Hi there everybody,
My girlfriend is getting 2 young axolotls from her sister for her birthday in a few days. The thing is, neither of us know/knew the first thing about aquariums or axolotls beyond their being soothing and cute respectively. So we dove into Google and have been learning a lot since then to prepare ourselves and the tank. We both agreed we wanted their home to be as natural which was when i first heard of aquascaping and immediately became fascinated with it, and the idea of a planted tank.
luckily we got a bargain on a 80x35x40cm tank and a used pump to start us off...a few weeks, and about 100 eu worth of wood, rocks, plants, nets, co2 drops etc etc later we have this:
- Alternantera sessilis
- Hygrophila angustifolia
- some sort of grass (no tag came with it so an id would be awesome)
- some sort of reeds (no tag came with it so an id would be awesome)
i'm using the following Easy Life products:
I also have a little of this stuff:
I used it once, but I’m worried about using too many different products without more of an understanding of what it is I’m doing.
1 Jewel 18W Day-Lite
1 Jewel 18W Warm-Lite
For filling we’re using brandless cosmetic sand mixed with gravel. No substrate because axolotls are apparently known for being diggers and eating anything smaller they can fit in their mouths. We were initially sold the dark gravel you see mixed in with the sand and told it would be fine for the axolotls but after research I seriously doubt it. I’ll be watching like a hawk to see if they start pooing gravel which I’m pretty much expecting.
I’d love to hear if there are any other axolotl owners out there with tips on how they managed to have plants with axolotls?
Most of the plants aren’t look too hot, something that might have something to with that is the fact that when we got them we were forced to keep them in a bucket of water for more than a day (almost two) while we tried to get the tank clean. That being said they still looked pretty much ok before i planted them. Here is what the worst of them look like:
should i take out dying plants? (even though some of the Hygrophila angustifolia that look the worst seem to be sprouting new leaves and even the Alternantera looks like it has a new stem coming up)
or should I only remove dead leaves?
The tank has been running for well over a week now. I have no experience with keeping water habitable and healthy but I’ve been testing and the no2 tests have been looking perfect the last 48 hrs+ even so:
should i be worried about the generally oily look of the surface water? (it’s gotten less bad since the photo was taken which was a day back) I see a lot of particles floating on and below the surface too.
what is the strange flaky gray buildup that seems to be forming on the flat plane on the top of my main wooden hardscape? I’ve managed to remove a lot of it with a gravel cleaner but there’s still a significant amount present in the tank. Algae?
Also I think I should mention because it might be killing plants or be a problem in the future:
we used various cleaning products getting the tank clean, we had to, it was a mess, we rinsed thoroughly with water afterwards but I worry if we did so thoroughly enough. All the wood and stones were boiled for several hours in water with salt and then left to sit in cold water before I put them in.
Here’s a few pics of it and the pump:
Can anyone tell me more about this thing? Is it enough flow for my plants? I read that there’s 3 kinds of filters; biological, chemical and mechanical. Which is mine? Should I clean the filter out or replace it?
For now this is where we’re at, i’m off to learn more about plants, even if the ones I have pull through somehow I want to achieve more of a canopy of greenery on the surface which in turn create a more low light environment for the axolotls and I don’t think these will do that.
Our next step before putting in the axolotls will be to put in a few guppies just to test the water. I have more questions about a few tiny snails and a larger one that have appeared but that's for a follow up!
My thanks in advance for any help!