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Axolotl: peculiarities of home care

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MANTRID Master (1491), closed 10 years ago

Ea Oracle (63020) 10 years ago

She feels well in an aquarium - almost does not require any maintenance and can even live in muddy water containing little oxygen. From time to time it rises to the surface of the water for air, although it can go without it and breathe oxygen dissolved in water. In an aquarium, the axolotl prefers to retire in dark corners, leads a sedentary lifestyle, and can stand in one place for hours, without moving at all. He gets used to people quickly and sometimes takes food directly from his hands. Axolotles are fed by large bloodworms, pieces of raw meat and fish, earthworms, clams, insects. Animals are very voracious and often try to swallow food more than fit in the throat. Unburdened food, they regurgitate. Hungry axolotls can attack small fish, newts, tadpoles (the last spring can be used as food). It happens that they eat off the gills, tails, paws of each other (all the parts of the body eaten off quickly regenerate). or even attempt the lives of their fellows.

Reproduction can be caused artificially at any time of the year. To do this, you need to hold the axolotl for 2-3 months in an aquarium without soil and plants, with some lack of oxygen, and then transfer them to good conditions.

In an aquarium where axolotls breed, plants and stones are needed, to which the female sticks eggs - large (up to 4.2-5 mm in diameter). translucent, with a black germ dot. They should be immediately removed from the aquarium, otherwise they will become prey for the males and will be completely destroyed. Fertilized eggs are recommended to keep in a 20-liter aquarium with plants placed on the bottom. Zolotnitsky (1890) advises to incubate them on a baking sheet filled with water and covered with glass on top, in the water should be plants, mainly hellman. The optimum temperature is 18-20 ° C. Water should be changed once every 3-4 days. Eggs must be periodically reviewed and the dead (clouded) removed. In an aquarium, it is not necessary to remove dead eggs.

The incubation period lasts 3-4 weeks. Then the shell bursts, and the young larva leaves the egg. Its length is up to 25 mm. It has gills, but there are no legs yet. The hind legs appear after 1-2 weeks, the front - only after 3-4 months. Body of young individuals of light green color, with black specks.

The larvae must be well fed, otherwise they develop poorly and grow slowly (sometimes growth stops altogether). You can not overfeed - it can lead to their death

sdvig Oracle (55913) 10 years ago

not difficult. aquarium with aeration. feed the crank. ))) Do not torture)))

Not a little mouse, not a ferret, but an unknown animal

It is safe to say that not all people know about who the axolotl is, but the photos of this funny animal will surely interest fans of the exotic. But before you buy an unusual animal, you need to figure out how to keep it, how to feed it and what conditions to create, so that the axolotl feels comfortable.

In the natural habitat of the axolotl - "water monsters" - can be found in several lakes in Mexico. Due to the deterioration of the ecological situation, their numbers are sharply reduced, moreover, the species is listed in the Red Book, therefore, breeding animals in captivity allows artificially increasing their numbers.

The Mexican axolotl spends its whole life in water without getting to the land. To keep it at home, you need a large aquarium. Since both male and female (several females) are most often acquired at the same time, the “body of water” should be at least 40 l. In nature, axolotls choose deep places in lakes rich in greenery. Plants are necessary for breeding - sticks of calf are attached to the leaves of the female.

The main food that axolotl eats at home is small invertebrates. The diet of growing individuals is diversified with bloodworms, pipe makers; special aquarium feeds are suitable for animals. Adult animals will not refuse meat, cut into pieces, small fish and tadpoles. Axolotls are known to be cannibals, they can attack each other, while the bitten off “limbs” regenerate rather quickly.

Larvae hatched from eggs and young animals should be fed daily, once a day. As they get older, feeding is reduced to 2-3 times a week. Vitamin preparations are added once a month.

Conditions of detention

Water in an aquarium of sufficient volume should be maintained in a strict framework:

  • The optimum temperature is 18-20 degrees. Axol very sharply react to a rise in temperature, they become passive, lose their appetite, the maximum bar is 24 degrees,
  • The pH of the water should be in the weakly alkaline range, from 7 to 7.5,
  • the water in the aquarium should be well aerated

Aquatic plants are planted in the ground (sand or gravel).

