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Floating, trouble staying upright

This is a discussion on Floating, trouble staying upright within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; My axie was fine until yesterday, when I noticed she wouldn't eat. She was spending more time floating below the ...

Sick Axolotl? Axolotl looking down in the gills? The doctors are in.

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Old 22nd June 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Floating, trouble staying upright

My axie was fine until yesterday, when I noticed she wouldn't eat. She was spending more time floating below the surface than she normally does. She's a juvenile (sex not confirmed) and about 6 inches from nose to tail tip.

Today she's floating all the time and is also having trouble staying upright. When she floats without moving, her body tips to one side or another. She has to make an effort to remain upright. She has tried to get to the bottom by climbing down on objects or resting underneath a leaf, but she always floats back up to the surface. She also seems to be gulping a lot of air. Her gills look normal. She does not appear bloated. I haven't found any sign of external lesions, fungus, red patches etc.

I did a bit of research and found advice to lower the water level so she can touch the bottom with her feet. From what I found, she may either have a blockage, gas or a bacterial infection in her digestive system. I've left about 3 inches of water in the tank. I've added a frozen water bottle because the temperature went up with less water. Temp is now about 68 degrees. She's not moving as much anymore, just hanging in the water. I hope that's just because she's tired out from trying to stay upright or get to the bottom.

I feed her daily on frozen bloodworms. I haven't tried to feed her today. Substrate is fine play sand. Filter is a sponge filter with a valve on the air line to reduce the flow. I've had her for almost 2 months with no problems until now.

Is there anything else I need to do, or symptoms to watch for? I understand that if it's a digestive issue or blockage (or possible constipation/gas) I just have to wait it out. Would black tea or Indian almond leaves help? Any suggestions to help things along?



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Old 23rd June 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating, trouble staying upright

Update. It's not looking good to me. She's not moving at all and just floats on her side. I read the Fridging Guide and followed the instructions to cool some water in the fridge for several hours and take the water temp. It's at 10 C. She's now in a plastic shoe box in the fridge, with just enough water to allow her feet to touch the bottom if she floats. She was limp and unresponsive when I carried her into the shoe box. Her gills look pale.

I'll check on her again tomorrow morning. I hope there will be more signs of life, but I'm not holding out much hope at this point.



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Old 22nd July 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: Floating, trouble staying upright

Hey, how did everything turn out? I have two juvenile axolotls (3 inches in length) and one of them is doing the exact same thing that you described. He can't swim down to the bottom of the tank without floating to the top.

I want to know if I should be very worried



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