The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Caudata.org Store


Shedding skin

This is a discussion on Shedding skin within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hi, My son has an axolotyl and we are both very new to them. His skin is shedding like there ...

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

Reply

 

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 5th June 2008   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Nationality:
Posts: 11
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Cass has started on the right path
Question Shedding skin

Hi, My son has an axolotyl and we are both very new to them. His skin is shedding like there is no tomorrow. I have just done a water change and checked the PH. It was rather high in the Acid range and is now about 7.2Ph.
Is the shedding a result of the water? Or is it normal for them to shed every now and then?

Also we have large gravel (pea size) in the tank. Is this ok. I read a few details in the forum and people are suggesting sand. I was led to believe this was a worse substrate because the Axolotyl can swallow and it can get stuck in their stomachs.

Thanks



Cass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #2 (permalink)
Prolific Member
 
Saspotato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 32
Posts: 617
Gallery Images: 4
Comments: 1
Rep: Saspotato is a mainstay of Caudata.orgSaspotato is a mainstay of Caudata.orgSaspotato is a mainstay of Caudata.orgSaspotato is a mainstay of Caudata.orgSaspotato is a mainstay of Caudata.orgSaspotato is a mainstay of Caudata.orgSaspotato is a mainstay of Caudata.org
Default Re: Shedding skin

Your pH is fine between 6.5-8 so do not adjust it if it falls in those ranges. If you use a chemical additive this will only cause problems for your axolotl.

Sand can be passed through no worries. Gravel cannot so I suggest you remove your gravel asap.

With the shedding skin, what are your other water parameters? Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, temperature?



Saspotato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 32
Posts: 104
Gallery Images: 3
Comments: 0
Rep: MistressOfAxies is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Shedding skin

I agree with Saspotato definately change the substrate when can, nothing worse with the axie swollowing some then they're trying to get it out.

Like you I've also had the experience of 3 of my axolotls in one tank shedding their skin & asked for opinons. Do a whole test if ammonia is on a higher scale or present could play a factor.



MistressOfAxies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #4 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Nationality:
Posts: 11
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Cass has started on the right path
Thumbs up Re: Shedding skin

Thanks for your responses. I have checked the ammonia, nitrate and nitrites and they are perfect, on 0. The temperature of the tank is 12 degrees celcius.
The PH was high (6.6) after the water change, which i have now corrected to 7.2.

What sort of substrate should i get? Do i purchase it from an aquarium?

Thanks again.



Cass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #5 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Jacquie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 42
Posts: 1,849
Gallery Images: 9
Comments: 12
Rep: Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11
Default Re: Shedding skin

Hi Cass,

Childrens play sand is an ideal sand substrate as it has been sterilised or sand from an aquarium (just ensure it is for fresh water aquariums not tropical). Do NOT use sand from the beach.

Sand will need to be rinsed thoroughly before adding to tank. When I put sand in my tanks, I used the 'bucket' method - put sand in bucket, pour in water, give a rough stir with hand, pour out water - continue procedure until water run off is clear. When clear, put sand in tank.

With Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate readings all at zero, your tank hasnt cycled. You will need to monitor the water daily with test kits and do partial water changes of 10-20% daily. Ammonia or nitrite readings of higher than zero is toxic to an axie. Cycling can take from a month to a few months to complete.

This article explains cycling http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml

If you have any queries, please give us ahoy - cycling can be difficult to grasp.

How large is your tank?

Your tank temperture is lovely for an axie.

I note you are from Australia - Bunnings sells childrens play sand - this is far cheaper than an aquarium - I purchased 20kg of play sand for about $6 AUD.

Cheers Jacq.




Last edited by Jacquie; 5th June 2008 at 10:52. Reason: further info
Jacquie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #6 (permalink)
Axolotl Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 381
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: ali000 has shown reliable knowledgeali000 has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Shedding skin

Hi
play sand is fine but make sure you wash it thoroughly or it will make your water cloudy, you can get aquarium sand but NOT marine sand as this often contains salts.

pH 6.6 is a little on the low side but still falls within acceptable limits.

May I ask how long you have had your Axie and tank set up, if it's very new with water readings all on 0 it may not have started cycling yet.

Welcome to the forum by the way

Ali



ali000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 32
Posts: 104
Gallery Images: 3
Comments: 0
Rep: MistressOfAxies is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Shedding skin

Another alternative which I use is pool filter sand which you can by at any pool shop like swimart. Just rinse it in buckets like Havelock suggested.

I found pool filter sand to be great as seems to be a bit more weightier when siphoning & doesn't hardly get sucked up.

The degrees your axies are in are colder then my setup lol which is still perect for them & they'll love. May I ask do you have a chiller? Mines set at 17 degrees but I have a problem with the condensation on the outside when warm & since the tanks rest on a wood frame I just hope the wood doesn't rot & one day the tank falls through :/.



MistressOfAxies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #8 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Jacquie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 42
Posts: 1,849
Gallery Images: 9
Comments: 12
Rep: Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11
Default Re: Shedding skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cass View Post
His skin is shedding like there is no tomorrow. I have just done a water change and checked the PH. It was rather high in the Acid range and is now about 7.2Ph.
Is the shedding a result of the water? Or is it normal for them to shed every now and then?
Sorry to bombard you Cass - but the shedding skin worries me. It is not normal for an axie to shed.

