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Dead Axolotls! WHY!

This is a discussion on Dead Axolotls! WHY! within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Here is my story. so far 2 of my axolotls have died with the same symptoms. It was a rapid ...

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


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Old 24th November 2006   #1 (permalink)
teesha
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Here is my story. so far 2 of my axolotls have died with the same symptoms. It was a rapid death with little symptoms. Here's how it goes.
for about 1-2 days they float. This is when i thought i'd change the water. After the water change all SEEMS well. I did a 25-40% water change...here are the comparisons:
POOKIE:
diet-meal worms, pellets, earth worms.
floated-on purpose and tried to get out of water
tail fin receded.
gulping for more air.
ammonia: .5
nirtrate: 1
pH: 6.8
Did 90% water change
everything: 0
dead next day. on her side at the bottom.

SPOT:
diet-pellets, earth worms, bloodworms
floating and resting up high on filter and plastic plants on purpose and trying to get out of the water for a day. i held him half out of water, and he swam back down to the bottom of the tank, then swam back up on the plant.
loads of planaria
changed 25% water
next day still floating, changed 90% water.
next day dead. sunken to the bottom with curled tail and curled gills and thick mucous.


i don't know why. He also seemed like the cappillaries were more visible and he is a wildtype....from my biological knowlege it seemed as is they were suffocating....hanging up the top and gulping alot and the cappillaries trying to get more oxygen.
what are the reactions to cholrine and chloromine...maybe im not adding enuff water ager. I use "stress coat" and "vitapet" (cant remember what its called, but its a powder.) brands. I recently started useing blue crystals which add hardness.
do any of you guys know what it is. The axolotl with my spot doesn't have these symptoms, and spot was with the other one whe she died and only showed these symptoms months afterwards.
i am baffled and sadenned, i have no idea why.
i dont use charcoal in my filter, maybe its a build up of toxic metals? i dunno.....i just want to know why.
Pookie was wiht me 7 months before she died and spot was with me 3-4 months when he died.
i think the water change freaked out the already stressed axolotls and caused them to die.
do any of you guys know the cause? Any ideas will help.



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Old 24th November 2006   #2 (permalink)
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We used to use stress coat but after finding out the aloe vera adds to the bioload of tank we stopped using it. With Pookie, having the feeder fish as well and/or fact that you weren't able to quarantine Spot b4 adding may or may not have helped situation. Sorry to hear Spot died too tho. They may very well have been too stressed/ill by the time you did the huge waterchanges, as you say. But maybe if you had been able to fridge them or put the sick one in a separate container of its own and 100% daily changes, it might have helped, esp. if the issue was the water quality with ammonia levels that high. Just curious but did you quarantine your surviving axie before adding her to tank?



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Old 24th November 2006   #3 (permalink)
edward
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If you have ammonia of 0.5 and a nitrate of 1 (assuming you have a good test kit) means that your tank is not properly converting ammonia to nitrate either because it isn't properly cycled or there is too much bioload in the tank (through overfeeding, too many animals, inproper water changes etc) and that you have too much nitrite. (This is also an indicated by the excess of planaria in the tank). Nitrite toxicity does interefere with respiration and will kill aquatic animals.

Ed



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Old 24th November 2006   #4 (permalink)
daniel
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I'm really sorry to hear that they died Click the image to open in full size.

I hope that you can pin point the exact problem, mentioned above or not, so that you can get more and hopefully give them long happy lives.

Check out the water coming from your taps. If they died after a water change there maybe something in the new water thats making them ill.



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Old 25th November 2006   #5 (permalink)
kelly
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Click the image to open in full size.<font color="aa00aa"><font face="arial,helvetica"></font>Ok guys here goes: WeBought our new Black friend "Spade" last Sunday. Already he is sick and had the worst fungus I could have ever imagined. It is like half his lips fell off and he mutated into a giant cotton ball. The salt baths today seemed to have helped with the fungus. He has gas/float trouble and I have him in a hospital tank in the fridge. Besides the fact I think he is ultra cute I do not fancy a $30.00 pet just up and dying. I have to purchase a test kit tomorrow and I am feeling terribly guilty that I did not research enough before I bought him. I am doing my utmost to fix him good. Do I keep up the salt baths for 2 weeks? Would love any help you can give. </font>}



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Old 25th November 2006   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Kelly

Yes continue with the saltbaths twice daily. If he floats lower water in his container so he doesn't float, feet rest on bottom. Also, any other questions or queries best to start your own new thread on this section as you'll be more likely to get more help and/or advice. .