Breeding

Axolotl is not necessary to keep in pairs, one male coexists perfectly with 2-3 females. A week before mating, the individuals are seated, the temperature is lowered by several degrees. When shrinking return the old conditions of detention. Males lay off spermatophores, fertilization takes place. After that, females are recommended to sit for a day or two before laying eggs. As soon as the adhesive tape with eggs will be on the plants, the female is returned to the general aquarium, otherwise she will gladly eat her offspring.

The larvae will appear in about 2 weeks. While waiting for them, it is necessary to maintain the purity of the water in the incubator and remove dead eggs.

Axolotl is an unpretentious animal, diseases arise only from malnutrition. With proper care and care, these pets live in aquariums up to 15 years old, becoming practically full members of the family.

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Life in nature

In their natural habitat, axolotls inhabit the system of lakes and water channels in Mexico City. They spend almost all their life in water, without going to land. Amphibian axolotl prefers deep places in lakes and canals, where there is a lot of aquatic vegetation. During reproduction, lizards fix eggs on algae, and then fertilize them. Lake Xochimilco is famous for its floating gardens - stripes of land, located between the canals, where the local population grows flowers and vegetables.

In this system of lakes and irrigation canals, the animal axolotl dwells. Translated from the Aztec language, the name of this lizard is translated as a water monster. Before the invasion of the Spaniards, the Aztecs quite often ate them. This meat was considered healing, and the taste it resembles eel. Nowadays, axolotls are listed in the Red Book. This species is threatened with extinction. Their habitat is ten square kilometers, while it is scattered, so it is rather difficult to establish the exact number of these lizards living in nature.

Lizard description

The home axolotl is the larva of ambystoma, which lives only in Mexico. Its length can be from 90 to 350 mm from the tail to the tip of the “smiling” face. Usually males are noticeably larger than females. Ambystomas exist in two types - neotenic (a larva living in water and having external gills) and land, which is fully developed and has smaller gills.

An adult (mature) axolotl in length can grow up to 450 mm, but more often its size is about 230 mm. Individuals larger than 300 mm are quite rare. These lizards grow much faster than other neotenic larvae of salamanders, and they reach sexual maturity already in a state of larvae.

The main feature of this lizard is large external gills, which are three processes on the sides of the head. There are also small teeth, but they are designed to hold the prey, not tearing it.

Axolotl body color is very diverse - from white to black, various shades of gray, brown and brown. It should be noted that in nature lizards of bright colors are quite rare, since they are more vulnerable.

The Mexican axolotl has practically no bones, especially for young individuals. The basis of their skeleton is cartilage tissue, their skin is soft and very thin. Therefore, without urgent need (for example, when cleaning the pool), they should not be touched. If you need to catch your pet, use for this purpose a net from a soft and dense fabric with small cells or a plastic / glass container.

The life of an axolotl reaches twenty years, but they do not live in captivity for more than ten years.

Axolotl: maintenance and care

Keep such an exotic pet at home is easy, but there are moments that affect the duration of their life. The first (and most important) is water temperature. Axolotls are cold-blooded amphibians, so high fever is a great stress for them. At first glance it may seem strange that these lizards come from Mexico, and they do not tolerate high temperatures. This is explained quite simply. The fact is that their habitat is located at a high altitude, where the temperature is much lower than in the rest of the country.

The future owners of axolotl need to know that the water temperature above +24 degrees is very uncomfortable for these inhabitants of the aquarium. If this temperature lasts for a long time, it can cause illness and even the death of your pet. The best is considered the temperature below +21 degrees. If you know that you can not contain the axolotl at the required temperature, do not start it, so as not to condemn to torment.

Choosing a primer

Another important detail that is sometimes underestimated is the substrate. Most often aquarists choose the color, shape and size of the soil at their discretion. But for the Mexican lizard, this factor is very important. For example, in an aquarium without soil, the axolotl feels very uncomfortable. This causes unnecessary stress and can even trigger sores on the tips of the paws.

Gravel is also not very suitable for an axolotl, since it swallows it quite often. This leads to blockage of the digestive tract and the death of the animal. It is believed that the ideal option for keeping this lizard is sand. He allows her to crawl freely along the bottom.

Aquarium decoration

In many ways, this is a matter of taste of the owner, although some rules should be followed. Small (young) individuals can be kept in small containers (50 liters). Adult lizards require a larger volume (100 liters for one or two individuals). If you want to contain a larger amount, then the volume of the aquarium should be based on 50-80 liters for each axolotl.

