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Tank Craziness in Week 6?

This is a discussion on Tank Craziness in Week 6? within the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; Hello all. I made the mistake of not cycling before getting my axolotl. She had been showing signs of stress ...

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Old 22nd September 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tank Craziness in Week 6?

Hello all.

I made the mistake of not cycling before getting my axolotl. She had been showing signs of stress for a while, so I decided to fridge her as of yesterday. Yesterday and today I intend to change the fridge water 2x daily because of the presence of waste. I will cut back to 1x daily once the waste has lessened.

However, during this time I am leaving her tank to cycle, but the numbers seem to be all over. Here is a picture of today's readings.

(if the image does not work http://imgur.com/1DIas2q)
Click the image to open in full size.

Is there anything I should do about this? Or should I just wait it out with the axie in the fridge? Is it normal for her to be almost "too calm" while changing the water? She wouldn't get in the net, so I had to gently move her by hand and she didn't even budge. Is she alright? Am I making things worse?

Thank you. I am such a worrier.




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Old 22nd September 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Craziness in Week 6?

Looks like your tank is still cycling - your nitrites and ammonia are still high.
If your axie is in the fridge it's metabolism will have slowed right down - it may not move much, it may not eat or poop. You can leave it in there at about 5C - it won't come to any harm.

You need to get your tank cycled - leave it until the ammonia is down to 0, then add some more ammonia (or poop, or dead food etc) and let the bacteria process that. Do some reading on fishless cycling, follow the process through until ammonia is processed overnight.



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Old 22nd September 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Craziness in Week 6?

Thank you for your input.

I was told from several sources to do a water change in the tank as to not let the nitrite get too high and kill the bacteria that has developed so far. Is that a good idea? I was also told to dump the water from the fridge changes into the tank as a source of ammonia... I assume now that that was probably not the best.



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Old 22nd September 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Craziness in Week 6?

If you have no axies in your tank you don't need to do water changes, and you can put the fridge water in - levels can be as toxic as you like as there is nothing living in there.



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Old 22nd September 2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Craziness in Week 6?

Okay, thank you! Could have saved myself some time today! Oh well, there's always tomorrow.



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Old 25th September 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tank Craziness in Week 6?

There seem to be differing opinions out there on which bacteria, and whether bacteria are even responsible at all for nitrification in an established tank; more recent research seems to point to archaea instead. Some believe that bottled bacteria can start things out, but are replaced by archaea over time.

I've never used bottled bacteria, and, when cycling a tank when NOT using seeding material, have seen the ammonia->nitrite process stop at high levels of nitrite, and have seen the nitrite->nitrate process stop at even lower levels of nitrite, of all things, until doing a PWC. The link below seems to indicate something similar:

The Art of Fishless Cycling - The Free Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Encyclopedia Anyone Can Edit - The Aquarium Wiki



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