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Newbies need urgent help!

This is a discussion on Newbies need urgent help! within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hi there to everyone! This is our first post to this forum, so please forgive us if we’re asking tiresome ...

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

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Old 24th March 2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default Newbies need urgent help!

Hi there to everyone! This is our first post to this forum, so please forgive us if we’re asking tiresome old questions…
The recent heatwave here has made keeping the water cool a real nightmare, and our younger axolotl Lexy has suffered heat stress, although slightly older Rosie seems to have done just fine throughout. Lexy has been through the classic stages of kinked tail, loss of appetite and developing white fungus. We are relative newbies to keeping axolotls, so initially we treated him with a Sulphate medication as recommended by the aquarium store (We didn’t know who else to ask!). It worked OK the first day, but then the fungus just got worse. We read a lot of really helpful stuff on this forum, and began a salt bath treatment. Again, it seemed to work great at first, but became less effective at keeping him clean since the stuff grew back at a ferocious rate. Lexy’s fourth salt bath was a disaster – he thrashed wildly when I dipped him in, unlike he had done previously – so I removed him almost immediately but to our horror the badly fungus infected tip of his tail had completely broken off…
He has been in the fridge for a couple of days now and seems to be doing OK – most of his body is clean, but he has what looks like an open sore halfway up his tail which appears SERIOUSLY infected with the fungus. We are terrified of putting him back in the salt bath after last time. Please help us!



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Old 24th March 2008   #2 (permalink)
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You should continue with the salt baths at least twice aday.
Make sure you use dechloriated water which has been kept in the fridge so as it is the same temperature.
Leaving your axie in the fridge will help keep him calm.
You should continue with he salt baths for approx a week after the fungus has dissappeared to ensure it has totally cleared up.If you do not continue the treatment it will only get worse, sometimes they do thrash a bit but it is still the best thing for fungus.
1-2 teaspoons per litre for 10-15 mins twice a day.



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Old 24th March 2008   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Platterpus

How long have you had them? Apart from the temperature fluctuating did you test your water parameters at all - ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

Fungus will grow pretty fast if your axies are stressed which lowers their immune system especially if they have very warm temperatures (ie your recent heatwave). If one in the tank develops fungus you should take it as a warning to keep an eye on your other ones as usually the one with the lowest immune system /weaker one tends to develop or show signs of sickness first.

When you saltbathed Lexy, did you just dip him in each time or bathe him for 10=15minutes maximum? As he was also placed in the fridge was the saltbath the same fridge temperature or room temperature?

Try and continue with the saltbaths (use some of the chilled dechlorinated water kept in the fridge for the daily waterchange and mix up the saltbath). When you saltbath make sure to place him in it, put on a lid and return to the fridge. Set timer for 10minutes then remove him after the bath and return him to his container. Empty the saltbath out after each bath. If you're able do saltbaths 3 times a day over the weekend.



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Old 25th March 2008   #4 (permalink)
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OK. Saltbaths resumed today. Thanks for the re-assurance – can’t tell you how worried we were about doing him more harm than good!
Water quality is good – we test and maintain it very regularly. We are very careful to always equalize water temps. I must admit that we were unaware of the fridge+saltbath technique when we did his initial 10-minute baths (at tank temp approx 19C), which might explain why they didn’t work? Thanks for the detailed instructions!
I’m pretty convinced that it was the constant fluctuations in temperature that led to Lexy’s illness. The ice-bottle relays became futile after the first week – couldn’t freeze them fast enough to keep up with the thawing! Anyway, that only see-sawed the temperature, right? As I mentioned, our other axie is doing great and continues to gROW and thrive, so we are happy with our set-up.
We have learned a lot recently, and will fridge our axolotls in future heatwaves!
I’m curious to know if the ‘sore’ or wound on Lexy’s tail is typical of fungus – I mean, did the fungus CAUSE the sore? Or was it infected later?



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Old 25th March 2008   #5 (permalink)
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If an axie is injured and set up is not ideal, such as your temperature, fungus will soon set in.
But sometimes the axie will get fungus due to lowered immune system, this also tends to be brought on by stressful situations. Just a word of caution though, your other axie may well fall ill due to the temp of your tank, so i would keep a close eye.
I always do salt baths on an injured axie even if there is no sign of fungus just as a precaution.
Good luck with the salt baths and please keep us informed how things are going.



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Old 28th March 2008   #6 (permalink)
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Unhappy Update

We have continued with salt baths 2-3 times per day and kept Lexy in the fridge. He is not getting any better, in fact, the fungus has not cleared at all and is now spreading down the length of his tail again. The bad patch with what looks like a sore underneath is no better either. He is not eating.
At a total loss now, what do we do?
One thing we noticed: Before when we were giving salt baths at normal tank temp, we could see the fungus coming off in the water. Now the baths are at fridge temp, nothing is coming off his skin at all during the bath.
Our other Axy is doing very well, never got sick and is thriving. The weather here is now cool and mild....so tank temp is stable.
Any more suggestions would be greatly appreciated, because it feels like we are not getting anywhere here



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Old 28th March 2008   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Platterpus, Welcome to the site

At this stage of the game and after all you have been doing and with no improvement in your axie it may well be time to visit a vet.

There are also chemical quick fixes that are available from petstores. Personally I stay away from them but that having been said, there are people who use this site who have had success with them.

Have a look at www.axolotl.org it has heaps of information about all things axie

Good Luck



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Old 3rd April 2008   #8 (permalink)
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Unhappy Update

Unfortunately, Lexy passed away today. No more suffering, and for that I am somewhat thankful. It has not been a pleasant few weeks watching him get worse, get a bit better and get worse again despite constant care and worry.
On a positive note, Rose is still doing fine and is developing quite a personality! Thanks to all for the advice, it was much appreciated.



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Old 3rd April 2008   #9 (permalink)
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I am sorry to hear about your axolotl. Sometimes these things happen and go beyond our help and control. At least you have an idea what contributed to the death and can hopefully avoid it in the future. Good luck.



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