View Full Version : My poor Elennor

17th June 2008, 08:15
:(Hi guys, I was wondering if anybody could help me......On the weekend i brought my Axolotl (elennor) and lovely new 90 liter tank, I thought that she would be sooo happy in there, but NO she hates it (I think). Anyway she wont eat, everytime I open the lid she gos crazy and trys to leep out, then she swims around smaking herself into the glass?????? Also she keeps flicking her gills down? Im a bit new to this and was hoping you guys could please help me out.:(

17th June 2008, 08:22
If you just brought Elennor home this weekend, she is most likely still "freaked out" by the move. She is just in unfamiliar surroundings. If nothing else is obviously wrong with her, she will just need some time to adjust. It is very common for axolotls in new surroundings to refuse food and to hide or to "go crazy" if you look over or into their tank or reach into the water, etc.

It is also normal for the gills to flip back - this is how they breathe. Gills that indicate stress are curved forward toward the nose - and they still flip back and forth.


17th June 2008, 08:28
No Ive had her for about 3 months, I just broughht her a new tank because she has growen so fast that i felt sorry for her in the other tank:o. Thanks for that, why I asked bout the gills was because they just usually standing up rite just floating around (hope that makes sense haha). So should i still put food into her tank or just leave it for a few days?

17th June 2008, 08:32
If you think that Elennor's behavior is odd, you can test the water in the aquarium; perhaps something in the water is irritating her.

You can continue to offer her food but if she refuses it, you will of course want to remove the food again before it goes bad and spoils the water.


17th June 2008, 08:37
;)Thanks so much for your help, I will test water etc..... I will keep you posted at how she is getting on, Im thinking that when she has settled, i will get her a friend:o

17th June 2008, 23:45
make sure you quarantine her new friend for at least 30 days before putting it with Elennor. If you don't you might get Elennor sick and I'm sure you don't want that.
Good luck.

18th June 2008, 04:59
It sounds like she's just getting used to her tank. Keep the lights low, and obviously make sure she's got some hides and places to retreat too, and if possible avoid too much loud noise. Leave the lights off if you have tank lights.
If she's gone into an uncycled tank, you'll need to monitor the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate daily until the tank is cycled. When the tank is cycled you'll have an ammonia reading of zero, nitrite zero and nitrate between 10 and 80.
If she doesn't eat the food, remove it after an hour or so, so it doesn't foul the water.
Good luck.

18th June 2008, 12:51
Most likely its the water. Did you cycle your new tank before putting her in there? Please get all the water readings and post them here asap. Good luck

18th June 2008, 20:47
Hi Nicole,

It can take a few days for an axolotl to settle in to a new environment. Did you use the water from your old tank? as mentioned it could be a water quality issue but I am more inclined to think its a relocation issue which will pass.

Good Luck

19th June 2008, 05:39
Thanks guys for your help......All the water seems to be fine, she still wont eat, how long can she go without food for, also ive noticed that she has a white dot in each of her eyes??????Maybe they have always been there and I havent noticed before, any ideas?:confused:

19th June 2008, 06:49
When you say the water is fine, did you cycle it first? What are the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite and pH readings? What is your water temperature? What do you have in your tank - like ornaments, substrate, and so on?

Regarding the white spots, if you could post a picture of your axie, that would be very helpful.

20th June 2008, 05:37
Hi guys........

Update time......My water pH is 7 and my ammonia is 0.25....I made a trip down to my friendly pet shop man at wonder world aquarium. Elennnor is now on a seven day course of antibiotic for her eyes (it seems that the water has burnt them :errr: :errr:) I feel soooo bad, I feel like a real horrible mummy:(. Elennor seems a bit more happy, still not eating though???? I have tried to get a good photo to upload for you guys, but they are coming out fuzzy, will keep trying though.
Thanks again for your help.

20th June 2008, 09:10
Ok your tank is cycling if your ammonia is above 0. You need to do 20% water changes each day until the ammonia reads zero. This should stop your axie being stressed and once she is no longer stressed she should start eating again. Cycling can take 3 to 6 weeks. What is your water temperature too? If your temperature is too high, this can also cause your axie to stop eating.

I would be *really* wary of taking anything that a pet store recommends. What type of antibiotics has this guy recommended? What are the ingredients? Many types of medicine good for fish are poisonous to amphibians so you can't use fish medicine. Many pet stores do not know this.

I doubt the water has 'burned them', how did he explain this?? Your ammonia is not really high so it doesn't seem likely. If you could post a picture even if a bit fuzzy it would be very helpful, it might actually be nothing to worry about.

