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Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

This is a discussion on Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Im cycling a tank with an axolotl already in it ( my husband rushed the purchas of an axo)... Im ...

Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 24th February 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Question Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

Im cycling a tank with an axolotl already in it ( my husband rushed the purchas of an axo)... Im getting nitirte readings now and the ammonia is high! i have done 70-80% water changes DAILEY! and the ammonia goes down only a little, Bubbles doesnt seem bothered at all by it, and eats like a little pig and everything. I was wondering what is a lethal amount of ammonia and nitrite for an axo? I checked my ammonia lvls last night and there spiking discustingly high, so i changed almost all the water in the tank but yet it only went down to about 2.0 ..... as i said he doesnt seem botherd and i feel terrible but i cant really do anything about it now.. im cycling another tank with my bettas already in it, so i have been consuming a few hours a day to just water changes but its worth it, just wondering if there is anything else i can do for bubbles.
Tank size is 60 liters, has a filter, airator, and last i checked ammonia was at 2.0 and nitrite at 0.25



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Old 24th February 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

Something isn't right in here somewhere. 1 axie wont produce that much ammonia that quickly especially since it seems you at least have the ammonia consuming bacteria present or the nirtite wouldn't be rising. Which means that some of the ammonia must be coming from something else.

SO a few questions.
Are you using a water conditioner? These can add NH4 as a byproduct which while relatively harmless in comparison to NH3 it will still show up on your ammonia tests giving in effect a "false" reading.

have you tested your tap water/water source for ammonia and nitrite/nitrate?

How long has the tank been running?

How is the beta tank doing? are you having similar issues with it at all?

What kind of filter are you running? Is it appropriate for the size of your tank?

I know it looks to be necessary at present with such high test results but changing that much water all at once is not good for your cycle/filter.



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Old 24th February 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

Have you tried testing your tap water? It also could be your water conditioner reacting with the testing solution, so I'd also test some treated tap water. If your ammonia really was that high, chances are your axie would be bothered and your tank would be pretty cloudy.



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Old 24th February 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

Well where i live yes we do get a bit of ammonia in our tap water i am using aquamaster declorinator, the tank has been running for 3 weeks now, and i used a thing called stablize to help start the cycle process in the 1st week. the betta tanks where just setup a week ago so havent had an issue yet with them, I belive the ammonia is soo high because of the beef heart i have been giving him, it goes EVERYWHERE!!! only up till 2 days ago did he start eating his food stright off so i dont have to move it all around the tank for him to eat it. 4 days ago i sat at the tank for over an hour with all the deco out stirring up the gravel to get all the food chunks that where in there out, but they had been in there since over a week ago so i reall belive the decay of that would have helped the ammonia along. Hope that info helped.



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Old 24th February 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

I would stop using beefheart and get rid of the gravel. Beefheart is not the best food for axies, and will spread everywhere, making it hard to cleanup. That combined with the gravel(which is unsafe for axies as well) will contribute to the ammonia. My tanks recently became uncycled, so I'm going through the process as well, and it's not fun to do daily waterchanges, but if your already seeing nitrites your halfway there

edit: one thing that is helping me is having some plants in the tank. They're helping with the process, and it takes about 2 days to get a .25 reading of ammonia in my ten gallon with a juvenile. They give me a bit of buffer room with the amonnia levels by keeping it down to a safe level.




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Old 24th February 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

Online Pet Accessories - Aqua One H200 Hang On Filter
Thats the filter im using, on the site is says 50 liters but on the box here it sayes 60 liters



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Old 24th February 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

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I would stop using beefheart and get rid of the gravel. Beefheart is not the best food for axies, and will spread everywhere, making it hard to cleanup. That combined with the gravel(which is unsafe for axies as well) will contribute to the ammonia. My tanks recently became uncycled, so I'm going through the process as well, and it's not fun to do daily waterchanges, but if your already seeing nitrites your halfway there
I want to switch to sand, but getting my husband to go ANYWHERE! is soo hard to do, he refuses so having him to take me to bunnings has been futile.... this weekend ill be trying again to get him to take me there so hopfully he will.



