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PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

This is a discussion on PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!? within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Okay, so about 2 weeks ago I noticed 3/4 axolotls had started getting really skinny and went off their food. ...

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

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Old 19th November 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

Okay, so about 2 weeks ago I noticed 3/4 axolotls had started getting really skinny and went off their food. I feed them blood worm and axolotl pellets (nutritional.) I read that it was something that axolotls did when the water temp was too high (and the water temp was a bit high)- so I put blocks of ice in every day. I did not notice any fluff on their gills or anything abnormal. So I had a disagreement with my boyfriend and I moved out..... my beautiful axolotls are still at his house... him and I are still together but I'm not there very often to monitor the axolotls and he has work.... so what I heard was my smallest axie died and it had a bunch of fluff around his body and it looked like the other axies had tried to eat him. The next day I went over and we both gave the remaining 3 salt baths and cleaned the entire tank and everything in it...
Today: One of the 2 axolotls left that weren't eating is now eating but the other has suddenly become incredibly ill over 6hour period. Gills are deteriorating, off his food still, not moving much, very skinny and the weirdest thing- a miniature hole in his skin under his belly. I immediately demanded my partner salt bath all my axoltls and on the two that had fur on their gills to gently try and get it off with a cotton bud during the salt bath... The other that seems to be dying- 'Ponyo', is in the fridge at the moment while the other not so good axolotl is in a completely different tank now. What else can I do for Ponyo? I fear he'll be dead by morning...

An odd question I've been thinking about lately... the 4th axolotl- now the third axolotl- is suspected the only female in the tank. She has never been off her food and is incredibly healthy. If it's fungi or parasites- why is she not being targeted? Do female axolotls have better immune systems or something? (I know it sounds like a stupid question, but the other axies have been off their food for weeks)- and she's amazing- she's really healthy.

I have a bare base tank.

I've attached images of Ponyo my deteriorating axolotl. The image of her face is after the fluff was taken off her gills (if you're wondering why it's not there.)
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PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?-12281881_1059422290852506_32008772_o.jpg   PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?-12167896_1059423404185728_196164172_n.jpg  



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Old 19th November 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

From the photos, I am not seeing any fungus. Have you tested the parameters for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH? What is the exact temperature? could you post pictures of the fungus you are seeing? Salt baths are very irritating to the skin so this treatment should not be over used. Sometimes, more mild treatments will be effective. To me, there looks like there is more going on and fungus is a secondary condition.

From the pictures, Ponyo is extremely skinny. Could you try some earthworms? Keep in mind that axolotls are unlikely to eat in the fridge as this slows their metabolism down. I haven't seen a hole like that before. It may be best to seek veterinary care.



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Old 19th November 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

There was what appeared to be fungus on his gills however was removed with a cotton bud. My boyfriend explained that there was allot of fluff attached to the gills. He hadn't taken a picture before he removed the fluff though. His gills used to be almost 3 times the size too
Ponyo isn't eating anything he usually does, however as soon as the pet store opens I'll buy earth worm and testing strips as we've run out of them recently. However we have a separate nitrite kit that says it is normal.
I would have prepared earlier however this illness appeared rapidly.

Temperature has reached 29 degrees celsius in the past 2 weeks. Around midday It's around 26 degrees celsius over the past few days. At night it's approximate 20 degrees celsius. I have kept them in the coolest area of the house yet the heat is intense in QLD. I've been putting ice in but it never lasts long

I put him in the fridge because I felt it was the only option other than a slat bath.
Do you think perhaps parasites?

What is the price to admit an axolotl to the vet?

Do you think the hole could have been inflicted by a tank mate due to stress from heat or something like that?

By the way thank you so much for replying.



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Old 19th November 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

Be aware that when you clean everything within your tank e.g ornaments, filter, and any other surfaces, this will kill the colony's of bacteria which is your biofilter so your cycle will crash which means your ammonia and nitrites will build up to lethal amounts which then creates more problems such as fungus and stops your Axolotls from healing.