The decor of the aquarium should not have sharp burrs and edges - they can injure the delicate skin of your pet. Also, take care of shelters. They should be more than the number of contained individuals.

Water requirements

Filtration of water for these outlandish lizards is slightly different from that required by aquarium fish. Axolotli like a powerful filter, but at the same time a slow flow. Clean water is also important, so owners have to choose a middle ground between efficiency and power. Most of all in this case the internal filter with a washcloth is suitable - it is quite powerful, but does not create a strong flow.

Does frequent water replacement require an axolotl? Keeping and caring for these lizards involves a partial weekly replacement of water. Only in the case of these exotic pets is it necessary to monitor the parameters of the water, as they eat protein foods and are rather sensitive to the cleanliness of their home. You should not overfeed them and you need to clean up the remnants of feed in a timely manner.

Compatibility

Experienced aquarists know how important this factor is. However, most often the owners contain axolotl separately, and there are a number of reasons for this. The outer gills of these lizards make them easily vulnerable to fish attack. Even the most calm and sluggish aquarium fish are unlikely to resist the desire to bite them. As a result, luxurious shoots turn into miserable bits and pieces.

In addition, the axolotl is active at night, so sleeping fish become their easy prey. It is quite difficult to find a middle ground between size (so that the fish are not eaten) and aggressiveness (so that the axolotl is not offended).

But there is an exception that allows you to keep lizards with fish. These are goldfish. They are so slow that with good feeding they don’t even try to injure the axolotl. In addition, goldfish also require low water temperature.

Axolotl, the price of which is somewhat lower than other exotic species of lizards, is not very picky about food. The main thing is to remember that before you is a predator that needs protein food.

The type and size of feed depends on the individual. For example, many of them are happy to eat sinking food intended for predatory fish, which are produced in the form of tablets or pellets. In addition, they can be given fish fillets, sliced ​​worms, shrimp meat, frozen food, mussels, live fish. True, the last option is not recommended by experts, as the fish can be a source of infection, to which axolotl are very located.

The rules of feeding are no different from those that exist for fish - you cannot leave food leftovers in an aquarium, because protein feeds immediately rot and spoil the water. It is not necessary to give mammals meat as feed, axolotl cannot digest the protein contained in it.

Axolotl: price

The cost of such an unusual inhabitant of an aquarium depends on several factors - age, color (light lizards are more expensive), size. The average price varies from 500 to 750 rubles.

This is an amazing inhabitant of the aquarium - Mexican Axolotl. Keeping and caring for him is not a big deal, and the pleasure of watching him compensates for all the trouble.

Appearance

Axolotl has a very touching, touching appearance. He has an overly large head with a wide mouth and small eyes. This appearance betrays the appearance of the always smiling larva. Its average length is thirty centimeters, the front legs consist of four fingers, and the rear of five, with sharp teeth on the jaws. This exotic monster is characterized by smooth skin with transverse grooves on the sides and a wide tail, the length of which is about seventy percent of the entire body, which creates additional comfort when swimming. Its sides are flattened, and the top is decorated with a comb. A funny look to the larva is given by its specific gills, which grow on the sides of the head in the form of three shaggy, long branches. The average weight of an axolotl is three hundred grams.

Types of Axolotl

This unusual amphibian has several species, the content of which is permissible at home in an aquarium:

  • Mexican. It has a natural coloration, for which it is often called a “naturalist”,

  • White. His skin is white and a dark streak appears on his back. Eyes usually dark brown. If it turns into an adult animal, then its color can be any

  • Albinos. They can be completely white and gold (lutinous form), on the body of which there are spots of golden color. Especially a lot of them in the region of the fin and eyes, which in both species have a red color, as well as the gills. In the process of metamorphosis, they retain their original color,

  • Harlequin. This species was obtained in the process of genetic experiments, by crossing the white and brown forms.

Habitat in nature

Cute little dragons have long been classified as endangered species and are now very rare in the wild. Their natural habitats are mountain lakes in Mexico. They entered the territory of Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century and became extremely popular due to their exotic appearance.

Content difficulty

The maintenance of an axolotl does not present special difficulties if to lead them the correct care. The only problem may be that in summer it is difficult to maintain the optimum water temperature in the aquarium.

Council If the water temperature rises above the recommended, you can lower it, occasionally throwing pieces of ice into the aquarium.