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Old 25th November 2006   #7 (permalink)
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My wildtype Xannon has just died. Water conditions were fine, and Carlito was the same as usual, but Xannon stopped eating and had been floating a lot recently. His tailfin receded, as did his gills, and he went up for air a lot more. I thought that he might be morphing, and was going to add a land strip or a floating piece of plastic for him to sit on or something like that, but this morning when I woke up, I found him on his side under all of the plants with his rear legs clasped together (his toes made it look like a venus flytrap), his front pair tucked in and his mouth WIDE open. He now lies buried under the oldest tree in my garden. RIP, wee guy. RIP.



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Old 25th November 2006   #8 (permalink)
teesha
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i just tested my water today because my last remaining axolotl's tail fin is seeming to shrink....not a good sign, but she isn't floating yet!!!
do you think i should change more water? Should i do 25% water changes daily? Should i clean the filter, or will this killt he bacteria. As i have one less axolotl worth of wastes i don't think it should impact it much. I put my quarentined fish that is 2cm long into the tank to eat some of the planaria.
I do have reason to suspect it might be the ammonia, oh yeh my results for the water today was:
pH: 6.4
ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
i think the ammonia was like .05 coz it was yellow, and def not green, but it had a deep yellow colour, like it wasn't quite pure yellow, but it was yellow??? If i am confusing anyone sry!.
I think tonight i will use the new water conditioner i bought, and age the water for an hour or so to make sure it is good, i will resyphon the tank to collect as much eggs from the planaria and wipte the tank sides down and clean the filter, i hope this doesn't send my tank into shock...it shouldnt since one whole axolotls wastse is now gone, the bacteria should be wanting more ammonia to keep them alive.
i'll keep you posted. I really hope my last one doesn't die! I may also put some charcoal in the filter incase it is metal poisoning from my water, our school tested our water a while back and said there were heaps of metal in the water....not good.
I'll let you guys know anyways....so if this one dies today, we know that ammonia cacn't be the cause, even if my test were faulty there can't be much ammonia in water that just had a 90% water change!!!!



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Old 25th November 2006   #9 (permalink)
glen
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Oh no! Sorry to hear that Shaun... Hope you are ok...



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Old 25th November 2006   #10 (permalink)
teesha
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ill do it tommorow its too late tonight, i didnt realise the time!! i might go easy and do one thing at a time, i dunt wanna kill the bacteria and overload the filter



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Old 25th November 2006   #11 (permalink)
matthew
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Sorry to hear that Shaun, and sorry for your losses too Teesha.



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Old 25th November 2006   #12 (permalink)
edward
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Teesha,

There are a lot of metals that can be dissolved in the water without problems to people or animals (calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium) unless they are are in real excess. (Although they may cause your soap to not work well).

I see that in a couple of days your pH has dropped from 6.8 to 6.4. This along with the large amounts of the planaria is a good indication that there is probably too much organic material in the tank (as the conversion of ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate acidifies the water).
The lower pH will cause some of the ammonia to be converted to ammonium which is pretty nontoxic so the trace amounts are not the issue.

So with the recent tests you have tested the ammonia and nitrite can you test the nitrate? I suspect that this is going to be very high and above 100 ppm is known to cause immunosuppression in fish.

If you want to bring the water quality in the tank back into line, you can do 10% water changes/day with little risk to the biofilter.

