The proper way to tub your axolotl depends on what you are trying to accomplish. There are several reasons why you might want to tub your axolotl:
- To house your axolotl while your tank is cycling
- To hold your axolotl during water changes, feeding and/or emergencies
- To treat a sick/injured axolotl
- To transport an axolotl during a move or a trip to the vet
- To house growing larvae or juveniles
- To house a special-needs axolotl permanently
I’m going to cover the first point right now, since that’s the information most people need in a hurry, and I’ll come back and edit the rest in later when I’m in less of a hurry. (Oh, the joys of running your own business!) But first, here’s a quick list of food-grade plastics — you’ll need to refer to it when choosing a housing container for your axolotl.
Plastics considered food-safe in Canada
- Plastic #1 (PETE)
- Plastic #2 (HDPE)
- Plastic #4 (LDPE)
- Plastic #5 (PP)
How to tub your axolotl while your tank is cycling
You will need:
- two food-safe plastic totes, large enough for your axolotl to move around comfortably
- at least one piece of floating decor, to provide shade and prevent jumping (anything reminiscent of a lily pad is appreciated!)
- water conditioner, if your tap water is treated with chlorine/chloramine
- a turkey baster (choose one with a wide opening if possible)
- a thermometer
- a soft sponge (nothing that could scratch plastic)
Follow these steps once a day:
- Fill up a clean, dry plastic container with cold tap water (enough to cover your axolotl by at least 2 inches). Add water conditioner if needed.
- Remove any decor and set aside.
- Use the turkey baster to remove any axolotl poop. Dump it right into your aquarium! It will keep your bacteria fed and help the cycling process.
- Feed your axolotl before transferring it to the new clean tub.
- Once your axolotl is done eating and both tubs are roughly the same temperature (±2°C), transfer your axolotl.
- Use the soft sponge and hot water to clean the decor. Rinse with cold water, then add to the clean tub.
- Dump out the dirty water. Use the soft sponge and hot water to clean the tub. Let it air dry.
Other tubbing scenarios coming soon! If you need help with tubbing in the meantime, feel free to email me. For cycling help, check out these articles: Introduction to the Nitrogen Cycle and How to Cycle Your Aquarium.