The temperature is WAY to high, its lethal at this stage and is probably the root cause of the problems. It needs to be around 16-18 degrees Celsius.

Keep the seriously affected Axolotls in separate containers/tubs in cool dechlorinated water and change this everyday. Fridging and salt baths are needed to clear up fungus and stop further infection. But since the fungus does appear to be present just fridge and change the water 100% everyday with dechlorinated water.


Use these guides for fridging and salt baths:
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-beg...ing-guide.html
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-beg...-tutorial.html

You will want to buy a liquid test kit as test strip are inaccurate. I recommend: Welcome to API Fishcare: FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT



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Old 19th November 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

The temperature is dangerously high. Ice bottles are useful but you have to be on top of replacing them as soon as (or even a bit before) they melt. Temperature fluctuations can be just as stressful if not more. Could you try some clip on fans and maybe place some damp towels around the outside of the tank? If you have a hood on your tank, maybe replace it with a mesh lid. Turn lighting off as this will create extra heat.

I suspect water quality issues might be contributing. You need to be testing for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH regularly. Don't bother with the test strips. They have been known to give inaccurate results. Get a liquid test kit such as API freshwater master test kit. What was the reading for nitrite?

If you are able to remove the fuzz with a cotton wool tip, it is probably not necessary to give salt baths as well. You could try a black tea bath. This method is mild and helps soothe the skin and has mild antibacterial and antifungal properties.

There may be a possibility of parasites but I suspect there is more going on. I don't know how much a vet visit will cost. You would need to contact your local vet clinics to discuss costs. The hole doesn't quite look like another axolotl would have inflicted that wound. Maybe a sharp object in the tank? Or some kind of infection?



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Old 19th November 2015   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

Further details on cooling: Caudata Culture Articles - Cooling

As Skudo said, you need to find new ways to cool your original tanks water (aswell as ensuring its cycled).

But for now your Axolotl needs the best water quality to heal, so while he's in isolation change the water 100% everyday.



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Old 19th November 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

Here is a link on giving black tea baths

Caudata Culture Articles - Illness Part 2



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Old 19th November 2015   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

There is no way Ponyo could have hurt himself on anything sharp in my tank because the only thing that's i there is the filter and it's not sharp at all and he hasn't been hovering around it either.
Going into town soon to buy more tests, earthworms and some black tea. I was informed this morning that Ponyo is still alive- should I continue to fridge him?
Thank you everyone for helping.



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Old 20th November 2015   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

Given how skinny Ponyo is I would be leaning towards keeping him out of the fridge but somewhere cool (unless in the fridge is the only place without him getting too hot) so you may have more luck getting some nutrition into him.



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Old 20th November 2015   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

There is honestly no where cooler. My tank is cycling 'multi cure' which is a treatment for fungal diseases, tank is also cycling 'stress coat +' which is for healing a regeneration.. along with many water bottles every hour,,,once the tank cycles properly I would like to put Ponyo back in and try and get him eating, but I still believe the chances of him wanting food is very slim for my baby :/ What should I try first- earthworm? Blood worm- or pellets?
How long after fridgeing are axolotls expected to gain their appetite back???



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Old 20th November 2015   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

I would advise against using Multi cure. Firstly, many fish remedies are toxic to axolotls and it likely to affect the tank's cycle (if a cycle is established). Also, there is not really clear evidence that stress coat would really have a positive impact on your axolotl. It is designed for fish. It is more important that you get on top of water quality. So test your parameters using the liquid test kit as advised, Below is a link on cycling, It is very important you understand this process and how it affects aquatic life.

Scales Tails Wings and Things, What is Aquarium Cycling? How to Cycle your Tank

Try offering earthworms and pellets as these are far more nutritious than bloodworm. Keep offering him food daily. He is unlikely to eat in the fridge but I am not sure how long it may be before he would eat once out of the fridge. It would depend on individual axolotls and the conditions as well. Make sure you use the fridging guide in this section on the forum.

The tea bath will help soothe his skin.



