-looking spider web, not the many inert nerite eggs). I had no clue, but a quick search leads me to believe it’s a type of slime mold! Which is kinda super cool but also I know next to nothing about slime molds, and nothing at all about slime molds in aquariums! The little information I can find tells me that it is harmless to the fish and plants, but unsightly. 

A few weeks ago we replaced one of the two canister filters on the aquarium that was getting old and run down, which is what I think triggered… whatever this slime mold buddy is. We had no ammonia in any tests after, and even though I was pretty sure that the other filter media held up the cycle (and whatever gets missed in the weekly gravel vac), we stepped up the frequency of water changes to be safe. But it’s possible we had a bump in nitrates. Or this guy was hiding under the gravel the whole time and we’re just seeing it now, who knows. 

In any case, I’ll try to get a bunch of photos tomorrow when I go in to do another wc, as well as try to manually remove slime buddy. If any of you have ever dealt with slime mold in the aquarium, especially how best to remove/prevent it from re-occurring, let me know! 

3

So internet has been bad and wasn’t able to upload this till now.

Monthly Weighing of my goldfish update:

11/08/2017
Red: 28g
Ishmael: 14g
Calypso: 18g
Damon: 20g
Galileo: 13g
Amadeus II: 13g
Comet: 11g
Patchy: 20g

Most have grown but a couple have lost 1g from last month, I’ll keep an eye on them and see if they improve.

I honestly had hoped to have another goldfish tank up and running by now so I can split them up because the tank just can’t cope with all of them but as a compromise I’m working on getting this extral canister filter I have up and running for them. Just got to buy some intake and outake tubes first 😧

anonymous asked:

It's storming pretty hard here and I'm worried we'll lose power. If it goes out and my filter/heater go out, do you have any tips on how to keep my fish safe and healthy?

Hi, there!

Power outages with fish is definitely stressful. I went through this myself last year during Hurricane Arthur. Our betta was fine (although, sadly, some of the shrimp suffocated).

What you have to do depends on what kind of fish you have and your filters, but here are some general tips:

Before the Power Goes Out

Before the power goes out, make sure you have emergency pet supplies handy, such as:

  • Buckets of dechlorinated water set aside in case you lose water with your power
  • Blankets/towels (and bubble wrap/Styrofoam – see below for more details)
  • Mesh bags or pantyhose
  • A battery-powered aerator and batteries
  • Plenty of your basic supplies, such as fish food and water conditioner
  • Power surge protectors (to avoid frying your equipment)
  • Bottled bacteria (just in case)

Be sure to get the battery-powered aerator as quickly as possible. I tried to get an aerator before Hurricane Arthur hit last year and all of our local stores were already sold out. Just remember that there may be lots of other fishkeepers hurrying to beat you to the supplies!

If the Power Goes Out

1. Check the filters.

As soon as the power goes out, check and maintain the filters. Without a steady flow of oxygen, the beneficial bacteria in your filters will begin to die. As the bacteria dies, deadly toxins are produced and released into the water, which causes ammonia spikes. Unfortunately, if left unchecked, the excess ammonia can potentially be fatal for your fish within a matter of hours.

If you have HOB (hang on back) or canister filters, disconnect and remove the filter media immediately. Before using the filters again once the power returns, you must also clean the devices to get rid of the dead bacteria. However, biowheels can be submerged during power outages, as well as the filter media from HOB, canister, and trickle filters if placed within mesh bags or pantyhose. You’ll still need moving water, though, so continue reading to learn more about aerating during power outages.

If the power outage lasts for days, it is important to check your water parameters and do partial water changes every day to help reduce the ammonia. There are also products available, such as Seachem Stability or Tetra SafeStart, that can be used to introduce beneficial bacteria back into the tank to potentially help control the water parameters (as long as there’s still oxygen flow). However, such products are hit or miss since their introduction can cause ammonia spikes as well.