Ed



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Old 25th November 2006   #13 (permalink)
shaun
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Thank you Matthew and Glen for your sympathy- I'm fine, but Xannon obviously isn't. Did a bit of a CSI and came up with this: He went up for air during the night and got tangled in the plants. He wriggled &amp; squirmed and pulled the plants out, which released lots of debris from underneath it (found the plant floating this morning). Finally managed to get free and, as he hadn't eaten for days, must've been quite hungry (he was only a kid @ 4 inches) and snapped at some of the plant debris. This got stuck somewhere in his body and he choked next time he went up for air- this explains the open mouth. It sounds pretty horrible, but all the evidinse came up with this conclusion. Carlito just ate a few worms, happy as ever. Xannon and him were complete opposites- Carlito is light coloured, Xannon was dark. Carlito is fat, Xannon is thin. Carlito is always up at the glass looking at you, Xannon was always hiding under the mangrove root and so on, but they got on well together, despite the size difference. I've only ever seen Carlito nip Xannon once before, and that was when He was sleeping and Xannon swam into him, lol. Oh well... If I get another axie it won't be for a while. Funds are low. If I do get another one, I would like it to be a melanoid. That would be pretty cool (yin and yang, lol). I've written quite a bit now, so I think that I'll have a rest now- watch the telly or something with a hot chocolate. Well, goodnight everyone, and to those of you in Australia, good morning.



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Old 26th November 2006   #14 (permalink)
teesha
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today i changed 25% of thee water with my new dechlorinator which i can accurately measure, as opposed to my other one which i wasn't accurately measureing (half a teaspoon as apposed to mLs) I also syphoned and cleaned the filter. I tooka closer look at my axie and realised she is so skinny! i've been busy with exams and i have been feeding her worms, as they are much better for her then beef heart, but i've realised that 2 worms every second day isnt enough! I have gone back to feeding her beef heart, because it is bigger, she was so hungry! i have to go buy more! her tail is also curled....
i'll keep you posted. I will be changeing 8Lt a day, which is like a a bit over 10% of the water in the tank.
so far she is acting as normal, but her tail fin is still a little smaller.
btw i didnt quarentine my new axie for long enuff, only a week or so.
also i can't remember but i only have an ammonia, and nitrite or nitrate test kit, the one that is more toxic. I think its nitrite???
the test kits here are so expensive and i thought since it is less toxic i shoudl buy it last and i havent had the money to buy it yet.



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Old 26th November 2006   #15 (permalink)
edward
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Nitrite is more toxic than nitrate however nitrate accumulates in tanks if there is overfeeding, too many animals and/or insufficient water changes. This can result in the levels getting high enough to cause problems for the axolot..

Ed



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Old 27th November 2006   #16 (permalink)
teesha
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but if i did a 90% water change it would be safely diluted right? she seems better today. she eat yesterday but this morning she wouldnt bite, she just followed the food around and smelled it but wouldnt snap!!! i was so frustrated, i just had to walk away....
Hey could it be the earthworms? They were bought fr a bait shop. do u think they had chemicals??



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Old 27th November 2006   #17 (permalink)
edward
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Yes but if you did a 90% water change you could crash your filter causing the tank to recycle.

Continue doing 10%/day water changes.

I can't rule the worms out but the fact that your pH dropped in that manner and you have a big outbreak of the planaria indicates that there are problems with your water quality and the test results you posted only leave nitrate as the likely causative agent.

Ed



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Old 28th November 2006   #18 (permalink)
teesha
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ops.....i already did a 90% water change a while ago!
i am doing 10% water changes daily, it seems to be much better now!
thank you Ed, your a lifesaver....literally!



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Old 1st December 2006   #19 (permalink)
teesha
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is this the only cause you can think of? Coz i change the water alot...i wouldn't think it would be that. I dunno she seems to be a little worse....i have almost ran out of food, so tommorow i will buy some....i need a job SO bad....
i will change the water, 10% again tonight.
ill keep u posted



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Old 1st December 2006   #20 (permalink)
edward
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Even if you change the water frequently, you can overload the tank through feeding, this is strongly supported by the drop in pH and the white flatworms in the tank. Both of these indicate that there is a lot of excess organics in the water.

Ed



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