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Axolotls Need Help! Worms and Water quality!

This is a discussion on Axolotls Need Help! Worms and Water quality! within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This year, after lots of preparation, I got myself 2 axolotls for Christmas. I ...

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Old 29th December 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Axolotls Need Help! Worms and Water quality!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This year, after lots of preparation, I got myself 2 axolotls for Christmas.

I had been doing a fish-in cycle on my new aquarium for about 4 weeks. Just before the week the axolotls were to arrive, I left my brother in charge of the aquarium for a weekend while I went away, only to return to find 2 fish had died in the aquarium & had been left there for who knows how long! (My brother did not notice that fish were missing in the tank! ) Panicked, I immediately did a large water change to combat the ammonia spike (~50%) and realized afterwards that that might've RESET MY TANK.


Please help, I have my two axolotls at home and don't know what to do about the nitrogen cycle now! I've read somewhere in the archives that I can do a daily 20%-25% water change till the tank is fully cycled??? But I've also read that axolotls can become ill with large exposure to ammonia
I've considered checking with the local pet shop to see if they'd take care of these guys while I cycle but their axolotls dont look too good...

OH & because the tank had decomposing fish, it seems now I have a worm infestation! Tiny white & hair like.

I've been freaking out every day with the water parameters and definitely need help with evening them out:

GH: 0ppm
KH: 20ppm
PH: 6.0
NO2: 0ppm
NO3: 0ppm
Ammonia: 0.5ppm

temperature sitting at 19 degrees Celsius or 66 degree Fahrenheit

I have a 29 gallon aquarium that I've split with a divider down the center because I have 1 young adult melanoid and a 3inch leucistic. I have live plants in the aquarium as well. I heard somewhere that some real driftwood would bring the hardness of the water down(?) but would also lower my already low pH in any case, I have a small piece that has cured but has not been placed in the tank because of the pH statement.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Here's pictures of my axolotls in their condition atm. the curled gills on the melanoid saying he's stressed, right?
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Axolotls Need Help! Worms and Water quality!-cxrboxfuqaa_gzc.jpg   Axolotls Need Help! Worms and Water quality!-cxrbjqfuwaagcgg.jpg  



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Old 29th December 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls Need Help! Worms and Water quality!

Your cycle does not appear to be complete, unfortunately looks like its in the early stages.

The cycling process can take from 3-6 weeks. For your tank to be cycled, a beneficial bacteria needs to be present to break down the Ammonia and Nitrites into Nitrates. Ammonia and Nitrites are lethal to Axolotl and are produced from your Axolotls waste and decomposing food. Nitrates are a less toxic by product. During cycling the beneficial bacteria will colonize your tanks surfaces such as substrate, ornaments, filter, and begin to feed on the Ammonia turning it into Nitrites, then bacteria will break down the Nitrites into Nitrates. The bacteria is known as a biofilter, as it filters the ammonia and nitrites into less harmful nitrates. Since your tests show only a sign of Ammonia it doesn't seem like there is any conversion into Nitrites or Nitrates.

You will need to start seeing NirAtes to know that your cycle has begun to establish. You will see a rise in this order: Ammonia will appear once produced from the Axolotl waste, this will then convert into Nitrites, and then the final out come is the conversion to NitrAtes you should eventually be left with 0 Ammonia 0 Nitrites and around 40< ppm of Nitrates which you can lower by doing 30-40% water changes. Read this article on cycling so you can make sure your Axolotls living conditions are optimal and healthy: http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml

The worms are likely Planaria, as far as I know they aren't harmful to Axolotls, you can clean them up by performing regular 20% water changes and trying to manually remove them. Just make sure there is no waste or anything decomposing for them to feed on and you should be able to dwindle their numbers over time.

Your Axolotl could be stressed, is there a strong current of water emitted from your filter? The current can affect some Axolotls. Otherwise is could be your water parameters that are causing the stress.



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Old 29th December 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls Need Help! Worms and Water quality!

View this article on aquarium invaders: Caudata Culture Articles - Aquarium Invaders: Algae, Snails, Worms and Other Critters



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Old 29th December 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotls Need Help! Worms and Water quality!

Thank you for the links and the in sight!

I would just like to confirm my method: doing the 20%-25% water change with the axolotls in daily til cycled will be alright?
As for the filter, I stuffed it with aquarium sponge material to decrease the outflow of it and it seems to me that it hardly causes a current; so I thought it would be the water parameters putting a stress on the critters.



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