2. Aerate the water.

Although bettas have labyrinth organs that allow them to directly take oxygen from the surface, keeping the water aerated will help lessen the stress for your fish, as well as any other tank mates.

To aerate the fish tank, there are many inexpensive battery-operated aerators available at pet stores or on Amazon. The aerator will help agitate the surface and move the water around to provide dissolved oxygen. If you do not have an aerator, you can manually oxygenate your tank by scooping water in a cup or pitcher and pouring it back in for five minutes every hour (or as soon as you see your betta or tank mates gasping for air).

If you have your filter media floating in mesh or pantyhose, placing it over/by the outflow of the aerator to have water flow over it can help keep the beneficial bacteria alive. A regular sponge filter can be attached to the aerator and kept running like usual as well.

3. Maintain the temperature.

While betta fish are hardy and can typically live in temperatures ranging from 72° to 82° (although about 80° is often the most preferred), the change in temperature resulting from a power outage can be dangerous.

To help keep the water warm, the safest thing you can do is use Styrofoam or blankets to surround the aquarium and help keep the heat inside. If the water is too warm, you can open the feeding door or remove the lid to help cool the water down.

Another method you can try using is the bubble wrap method. Bubble wrap can be used to cheaply insulate your windows, so why not tanks as well?

To apply bubble wrap to your tanks, here are the steps:

  • Cut bubble wrap sheets to the dimensions of your tank.
  • Lightly spray water onto the outside glass panes with a spray bottle.
  • Press the bubble wrap to the glass with the bubble side facing in.
  • Use double-sided tape to hold the bubble wrap in place if the water isn’t enough.

According to the article linked to above, bubble wrap can be used to reduce heat loss for single-glazed windows by almost half. I haven’t personally tested how it applies to tanks, but it’s yet another method that can be layered to help keep fish warm.

An important thing to remember is that the temperature changes must be gradual. If you suddenly adjust the temperature, even by just a couple of degrees, your fish could go into shock. That is why you should never just add hot or cold water to the aquarium to adjust the temperature while the fish is present. (If you do add hot or cold water, remove the fish fish and properly acclimate it back in after the water change to prevent shock).

Once the power returns, be sure to use your heaters to gradually bring the temperature back up over the course of hours.

4. Avoid feeding the fish.

It is important to reduce or avoid feeding your betta during power outages. By feeding your fish, you will only create more waste in the water that can build to dangerous levels without proper filtration and water changes. Most bettas can typically live up to around five days or so without being fed, and especially as the cooler temperatures lower your betta’s metabolism. You should only resume regular feeding your fish once the power returns and the water parameters, including the temperature, is back to normal.

This is everything I can think of at the moment… If anyone else has any more tips, feel free to share!

2

GUYS. It’s official. I have a baby wolf.

More specifically, I just picked up a baby rainbow wolf fish (Erythrinus genus), pictured top. I decided my wolf fish (Hoplias genus), Scurvy, pictured bottom, needed a little sibling. Granted rainbows don’t get nearly as large as regular wolf fish, but they make up for it with dashing good looks. 

I need to start asking people to throw me baby showers for fish. People could bring gifts of filter media and decor and water conditioner, and the big gift equivalent of the fancy baby stroller or crib could be a canister filter. It would be great.

Also I’m pretty sure I’m a 14 year old boy when it comes to fish? Because almost all of my personal fish are big aggressive solitary species, and same goes for basically every fish I want. 

unicornicopia1  asked:

What sort of filtration do you think would be best for a 75 gallon saltwater tank with a snowflake eel (and others, to be decided upon)? Thanks ❤️❤️😊😊

the best filtration would be some sort of sump. it’s kinda like building your own canister filter. you have a 10 or a 20 gallon tank under your tank that you pump water into and you would have different types of filtration media in there. some people go all out and have UV sterilization/macro algae/refugium/reactor/protein skimmer/etc. you can look around online and figure out how extensive of a sump you want

 the king of DIY has a few cool videos on sumps. here’s one 

if you don’t want to go for a sump then a nice canister filter would work. it’s tempting to buy a cheaper one because these can be so expensive but i would try and get one of the higher end ones if you can. it’s a good investment. eheim, hydor, and fluval are good brands but make sure to read reviews.