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Old 20th November 2015   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

Skudo is right, a lot of fish remedies contain ingredients which are not safe for Axolotls. Buy a liquid test kit to check your ammonia, nitrites, nitrates.

Yes I would not put him in the fridge, the temperature of the fridge will slow his metabolism then he wont eat and will die of lack of food/nutrients. He needs to eat he looks completely gaunt and terribly under weight. He needs to be in a container with clean dechlorinated water which is changed 100% everyday and it needs to be kept cool, but not in the fridge.

Do as Skudo said and feed the most nutritious foods.



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Old 20th November 2015   #13 (permalink)
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You will also need to find a solution to keep your tank cool, since above 24 degrees Celsius will eventually kill your Axolotl. Read this page on temperature for more information: Axolotls - Requirements & Water Conditions in Captivity



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Old 20th November 2015   #14 (permalink)
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I just thought I would share this thread with you seeing as cooling is going to be an important factor and this may be a suitable way you can keep your axolotl at a good temperature without resorting to fridging. Read down as there is a post by a member Nex Socius on a clever way to keep axolotls in a tub cool. There is also a photo further down.

Heat stress

I would definitely consider this method. As AxolotlWrangler has already said, your axolotls really desperately need some nutrition and fattening up. They are very underweight, especially Ponyo.



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Old 20th November 2015   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

I have been trying the frozen water bottle method in a separate tank to monitor the change- but it only changes 2 degrees. I've put a damp towel over the tank and put a fan on it- nothing different. It's in the coolest spot in the house currently sitting between 24-25 degrees. I'm starting to save for a chiller but it is incredibly expensive.
How long should Ponyo be in the tea bath?



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Old 20th November 2015   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

A chiller for your tank may be the only option if no other method is working. But I would suggest the method in the thread I posted to use whilst you keep them out of the tank and in a tub as this will hopefully allow you to keep them cool but not in the fridge so they may be more likely to eat.

It is so important you get that temperature down, read up on the cycling process and ensure your tank is properly cycled. You will need the liquid test kit for this.

Are your other axolotls in the tank or have you also moved them to tubs? If they are still in the tank, I would move them to tubs of clean, cool, dechlorinated water as well. I would start doing large water changes on your tank to remove the multi cure treatment added. This will not have aided in the healing and recovery of your axolotls and will have likely affected the cycle if one is established.

For the tea bath, the guide gives you the dose as one tea bag per 10 litres. They use a quarantine tank and change the water after one week. However you will need to do 100% water changes daily whilst they remain in the tubs. So you could make up 10 litres of tea water and store it somewhere and use this to change the water with daily for a week. There has not been anything recorded that there is any harm to long term use



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Old 21st November 2015   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

I just ordered a chiller. For now- how low should the water be for Ponyo in a tea bath as she can't move to get air from the top- is that even a problem? Would it be a bad idea to put a butler in it?



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Old 21st November 2015   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

Haha I assume you mean a bubbler rather than a butler (although I like the idea of having a butler around :)). Make sure she is at least fully covered but I would add a bit more. Don't worry too much about her not getting to the top. A bubbler would not hurt but I don't think overly necessary.

It is great you have ordered a chiller. I think it is a worthwhile investment and will certainly aid in giving your axolotls better conditions. Have you got the testing kit? Have you tested the parameters in the tank? If so, what are they?



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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

I have tested both tanks for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and PH- they were all normal yesterday and I checked again today and are all still within normal range.
With frozen water bottles and damp towels and a fan + 1 bubbler in each tank I was able to bring my large tank between 20-21 degrees, and my small one that Ponyo is in to 15-17 degrees. Yay Progress! I had an issue with tank temperatures yesterday and didn't feel that Ponyo could be in a tank until it was a lower temp- I've just put her in the 15-17 degree tank and soon to be tea bathed. Does it matter what black tea I use? Are they are all friendly for my baby?

And yes- I meant bubbler ahah xD



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Old 21st November 2015   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE HELP- fungi? Hole in body?!?

Also, Ponyo loves the bubbler- she is trying to get as close as possible to it.



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