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Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

This is a discussion on Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement? within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I just moved my axie to a new bigger and better tank. The sand I had put in the tank ...

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

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Old 16th February 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

I just moved my axie to a new bigger and better tank. The sand I had put in the tank said I did not need to cycle, and I also added her old filter media and some decorations from the old tank. All the parameters are good, I checked them before I put her in, after, and then yesterday which would be now 4 days that she has been in the new tank.

I noticed yesterday that her gills were turned forward significantly. I have noticed maybe once before them being curled forward but it always went away when she moved or something. Well I thought maybe the filter current was disturbing the surface of the water too much so I turned it off for the last 2 days and her gills are still the same way. Temperature stays around a constant 64 or 65 degrees fahrenheit.

She eats every 2 days, a bloodworm cube and a brine shrimp cube. I also just recently gave her 2 crickets. Could this have caused any harm or anything? She also usually comes up to the surface and nibble on my finger but now she won't nibble, she just gets close I miss it !!
Here is thread a posted with the old tank, and now the new one:
Comments on my new 40 gallon tank?! :D



Any ideas ?



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Old 16th February 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

Did you use any water from your "old" tank at all? You should always use as much of the old water as possible, especially when upgrading tank sizes. You will always have to cycle if you only use decor and filter media from the old tank. The amount of beneficial bacteria on the filter/decor isn't enough to eat the ammonia/nitrates/nitites that build up in the tank. If you didn't use at lease some of the old water, you're tank is most likely cycling again. But you said you tested the parameters, and they were good, so maybe I"m wrong? What are the parameters exactly, if you don't mind? :)

I'd also start giving her more earthworms/red wigglers in her diet. Bloodworms and crickets aren't really a good staple diet. Supplemental, yes. Staple, not so much. If you're gutloading the crickets, they'll have more calcium, but that diet is otherwise void of it.

Other than that, I can't really think of why she'd be so stressed.



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Old 16th February 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

thanks for your reply!!
i didn't really add any of her old water because I noticed what I thought to be a fungus possibly on her gills so I just wanted to start fresh and clean. it could of been pigmentation but her gills do look fuller and fluffier now and the whiteness went away with no fridging or salt bath. it also was not fluffy like cotton, it was just whiteness on her gills but i still just wanted to start with new clean water.

Her water parameters are:
pH = around 7.5-7.6
ammonia = 0.25 or less, it was a pale pale yellowish green.
nitrites = 0
nitrates = around 5.0 -7.0

Also, the filter has been off for 2 days, should I turn it back on? I just feel like it disturbs the waters surface a lot.



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Old 16th February 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

Ouch, Nitrates are high. Seems like you're in for a cycling spell. Nitrates should be 0. I think what most people do in this situation is partial water changes every two or three days, just to keep the levels non-toxic. Not sure, though. >_<

I've had the same problems with my lotls Cole and Pandor. Whiteness on the gills, but doesn't -seem- fungusy. -_-; I'm hoping to get answers for this myself, without having to rip the tank apart. Haha.

As far as the filter goes, have you tried making something like a DIY spray-bar? You can use a piece of filter foam, or something similar, and silicone/tie/rubberband it to the filter so that it lessens the force of the flow. I've also seen people do similar things with floating plants, arranging them to stay in that corner specifically for the reason of dampening the filter's force. You could also attach something to the actual -intake- of the filter to reduce the suction, therefore reducing the flow. :) Many, manyy ways to do it. You just gotta be creative.



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Old 16th February 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

water carries no beneficial bacteria, so as long as the old filter was used on the new tank it should be ok. That being said turning the filter off for a few days might have been bad for your beneficial bacteria. It's weird that you have ammonia and nitrates. I'd keep a close eye on your parameters, but it looks like you got a nice setup for you axie. Crickets are supposed to be hard for an axolotl to digest, but I woudln't think it would cause gill curling, I know people have fed crickets before on a weekly basis without problems. How big is your axie? It might be time to start feeding earthworms, mine is getting too big for bloodworms as well, and I only feed them as a treat. What kind of filter are you using? If its a canister I'd be careful about turning it on. Im not sure how long this takes, but if stagnant water is left in a canister filter for too long hydrogen sulfide forms. I lost some fish a while back because I was unaware of this

edit: looks like me and aura posted at the same time, nitrates at 7 are not high at all, under 40 is usually good. It's ammonia and nitrite that you want at 0



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Old 16th February 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

Nitrates actually aren't bad - they typically rise once the tank is cycled as ammonia is converted to nitrites which are converted to nitrates which are OK. However, I do think the tank is cycling as the ammonia is starting to spike, so definitely keep up frequent partial water changes to reduce that as much as possible for your axie's comfort.

For your filter, you could try positioning some plants/fake plants in front on it. That tends to break up the flow pretty well. You do want it flowing as it will build up the good bacteria you need to break down the ammonia and nitrites.



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Old 16th February 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

Sorry, Carson, I WAS thinking about some other water level. XP It's late, I'm tired, I can't think straight.

I've always kept fish, and it's always been my practice to take the water with the fish when upgrading tanks. I did the same thing with my axolotls when I moved them from a 15g to a 40g. I've always thought that the water holds at least some bacteria in it. Guess I'm wrong?



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Old 16th February 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

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Originally Posted by AuraCantos View Post
Sorry, Carson, I WAS thinking about some other water level. XP It's late, I'm tired, I can't think straight.