Content in an aquarium

Of course, a single axolotl can be accommodated in a five-liter aquarium with a water level of about thirty centimeters, but this not only does not look aesthetically pleasing, but also complicates the maintenance and care of h. In this case, it is necessary to change the water in it after each feeding, it is impossible to place the required filter in it and to build a shelter. Therefore, the larvae should be kept in a tank of thirty liters, depending on their number. For example, for four individuals you will need a metropolitan aquarium. He will provide them with not only the convenience of existence, but also give enough space for a complex marriage ritual before reproduction begins. There should be no sharp objects in the aquarium.

You also need to pay attention to other important points in the content of the axolotl:

  • Soil (substrate). Так как личинка может заглатывать мелкий песок и гравий, то лучше всего на дно насыпать крупную гальку, которая не поместиться у нее во рту. Также нужно соорудить животному просторное укрытие, так как оно очень любит прятаться,
  • Параметры воды. Температура воды должна лежать в пределах от пятнадцати до двадцати градусов. If it is lower, the axolotls move a little, refuse to feed and do not develop. At higher temperatures, the larvae experience severe stress, which can even result in the death of the animal,
  • Plants. Since axolotl live in fairly cold water, then the plants must be cold-resistant. It is recommended to settle near the larva with a kladofor, ludwigiyu, hydrophilus, sagittary, lysimachia, alternater, moss, nyas, elodea,
  • Lighting. The level of illumination does not matter much for the axolotl, since he has poor eyesight. Additional lighting may be required for plants planted in an aquarium,
  • Filtration and aeration. The larvae are very messy creatures, so the filter in the aquarium should be quite powerful. But even with it, you will have to change one-eighth of the water every day and remove the remnants of food. A complete replacement should be done once every three months. Water should be well saturated with oxygen using a microcompressor, and before pouring it into the aquarium, let it settle for at least 24 hours.

Young axolotls eat ciliates and crustaceans well, when they grow up a little they can diversify their diet with earthworms, bloodworms and tadpoles. In addition to this, it is possible to give dofny, cyclops, artemia, paramecium, slugs, scuds, gupoys, snails, pieces of sea fish meat to adults.

Important! It is impossible to use the meat of mammals as food for the larvae. His protein is not absorbed by them at all.

From ready-made feeds, it is recommended to give axoloths those used for feeding predatory fish. It can be both granules and tablets. Their price, depending on the destination, ranges from one thousand rubles to two and a half per can of one liter.

Diseases of the axolotl

The condition of the amphibian is very dependent on the conditions of detention (temperature, water purity, proper feeding ration, stress, volume of the aquarium, and others). If amphibians have improper care, they can be affected by the following diseases:

  • Anorexia. It can be identified by strongly bloated calf larva and refusal of food. The disease is provoked by infections, parasites, monotony in the diet, stressful situations. For treatment, the composition of the yolk, ten granules of flower pollen and pinch, mixed gluconate and calcium glycerophosphate is used. Feeding is carried out using a pipette. Usually, after a few days, amphibians begin to eat on their own. Food should be complete and varied, and the cause of the disease is eliminated,
  • Ascites. This is a bacterial disease that is complicated by improper metabolism, poor water and feed, as well as high temperature. Axolotl becomes drowsy, its abdominal cavity swells, appetite decreases sharply. Treatment based on antibiotics and diuretics should be prescribed by a doctor. The diseased individual must be immediately transplanted from others, since the disease is contagious and often leads to the death of the larvae,
  • Hypovitaminosis. It is caused by a lack of vitamins or their poor absorption. The animal must be shown to a specialist who will determine what exactly is missing and will prescribe treatment. In the future, you need to balance the food, you can add to the feed pollen,
  • Intestinal obstruction. This is a violation of the intestines caused by a mechanical obstacle. The larvae often swallow sand, gravel and other indigestible objects. The diseased amphibian refuses food and quickly loses weight. In some cases, surgery may be required.
  • Metabolic bone diseases. These include osteoporosis, renal osteodystrophy, and others caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D. Axolotl paws and little bodies swell, bones are deformed, they move and eat poorly. The disease should be treated at the initial stage with the help of a specialist, then there is an irreversible process. Calcium and vitamin D should be added regularly to food.

