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Axolotl emergency!!

This is a discussion on Axolotl emergency!! within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I got two axolotls in December they were put in a 10 gallon tank with sand, a power filter, fed ...

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

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Old 11th February 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Default Axolotl emergency!!

I got two axolotls in December they were put in a 10 gallon tank with sand, a power filter, fed rosy feeder fish and nightcrawler earthworms. I went out of town after I had them for six weeks, had them fed nightcrawlers one day and they hunted the rosys in their tank. When I came home their tank was a mess and they had gill frill damage!! I cleaned the tank and everything in it. Then 2 days later bought a 40 gallon tank set it up and moved them in. Since then the smaller golden has had horrible stringy white stuff (ick like?) all over it's dorsal, gills and sides. I treated the tank at half dose with an ich treatment the stringy cleared up and it was acting healthier but lost all it's frills and only has stubs left. However now it's also floating and unable to stay at the bottom of the tank. It hasn't eaten for 6 days. I am desperate to save this little guy!!! My albino pink is larger and seems totally fine what can I do??



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Old 11th February 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

I hope you removed the fish, as they were obviously to blame for the axolotl's gill damage.

You shouldn't have used the ich treatment anything for treating fish is likely to be very dangerous to axolotls. Change your water immediately and don't use it again, what the axolotl probably had was fungus, which can be treated with salt baths.

For right now, get the sick axolotl into a tub with clean, dechlorinated water and keep it cool. ( beyond that I'll let someone else weigh in).



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Old 11th February 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

Can you post a picture of this "stringy stuff" to determine what it is. Please do not use fish medication on axolotls.

What are your water parameters like and temperature?



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Old 11th February 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

Gh 30, kh 240, ph 6.5, no2 1-3, no3 20
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Old 11th February 2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

Oh dear he looks in bad shape. I would take him out of the tank and in a tub of cool, dechlorinated fresh water.

No2 is nitrites yes? If so that is very high and needs to be brought down immediately. What is your ammonia reading? Have you cycled your tank? And what's your temperature?

The photo is out of focus. If it's cottony looking, it's a fungus and needs salt baths ASAP.
If it's just general white stuff it could be healing skin and it the slime coat which tea baths would help.

If you can take another picture with the gills in focus that would be great! The other photo is just too blurry.

P.s if those stones are the same size as your lotls head I would remove them (even if it's a bit bigger). They cause a lot of problems if ingested.



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Old 11th February 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

Depending on the type of ich treatment used, a half dosage could contain enough copper to cause heavy metal toxicity in amphibians.



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Old 11th February 2014   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

64 my test strip doesn't have aammonia level. I found the one vet near me that's worked on axolotls and they're not available until Thursday, will it survive? The rocks are way bigger than their heads. The fungus has cleared up it's tbis floating that worrying me the most. Put him in the fridge?
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Old 11th February 2014   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

He has a lot of necrotic areas. I would fridge him until your vet appointment. Remember to do 100% water changes (with water lowered to fridge temperature) daily. Bring the medicine package and samples of tank water with you.

Axolotl Fridging Guide



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Old 11th February 2014   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

Kordon Ich Attak 100% natural. I was told to dose them by the person who gave them to me...obviously a huge mistake. I am so worried about them.



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Old 11th February 2014   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

If I fridge it will it freeze to death?? Can he float and go without food for nine days?



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Old 11th February 2014   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

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Originally Posted by Jess1126 View Post
If I fridge it will it freeze to death?? Can he float and go without food for nine days?
You can't freeze something in the fridge. If your fridge is set above 5 degrees celcius the cold won't harm him. The fridge will slow his metabolism down anyway, so he won't eat and won't lose weight fast.



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Old 11th February 2014   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

They were perfect looking January 16
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Old 11th February 2014   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

I looked up Ick Attack and it's an herbal remedy that lacks heavy metals like copper and is safe to use for invertebrates. I can't see it having a significant effect on your axolotls, but I'm not 100% sure as the ingredients are not listed. I would still show it to your vet as it was used as a treatment.



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Old 11th February 2014   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

The fungus and peeling has subsidied as of Friday 2/7 and then the floating started late that evening. Any advice why it's floating and seems like it can't stay down? I did try to fridge it overnight Saturday- Sunday but got freaked out by how lethargic it was so I acclimated it back to tank temp.



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Old 11th February 2014   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

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Originally Posted by Jess1126 View Post
I did try to fridge it overnight Saturday- Sunday but got freaked out by how lethargic it was .
But thats what the fridge does - it slows down the axies metabolism and they become very calm and quiet.
The damage may have been done by a combination of fish attacking the gills and poor water quality - is you tank fully cycled? Possibly not if it's a new setup and you still have significant nitrites, you need to read up on cycling and get the water quality sorted.

Floating can be caused by several things - constipation, air ingestion, or it can be voluntary when they hold their breath. Fridging your axie will assist with the first two.

Putting your axie in and out of the fridge and causing huge temperature swings is stressful for axies - either put it in or don't, but make a decision and stick with it, don't keep moving it.



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Old 11th February 2014   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

Unfortunately no the tank was a rushed setup as these two were not planned for us to get, we saved them from a bad over crowded situation. The Saturday- Sunday in the fridge was because I thought it needed help going to the bathroom or had air bubbles but after the 15 hours nothing had changed so it was acclimated back to tank temp and now I've been worrying myself into a tizzy. I am in the process of trying to balance the tank levels, it has gotten better and the water is calm but filtered.



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Old 13th February 2014   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

Jess, I would have kept him in the fridge but I understand how you feel. The first time we fridged we quit after 24 hours because it was so sad to see. It's good that things seem to be improving but you need to get a handle on the water cycling. You should be testing ammonia and nitrite daily and doing daily water changes at whatever size is required to keep the ammonia and nitrite levels under 0.5. You need to buy a test kit that tests both of these and nitrate at a minimum, and I hate to say that strips are notoriously inaccurate so the test kit using liquid drops is the way to go.

This is a slow and tiring process but with your axolotl in the tank you cannot let the levels get dangerous. If you know someone with an established tank you can speed things up by getting some filter material from them that will have bacteria already established. Put it in your tank by your filter intake and it will help establish a bacteria colony in your tank. These bacteria can be bought to "quick start" a cycle but most people here seem to be against using these. I found them to be way less than effective so I don't bother with those.

Good Luck and keep us posted.



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Old 15th February 2014   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Axolotl emergency!!

You need to try to calm down and listen to what people are telling you

When axies are in a suitable sized tank, with the right strength filter and the tank has been cycled, problems are very very rare.

It will probs be best for you to keep your axies in a tub with daily water changes (have two tubs and just transfer them to the fresh one) whilst you cycle their new tank.

If you dont want to keep then in a tub then daily water changes will be necessary to keep the water parameters safe, id do 10-30% changes depending on your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. (You need to keep it 0.5ppm or just under in order to not harm your lottle)

But i know personally id rather swap a tub with fresh dechlorinated water daily than removing 30% of a tanks water and filling it back up!
Also i believe doing a fishless cycle is quicker as you can add more ammonia to the water, this will mean the bacteria are feeding more so it SHOULD take less time *crosses fingers*



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