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SuburbanGirl
31st January 2014, 16:27
So I have 4 problems:

1. Giant Jack was eating his earthworm last night (it was a big one) and then half the worm started coming out behind his gills. I took a picture of it, but I was wondering if anyone can tell me if this is normal. I was feeling ill, so I went to bed shortly after I fed him, and this morning he was in his hide, so I don't know if he was able to resolve his issue with that. Is this normal? Should I have done something different? Am I the only one that thinks this looks gross?

2. I have a tank with little Jacks in it, and they were looking a little off on Monday. One of the albinos was very pink and I could almost see veins. I tested the water and my ammonia was 0 nitrate was .25 and nitrite was 40 ppm. I did a water change that day and tried to get as much of the **** up off the bottom that I could. I thought things were looking better. Why would my nitrAte spike when the tank was cycled before? Should I just keep changing the water until it is cycled again?

2.5 I upgraded giant Jack to a larger tank, but I didn't move his sand, just his filter and plants and decorations. There was a small ammonia spike that went away after one water change. Is this normal?

3. I tested the water again on Wednesday and the parameters had not changed, and the same albino Jack was looking really red and I could see his veins. I took him out of the tank and put him in a box with treated water and a little bit of food. I have been changing his water twice a day since then, and he looks a little less red, but I can still see some veins. He is still eating and pooping. How long should I keep him separated before I add him back to the other Jacks? Would adding tea to his water help?

4. Tiny Jack used to be in the same tank as the little Jacks, but he is about an inch smaller than them. My ex-husband was in the hospital for a week so I was spending a lot of time there. Because of this there was a day that I wasn't able to feed any of the Jacks. The next day when I looked at them tiny Jack had lost an arm. I decided to move him to a bowl so he can get more food. I am also changing his water twice a day, and in the last week his arm seems to be growing back. Do I need to do anything to help his arm grow back? Is there anything else I should look for that might cause problems while his arm is growing back?

I've tried to attach some pictures. The first one is Jack with a worm coming out his gills, the second is a very blurry pic of Jack with one arm. I know there are lots of bloodworms on the sand, I am using a pair of feeding jars, but sometimes some of them get out. I'm sorry about all the questions, but any help or thoughts would be appreciated.

Petersgirl
31st January 2014, 18:01
Hello, here is my two cents in response to your questions...

1) It looks scary, but that part of their anatomy (behind the gills and underneath the jaw) is actually open. Some people have had similar scares with bloodworms falling out of that part. It's probably normal. Just keep an eye on that area in case the worm has done any damage on the way out.

2) Nitrate spikes because, unlike ammonia and nitrite, it isn't removed from your ecosystem (your closed ecosystem, i.e the tank) by being converted into another substance. It needs to be removed, either by plants or water changes. So I'd say yes to water changes, and perhaps some axolotl safe plants if you have green fingers.

2.5) A lot of nitrifying bacteria lives in your sand, plus you have just upgraded to a larger tank which means your bacteria need to adapt. A larger tank means lower ammonia in general if maintained because the waste occupies a larger space, but you may have had a slight dip in cycling because your bacteria has lessened - a lot of it lives in/on tank surfaces and substrate, as well as filters and ornaments. Your bacteria lessened, hence the ammonia. Keep an eye on it and hopefully it should stay rectified.

3) Are the veins little 'loops' in his gills, or are they actually all over his body? You say the parameters didn't change but I can't see where the original parameters are. If you have above 0 ammonia and nitrite, and/or more than 40 ppm nitrate this would explain it. Lighter axolotls can also become redder if excited (i.e eating or active). If he looks 'burned,' then chemicals may be the culprit. Make sure you're using the right amount of dechlorinator and that your parameters are right in your tank (sorry if they are already, and you're measuring your dechlorinator perfectly, but these are important things to check off) before you move him back, and be sure to make the water temperatures close to each other to avoid temp shock. I personally would watch and wait until I am sure he is his old self again, and tea wouldn't hurt him even if he's 100% healthy. Check out the tea bath tutorial in Caudata Culture for guidance if you need to.

4) I am not sure if you can tea bath Little Jack too as he is little. Watch for any white cottony growths (fungus) and for red spots, irritation or just a general 'not rightness' about the area, but clean, cool water will do wonders in keeping the wound clean. Do any baby axxie keepers/breeders know if they can have tea baths when that small? Mine have always been juvies so I don't want to give you dangerous advice.

Sorry if I have missed anything obvious. I can't see the pictures as I am typing so this is my General Care guide. Hope this helps, and good luck!

SuburbanGirl
3rd February 2014, 17:13
Thanks for all your good advice. I have kept the Jacks separate that looked ill, and they are doing much better now. My big tank did end up starting to cycle again, so things are moving in the right direction there. Thanks again for all your help!

Petersgirl
6th February 2014, 16:28
No problem :) It's why we're here.