Getting offspring

In aquarium conditions, larval reproduction occurs twice a year in spring and autumn. At the same time, in the evening they first conduct the mating game, and then the males lay spermatophors in the ground, and the female begins to collect them. After it puts the eggs on the plants, it must be collected and put in a separate container, where it will be about a crescent at a temperature of about twenty degrees. Care of them during this period comes down to monitoring the quality of the water. It should be well cleaned and saturated with oxygen, while every day you need to change one third. After the larvae hatch, during the week they will feed on the yolk sac, then you need to start feeding them. Young axolotls are characterized by uneven growth, so they must be constantly sorted and seated so that large specimens do not eat small ones.

Important! Axolotl females can bring about five hundred eggs in one laying.

Interesting Facts

  • Axolotl easily go on hands. But at the same time, they need to be handled very carefully, they have no bones, but there is only cartilage tissue that can be easily damaged. Sometimes, scared of something, the larva can grasp the finger. No need to try to release it abruptly, it is better to wait until it releases it itself, the more that the amphibian cannot damage the skin.
  • This animal is capable of regeneration, and can grow lost limbs, and even internal organs, for example, lost in a fight.
  • Axolotl are very cute creatures, and their content does not cause any special problems. In addition, with time they begin to recognize the owner and rejoice when he communicates with him, they leave the shelter in order to be petted. Their amusingness makes even those who are completely indifferent to aquarium inhabitants fall in love with them.
  • Axolotl is used in various scientific experiments.

Photo and video


Temperature

Axolotli prefer cool water. In their native habitat, the temperature rarely rose above 20 °, and in winter could fall to 6-7 °. The optimum temperature for their content is 15-18 ° C, but do not allow the temperature to rise above 22 ° C. Too high a temperature of water is harmful to the axolotl and never place it under direct sunlight.


Feeding and regular care

In their natural environment, the axolotls fed on small fauna: snails, worms, crustaceans, small fish, and daphnia. In captivity, the larvae are fed artemia, and adults are fed granulated food.

In larvae, it is desirable to change the water before each feeding. To do this, drain the larvae into a net or net, carefully wash the container with a solution of soda and salt, pour fresh water and return the larvae back.

The newly hatched axolotl larvae can be fed with Artemia nauplii grown in salt water. When the larvae grow to 4 cm, you can begin to feed them with granulated food containing fish and vitamins.

Young larvae are very susceptible to diseases, so they get sick often and it is very difficult to treat them. To avoid this, you need to change their water and clean the container more often, as well as avoid overcrowding.

In general, you can change the water every day and the larvae and adult axolotl, it helps to avoid the accumulation of ammonia and metabolic waste. At the time of water changes, the axolotl can be placed in a net and left without water. Axolotl can safely remain without water until their skin is wet. But do not leave it without water for too long, do not allow the skin of the axolotl to dry or become “sticky”.

If an adult axolotl is kept by the group in a large container, then pouring out the water should “vacuum” the soil with a siphon for cleaning the aquarium, removing the remnants of food and feces from the bottom of the container. Once a month, it is advisable to deposit the axolotl into a temporary container and clean the walls of the aquarium from possible bacterial fouling.

Feed the axolotl larvae up to 15 cm in length should be 1 time per day. Aksolotly age from 1 year can be transferred to feeding 3-4 times a week. Besides, adult axolotl granules can be fed with daphnia, bloodworms and other mosquito larvae, earthworms (this is their favorite delicacy), food for guppies or goldfish, pellets with trout, beef liver or heart. If you feed raw fish, you must be sure that there are no parasites in it - avoid fish species that often suffer from parasites.

Caviar care

Axolotl caviar is placed in a transparent gelatinous shell that protects them from bacterial infection. After spawning, place the embryos in a separate container, removing the stuck and crushed eggs. Embryos are kept for 2-3 weeks at room temperature until larvae hatch. Most of the larvae hatch on their own, but if they fail, you can help them to remove the capsule with tweezers. Discarded capsules should be carefully removed with a pipette. Feed the larvae can begin after the yolk disappears in their stomachs.


Axolotl health, disease and treatment

Axolotls, which are regularly cared for, fed and made regular water changes, clean the walls of the aquarium, contain at a suitable temperature, are hardy and rarely get sick. With poor care and inappropriate housing conditions, animals are often susceptible to bacterial infections. The first signs of the disease: loss of appetite and deterioration of the gills. You can see some signs of anemia (pale and colorless appearance). In severely ill axolotl jaundice and open skin wounds can be observed. In severe condition, ascites and severe edema can develop.

It is noticed that young larvae and individuals at the age of about one year are most often affected (when puberty is reached).

