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Dirty?

This is a discussion on Dirty? within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; OK I had this prob with shortie before and it keeps coming back. Here are some pics. She looks like ...

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

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Old 5th November 2005   #1 (permalink)
natasha
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OK I had this prob with shortie before and it keeps coming back. Here are some pics. She looks like she is all dirty but give her a salt bath or two and it goes away, cpl days later it comes back. Even after her tank is cleaned and pebbles are all stirred up and all the dirty bits cleaned out (what doesn't come out in the 20% of water I net out), she is still like it! It does not seem to affect her in any other way she just looks grubby all the time. Any ideas?Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 5th November 2005   #2 (permalink)
cynthia
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Natasha - Are you sure that is just gunk from her tank that is stuck to her, or is it something "growing" on her skin?

I think I would remove her from the tank and put her in a clean with no substrate container. Give her the salt baths so she cleans up and then see if the stuff comes back when she isn't in the aquarium.

If it is just gunk from the tank maybe you need to pull up all the plants and do a really good cleaning of the rocks. Big rocks like that can hide large quantities of sediment.

If it grows back on her while she is in the "clean" container then she may need treated with salt longer or perhaps a medication or trip to the vet for a skin scraping culture.



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Old 5th November 2005   #3 (permalink)
jordan
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she does look "dirty", yea like cynthia said, to make sure that it is the tank you need to take her out, "clean" her and put her in a container.



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Old 6th November 2005   #4 (permalink)
natasha
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Hmm...I do rip up all the plants. Every 2 weeks I clean the tank take everything out bar the rocks which I stir all up.

Might have to try her in a container. If I look really close at it, it doesn't really look like bits of dirt it kind of moulds over her crinkly bits, if that makes sense?

I don't like the thought of leaving her in a container. I think I may have a small spare tank somewhere that I use as a hospital one for my goldfish. Might transfer some of her water into that and put her in there for a cpl days, see what happens. There are not any vets who know anything about them here, when my other one was sick I couldn't find any. Does it matter? Do they just need to do a skin scraping and that's it?

Thanks,
Tash



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Old 6th November 2005   #5 (permalink)
natasha
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OK she is in a salt bath right now and I have put some of her water in my little spare tank. She is going straight in there after the salt bath. Taking pics as I go. 3 Mins in the salt so far and about 50% of it is gone. Far out the little tank is tiny though only about 1.5 times her length. Better than leaving her in a bucket though I hope.

Tash



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Old 6th November 2005   #6 (permalink)
natasha
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OK here she is after the salt bath in the small tank. Also she looks dark through the belly, on the inside not the outside. Is this normal? There is no gravel in the tank for her to swallow and the rocks are too big to fit in her mouth.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 6th November 2005   #7 (permalink)
cynthia
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Natasha - I would think a vet could do a culture and help in some way even if they don't know a lot about axolotls. You might call around and see what the vets in your area say.

You can on light colored axolotls see the insides through the skin sometimes. I don't see anything unusual in the picture.

It looks like most of the stuff on her skin came off with 1 salt bath. Does it usually all go away in 2 or 3?



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Old 6th November 2005   #8 (permalink)
jordan
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yes she definitely looks cleaner already.



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Old 7th November 2005   #9 (permalink)
rheann
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Natasha - This is a swing in the dark, but could she possibly be allergic to something that causes that? It is very strange that black stuff on her skin.

I agree with Cynthia, see if a vet can take a skin culture.

I know that cats can have allergic reactions to house-hold cleaning supplies. Dogs and cats can't seem to handle soy products, even though most pet food manufacturers put soy in their food products.

Perhaps she may have either a food allergy, or something in her tank that caused it.

The vet even if he/she has no experience with Axolotls might be able to determine what it is.

Please keep us posted. I am curious to know what the black stuff turns out to be.



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Old 7th November 2005   #10 (permalink)
gregory
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I would be surprised if an allergy could manifest itself in such a way that it would be taken away by a salt bath.

Are there other axolotls in the original tank that are fine? I would lean more toward something in the tank that's causing it. Are the plants real or fake?

As long as she is eating without trouble, I wouldn't go the route of a vet yet (because of the expense). My advise would be to instead observe her in the small tank. Have previous salt baths removed all of the black? If it doesn't come back, or doesn't come back as quickly, well, that really points to the original tank being the problem.

