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Salt bath Picture Tutorial

This is a discussion on Salt bath Picture Tutorial within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I know lately many people have been asking how to do salt baths. Since I'm in the midst of giving ...

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

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Old 11th December 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Salt bath Picture Tutorial

I know lately many people have been asking how to do salt baths. Since I'm in the midst of giving a poorly axolotl salt baths myself, I thought I would create this photo tutorial for you all.

This seems to me the most efficient way of doing salt baths, without a lot of wasted time between steps. Nice if you're busy like me! If you have any questions, please ask! An article on how to fridge your axolotl can be found here.

First, here's our beautiful little subject. She's a 5 or 6 year old eyeless axolotl. You can see the fungus on her gill stalk. As a note: this axolotl is eyeless, and therefore her container is not wrapped in a towel to prevent bright lights from startling her. If your axolotl has vision, please wrap their container in a towel when in the fridge.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 1.
Assuming your axolotl is kept in the fridge (which I recommend in conjunction with salt baths), take out your axolotl, the salt solution (which is kept in the orange bottle), and your dechlorinated water (on the top shelf, labeled here as 'salamander water' to keep the family from drinking it). All of these will be the same temperature. (Ignore the delicious leftover lasagna)
Click the image to open in full size.


Step 2.
Collect your cast of characters on the counter/table. I don't recommend the stove, but that's where I had the best lighting. Here you will assemble your axolotl, dechlorinated water, salt bath solution, salt, and salt bath tub. Note the salt bath tub is labeled with an S, just to keep me from confusing the two.
Click the image to open in full size.


Step 3.
Pour the salt bath solution into the salt bath tub. I will show you how to make the salt bath solution a little later.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 4.
Gently move your axolotl from the dechlorinated tub to the salt bath tub. I do this by hand: grasp the axolotl firmly. I use one finger under the head, and three under the body, with the front legs in between. Have the salt bath tub right next to the dechlorinated one so you don't have to move it far.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Step 5.
Set your timer for 10-15 minutes (maybe 20 if you're using a weak salt solution). In this case, I use my snazzy new microwave with its fancy kitchen timer. You can use whatever you want. Just make sure it's loud enough to hear so you don't forget! (And for the love of Pete, DO NOT MICROWAVE YOUR AXOLOTL!!)
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 6.
Note this step does not need to be done every time you do a salt bath, but it must be done at least once a day. I do it in the morning.

Dump out the water from the dechlorinated tub. I usually rub it clean to remove any gunk, and rinse in hot water.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 7.
Fill your 1 liter container with dechlorinated water from the container you pulled from the fridge. Make sure you have enough to fill the tub to put the axolotl back in.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 8.
Fill the dechlorinated tub with leftover dechlorinated water from the fridge.
Click the image to open in full size.

Step 9.
Mix your salt bath solution. Using the 1 liter container makes measuring this super-simple. I use a trusty ol' nalgene bottle. Mix your solution at 2-3 teaspoons per liter. As for the types of salt used: any non-iodized salt is fine. Don't use the 'low sodium' salts; those just replace sodium with potassium. I use aquarium salt, but rock salt, sea salt, or non-iodized table salt will be fine. Just note if you use a finer grain salt, you'll have more salt per teaspoon. That is, big grains of salt take up more space, so there's more air-space per teaspoon. To counter this, I use two and a partial teaspoon of aquarium salt.
Click the image to open in full size.

Shake this solution up to dissolve the salt. Some of the salt may not dissolve right away, but that's okay. Dissolve what you can and stick it in the fridge. The rest will dissolve before you are ready for the next salt bath. Just shake it up really well before you do the salt bath.

Step 10.
Refill your water jug with dechlorinated water. Put it in the fridge.

Step 11.
Put your axolotl in the dechlorinated tub after the timer goes off. Put your axolotl in the fridge.

Now you should have salt bath solution, dechlorinated water, and your axolotl in the fridge. In 12 hours, repeat the process. Continue salt baths until the fungus disappears, and then for 2 or 3 days afterward, for good measure.

Last edited by Jacquie; 12th August 2012 at 04:05. Reason: Updated Fridging article link.
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Old 13th December 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

Hi Kaysie,

an excellent tutorial!

But....you´ve forgotten step 10a:
When the microwave timer is ringing, put your axie back into the dechlorinated tub.

Tina
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Old 13th December 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

Good point! I changed Step 11 to reflect that. Thanks Tina
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Old 13th December 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

hahaha i skimmed the pic be4 reading it. at the end i was like huh? u microwave the axie? ahaha to funny, glad i read the text afterward
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Old 30th December 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

Step 5.
Set your timer. In this case, I use my snazzy new microwave with its fancy kitchen timer. You can use whatever you want. Just make sure it's loud enough to hear so you don't forget! (And for the love of Pete, DO NOT MICROWAVE YOUR AXOLOTL!!)