i use this one for my 55 

somealienswife  asked:

hey I want start in aquascaping but I'm not sure where to start, what plants to use (for a beginner), and what equipment is really necessary. would you mind giving me some tips/advice on a starter? :) also, I'm a low income college student so I can't really afford many of expensive quality items :/ I've heard that using Java moss and if I wanted to, use red cherry fish for a beginner

Hey there,
Aquascaping on tight budget is a tricky thing. If you do not have enough funds (or other sources) to get decent filtration (typically a canister filter with a throughput about 10 times the volume of your tank every hour), do not even start thinking about it. Plants are of a lesser concern in terms of money. Here is a decent list of plants that could live with lower light levels and without CO2 supply: http://tropica.com/en/plants/?tabIndex=1&alias=Easy but you must be a magician to make a budget nature aquarium tank look like one of those beautiful ones that you see around. If I was to set up a minimum budget tank, I’d try to find some driftwood somewhere that I like (in fact, several of those so that I could build something from the combination of them), a couple of rocks that pass the acid test, I’d put a thin layer of sand at the bottom of the tank (up to 5 mm) and use plants that live on driftwood with low needs of light and nutritients.  Those would be anubias, microsorium and probably bolbitis (use the link above), and if you like, java moss, too. These do not need much light (could even survive without additional lights in a reasonably light room – pro lightning fixtures could cost a lot), no CO2 (saves you over 200 bucks), no substrate (which again is a cost item), very low level of fertilisation, and even low maintenance needs (apart of the java moss, which is a trash magnet and grows everywhere after a while). But you’ll still need a filter. 

You could put up something like that, where you fix all your plants on the wood: 

As to animals – they are typically inexpensive. Red cherry shrimps will love a tank like that. Note that every month or two you’ll need to completely suck out the sand and replace it with another batch, while the old one can be thoroughly cleaned (i.e. clorox) to regain its natural bright light colour.
Fair wind and a following sea to you! :) 

Hey Fishblr/Aquablr

I’m wondering what filters you all run, on which size aquariums, and if you’ve made any personal modifications to your filters.
In the long term I’m looking to replace my HOB filter with a Fluval 306 Canister filter. However that’s a little while off due to funds. But for now I’m looking to modify the media in my HOB filter to optimize the potential.

wolf-1201-blog  asked:

What is the gas mask that is common in Stalker? The game. Also, I heard there is a gas mask that can filter out airborne radiation(?) How true is that or what gas mask is it?

PBF, essentially. They made some minor changes, like making the filters external canisters, but it’s more or the less the same.

Gas masks don’t filter anything, the filters do. Some filters can block radiological particles from being inhaled.

anonymous asked:

Thinking of you 💖💖💖 hope you, your family, and pets are staying safe!!!🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟🐟

Thank you, anon! Still without power, and really spotty internet connection! The storm went surprisingly well, and everyone is safe! I’m going to have to re-cycle the 55 gallon, I’m hoping all the fish will last until I’m able to clean and care for them! The betta are all doing well, they’re all being run off battery-powered air pumps! I’m not sure if they’ll last much longer, but I’m hoping they’ll last until power is restored!

We did have some minor flooding…..But it was entirely my fault. XD. I forgot to stop the flow of my canister filter, and it leaked about 10 gallons into the carpet….uwu

Lots of debris and downed trees, but otherwise, not any house damage!

9

3 month old 10 gallon since the beginning. 

New to tumblr so I don’t know how to leave a comment on someone’s reblog but someone asked about ferts/co2 so I’ll just list the setup.

