Keeping a GFP salamander is quite uncommon but interesting. They are attracted by their special ability to glow under UV light.
However, to keep one in your aquarium, you must be willing to learn more about them than love how they look.
What is a GFP axolotl, and how do you pet them? This article has all the detailed information you require about this animal, including tank requirements, dietary requirements, water quality, etc. So, scroll down to read more.
What Is A GFP Axolotl?
GFP Axolotl (green fluorescent protein) species were grown in the laboratory and genetically engineered to better understand the evolution of cancer-related genes.
Their DNA mutation has now become a dominant trait passed down through generations. Many species of salamanders can be distinguished from each other by the variety of GFP proteins found in their cells.
GFP proteins can glow brightly under blue or ultraviolet light after exposure.
These albino variants generally exhibit this GFP feature better. Less pigment will make the axolotl’s internal organs more luminous.
The ability of any axolotl mutant to become a GFP mutant is the most intriguing feature of this species. Therefore, it is believed that salamanders may contain some unique GFP genes.
GFP Axolotls can grow up to 18 inches tall, often larger than other breeds. These salamanders are also healthier.
But there is no difference in size between some of the varieties that make up the GFP axolotl species. They usually reach the same size depending on the upbringing and care they receive.
How To Care For A GFP Axolotl?
When you consider the importance of the environment, you will realize that animals are very similar to humans. The growth of your GFP salamander depends on finding the ideal tank partner.
First, keeping them next to small aquatic species that can fit in their mouths is the first mistake you should avoid.
Despite their outgoing nature and cheerful demeanor, they can’t get on well with small animals as they can devour them.
Also, it would be best if you did not keep young GFP salamanders together as they may attack each other or chew each other’s legs and gills.
This is recommended unless you have a lot of experience raising baby salamanders and can properly feed and care for them.
However, adult GFP salamanders get along quite well with each other and can coexist. Since they are solitary animals in the wild, they are still best suited in the tank alone.
If you want to keep them with other aquatic species, choose only peaceful, non-aggressive, or over-reproductive fish like them.
Of course, you should only keep them with tank mates if you have previous experience.
A standard aquarium should have enough room for the GFP salamander to play but still have a hiding place, about 20 gallons.
They require a lot of hiding places to be “alone” in the tank as they are bottom-dwelling species and are rarely seen on the tank’s surface.
If you want to keep any aquatic life with GFP axolotls, you should add 2 gallons of capacity to the tank. This will make it easier for them to coexist.
Regardless of the size of the tank or the number of salamanders and other aquatic life in the aquarium, it would help if you always covered the tank or installed a net. Thus, your GFP salamander won’t accidentally jump out.
Although they reach sexual maturity at 5 months, you cannot breed them until 18. You must wait up to 18 months because if your GFP salamander is not mature enough to reproduce that much, it could cause problems.
While spawning can happen any time of the year, experts recommend waiting from December to June. When breeding, female salamanders can produce up to 1,000 eggs.
For the female GFP salamander to lay eggs, you must fill its spawn box with lots of silk or aquatic plants.
After a few hours of laying, the egg will turn white if your GFP salamander is albino, but it will still be dark brown for other morphs.
In addition, you must maintain a temperature of 20°C in the breeding box for 14 to 17 days for the eggs to develop.
The GFP salamander doesn’t like to be touched. Instead of handling them with bare hands when transferring them to another tank, use a trellis net.
One of the reasons is that their skin is sensitive and prone to disease and damage.
Check your GFP salamander for signs of health, such as a round belly, damaged skin, soft gills, etc.
You must notice and take care of them as soon as they show signs of illness:
- Stress: Strong currents, rough or impure water, battle tank mates, and fluctuating temperatures can all contribute to your salamander being stressed. Commonly, stressed axolotls have decreased appetite, curved gills and tail, are aggressive, attempt to jump out of the tank, etc.
- Damaged digestive system: This disease has signs such as bloating and low production of waste products effervescent in the colon (erratic buoyancy in the tank)
- Bacterial or fungal infection: This is usually manifested by slow movement, white spots on gills and skin, red spots on limbs, etc.
Since GFP salamanders are carnivores, you can feed them chopped live organisms such as Daphnia, bloodworms, shrimp, nightcrawler, pellets, frozen brine shrimp, and Repashy larvae.
To keep your GFP iguana healthy and disease-free, ensure your raw food is clean and free of parasites.
Although the GFP salamander is tough and can tolerate a wide variety of water conditions, it is recommended that you maintain the water at a pH between 7.4 and 7.6, a temperature between 60 and 64°F an ammonia level of 0 ppm, and nitrate levels between 2 and 40 ppm. 20% water should be changed once a week.
You will need a water test kit, algae scraper, water conditioner, and gravel vacuum to maintain the water in your tank. Make sure your tank is constantly kept clean.
The tank should not be empty. Backgrounds, filtration systems, plants, decorations, and more need to be set up. To avoid injuring your GFP salamander, ensure the substrate is light and soft and the sand is fine.
It’s fun to keep unusual animals like GFP axolotls. If you take good care of them, they will improve your aquarium for a long time, thanks to their color and UV luster.
What is a GFP axolotl? What is the right way to pet them? You must know their nutritional, tank, and water requirements and how to take good care of them. Remember that treating these salamanders properly is the best way to house them. Good fortune!