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Extremely high ammonia - please help

This is a discussion on Extremely high ammonia - please help within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I've had Bowie for about two weeks so My tank has been cycling for about two weeks (because the woman ...

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

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Old 30th October 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Extremely high ammonia - please help

I've had Bowie for about two weeks so My tank has been cycling for about two weeks (because the woman at the pet shop gave me literally no information so I've been cycling with him in there)
It's a 20L (I'm looking to upgrade soon) but the ammonia is measuring RIDICULOUSLY HIGH AT 4.0!!!!!!!
I don't know what to do
My pH is in a good limit and there is still no sign of nitrates and nitrites!
I don't know what to do -I've been doing water changes every two days with my dechlorinator and bacteria additive thing but I've still had no luck
HELP ME PLEASE I DONT WANT MY BABY TO DIE
His tail is redder than usual and he keeps on swimming irradically around his tank and he's also developed a red spot on his tail. Help help help
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Old 30th October 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Take him out immediately and put him in a temporary container with fresh dechlorinated water. Your tank is still cycling and could take a while.
Keep him in the temporary container and do a full water change everyday. Unless you can monitor the tank very closely, I wouldn't put him back in just yet...

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Old 30th October 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

Atrus808 is absolutely right. Remove Bowie from the cycling tank immedicately.
A small container with 100% daily dechlorinated water changes to house Bowie safely until your tank has finished cycling is the best thing to do.
Be aware that smaller tanks/containers are more difficult to keep at a stable temperature, and variations in temperature are also stressful for your axie, so monitor this closely.
The red spots etc.are probably from the exposure to the ammonia. This should clear up eventually in the clean, dechlorinated water.
Don't panic, you can manage this situation, cycle your tank and ensure that Bowie remains healthy.
Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress.



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Old 30th October 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

get some seachem prime and seachem stability to help stabilise your tank



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Old 30th October 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

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Originally Posted by Luca1980 View Post
get some seachem prime and seachem stability to help stabilise your tank
With seachem and other conditioners you will get false reading of ammonia, with test kits like api master test kit. Seachem sells a specific ammonia test for their water conditiner. After 24 to 48 hours of adding conditioned water to your aquarium you will get a accurate results with api test kit.



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Old 31st October 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

I have used both seachem prime, stability and the api master test kit on all three of my tanks while they were cycled and now just for general maintenance. Never had an issue with anything!



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Old 31st October 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

I took Bowie out and put (i believe its a her) into a bucket of dechlorinated water with her/his PVC pipe hide. s/he didnt seem to like it in there and was thrashing around a while before setting down, but s/he seems more comfortable in there.
I did a 75% water change on the tank and ammonia is still measuring at 2.0,
pH is 7.2
temp is 18celcius
no sign of nitrites/nitrates still

the red spot on the tail is almost completely gone!
and for the first time since i had him/her, i managed to feed him/her 4 pellets (normally will only eat earthworms)



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Old 31st October 2016   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

i use the API liquid test kit and use a mix of API quick start, ammo lock and stress coat for small water changes
on large changes i use Nutrafin cycle (bacteria additive) and Nutrafin aqua plus (conditioner)



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Old 31st October 2016   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

If you plan to keep Bowie in the bucket with the daily dechlorinated water changes you will be able to finish cycling the tank without worrying about Bowie's health, and won't need to use things like ammo lock.
It may be worth just using the water dechlorinator and a bottled source of ammonia to complete your tank cycle. You wouldn't have to do water changes on the tank either.
Do you know anyone with a mature tank that would be able to give you some filter media to seed your filter? That would speed up the cycle.