  • Lighting: 2 finnex planted+ LEDs, a 20" over the background and a 12" over the front, on for 8 hours a day.
  • fluval 106 canister filter
  • some heater, kept at 78F
  • Substrate: Eco complete everywhere and there’s some ADA amazonia mixed into the background where all the stems are. There are also osmocote root tabs spread throughout. 
  • co2: 5lbs tank with a Milwaukee dual stage regulator, set to ~3bps, using a rhinox 2000 diffuser
  • Ferts: EI dosing potassium nitrate and phosphate, sometimes magnesium sulphate 2-3x a week. Following bottle directions for seachem iron and trace 3x a week. 
  • Water parameters: I use RO water for water changes and remineralize-P to get it back to ~200 tds. PH is ~6.9, nitrates ~20ppm, I haven’t checked the GH or Kh for a while so I don’t know those. I do weekly water changes, usually 50% of the tank. 
  • Plants (from left to right)
  • Background: Jungle val, a mix of rotalas (rotundifolia, green, H'ra, colorata), Ludwigia red and ludwigia arcuata, bacopa monnieri and caroliniana
  • Midground: Some dwarf hairgrass that you can’t really see and Staurogyne repens
  • Carpet is monte carlo
  • Fauna: Mostly CRS and CBS, some otos, and a siamese algae eater who I’m thinking about taking out. 
Complete Axolotl Caresheet

I think it is complete, making it for my website so might still be missing a few things. Breeding/Rearing info is elsewhere, same as signs of stress/illness:

Axolotls, or ambystoma mexicanum (also known as Mexican Walking Fish in at least New Zealand, Wooper Looper/Ooper Rooper in Japanese) are a neotenic salamander, belonging to the Amphibian family Caudata/Urodela. Neotenic means that they remain in their larval form, and reach sexual maturity. Axolotls used to go through metamorphosis into land-walking salamanders, changing their appearance and losing their gills, but have regressed through evolution to remain an underwater dweller. They still grow lungs, which has led many people to believe they can live and walk out of water, but this practice is stressful and cruel.

GROWTH

Axolotls start in an egg, and hatch after about three weeks, and are less than a centimeter long, with no legs. A well fed axolotl can grow a centimeter a week, and can grow to around 30cms as an adult. Axolotls have been known to live for twenty years, but in captivity, they tend to last about ten to fifteen.

Axolotls are also fascinating in the fact that if they are injured, or lose a limb, they can regenerate a new limb or even part of an organ. A photo guide of a limb growing back is available here, it’s quite fascinating. Axolotls are studied by scientists the world over, to learn more about their regenerative qualities.

TANK REQUIREMENTS

An axolotl is a coldwater creature, so they do not need a heater, and are best kept in dark, cool places. They dwell on the bottom of the tank, so a tank of considerable length is required. Height is not so important. A good starting size for a single axolotl is L: 70cm W: 45cm H:40+. A good rule is an extra 20cms length for every extra axolotl you get. This is to ensure they have plenty of space away from each other, in case one is aggressive or has cannabalistic tendencies.

Axolotls should have a filter. They don’t like water current, so a filter that produces a weak water flow is best. Canister filters are a great, but expensive option for this, as they often have a spray bar addition. This increases the output, making it weaker, and it can be aimed to trickle down the glass. So long as the surface of the water is disturbed, you will get good filtration. Partial water changes should be done weekly, for a planted aquarium, slightly less frequently is fine.

The tank should have plenty of caves and dark places. Axolotls have very weak eyes, so need to avoid the light. They have no eyelids, so you need to provide lots of shade and hiding places. They are more active at night because of this, but are not necessarily nocturnal. For multiple axolotls, it is best to have more hides, and also try to create layers, so they have more space to sit away from each other, such as ledges and flat-roof caves.

Plants and lighting can be used, but lighting is not required for an axolotl. If you use a light, you need to have extra hiding places. Plants can provide extra shade, but axies often tear around the tank and dislodge them, so be prepared to keep replanting your plants.