May I ask, what type of test kits are you using? Are you using the dip strip tests or the liquid test kits? Dip Strip tests give notorious woefully inaccurate readings and you really do need accuracy - the liquid test tube kits are far more reliable.

What type of filter are you using? Is it an under gravel filter - debris gets trapped under the substrate and due to the design of the filter does not 'leave' the water which affects water quality. Water flow from an internal filter also upsets axolotls and the due stress caused affects their health.

Swallowed gravel is more likely to cause 'floating' in an axolotl rather than shedding skin. Shedding skin sounds more like water quality issue that is affecting the axolotl.

The gravel is dangerous and must go - please don't read me wrong on that score.

Could you post a picture of your axie?

Cheers Jacq.




Last edited by Jacquie; 5th June 2008 at 11:14. Reason: Clarification
Jacquie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #9 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Nationality:
Posts: 11
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Cass has started on the right path
Default Re: Shedding skin

Thanks, i am going shopping tomorrow, so i guess i will be buying sand.

The tank is a standard 2 foot. It is an Aqua One. I have had fish for nearly 20 years now, and i did have Tropical fresh water fish in the tank before the axolotyl. My son wanted an Axolotyl so we traded the fish. The tank was cleaned out, however i believe the cycling may have already been done. I will keep and eye on it and keep testing, however.

We have had the axolotyl for about 3 months now. He is an albino, (orange coloured), His name is Blaze.

Also, we may be getting an addition to Blaze as my other son wants one now. I will however purchase a new tank, probably a 4 foot one. This will not happen for a few months yet, though.

No i dont' have a chiller on this tank. Just the water in the tank with no heater. The water may be slightly cooler as i changed it this afternoon and may have made it a little colder than usual.

Thank you for all your help.



Cass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #10 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Nationality:
Posts: 11
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Cass has started on the right path
Default Re: Shedding skin

The Axolotyl is in my sons room ( who is currently asleep) so i can't get a picture of him yet. however i will endeavour to get one tomorrow. sorry.

Also, i am using a liquid test kit. It was only purchased 6 months ago.

The filter on an Aqua Tank is.... a small powerhead which sucks from the tank, into a section in the lid of the fishtank unit, which goes through ceramic beads, filter wool and sponge like stuff, then is distributed back into the tank.

When i set my new tank up for the Axolotyls, should i use a cannister filter or a tank which is plumbed into a sump filter underneath the fishtank?

Thanks



Cass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2008   #11 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Jacquie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 42
Posts: 1,849
Gallery Images: 9
Comments: 12
Rep: Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11Jacquie goes to 11
Default Re: Shedding skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cass View Post
When i set my new tank up for the Axolotyls, should i use a cannister filter or a tank which is plumbed into a sump filter underneath the fishtank?
Hi Cass,

I now use an external canister filter for my tanks of axies - they are more expensive than internals but I have blessed the day I purchased mine.

Axies are very senstitive to water temperature. Temperatures higher than 21 degrees celcius are dangerous to an axolotl.

I used to use internal canister filters and found to my horror they can increase temperature by sometimes up to about 5 degrees celcius (the causation of this is the motor inside the filter which is in the water - in Australia we have enough trouble keeping the temperature down in a tank without an extra serving from a filter).

The external filter has the advantage that it is not in the water and it also gives more space in the tank

What ever filter you opt for, just ensure you set it for minimul output and that the 'out take current' is disrupted or directed away from the axies. Mine is adjustable and I direct it to the tank wall. People also use 'spray bars' to dissipate the current. Spray Bar

Cheers Jacq.



Jacquie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th June 2008   #12 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 288
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Lisa is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgLisa is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgLisa is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgLisa is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgLisa is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default Re: Shedding skin

I can also vouch for external canister filters. When I upgraded my tank, I set up the new one with a canister filter and it's great. As Jacq says, temperature can be a huge issue every summer here. I have had an axie previously shed his skin, and I think in that case it was a response to temperature problems, back in the bad old days when I had a small tank and much more stress about temperature (ie about 22 degrees for days on end). Obviously temperature is not a problem for you. I do think it's possible for them to occasionally shed their skin without a sinister cause, but please, anyone who thinks otherwise feel free to correct me .



Lisa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2008   #13 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Nationality:
Posts: 11
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Cass has started on the right path
Talking Re: Shedding skin

Thanks everyone.

I have changed the gravel to sand on the bottom and i think Blaze likes it much better. He has totally stopped shedding skin, which is great. I believe it was the too acidic water temperature that was the culprit.

Thanks



Cass is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
shedding, skin

LinkBack
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Skin shedding or skin disease? Maldark Sick Axolotl? 14 29th April 2009 13:37
Shedding skin Lisa Sick Axolotl? 4 22nd November 2007 03:38
Shedding skin? samlims Newt and Salamander Help 1 12th January 2007 02:08
Skin shedding TJ Photo & Video Gallery 3 6th July 2004 17:49
Shedding Skin cloth_kitten Tiger Salamander & Axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum, A. mavortium spp, etc.) 3 26th July 2002 22:19


All times are GMT. The time now is 21:32.