View Full Version : Gills feathers are disappearing

18th May 2011, 11:16

First of all I want to start off to tell you guys that my english is quite poor.. I'm from the Netherlands so please bare with me..

Since two weeks ago I saw that the gills of my female albino axolotl were missing on the right side.. The left side were still intact. I have two aggressive axolotls so I assumed she was bitten... But a few days later I saw that one aggressive axolotl was losing her gill feathers too.. And now all of them (4) keep losing their gill feathers..

I checked the water quality and it was good.. Even though it was good, I refreshed 50% of the water.. The size of my aquarium (thats an english word too right?) is 80x40x30. But it keeps getting worse..

3 of my 4 axolotls are eating véry well.. They still have a major appetite.. But yesterday the fourth axolotl didnt want to eat anymore..

I made a couple of photos so I hope you can identify the problem and provide me with a solution.. I'm very worried.. It doesnt look like fungus because it isn't.. uhm.. foomy? Plushie? I don't know how to translate that..


At the beginning, top gill feathers starting to disappear..

The aggressive albino, lots of gill feathers are missing.. That was one week ago, its even worse now..



I have separated the aggressive albino and the brown axolotl from the other two. The albino because it stopped eating, and the brown one because of the white stuff..

Thanks in advance.

18th May 2011, 12:05
How big is your tank? What is your water change schedule like? Do you dechlorinate your water? What kind of food are you offering?

18th May 2011, 13:37
By your measurements (assuming you meant cm not inches) I would say you have a 20 gallon long fish tank. This is FAR too small for 4 Axolotls, and I can almost guarantee your issue is from water quality. You said your water quality was fine, but I would guess that your ammonia is going to be pretty high with that many animals in that small a space. A high level of ammonia was be responsible for the gills being "burned" off, and I would suggest separating the Axolotls into smaller, more manageable tanks, or get one, much larger tank.

What type of filtration do you use?

18th May 2011, 14:09
Thank you for your replies!

How big is your tank? What is your water change schedule like? Do you dechlorinate your water? What kind of food are you offering?

80x40x30, I change about 25% of the water every two weeks, yes, and worms (not blood worms but the big worms.. rainworms? I dont know how to translate that..), a kind of meat.. Ugh, I really don't know how to translate those words... But more keepers of axolotl feed that kind of meat.. But mostly just worms..

@ Shizeric, I never planned to raise four axolotls, it was a tank for two but a friend of me couldn't take care of her two axolotls so she gave them to me.. I was planning to buy a larger tank but I had to save money to do so... Is a 100x50x50 tank enough? Or a 121x41x55? Or do I have to think even bigger?

Whats my next move for now? Clean the entire aquarium and it will be okay, or do they need medicine?

About the filtration question, its an inside (intern?) jewel filter.. (Does that even make sense?) I hope you know what I mean..

18th May 2011, 14:23
Yes, "inside filters" are called "internal filters", and are sometimes frowned upon because they can raise temperatures. For 4 Axolotls, a 50 gallon tank would be best, or 190L. Do not use medicine, just make sure they are all kept in cool, clean water and their gills should improve. This most likely means separating them, because keeping them together is going to cause the water to become toxic quickly. With a small water change (5 gallons), every 2 weeks, I assure you the issue you are having is a result of ammonia levels in the water.

In terms of the translations...the large worms or rain worms you are referring to are what we call nightcrawlers. And when you are trying to translate the type of meat...what animal does it come from?

18th May 2011, 17:22
For 4 axolotls, you'll need a tank that's at least 120cm long. The more water you have, and the more floor space the axolotls have to move around, the better they'll be. The rule of thumb is at least 35liters and 30cm in length for each axolotl.

Once the tank is cycled, you'll need to change 20% of the water every week.