SUBSTRATE

Small stones, pebbles and aquarium gravel are NOT suitable for an axolotl. No excuses. The best substrate for an axolotl is either sand, or a bare-bottom tank. Axolotls basically inhale their food, creating a vacuum, and often suck up small pebbles. These can get stuck in their stomach, cause a blockage and impaction, and kill your axolotl. Sand is finer, so passes easily, and more gently on your axolotl.  Handfeeding is also a good method to keep your axolotls head off the ground, but they will still try eating pebbles when it is not feeding time. 

Sand should be smooth and fine, smaller than 1mm. Sharp jagged sand-y shard substrates aren’t much better than pebbles. Black “sand” gravel is often too rough, and can cut up an axolotls insides. 

Some people have been known to use slate tiles on the bottom of their tank, or large river rocks. River rocks need to be significantly larger than your axolotls head. It can be said that food gets stuck between these rocks and causes difficulty keeping the tank clean, and water chemistry right, but it depends on the skill and knowledge of the owner.

FOOD

Young axolotls need to eat every day, although, as they get larger and older their metabolism slows down, and they need fed less and less. An adult axolotl can be fed small meals every second day, or larger meals every 3-4. Watch your axolotls interest in food to gauge how much is good. A healthy axolotl has a belly as fat as their head.

The best meal nutritionally for an axolotl is earthworms. Worms are a stable diet for axolotls. An earthworm meal cannot be beaten for axolotls. However, if you want to add variety, which isn’t particularly necessary, there are plenty of options. There are axolotl pellets, usually made of salmon, frozen and live bloodworms, frozen axolotl foods, bugs, decapitated mealworms, shrimp, and feeder fish. Only a few varieties of fish/live aquatics can be used for axolotls, preferably cold water. Smallish goldfish, platys, danios, tadpoles, shrimps, snails, to name a few. You need to be careful that the fish you feed doesn’t have any sharp spines that can pierce your axolotl. Mealworms need to be decapitated because they have pincers that can grab onto your axolotl, externally or internally.

Some people also feed their axolotls raw red meat, oxheart, liver etc. These foods should be avoided, as they are high in fat, hard to digest, and just aren’t necessary for an axolotl. If used, they should be used very sparingly, like a treat. However, the best treat for your axie is worms!

FEEDING

Feeding axolotls is the funnest part of owning axolotls. The best method is to handfeed them, using tongs or blunt tweezers. The food is held or dropped over the axolotls head, or in front of their face, so they can snap it up.

A tidy method for those not wanting to handfeed is to use a feeding bowl or jar. The feeding bowl teaches them where to go to eat, and to show you they are hungry. It keeps the food slightly contained, and makes less mess. A feeding jar is even better for feeding frozen bloodworms. You place a jar or glass on it’s side, and place the frozen cube in. It will defrost and sit neatly on the bottom. The axolotl will eventually smell it, and it might take some time, but will find it’s way into the jar and eat. It might still make a mess, but it shouldn’t go as far as without a jar.

Most axolotls have a good sense of smell, so neither a feeding bowl or handfeeding are always necessary, it just helps you to keep the aquarium tidy and to monitor your axies eating. Not all axies are experts at sniffing out food themselves, so these options help for that.

TANKMATES

The only tankmates you can have for axolotl are other axolotl of the same size. Everything else will end up as food, or will try to eat your axolotl. Plecos have been known to latch onto your axolotls skin, and some fish might nibble on your axolotls gills. If you have two axolotl of differing sizes, they need to be kept separate, either in separate tanks or with a tank divider. If the smaller axolotl can fit into the bigger axolotls mouth, they cannot be together. In order to avoid cannibalism and accidental nipping, you should feed your axolotls well, and on opposite sides of the tank. Never feed an axolotl right beside another one, or it will result in injury.