When an axolotl is very sick, one of the things you can do for it is putting it in the fridge. Yes, the fridge. Keeping the axolotl somewhere dark and cool helps it to relax, it's metabolism slows down and it goes into recovery mode. Here are some things you need to know about fridging:
Fridging should be kept for the most severe illnesses, when bowels need emptied, or when you cannot keep the axolotl cool. Keeping a sick axolotl isolated in a small hospital tub, with daily water changes, being kept clean and cool, is more than enough to help them on their way to recovery for most typical illnesses and injuries. Check out my other pages on treating axolotls and signs of illness for more information. If you are concerned, feel free to email me questions.
1. Make sure your fridge is no lower than 5 degrees celsius. Below 5 is too cold. You want around 6-8 degrees celsius. Most fridges have a thermostat so you can change it. Use a thermometer in a glass of water that has been in the fridge for a few hours to test the temperature.
2. You will need at least two containers of a litre or two capacity. Three if your axolotl has fungus and needs salt bath treatments. You need the container to be long enough for your axolotl to sit straight in it, and deep enough for the axolotl to be covered with water. One container is for the axolotl, it will sit in this in the fridge. The other two are to keep dechlorinated water in. One will be used for salt baths, the other is what you transfer the axolotl into for a 100% daily water change. If you use water that is not the same temperature as the fridge, you will shock, stress and possibly kill your already sick axolotl.
3. An axolotl in the fridge will not be hungry. Even after a week in there, do not worry. Even two weeks. Once your axolotl returns to normal temperatures, it will want food. The metabolism is slowed down in the cold.
4. As mentioned above, you need to change the water in the fridge daily, 100%. Mostly for oxygen, but also to remove contaminated water. The cold temperatures help to clear out waste, so it may poo a lot. Fridging is necessary for an axolotl suffering impaction.
5. Fridging is also great because it allows you to check up on your axolotl daily. You are up close, and can monitor any changes to their appearance, or if anything comes out in their poo.
6. Make sure the water level is not too high. You want enough in there to cover them completely, and another centimeter or two. They don't need to move around, as they are here to recover.
7. Keep a towel or cloth wrapped around the container, and holes in the lid (or left slightly open). This allows oxygen to get into the container. The towel is to block out the light so if someone opens the fridge, the light won't blind your axie and cause it to panic.
That is all you need to know. A good temperature, 100% cold water changes, and constant monitoring
Fridging is not always 100% effective and your axolotl may still die, but fridging is the best option and 99% of the time works.
A Guide for Fridging Sick Axolotls
Remember Axolotls are NOT fish so do not treat them like one
Is it a Fish? NO, Is it a Reptile? NO, Is it a Tadpole? NO......What is it?, It's an Axolotl
© 2011-2016 Manchester Axolotls
Breeder of Axolotls for 10 years