View Full Version : I dont think my Axolotls are getting enough oxygen

11th August 2009, 19:21
I was thinking of getting an air pump, i know axolotls dont like current and noisey things in their thank. They always go up to the surface to get some air, do i have any other options? How do can i find our for sure?

11th August 2009, 20:20
Axolotls DO sometimes 'surface' for air, this is normal. What is not normal is if they do it a lot more frequently.

How often would you say your axolotls gulp air?

What is the state of their gills? Do they have nice long 'fluffy' gills or are they reduced in any way?

Do you know your water parameters? Temperature, nitrates, ammonia etc? I know warmer water will have reduced oxygen levels. Also poor water quality may make the axolotls surface more often.

You can use an air pump for your axolotls anyway, a lot of people do. I have one in my four foot tank, which I set up when we had really hot weather as the agitation of the water is supposed to help in cooling the water, my axies don't seem to be bothered by it.

The first thing to do though is to make sure everything is right with your axolotls and their environment. Monitor how often they are coming to the surface, perhaps take a photo of their gills if you think it may be the problem and then report back along with your water readings.

11th August 2009, 21:07
I bought my Axolotls from a breeder that took really bad care of them. When i got them they had no legs, berly any gills, they were a few weeks old living in a small thank with alot of thank mate axolotls. Anyway its been a couple of months their legs for the most part have grown back(Still missing some fingers), their gills ive noticed have grown a tiny bit, looks like a bad hair cut, so id say they are missing about half the gills are normal Axolotl would have. The temperature is about 70-78 degrees, amonia, nitrate all that stuff is in top shape,i dont have a filter(not sure if that would help). I do have 3 live plants, some reproducing nicely(almost 5 plants now). Plants help right? Ill try and post a picture of the Axis and the tank. I have 2 Axolotls about a year old, in a 36 gallon tank, and a mud puppy about the same age.

11th August 2009, 21:36
First of all it sounds like your water is too hot.

Perhaps look at the Caudata Culture pages for ideas on cooling methods, or do a forum search for the same.

12th August 2009, 02:03
How often do you make water changes?

12th August 2009, 03:43
Ok so I checked my water temp its about 68-70 degrees. I do water changes every 6 days.

21st August 2009, 19:26
A filter would help. An air pump doesn't directly add oxygen to the water. Surface agitation adds oxygen to the water- the only reason an air pump works is because the bubbles break at the surface, causing surface agitation. Air pumps also create current in the tank. If you're going to add an air pump, I'd recommend adding a filter. You can buy a HOB or internal filter for pretty much the same price as you'd pay for a decent air pump, or you could go with the air pump, and put a sponge filter on.

I find it hard to believe that a tank with water movement or filtration and a stock of axolotls has 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 0 nitrates. I find it VERY hard to believe. The fact that your axies gills are tiny supports that opinion. One of my axies had part of its gills nipped off by a tank mate a few months ago, and it grew them back in just a couple weeks. Now, that's not to say EVERY axie's gills are small because of water conditions- i have one axie who completely lost his gills, even though parameters were perfect. He spent about 4 months in a tub with 2" of water and a land area where he spent most of the time on the transition between water & land, before he finally returned to water & began regrowing gills. But more often than not tiny gills are a sign of poor water conditions, and if it's happening to a whole group of axies, it's pretty likely that it's the water conditions causing the problems. Were I you, I'd try a different test kit- yours may be bad.

22nd August 2009, 11:57
What is the pH and total carbonate hardness levels of your water? These two aspects of water chemistry have a huge impact on total dissolved O2 in conjunction with temperature. While they do breathe surface air every so often, watch how often they flick their gills. Normal gill flicking is them clearing CO2 from their fillenbrials as the breathe. More than a half dozen times a minute can indicate that the water is too warm, not hard enough, or low on 02. At axolotl preferred temperatures, extremely hard water has low TDO.

If you suspect O2 levels are an issue, add an air stone to the tank.