View Full Version : Help! Ammonia?

14th July 2008, 21:25

As some of you allready may know, I've been cycling the tank with the axolotls in it. Now it has been cycling for 5 weeks (with daily 30% waterchanges), but today one of the axolotls have been acting frantic. He's always in the top of the tank, and it looks like "ammonia-burn" (?). I changed a 50% of the water for about 2 hours ago, but he's still frantic. Should I take them out of the tank, and put them in the fridge?

14th July 2008, 22:31
It certainly won't hurt to pop the frantic axolotl in the fridge, it will help relax him while we ascertain what could be upsetting him.

Pop him in a tub of fresh dechlorinated water and set fridge for at least 5 degrees - no lower than this.

What are your readings for Ammonia, Nitrite and PH?

Is there any water movement in the tank that could be stressing him?

What is the tank temperature?

What is the size of the tank?

14th July 2008, 22:31
Hello Sirio,
Have you got a water testing kit? If not, then it would be a good start.
I'm not sure what the recommended thing to do would be here, if it was me and I was really concerned about one of my axolotls I would take him out and put him in some fresh dechlorinated water (the same temperature as his tank water) make sure he can't escape from the container and leave him in a quiet place to see if he calmed down. I'm not sure if the fridge is the best option. If the axolotl calms in fresh water then perhaps you are right about the water quality being the issue.
If it turns out that you have a serious ammonia problem then I think the fridge would be the best place for your two until you get the water quality under control.
I'm not sure if I'm right in what I have said, I'm no expert. I hope someone else jumps in and replies soon, Kerry.

15th July 2008, 00:30
Hi Sirio,

if your axolotl is stressed, then definitely a tub of fresh water is a good idea (like an icecream container). Then I would probably place him in the fridge as it will calm him down and they recover well in the fridge. But if that is difficult for you (i.e. you can't keep the temperature 5C or above) then keep him in a cool place in your house. You will need to do 100% water changes each day and this will keep the tub fresh and largely free of ammonia until you can get your tank sorted. What are your tank readings? It is recommended not to do water changes as large as 50% as it can slow down the cycling process so this could be why it is taking a while. 20% should be fine.

Good luck and I hope you can get it all sorted!

15th July 2008, 21:05
Hi Sirio,

What leads you to believe that it is ammonia burn?

16th July 2008, 01:24
I don't know for sure that it's ammonia burn, but I saw a video on youtube of an axolotl with 'ammonia-burn', and it looks just the same.

But now I'm a little uncertain... The axolotl have been in the fridge since last night, but he's still frantic. He always floats in the top of the container, and if he tries to get down to the bottom again, he just floats back up, poor thing.:confused:

I have used a strip-kit, but that's empty, but will be getting a new one (but not strips) tomorrow.

16th July 2008, 01:43
Hi Sirio,

Put just enough water in the container to cover the axolotl's back so he can touch the ground but cannot float - this wil alleviate the stress.

Also, do you have a cover on the container so the light coming on and off in the fridge does not further distress the axolotl? If the container is kept cold and dark - this will also help calm the axie.

Dip Strip test kits are useless and give woefully inaccurate readings! I would recommend you purchase the test tube kits - these are the most reliable.

16th July 2008, 03:56
Hi Sirio,

If you have been doing daily 30% water changes with dechlorinated water and there is no residual waste decaying in your tank then I think that ammonia may not be the problem.

How do your axolotls normally behave in particular the one who is "frantic".

I am not trying to make light of the situation but I have 1 axolotl that has occasional frantic bouts, the longest this has lasted is a day and a night and then he is back to his normal cruisy self. I have absolutely no idea what causes it and it is only him the other three don't do it.

Sorry I couldn't be more help