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Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

This is a discussion on Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection?? within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I have two axolotls, one of them seems to be floating every time I look in the tank, also he ...

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

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Old 16th December 2013   #1 (permalink)
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Default Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

I have two axolotls, one of them seems to be floating every time I look in the tank, also he has white bits on his gills are these two issues related? how do I solve them, I have started doing water changes every day as the guy in the pet shop said it will help, he also said don't give it salt baths as it will do more harm than good, can some one help me out please
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Last edited by axolotljmh; 16th December 2013 at 13:16. Reason: needs pictures
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Old 16th December 2013   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

1. Do not trust your LFS unless you are confident they know something about axolotls - they really only want to sell you something or get rid of you. Most of them don't know about the differences between amphibians and fish, and their advivce can do more harm than good.
2. the white bits look like iridophores - normal shiney patches on many axies. If they are flat and shiney (check with a torch) they are fine, if they are cotton-wool like and fluffy it could be fungus.
3. Floating like in your pictures is usually voluntary - the axie is holding his breath in order to float. It's just a bit of fun for them. If it's just their tail end in the air it's called 'floaty-bum-syndrome' and is often caused by constipation, and will pass when they poop.
4. salt baths are irritating to an axie's skin, and should only be given if you are sure they have fungus.
5. Are they in a cycled tank? if not you should be changing water every day anyway. If they are in a fully cycled tank you need to change 30-50% of the water once or twice a week.



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Old 16th December 2013   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

Floating can be normal sometimes. Unless the axolotl is showing other signs of stress (a lot of rapid swimming around, curled gills, curled tail) then I wouldn't worry. As Auntiejude said, the shiny bits on the gills are normal (and actually desirable; very pretty!)

I'm more concerned about the rest of your tank. How big is it? How many gallons does it hold? Do you have any plants or hidey holes for the axies?



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Old 16th December 2013   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

Hey
Are you keeping your axies in a plastic tub because your cycling their tank?

There doesnt look like there is much water in that tub for two axies and if theyre living in there they should be getting 100% daily water changes anyway, do you have a filter and air stone in there?
Is there a lid on that tub? Some axies have been known to jump out of their tank when there is no lid try fitting a mesh lid or covering it completely with a sheet of plastic ect, but poking air holes in the lid



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Old 16th December 2013   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

First of all thanks everyone for helping me with your great advice, here is a picture of what my tank currently looks like. I have a 77 litre strong plastic container made out of polypropylene which can hold water with out contaminating it, this is until I can buy a glass one of similar size if not bigger! If by cycled your asking if it has filters then yes it has one either side of the 4 foot long container. Temperature ranges from around 16 degrees to 20 degrees. He does swim around a lot more than his partner is this a sign of stress, why is he stressed? There is no air stone in there I didn't know it was necessary. Does it need plants? real or fake? Hopefully I've answered everyone's questions enough with this reply and pictures. I assume there is something wrong with this set up so please don't hold back with your advice!
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Old 16th December 2013   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

I would definitely add plants and another cave. Fake plants are fine and low-effort.

You should add more water to the container; it'll help maintain water quality and temperature.

Your axie might just be stressed out that there aren't enough hiding places and such.



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Old 16th December 2013   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

Swimming does not mean stress. Swimming means swimming - some axies are just more active than others. Unless it's frantic darting about, in that could it mean your axie is stressed.
You need to add more water - the water should be deeper than your axies are long. So if you axies are 4" the water should be at least 6" deep. And your filters can't be running at anything like an efficient rate unless they are submerged.
I would get a permanent tank set up ASAP. You don't need an airstone, but some axies like to play in/snap at the bubbles.
Axies like to hide under things, climb up or onto things, sit in things - plastic plants are great for them, and Iwould look at another hide too. Real plants can sometimes be hard to maintain because of the lack of light in an average axie tank, but there is a list on here somewhere of plants that are suitable - check in the 'tanks etc' section.



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Old 18th December 2013   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

Having filters will HELP cycle your tank but adding one to your tank does not automatically cycle a tank. A cycling tank will read high ammonia, no nitrites, no nitrates. It will progress to lower ammonia, higher nitrites, no nitrates and when the cycle is complete it should read no ammonia, no nitrites and under 40 nitrates. To test your water you're going to need ammonia, nitrite and nitrate kits. Liquid is accurate and although it is expensive it lasts months and is really handy. Hope that helps!



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Old 18th December 2013   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

I've also noticed on everyone's pictures of their axolotls that their gills are more than double the length of both of my axies, why is this? is it just because there young?



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Old 18th December 2013   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

Gills can get nipped short sometimes, and water quality will affect how full the filaments are. If the stalks are short, give it time. I've noticed gills tend to grow more slowly than the rest of the body in regeneration, but they'll still grow.



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Old 18th December 2013   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

Quote:
Originally Posted by axolotljmh View Post
I've also noticed on everyone's pictures of their axolotls that their gills are more than double the length of both of my axies, why is this?
Genetics, water quality, food, accidents, nipping/predation, temperature, oxygen supply. There are probably more, but take your pick! Load of reasons, some you can control, some you can't.



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Old 23rd December 2013   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Floating axolotl + unknown gill infection??

It sounds like you havent cycled your tank which means you should be doing 20% daily water changes
You should add more water to the tank as others have suggested and buy a water testing kit so you can ensure your tank is cycled.
If you dont cycle a tank, it means you will have bad water quality and this will lead to making your axies ill
Have a read of this to help you;
The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling - Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community



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