Story

Axolotl (as it is called) in natural conditions lives in the waters of Mexico and is one of the oldest representatives of the fauna. The name of the amphibian was given by the Aztecs, and in Russian it means “water monster”. But this nickname is not at all combined with the pretty face that looks at you through the glass of the aquarium.

The ancient Indian tribes fed on axolotl meat, something resembling the taste of eel. In our time, fishing of this amphibian is prohibited - the axolotl is listed in the Red Book. But this does not prevent to breed it at home.

Axolotl description

So, the axolotl is a salamandrin larva, which, bypassing all the intermediate stages, becomes an adult without a change in shape, but purely by the age of development. In mature larvae, the average body length is about 300 mm. On the two sides of the head at the axolotl grow long processes (3 pcs.), Performing the function of the external gills. They create the image of the salamander's larva — thanks to these gills, the amphibian really looks like a dragonet (but pretty sweet looking). In nature, axolotls are found in various colors: black and gray, brown and brown. There are pure albinos and golden, but with such a color it is difficult to survive in the harsh world of water elements. But in an aquarium, amphibians of light shades will feel more comfortable.

How long axolotls live in a natural reservoir is difficult to say for sure, but at home this representative of salamander lives no more than 12 years.

Content in the home water

Axolotl contain at home is quite difficult. And this is connected not so much with a harmful (possibly) character, as with the characteristics of the organism. This small amphibian can get sick even from a slight deviation in the conditions of its maintenance. Therefore, having decided to start a cute “monster” in your home pond, provide him with decent care.

  • Salamanders are cold-water inhabitants. This means that the temperature of the water in the aquarium should always be below the optimum, i.e. less than 20 0 C. Change it will be possible only to stimulate reproduction.
  • The content of these "whelps" is allowed only in clean water. Do not forget to regularly clean the reservoir and often change the water in it.
  • Axolotl is active at night. Therefore, there should be enough dark nooks in the aquarium where the larvae could hide from bright light during the day. A large pebble hill, a pinned coconut shell, an inverted clay pot with a hole to enter inside, etc. will help to create comfort to your salamander.
  • The bottom of the reservoir should be covered with clean sand at least 3 centimeters thick. It will be more convenient for the axolotl to move with its paws. But the seashells, small pebbles and other trifles in the aquarium should not be, because Amphibian can swallow them and then suffers with pain in the stomach (perhaps even die). The pebbles that you will use to create shelters in the aquarium should be such that the axolotl will not be able to swallow them.
  • Be sure to have vegetation in the aquarium - its leaves will become the place of fertilization of eggs. Instead of live algae, you can decorate the aquarium with artificial flowers. How many of them will be there, it does not matter, the main thing is that the axolotls should be comfortable to move.
  • Everything that will be in the home pond should not have sharp corners and edges, about which salamanders can cut themselves (they have a very delicate body).

Axolotl nutrition

How to feed the axolotl should be discussed in more detail, because there is a difference in the diet of the sexually mature salamander and its fry. The common thing is that water salamanders belong to the category of predators with teeth in their mouths. And predators need animal protein for development.

  • It is preferable to feed the fry with microworms, mosquito larvae, daphnia, and naupilya. Predatory fish food pellets can be soaked in water.
  • In addition to this assortment, the adult "monsters" are introduced into the diet meat of shrimps, mussels, fish fillets. But living fish should be given with caution, because they may be carriers of disease.
  • Neskori home aquarium owners are trying to feed the axolotl also with pieces of low-fat veal or beef heart. Of course, this is a good protein food, but the amphibian will cope with it with difficulty.

Fry should be fed daily, adults - 3 times a week. In this case, the remnants of food should be immediately removed from the aquarium, as The axolotl prefers a pure reservoir.

Coexistence

Salamander larvae should preferably be kept in a separate aquarium, and all individuals should be the same size. The water dragon is still a predator and can eat other inhabitants of the reservoir at night - fish and snails (the latter he loves very much). But some fish can be a threat to the axolotl because of its bright appearance. Any parts of the body can be attacked, but the external gills are most interesting for the inhabitants of the reservoir. Minor damage to the salamander can regenerate, but a lot of damage will damage health. Therefore, the maintenance of axolotl is allowed only with goldfish, which salamanders are not interested.

But. and living in a separate colony, the axolotls can eat their own kind (that is, cannibalism is characteristic of them). Adults eat their fry if they lack protein foods (and sometimes just for fun). But sexually mature larvae can also fight for existence if they lack “space under the sun.”

