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Off balance axi!!??any suggestions?

This is a discussion on Off balance axi!!??any suggestions? within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Iíve been a little worried about one of my axolotls. Forgive me if I sound a little ignorant, but it ...

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

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Old 8th August 2009   #1 (permalink)
Vee
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Unhappy Off balance axi!!??any suggestions?

Iíve been a little worried about one of my axolotls. Forgive me if I sound a little ignorant, but it seems to be 'off balance' while swimming/walking and not able to keep its back side down. It will also stay in what looks like an awkward position (backlegs and tail upwards) for long periods of time.

I have checked water quality (Nitrate/nitrite, ph, etc = all normal) We donít have any small rocks or sand at the bottom of the tank and we check the water quality everyday.

This sort of behavior has been happening on and off for the past few weeks. This axi will have some days where it seems 'happy' and normal and then days where it will be 'off balance'. Even though my axi displays this strange behavior (and seems rather frustrated when it canít walk/swim properly) it still has a normal appetite.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what might be wrong with my axi?



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Old 8th August 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Off balance axi!!??any suggestions?

mine get this sometimes when they have just been up for air. I think it's quite normal for axolotls (at least I hope it is ) Mine have now sussed that if they park their bum under a plant they can keep all 4 legs on the floor lol. It doesnt last long and doesnt seem to stress them out at all.



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Old 8th August 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Off balance axi!!??any suggestions?

This type of behaviour can be caused by constipation. Have you noticed faeces in the tank? Is your axolotl eating normally? Is there any chance that it could have ingested anything that could have got stuck, such as small stones or gravel?

Not being able to keep their bottom down can be stressful for an axie, I would suggest fridging if this reoccurs. You would need just enough water to cover the axies back, but not so much that it can float.



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Old 8th August 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Off balance axi!!??any suggestions?

you've actually got me worried now kerry both my axies do this for anything up to 10 secs or so (havent ever counted but it's definently not long) whenever they go up for air. There nothing they could have ingested and they definently arent constipated, all water readings are normal. I just assumed that it happened because they've gulped some air as thats pretty much the only time i see them doing it



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Old 9th August 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Off balance axi!!??any suggestions?

My guy also displays a similar behavior. Sometimes he acts as though he just can't keep his feet planted on the tank floor. Funny thing is that when I throw some of his sinking pellets in the tank, he suddenly "remembers" how to find his way back to the bottom and stay there. I had also always believed this to be due to gulping air...



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Old 9th August 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Off balance axi!!??any suggestions?

The number 1 rule to axie floating is checking water parameters and temperature. Ensure that there isn't a buildup of nitrogenous waste products and that the temperature is at a stable and cool range.

I would say more than 50% of all floating cases are due to water quality or temperature issues.

If you observed recent evidence of axie poo, the axie is not constipated nor impacted, as the alimentary tract is patent to allow the poo to pass.

Gulping air (buccal pumping) can occasionally lead to gas accumulation in the gut. However, the majority of gases diffuse through mucous membrane lining in the mouth and rudimentary lungs to supplement gaseous exhange. Excess air will be dispelled, through the mouth (eructate) or through defecation.



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Old 9th August 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Off balance axi!!??any suggestions?

Thanks for the reply guys!

I dont think its constipated as I see plenty of poo. We try to remove the poo as soon as we see it to avoid contaminating the water. We also check the water quality everyday, (its normal) so I know it has nothing to do with that.

We feed them pellets only. Should we be introducing other things to thier diet? Could this have something to do with the problem?

Also, if we do fridge it, how long should we keep it in there? Does putting it back in the tank stress them out (in regards to temp. change?) I ask this because we have two axis. The black one is always happy! (its the white one that keeps floating/off balance) I dont want to stress blackie out!



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Old 9th August 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Off balance axi!!??any suggestions?

Axie pellets as a staple is perfectly fine. It is good to provide a varied diet - earthworms, blackworms, bloodworms etc.

If fridging is just to destress your axie, you can put it in there for a week or two. If fridging is meant to be therapeutic (fight infections, impactions etc), it has to be at least 3 weeks.

You should allow the ambient temperature of clean dechlorinated water to gradually cool down in the fridge and vice versa. The gradual temperature changes will be fine.



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