21st June 2008, 05:44
OK I will do that then.......And will get a photo up for you. I went and got some worms out of the garden today and dropped them into the tank, she wasent interested in them, so I took them out, I thought that I would try again so I held them in front of her with some tweezers and she gobbled them up (6 of them). Gee I hope she hasn't gone blind???? The pet shop man asked me if the white dots on her eyes looked like cataracts and yep that's what they do look like, that's why he said that the water had burnt her eyes??????
Thanks again for your help.

21st June 2008, 06:58
Gee I hope she hasn't gone blind????

don't worry about that axolotls have poor eyesight in general

21st June 2008, 08:14
Ohhh ok, thats alright then......Thanks for that bit of info Eve, I learn something new everyday :):)

21st June 2008, 08:43
Cloudy eyes can be caused by a variety of things, including infection or poor water quality (see also http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/illness.shtml ).

I am thinking that if the water quality is poor, Elennor might not be able to smell very well, and if her eyes are cloudy, she cannot see very well, which might explain why she is not hunting for her food. She would have to rely on feeling the worm's movement. This is just a theory, though.

I have a question about the antibiotic treatment. Are you applying the antibiotics directly in the cycling aquarium or have you removed Elennor to a separate container? The reason I ask is because antibiotics kill bacteria, but you need bacteria to rid your aquarium of ammonia & co. As I understand it, if you are putting antibiotics directly into the aquarium, the aquarium cannot cycle, and your ammonia and nitrite levels will remain high.


21st June 2008, 09:09
Hi......Ive uploaded some photos, but I couldnt get them onto here..So they are in my photo album named Ellie:o:o

21st June 2008, 12:48
Thanks for putting up those pictures. Just a few comments on your set up:

+How big is your tank? It looks quite small but it is hard to tell from the angle of your pictures.

+You should remove the gravel as soon as possible as your axolotl can ingest this gravel and it causes impaction. Sand or a bare tank floor are best.

Anyway, it is hard to tell if there is anything wrong with Ellie's eyes in the picture but I think as your ammonia is above zero, it could very well be a water quality issue. I think you need to deal with your tank cycling and then Elennor will be less stressed and will start to eat. Usually medicines are a last resort for axolotls as it often kills them. What medicine are you using and what are its ingredients?

What is your water temperature too?

22nd June 2008, 07:19
Hi Sarah.....

OK I will remove the gravel asap...Can I just use normal sand??? Yes the tank dose look quite small in that photo, but it is a big tank, its between 90 and 100 liters. My water temp is 19 degrees and the medicine is melafix. She has eaten now, she ate some worms but as I said i had to feed them to her because when I put them into the tank she wasent interested in them ( that's why I thought she had gone blind hahaha), but when I offered them to her on the tweezers she gobbled them up.

22nd June 2008, 12:59
Hi Sarah.....

OK I will remove the gravel asap...Can I just use normal sand??? Yes the tank dose look quite small in that photo, but it is a big tank, its between 90 and 100 liters. My water temp is 19 degrees and the medicine is melafix. She has eaten now, she ate some worms but as I said i had to feed them to her because when I put them into the tank she wasent interested in them ( that's why I thought she had gone blind hahaha), but when I offered them to her on the tweezers she gobbled them up.

I used childrens play sand. Be sure to clean the sand before putting it in your tank. I used the bucket method to do this. Fill bucket about half way with sand and then add water almost to the top of the bucket, use your hands to stir the sand in the water, then pour the water out of the bucket. Keep doing this till the water finally runs clear. This may take 3 or 4 times till the water runs clear.
Good luck

23rd June 2008, 03:57
Hi guys....Ive changed the gravel to sand today, It has gone a bit cloudy even though I washed and washed the sand.....Ive got the filter on full force to try and clear it. I didn't really want to put Ellie back in there while the water was like this, plus I have had to put some new water into the tank. I have placed her in a container and popped her into the fridge is this OK?

23rd June 2008, 07:51
The cloudy water will not hurt your axolotl. It just doesn't look nice. Your axolotl will still be able to breathe. It will be more important to monitor the water quality for ammonia/nitrite peaks (which are dealt with with water changes, as you most likely already know).


23rd June 2008, 11:07
Depending on your filter type you can rinse the filter sponges out in a container of tank water. This will help dislodge any fine sand particles in the sponges and hopefully help clear the cloudy water quicker.

23rd June 2008, 19:39
Hi Guys.....

Ellie is now back in her tank, it has cleared well, but is still not %100....The PH is 7 and Ammonia 0.....She seems quite happy, she hasn't really moved much since I put her back in there though. The white spots in her eyes have nearly completely gone which I am happy about. Will try and see if she will have something to eat tomorrow. I am hoping that things will be a lot better now, I will keep you all updated.

A big thank you to you all....Its great to have people that can help you out with problems like this.....

Nicole & Ellie