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Scary behavior - something in water?

This is a discussion on Scary behavior - something in water? within the Sick Axolotl? forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I recently moved and the new place is on a well. I'm a bit leery of the well water - ...

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

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Old 23rd July 2014   #1 (permalink)
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Question Scary behavior - something in water?

I recently moved and the new place is on a well. I'm a bit leery of the well water - it has a slight suphur odor. I tested it: pH 7.8; no ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, calcium or magesium; carbonates 71.6ppm. I'm guessing there's a sodium-based softening system but don't know for sure. I've been taking jugs and buckets to work and filling them up with "city" water. It's not the same water as my old house but it's closer to it than the well.. Now I'm trying to re-establish cycle with a finite water supply.

Came home the other day, Louis' lethargic and his color's a bit off. Test water and find there's an ammonia spike.
Of course I'm out of city water. Siphoned 2 gal from 20 gallon tank, got a gallon of well water, treated it with Prime, just in case, and added it to tank.

Came back home later (with full water jugs) and found Louis having fits. He also looked puffy, like he was retaining water.t

Video of Louis having fits
Louis reaction to ?? - YouTube
Http://Youtu.be/G4Npz16Sdaw

Water test
pH 8.2 (it's usually between 7.4-7.6)
Ammonia <0.25ppm (test tube had faint green cast)
Nitrates 0
Nitrites 0
GH 71.6ppm
KH 56.9ppm
T 62F

Did 50% change with Prime'd city water.
This morning he was acting and looking normal again.

Clearly, well water is a fail. What I'm wondering is if the episode was caused by water softeners or something in the water supply. Has anyone seen thier axi do this and been able to figure out why?



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Old 23rd July 2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scary behavior - something in water?

Quite frankly, I doubt there's anything wrong with the well water. It seems fine to me. I use well water without any priming purifying etc., and the only thing is that nitrates are always a bit high. Well water is as natural as it gets pretty much. It is filtered through the ground ( which is actually a great filter ), and comes from natural sources usually.

The main concern I have is that your tank isn't cycled. That could easily be the cause. Also, I don't know what ideal levels of calcium, magnesium, and carbonates is so I don't know about those ones.

Unless of course you aren't talking about a little well that only feeds your house and maybe a few other houses, and you are actually talking about a large well that feeds a neighborhood or something. -Seth



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Old 23rd July 2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scary behavior - something in water?

You could take a sample of the well water and have it tested at a lab for everything. If it smells like sulphur I wouldn't use it until it was tested. My parents have a bore well that's used for watering etc and that water smells a bit like sulphur too. The smell vanishes if it's left in open buckets over night, but I'd still be hesitant to use it unless it was tested.



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Old 23rd July 2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scary behavior - something in water?

I found out that one of the herp vets in the area has experience treating axies and does comprehensive water testing, so I'll take in a sample of the well water that comes out of tap. Since the tank is having to re-cycle, I should probably get more water jugs and keep 8-10 gallons on hand, just in case I suddenly need to change more than 20%.

I'm curious now. Think i'll let some of the well sit overnight and see if it still smells. It smells strong enough that I can't atand to brush my teeth with it.



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Old 23rd July 2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scary behavior - something in water?

I've seen similar behavior when the water chemistry has been changed abruptly. My guess would be a possible response in osmoregulation.

If you introduce a different water source to the tank it should be done in a way to acclimate your axoltol.




Last edited by Elise; 23rd July 2014 at 14:24.
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Old 23rd July 2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scary behavior - something in water?

I am a complete newbie and know less than nothing about what may be happening but it almost looks like he is trying to throw up..? is that what it looks like when they try to regurgitate?



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Old 6th November 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scary behavior - something in water? SOLVED

A lab analysis determined the well water contains both iron and copper, the latter of which is lethal to axies. I did a little investigating and learned I was living on the edge of the largest copper ore deposit in the state.

I'm so happy I didn't just play the "wait and see" game at King Louis' expense.



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Old 6th November 2015   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scary behavior - something in water?

How do you treat the water?



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Old 8th November 2015   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scary behavior - something in water?

I schlepped in gallons of municipal tap water from a friend's house the rest of the time I lived there. There must be a way to remove metals, possibly reverse osmosis?



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Old 8th November 2015   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scary behavior - something in water?

Reverse Osmosis would work to remove metals from your water. The systems aren't cheap but if you're even having trouble brushing your teeth, then it might be worth considering.



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