I've always kept fish, and it's always been my practice to take the water with the fish when upgrading tanks. I did the same thing with my axolotls when I moved them from a 15g to a 40g. I've always thought that the water holds at least some bacteria in it. Guess I'm wrong?
I wouldn't say wrong, I think to an extent theres probably some beneficial bacteria floating around in the water. it's just the majority of it is on surfaces, so if you have filter media in there it will seed a tank much more efficiently than putting in old water that usually has gunk in it. The tank water will be the same temp as the axolotls are used to so i can't see it being harmful to reuse some old tank water, but I've always been told it doesn't matter if you use old or new water.



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Old 16th February 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

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Originally Posted by carsona246 View Post
water carries no beneficial bacteria, so as long as the old filter was used on the new tank it should be ok. That being said turning the filter off for a few days might have been bad for your beneficial bacteria. It's weird that you have ammonia and nitrates. I'd keep a close eye on your parameters, but it looks like you got a nice setup for you axie. Crickets are supposed to be hard for an axolotl to digest, but I woudln't think it would cause gill curling, I know people have fed crickets before on a weekly basis without problems. How big is your axie? It might be time to start feeding earthworms, mine is getting too big for bloodworms as well, and I only feed them as a treat. What kind of filter are you using? If its a canister I'd be careful about turning it on. Im not sure how long this takes, but if stagnant water is left in a canister filter for too long hydrogen sulfide forms. I lost some fish a while back because I was unaware of this

edit: looks like me and aura posted at the same time, nitrates at 7 are not high at all, under 40 is usually good. It's ammonia and nitrite that you want at 0
She is around 7 inches long I would say. I was thinking of putting some plants there and now i might just do that. i have an aqua clear power filter that hangs on the back and unfortunately in this tank i can only position it in the middle of the tank so it really disturbs the water..I am going to keep testing my water daily and do water changes if needed. any other advice??



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Old 16th February 2011   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

also, don't know if it matters but it could..
i have 2 white cloud minnows in with her but they have always been there.
i also have one spanish moss ball which is supposed to help with nitrates i thought?



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Old 16th February 2011   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

get a plastic water bottle and cut it length wise, and stick it over the output of the filter, it's what I do for my hob filter and it seems to help a little. I havn't used moss balls before but plants do help with nitrates, although one moss ball probably wouldn't be a noticeable difference. if the filter has been off for 2 days and the gills are still curled I would guess it wasn't the water flow, but I might be wrong. sounds like your doing just fine though, just keep an eye on her and make sure theres no gill nipping



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Old 16th February 2011   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

I second about the gill nipping, just keep an eye on it. I personally have a few White Clouds in with my lotls, too, and they seem pretty smart. They tend to keep away from the "giant things with mouths" and I have no noticed any gill nipping at all. There's always that temptation, though.

The plastic bottle trick is a good idea, Carson, I've never though about that. And if you get a clear enough bottle, you probably wouldn't even notice it in the water.

Laaine, if you want plants, get some that grow fast and propagate like mad. Then you'll have plenty. I started out about a year ago with some Water Sprite for my fish tanks. I now have Water Sprite in EVERY SINGLE TANK IN MY HOUSE. That's five tanks chock full to the BRIM with Water Sprite. I just had to chuck some away last week. I don't know what Candada's postal policy is on shipping Live Plants... If you wanna find out for me, I'll mail you some. All you gotta pay is shipping, just TAKE the stuff. It's a nice, pretty green color. Cabomba and Anacharis(Elodea) is also a fast growing, and is slightly darker green.



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Old 16th February 2011   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

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Originally Posted by AuraCantos View Post
I second about the gill nipping, just keep an eye on it. I personally have a few White Clouds in with my lotls, too, and they seem pretty smart. They tend to keep away from the "giant things with mouths" and I have no noticed any gill nipping at all. There's always that temptation, though.

The plastic bottle trick is a good idea, Carson, I've never though about that. And if you get a clear enough bottle, you probably wouldn't even notice it in the water.

Laaine, if you want plants, get some that grow fast and propagate like mad. Then you'll have plenty. I started out about a year ago with some Water Sprite for my fish tanks. I now have Water Sprite in EVERY SINGLE TANK IN MY HOUSE. That's five tanks chock full to the BRIM with Water Sprite. I just had to chuck some away last week. I don't know what Candada's postal policy is on shipping Live Plants... If you wanna find out for me, I'll mail you some. All you gotta pay is shipping, just TAKE the stuff. It's a nice, pretty green color. Cabomba and Anacharis(Elodea) is also a fast growing, and is slightly darker green.
Thanks for the suggesstions !! I actully might go out and get some plants for the tank. any suggestions for ones that will float on the surface? she seems to like chillin in plants at the surface like a creep haha but i love her anyways.

turned the filter on last night, and i put some leafy plastic plants under the output so the water hits the plants, doesn't disturb the surface at all haha. i was going to do that before but i didn't wanna move the plants cuz it looked so pretty but in the end, her bring comfortable is way more important. her gills look like they have gone back to normal somewhat. the top 2 are still slightly forward but other than that she seems really happy and healthy and she poos all the time !!!

i love their nostrils by the way !!! it actually makes me smile that big too.



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Old 16th February 2011   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Curled forward gills, but there is no water movement?

I've never been a huge fan of floating plants, but water lettuce seems like a pretty big one. alot of plants like anacharis/hornwort are floating plants that I typically root, but would work just fine floating. I'm not sure if water hyacinth is illegal in Canada, but if it's legal I'd check that out.



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