I'd wait until you are sure that it is going to come back no matter what you do before resorting to a vet visit (unless, of course, she is not eating, etc.)



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Old 7th November 2005   #11 (permalink)
natasha
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I will give her a second salt bath today. Nothing has come back since the 1st one yesterday. She defaintly eats! Even after being handled having a salt bath and being put in a small tank she ate.

Yes, the stuff comes off about 3 salt baths then slowly comes back again. It must be dirt. Maybe I should try switching to sand? I wouldn't know what to buy? Does anyone know where you can get something suitable in WA?

Also if I pick her up to put her in the salt bath and she has a little wriggle there will be some of it on my hands.



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Old 7th November 2005   #12 (permalink)
natasha
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Oh, plants are fake too by the way...



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Old 7th November 2005   #13 (permalink)
gregory
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If she's eating after all that, I don't think she needs a trip to the vet quite yet, unless you've got extra money to spare. To me, it sounds like a mildew/fungal thing (I mean, it's probably not real _dirt_ as it has to come from somewhere, and it sounds like it's growing).

Before replacing her in the large tank (with a new sand substrate, perhaps) I'd let her in the small tank awhile to see if it slowly comes back there as well.

For sand, well, at first I thought WA was Washington, but then I realized it said Australia... hmm... most pet stores have it, chain stores here like Petsmart have lots of colored varieties. If you call some local aquarium stores they'd probably have it. If you don't care about the color, you might give play sand a try (from a home improvement store or something)--it might be cheaper. Do you live near a beach? That could be free Click the image to open in full size. Just as long as you live in a non-polluted area.



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Old 7th November 2005   #14 (permalink)
casey
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Natasha, you may be able to get some sand from a garden centre or aquarium or even those places that have stones and stuff in big piles. I couldn't get sand from any petstores but I did get some beach sand from my lfs which is really big.

I don't know about WA, but if you have any places like the ones I've suggested you should try there first.

Sand from the actual beach may have parasites in it, it would be better if you could get bagged sand, I think.

Good luck!



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Old 7th November 2005   #15 (permalink)
rheann
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Yes, Natasha, garden/home improvement centers are usually where I get my sand. I get a 50 lb back of it, which i far too heavy for me to even lift and it's about $4. I have no idea how much that is in Australian currancy,but here that is very cheap.

I usually pick up play sand. It comes pre-washed, pre-strained, but it does need to be re-washed again because dust settles on it. For me it's a lot better to get this sand than pricey pet store brand name sands and plus you get way more at a garden/home improvement store than you would at a pet store.



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Old 7th November 2005   #16 (permalink)
natasha
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Thanks for all that.

Well she is back in the big tank with the fluval switched off and she is clean. Hmm...nothing came back as yet.

Got the new filter today and it is no good at all. Even stronger than the fluval lucky it was cheap. My other half is going to see if he can modify it for me.

I will probably make the switch to sand soon. I have exams coming up so it will be after that.

I got a full test kit too and nitrate came up 20ppm is this OK? PH 7.5 ammonia and nitrite 0ppm.

Also, with no filter running and just an airstone how often should I change the water until the other one is ready to go? Little bit every few days? say 10%?



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Old 25th November 2005   #17 (permalink)
natasha
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Just bringing this up again. It is not going away!! Now I am not so sure she is all dirty again and it seems to be spreading down her legs a bit as well. I have been salt bathing her everyday for almost the past week and it is not improving at the moment.

I have since sorted out my filter, got a spray bar for it and it works an absolute treat. I am worried something is wrong and I do not know what to do. Is there any other treatments I can try in Australia that are safe?

She got clean there for awhile and it came back. Now it seems when she wriggles in my hands it doesn't rub off as much as it was before. She also has this funny little dot on the side of her head. It is also all around her rear legs on the underside. Pics as of today....You can also see a bit under her chin...Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 25th November 2005   #18 (permalink)
cynthia
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Natasha - I would have a vet check a sample of it and see if they know what it is.



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Old 27th November 2005   #19 (permalink)
sharn
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aquariums harbour alot of organisms maybe you have some wierd ones that latch on and multiply... you definatly need to find out what it is, i think the vets your best bet



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