Try to allocate each axolotl as much space as it relies on for normal development. For each adult individual must account for at least 50 liters of water. Only such content will be quite comfortable. Yes, and care for the axolotl exercise at home will be easier.

general description

Axolotl is not exactly an animal. It is a neotenic larva of the ambystoma (it is one of the species of amphibians). The thyroid gland is well developed, but the thyroxine hormone, which triggers metamorphosis, does not produce enough.

But this does not mean that such an amphibian should die or has defects. It feels fine in such an intermediate form, although from it the axolotl can turn into an adult - ambytole. This can happen after a change in habitat conditions or hormone therapy, but only a specialist can do all this, experiments at home will most likely lead to death.

The appearance of the axolotl is unusual and exotic. They look like tadpoles, as they also have an elongated, but rounded body, ending in a powerful tail and equipped with a fin. The paws are set fairly wide, the head is disproportionate to the rest of the parts and is large. On the sides are paired gills sticking out in different directions. The mouth is wide, the eyes are very small, which gives an already unusual appearance a certain zest. If you look at the photo, it may seem that the larva seemed to be smiling, and it looks very funny.

Where to contain?

The maintenance of the axolotl is quite possible at home, but for this you need to choose and equip an aquarium. Its volume should be about 20 liters for one individual. As for the shape, the most suitable will be rectangular. Walls should not be excessively high. Put the aquarium should be in a cool, shaded and hidden from the drafts place.

Special requirements for water. You can use dechlorinated and settled for two days or key. It should not be hard, the optimum level of acidity is about 7.5 pH. Важно еженедельно менять воду, но лишь пятую часть, так как при резких изменениях условий среды животное может почувствовать себя некомфортно.

Грунт в аквариуме присутствовать должен, и его роль могут играть небольшие гладкие камни, гравий или же песок. Растительность – условие необязательное, но всё же можно высадить обычные аквариумные растения, в них аксолотль будет прятаться. If there is no algae, then put some shelter on the bottom in which the pet will feel comfortable.

It is best to keep the axolotls apart, because in the wild they are predators with well-developed hunting instincts. So if you settle them with harmless fish, then soon the latter will be eaten. Predatory inhabitants can perceive as prey for the axolotl itself.

How to care?

Care for the axolotl at home implies the observance of certain conditions:

  • Temperature. Since the axolotl is a cold-blooded animal, it will feel comfortable in the coolness, namely at a temperature of 18 to 22 degrees, and the increase is tolerated worse than a decrease. In the summer, you can maintain normal conditions with the help of bottles filled with ice or cold water or specialized cooling plants.
  • Oxygen. Although the axolotls are chosen to the surface, they still breathe mainly in the gills, so the water must be saturated with oxygen. For optimum conditions, an aerator can be used.
  • Socialization. Such animals quickly get used to the man, but still treat him wary and do not allow close. In addition, the axolotl may try to bite if it feels threatened. But the bite will be not strong, as the teeth are small and will not allow to bite through the skin.
  • Lighting should not be bright. You can use an aquarium lamp, as the length of daylight hours should be about 12 hours.

What to feed axolotl? It is worth remembering that he is a predator, so it will eat animal food. You can offer your pet moths, tubers, earthworms, grasshoppers, cockroaches, crickets or other insects. It is also allowed to include in the diet raw meat or fish, offal, but all this should be pre-grind so that the animal does not choke.

Natural food can be replaced with artificial, intended for fish or amphibians. Recently hatched and young axolotls eat invertebrates, for example, daphnia, artemia. Food can be simply thrown into the aquarium or given using tweezers.

It is important to observe the frequency of feeding. Young individuals are fed every day, but grown-ups and adults (over two years old) - two or three times a week.

Breeding

Axolotls reach sexual maturity by about a year. The male releases the spermatophore, and the female captures it with the cloaca and after a few days begins to spawn. Then you need to resettle the adults, as they can eat the not yet hatched offspring. In total, the female can make up to three clutches per year (the volume of one can reach 1000 eggs).

The larvae are born approximately two to three weeks after throwing eggs. And they begin to eat after a few days, when the yolk sac will completely resolve. Moreover, young axolotls can eat each other, so that they should be planted in time.

If you provide a comfortable environment, an amazing axolotl will live for about ten years and will feel great.

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