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Old 24th February 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

lol, I understand. I'm not sure how you're feeding the beefheart, but I've fed it to a few fish once upon a time, and letting it thaw out in a cup, and then getting a turkey baster helped me control for how much I actually stuck in my tank. I was pretty surprised when I first used it and it like completly desintegrated all over my tank.



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Old 24th February 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

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lol, I understand. I'm not sure how you're feeding the beefheart, but I've fed it to a few fish once upon a time, and letting it thaw out in a cup, and then getting a turkey baster helped me control for how much I actually stuck in my tank. I was pretty surprised when I first used it and it like completly desintegrated all over my tank.
When i 1st got it i cut it up into a small strip and stuck it in front of bubbles nose, but he would make me basically bring it to the surface then he would eat it, by then chunks had all fallen off and where everywhere. I have plastic feeding tongs i use to feed him (cant find a turkey baster lol) past few days its been in front of his nose and gulped it down ( i only defrost the outside cause i think its ok if its stilll a bit frozen in the middle) and becuase he has been eating that way im able to go with the syphon and suck up the bits that he spits out as he chews once he is done ^.^ After im done this pack of beef heart cubs ill be getting the earthworms.



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Old 24th February 2011   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

Could you put the meat into a feeding jar and get bubbles to go into it so she can fed? That way the mess might stay in one place and not get spread all over the tank.
I use a cleaned out peanut butter to fed my axies.
I found my turkey baster in a kitchen shop(i think it was robins) for $20 but it has been the best thing i have bought.



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Old 24th February 2011   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

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After im done this pack of beef heart cubs ill be getting the earthworms.
Sounds like a good plan might as well pick up a worm farm while you're there if space at home and budget permits Then you have a year round source of worms and as a bonus a way to reduce your carbon footprint a little and it's only one trip for your hubby. Mine is the opposite, I HAVE to go with him to Bunnings or he would spend a fortune every week on stuff he didn't really need

I'd be pretty sure the beef heart in the water is where most of your ammonia is coming from. You can get the bigger bits but there will be many many finer particles in the water that you can't see. I suspect that unless you can find a way to feed it to him without it going everywhere you will continue to have ammonia problems. Would it be possible to feed him outside of the tank? Feed him in a tub of tank water and put him back when he's done and discard the water? Not sure it will work since he's been such a pain to get to eat again
It's probably even be worth pulling the first sponge out of your filter, the one closest to where the water goes into the filter and usually the coarsest of the filter media) and checking to see if any beef heart is in there. You can give it a wash in a tub of tank water to clean it a little. Don't go too hard on it though.
The filter you have should be perfectly fine for your tank and I'd believe the box over anything else.
Some people are tempted to go for a very small filter to cut down on water flow but then the filter can't cope with the volume of water and it doesn't work terribly well at keeping everything clean and rarely provides enough surface area for the bacteria required to process all the ammonia/nitrite to colonize so they don't have enough bacteria and then they wonder why they have water quality issues



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Old 24th February 2011   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

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Sounds like a good plan might as well pick up a worm farm while you're there if space at home and budget permits Then you have a year round source of worms and as a bonus a way to reduce your carbon footprint a little and it's only one trip for your hubby. Mine is the opposite, I HAVE to go with him to Bunnings or he would spend a fortune every week on stuff he didn't really need