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Old 31st October 2016   #10 (permalink)
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I'm very glad to hear that Bowie is doing well! 😄

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Old 31st October 2016   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

I couldn't manage to find a friend with a source of bacteria, so I went to my local pet shop and bought a live plant (there's sponge in its "pot") I hope this is enough to help
It's also de-clouded the water a reasonable amount.
I had to put Bowie back in the tank though
One of my dogs tried to get him ((



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Old 1st November 2016   #12 (permalink)
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Just be sure to test frequently and change the water if levels are high since axolotl-in cycling can be stressful on Bowie if not monitored closely. Be diligent and you should be fine. I know many people feel strongly against cycling with an axie in the tank but it can be done with a lot of work and water changes.
😊 best of luck and give a shout if you need help! Great great people on here!

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Old 1st November 2016   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

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Originally Posted by Atrus808 View Post
Just be sure to test frequently and change the water if levels are high since axolotl-in cycling can be stressful on Bowie if not monitored closely. Be diligent and you should be fine. I know many people feel strongly against cycling with an axie in the tank but it can be done with a lot of work and water changes.
😊 best of luck and give a shout if you need help! Great great people on here!

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I am extremely on top of my water changes and water testing. I do it daily - sometimes twice
I changed the water just last night and came home from work today, to find this small piece of gravel in the middle of my tank.
s/he must have swallowed it (at least two weeks ago) because it makes no sense how it got into my tank otherwise
Tail colour is even better and the red spot is COMPLETELY GONE
I MUST BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT HERE YAY
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Old 2nd November 2016   #14 (permalink)
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I hope all is going well still. You can in-cycle with axolotls. It's fine as long as you constantly check the water. Check every day as little things can cause a spike.
I'm glad she is passing gravel! That's lucky. I had an impacted axolotl from a pet store who didn't make it.
Just check water daily, water change accordingly and keep an eye on the usual signs of stress. As long as she's still eating that's always a good sign.


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Old 3rd November 2016   #15 (permalink)
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Talking Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

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I hope all is going well still. You can in-cycle with axolotls. It's fine as long as you constantly check the water. Check every day as little things can cause a spike.
I'm glad she is passing gravel! That's lucky. I had an impacted axolotl from a pet store who didn't make it.
Just check water daily, water change accordingly and keep an eye on the usual signs of stress. As long as she's still eating that's always a good sign.


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Bowie is doing awesome still!
She's swimming around like normal and chilling in her new plant a lot- gulping air less too!
I managed to feed her 8 pellets today (EIGHT!!??) and she she just carried on swimming around after
My ammonia levels have dropped with daily water changes and no signs of Nitrates/nitrites so I'm a tad irritated. I'm just glad she's alive and well
Especially after finding the tiny little pebble. I hope there isn't more in her tummy
But I'm a proud mumma and she is doing so well ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you everyone for your love and support.
Bowie and I really appreciate it(I just wish you guys could fix my ammonia issue but that's ok, I appreciate this community so much)
💖💖💖💖
(Added bonus - photos of Bowie being herself - she's trying to become a Starman ⚡️⭐️)
💖💖💖💖
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Old 3rd November 2016   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

So glad she is doing better. :-)

She is gorgeous. Blue gill Lucy?



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Old 3rd November 2016   #17 (permalink)
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So glad she is doing better. :-)

She is gorgeous. Blue gill Lucy?
Shes so cute and i love her very much :3
Im reaaaaally not sure? A friend bought her off a breeder for me
She does have blue veins with her gills so I assume so?
She really lives up to her namesake tho - A pale, freckled, Red head with blue - shes gonna be singing soon



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Old 6th November 2016   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Extremely high ammonia - please help

UPDATE;
NITRITES ARE MAKING AN APPEARANCE!! (Yay)
Measuring at .25ppm!
Temp is still 18
Ammonia is at 2.0 (it's high, but not as high as it has been - Bowie seems pretty tough against this)
I hope I don't need to wait another 3 weeks for Nitrates to be visible...
But Bowie doesn't seem phased and is still swimming and eating and acting normally, which makes me so incredibly happy. I can't wait to cycle this tank so I have some filter media to upgrade her tank!



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ammonia axolotl, ammonia burn, ammonia levels, cloudy water, sick, sick axie, small tank, stressed axolotl, tank set up & cycling, tank set up axolotl

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