Step 11.
Put your axolotl in the dechlorinated tub after the timer goes off. Put your axolotl in the fridge


Question:

How long do I set the timer for?
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Old 30th December 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowtipper View Post
Question:

How long do I set the timer for?
You only need to set it for about 10-15 minutes.
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Old 4th January 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

Hey, I've got some quick questions.

I know in this post you've said that you recommend fridging in conjunction with salt baths, but is it always necessary?

My axie currently has a small bit of white fluffy fungus on his gill, but is still behaving normally; still has an appetite and is still as active as usual. The water parameters are ideal too. I plan on doing a salt bath tomorrow so I'm just wondering whether fridging is necessary as everything else seems fine?

Also, a question about the salt:
The only salt I have at hand is coarse sea salt, the kind you get in a supermarket in a grinder. This doesn't say 'non-iodised'; should I assume it is iodised and not use it? I can't get to an aquarium shop for a few days for aquarium salt, unfortunately and would rather do the salt baths sooner than later.

I'm so gutted this is happening to him. He had the same type of fungus but on a different gill (that's healing really well) a few weeks ago and it cleared up in a few days with daily water changes and super vigilant turkey basting. I think that maybe it's time to do a salt bath or two before he goes into his new, bigger tank!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 4th January 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

No. You don't have to fridge the axolotl at the same time. In your case, I think you would be fine without the salt baths.

I would guess it being sea salt would mean it's non-iodized. You can look at the ingredients and see if it contains iodine. The reason non-iodized salt is recommended is because iodine is an ingredient that can cause metamorphosis in some axolotls. For short term use, you can get away with it, but as soon as you can, get some aquarium salt.

Good luck!
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Old 24th February 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Question Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

Hi,

It's been very useful to follow this tutorial. I've had a couple of axies come off badly in a scrap and I'm fridging and salt bathing to help regrow limbs.

However they are looking a little thin now, and hardly eating due to the cold. Would it be a bad idea to move them out of the fridge for a while, fatten them up, and then consider another spell in the fridge?

Many thanks,

Jon
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Old 24th February 2011   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

Alternately, you could warm your fridge up marginally (put it on a higher setting) and see if that helps. It's rather stressful to have wide temperature swings, and it would probably make your axolotl worse. Keep in mind that axolotls can go weeks (and sometimes months) without eating.
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Old 22nd March 2011   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

i kill one of my axies with this treatment, i change to antibiotic treatment now, the axies is fine, but this will really helping picture prosedure you give here, thanks alot, i save this web page as future reference....
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Old 22nd March 2011   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

Using antibiotics when there is no bacterial infection is not an appropriate course of treatment, nor is using salt baths when not needed. And if I remember your thread correctly (because I commented on it 10 minutes ago), your axolotl is not 'fine'.
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Old 25th March 2011   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

This is extremely useful, thanks so much for posting! I'm wondering about the best methods for climatizing to the fridge and back to the tank again??
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Old 25th March 2011   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

For putting them in the fridge, I usually set my fridge on a warmer setting, and then cool it down over the day.

To warm them back up, just take the tub they're in out, and set it next to their tank for a couple of hours.
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Old 16th May 2011   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

my axie has one of these white fungus things. it came all of a sudden this afternoon.. i gave her a salt bath and had her in the fridge for a bit. how long should i have her in the fridge for at a time?????

HELP i am sooo worried!
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Old 16th May 2011   #16 (permalink)
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Cool Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

i dont think axolotls will recover in long time, mine recover in the refridgerator preety quick, you should do regular water change for your axies during recovery in the fridge, i change mine once a day, now they are fine, i put them in there about 2 weeks, then back to the tank like usually..... i put them there 2 weeks just to confirm that they are very2 healty, they just recover about 1 week after i put them in the fridge...
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Old 16th May 2011   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

Aimz,

Your axolotl should stay in the fridge full-time while you're doing the salt baths. You don't take it out every day, but instead it resides in the fridge. You'll continue to fridge while you're doing the salt baths, and then maybe for a few more days just to be sure.
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Old 17th May 2011   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

can i just use some of the tank water, put it in a seperate (axie safe) tub and add the salt? then put the salted water back into the aquarium after? I have a 33 gallon tank..
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Old 17th May 2011   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

No. You really need to make sure all the salt is dissolved first, or you won't get the right dose. You also need to make sure all the water is the same temperature. This means you have to refrigerate your salt water while you're refrigerating your axolotl.

And why would you put salt water in your aquarium? For one, axolotls are freshwater animals; you don't want to add salt to their tank. For two, this is water you're using to treat a disease. It doesn't make any sense to put contaminated water into the tank.
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Old 9th June 2011   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Salt bath Picture Tutorial

dont worry i only did that the once then realised how stupid it was lol.. someone at the pet store told me salt was good for axies so i thought it couldn't hurt.. didn't even think of the whole contamination thing. I ended up doing the twice daily salt baths without fridging in the end and it cleared it up great! Im so glad this forum is here to help people like me out! its incredibly useful! :) Thanks again!!!
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