I'd be pretty sure the beef heart in the water is where most of your ammonia is coming from. You can get the bigger bits but there will be many many finer particles in the water that you can't see. I suspect that unless you can find a way to feed it to him without it going everywhere you will continue to have ammonia problems. Would it be possible to feed him outside of the tank? Feed him in a tub of tank water and put him back when he's done and discard the water? Not sure it will work since he's been such a pain to get to eat again
It's probably even be worth pulling the first sponge out of your filter, the one closest to where the water goes into the filter and usually the coarsest of the filter media) and checking to see if any beef heart is in there. You can give it a wash in a tub of tank water to clean it a little. Don't go too hard on it though.
The filter you have should be perfectly fine for your tank and I'd believe the box over anything else.
Some people are tempted to go for a very small filter to cut down on water flow but then the filter can't cope with the volume of water and it doesn't work terribly well at keeping everything clean and rarely provides enough surface area for the bacteria required to process all the ammonia/nitrite to colonize so they don't have enough bacteria and then they wonder why they have water quality issues
I have tried the lure into my net to feed method, didnt work to well, just fed him a min ago and i musta jinxed myself cause he was a pain and spat most of it out in little bits i think getting him out of the tank would be outa the question you even touch with the feeding tongs and he spazzes out. I will try putting some meat into a canster of somesort and see how that works. Tonight when i do a water change ill rinse the filter out a bit in the tank water, last i checked it was pretty nasty brown lol! The intake on the filter has like a grid thing on it so anything bigger then a ball tip on a pen cant get through, and i have been cleaning off the bits of meat that do get stuck on that. Aswell its been 3 weeks and i havent seen any poop.. yet he eats perfectly fine is that normal? i know once i get sand it will def be easier to monitor but yea a bit worried about that aswell.



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Old 24th February 2011   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

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I have tried the lure into my net to feed method, didnt work to well, just fed him a min ago and i musta jinxed myself cause he was a pain and spat most of it out in little bits i think getting him out of the tank would be outa the question you even touch with the feeding tongs and he spazzes out. I will try putting some meat into a canster of somesort and see how that works. Tonight when i do a water change ill rinse the filter out a bit in the tank water, last i checked it was pretty nasty brown lol! The intake on the filter has like a grid thing on it so anything bigger then a ball tip on a pen cant get through, and i have been cleaning off the bits of meat that do get stuck on that. Aswell its been 3 weeks and i havent seen any poop.. yet he eats perfectly fine is that normal? i know once i get sand it will def be easier to monitor but yea a bit worried about that aswell.
fair enough. Hopefully you can find a way to minimise the mess.
It's the particles you don't see to remove that will do the most damage. Just rinse the first sponge after the grate in a tub of tank water, not in the tank itself that would defeat the purpose at trying to get it out of your tank system, and get rid of the murky water when you're done.

I wouldn't be too worried about not seeing any poop. It breaks down and falls apart quite quickly and if bubbles should walk over it, swim past it etc. then it would pretty much just turn to dust and disperse into the water.
I rarely see the poop from my 3 unless they do it in the front of the tank
If your axie should start floating or holding it's back legs up beside it's body with it's toes toward it's tail or if the area just behind his back legs becomes swollen or all of the above then he will probably have an impaction which is usually the result of swallowing rocks and gravel which is why Carson suggested removing it. and more often than not it's fatal A bare bottom is better than gravel from that point of view.
Your substrate needs to be 1mm or smaller OR if you want to do stones they need to be larger than an adult axies head the down side to these is they are quite hard to clean thoroughly. If they can get it in their mouth they will swallow it. They aren't the smartest of creatures



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Old 28th February 2011   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cycling a tank with the axolotl in, questions

Hi there,
Just reading your post and thought you might be interested in this site as an easy way to get some sand without having to wait for the hubby to take you anywhere.
I have been wondering where to get sand from and saw this link posted on another thread
https://www.aquariumproducts.com.au/...hp?prodID=4776
Apparently delivery is quick too.
This link takes you straight to black sand but there is light sand on the site too. The advantage of this type of sand over sand from Bunnings is that you won't have to clean it numerous times before use it as you will with Bunnings sand.
Just another option for you! :)
Cheers and good luck with your axie.
Renea



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