View Full Version : Sick Axie- Gills atrophied

11th September 2007, 21:27
Hi all,

unfortunately my Ondine is down in the gills. I noticed he hadn't been eating much and had some fungus on his gills. his gills are mostly bare now.

I quarantined him last night and took every thing out of his tank. I had a lot of mid-sized stones in there and a LOT of waste had built up under them. I figured this was one of the main reasons he wasn't getting enough oxygen besides the fungus. Cleaned out all the bad stuff, wiped up some algae, and did a 60% water change. His quarantine water was mostly aquasafe treated water with some of his tank water in it. I don't know if this was a perfect quarantine tank, but he seemed to chill out in there. He had been swimming all around the tank, apparently trying to get out. Ammonia and nitrate/nitrite levels were normal, but the waste in the tank might have fouled the oxygen.

After the water had cycled for a couple hours in my cleaned tank, I returned him to the tank. He's swimming around more than normal, but not frantically like he was before.

I then did my first salt bath, which seemed to make him gag a bit. Has anyone had experience with this? It looked like he was dry heaving in the tank, but nothing came out (maybe he was trying to vomit but didn't have any food in his tummy). He had been well-fed and hasn't lost any weight yet, so I hope his recovery is imminent. I will continue to do the salt bath treatments for the next few days.

Any suggestions or links to other threads would be appreciated.

So far, I've hopefully fixed the cleanliness/oxygen level of the tank and begun salt baths to fight the fungus.

12th September 2007, 06:30
When you say normal what do mean by that - what were the actual readings for ammonia/nitrite?

What is your tank temperature and how big is your tank (length x width rather than gallons!)

Did you remove the stones? It's better to go with a bare tank floor, easier to clean and you don't get any hidden gunk or waste that can cause water quality problem.

Test the water daily/every two days and if ammonia or nitrite are above 0, do a 20% waterchange same day - don't leave it for a week. Try not to do too big a waterchange, more frequent partial changes are far better than one big waterchange if you have a water quality problem. Too big a waterchange or completely cleaning a tank can kill of any established good bacteria and cause your tank to cycle or go through a minicycle. see: http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml

Water doesn't cycle in a few hours. When you prepare your water for waterchanges, make sure to do it at least an hour beforehand or overnight, leave it in the same room as the tank, so the water degasses and comes comes to room temperature.

As long as you used the right quantities of salt per litre/per 2 pints of water and leave your axie in for 10=15mins max. (no more). Do saltbaths twice a day, three times if you're able to on weekends.

12th September 2007, 20:23
Hi, thanks for the response Kapo.

I will test again when I get home from work. But I know my Ammonia test was 0, Mardel Ammonia test strips. nitrite and nitrate were as low as the strip tests, but can't remember the numbers. And for the nitrate/nitrites I use a 5 in 1 test also made by Mardel. The tank is 25 inches x 10 in x 10 in. It's a bookshelf style tank. My tank temperature is 61 degrees F (16 C), which I checked this morning before work.

I did remove all the stones and everything else. It's just him in there now. he seems to have calmed down and is chilling on the bottom. he wasn't hungry yesterday. I've done two salt baths yesterday and they seem to be helping him--his natural color is normalizing and his gills look a little better. the gills still look pretty bad, but there is some improvement.

Should I put a couple of the stones I took out back in to promote bacteria? Or will that be useless since they've been out of the water for over a day? Also, how often do I need to change the filter? I know I'd need to condition it with the old filter's bacteria. How often do most people change their axie's filter?

13th September 2007, 00:41
Hi, got home and gave Ondine his first salt bath of the day. While doing so, I noticed that his gills had started to regrow! just little pink nubs coming out of the stalk, but thank god (or science).

todays water test-

ammonia- 0
nitrite- inbetween 0 and 20 (test strip color was closer to 0 than 20 in shade, if thats accurate at all)
nitrate- 0