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My axolotl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

This is a discussion on My axolotl is clearly stressed but I don't know why! within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; My beautiful eight month old olive axolotyl has suddenly lost her personality and won't eat. The tip of her tail ...

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

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Old 21st February 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy My axolotl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

My beautiful eight month old olive axolotyl has suddenly lost her personality and won't eat. The tip of her tail is also curled. Clear signs of being stressed. But no other signs of illness.

I should explain that we had a sudden massive heat wave recently and no pet shops within the area sell tank chillers. So to save her from the warming water we were able to put her in a camp fridge at a constant temp of 11 degrees (this is as high as we could set it). She had to stay in there for over a week but now she is back in her tank following a cool change. To transition her back to the tank we chilled it with ice to match the 11 degrees and let her acclimatise slowly back to the tank temp of 15 degrees.

Ever since returning to her tank she won't eat (going on 8 days now without food) and lies in one of the corners of the tank. Nothing has changed and prior to cooling her she was very active and a very eager eater. Same filter, air stone, ornaments and plants. Water parameters all the same and within range. Ph = 7.2, ammonia and nitrite 0 etc etc as the tank is well established. We vary her food and offer earthworms, mealworms or pellets but she won't take any of it.

I am of course worried that this will continue and as I can't figure it out she might starve. If anyone has any suggestions I would be ever so grateful. She is very special.
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Old 21st February 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My axolotyl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

First of all, there is nothing wrong with her tail - a stressed tail is literally a sharp bend at a right angle.

She's stressed, yes, but she's been stuck in a cold dark fridge for a week and she's very likely just sulking.

She will get over it, but it may take a few days. Keep offering her food, she'll eat when she gets her appetie back. She looks to be in good health, a good weight and size, and given a few days she will perk up.



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Old 21st February 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Red face Re: My axolotyl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

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Originally Posted by auntiejude View Post
First of all, there is nothing wrong with her tail - a stressed tail is literally a sharp bend at a right angle.

She's stressed, yes, but she's been stuck in a cold dark fridge for a week and she's very likely just sulking.

She will get over it, but it may take a few days. Keep offering her food, she'll eat when she gets her appetie back. She looks to be in good health, a good weight and size, and given a few days she will perk up.
Thankyou but I just realised I should have mentioned the photo was just one I already had to show set up and wasn't taken within the past week. Her tail is most definitely curled at the end at the moment. I can get a photo of that if need be but it looks just like all others that have posted re signs of stress.

But yes, you are probably right. I just hope she snaps out of it soon



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Old 21st February 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My axolotyl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

On a side note, some of those stones could potentially be swallowed. Bare bottom or sand is a good alternative and will make cleaning easy and water quality will be easier to maintain :)



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Old 22nd February 2014   #5 (permalink)
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I had the same thing happen with two different axolotls. One started eating on day 4 like nothing had ever happened. The other one probably would have come around but I got him eating by offering what I now call axolotl crack.

I bought a single large raw scallop and cut slivers roughly an inch long and wide as an earthworm. They smell strong and fishy and he went wild for them. To make sure he was getting nutrition, the next day I cut slices into each sliver and stuffed a pellet into the scallop. After 3-4 days he started taking earthworm pieces again.

I still don't know how scallops fit his nutrient needs but I think they should be fine as a treat or a couple days of special treatment after the fridge. Scallops are low in fat and as a mollusk they are similar to natural foods he might eat in the wild.


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Old 23rd February 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My axolotyl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

Thankyou! I will definitely try the scallop idea and report back :-) Sounds promising.



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Old 26th February 2014   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My axolotyl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

You were right, the scallop proved irresistible, however only initially. For the past couple of days she is back to refusing any food...



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Old 26th February 2014   #8 (permalink)
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What is her status aside from not eating? Is she still showing signs if high stress? If she's moving very little is she staying in a hide or is she out in the open?

A current pic might help. Has the temperature been stable since she came from the fridge? I'm shooting in the dark here but do females produce eggs if there are no males with them? I've seen threads where cooler temps (like a fridge at 11 degrees) spurs mating behavior. Mine are not adults yet so I'm really guessing here.

I would suggest you keep trying some different foods. Maybe ghost shrimp if you can get them or even raw pieces of normal shrimp.

Keep us posted


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Old 8th March 2014   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My axolotl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

Thanks to everyone for your advice but very sadly we lost her yesterday. :-( I still don't know what was causing the extended period of stress but it looks like she finally succumbed to it. I had done so much research to ensure I cared for her properly but still feel so awful about her passing, like I could've done something differently. But aside from taking her to a vet (which I was i the process of trying to locate) I have no idea what else I could have done. I just hope she didn't suffer too much - she still appeared to be of a healthy weight so I find it hard to believe she starved. Therefore I would imagine her death was probably more so linked to her stressed condition. She was loved very much - RIP Krumette. :-( :-( :-(



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Old 10th March 2014   #10 (permalink)
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Default My axolotl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

My sympathies to you for your loss. I fear having something like this happen where a problem comes up that nobody has experience with. With all of our research we know so little about these beloved little creatures.


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Old 10th March 2014   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: My axolotl is clearly stressed but I don't know why!

Thankyou.



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