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Sick Axolotl? Axolotl looking down in the gills? The doctors are in.

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Old 24th April 2014   #1
Xeraki
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Default Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

He's 3 1/2 months old - I woke up this afternoon to see him on his side.. his gills forward. I did a complete water change just a few minutes ago. His heart is still beating, and he'll flinch one or two gills every once in a while..

The only thing I can think of, since my other two are still fine, is I possibly dripped a bit of ammonia in their changing water when I fed my cycling tank back up to 1ppm.. and his was the only one I did a small pwc before I went to bed, to get rid of some poop. But I didn't see a drip, otherwise I would not have used that water..

I have to go to work right now though, ugh! :< I'm worried...

should I fridge him, or just hope the water change will rejuvenate him?



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Old 25th April 2014   #2
Hayley
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Default Re: Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

Fridging can be extremely stressful, especially on a juvenile and is not needed.

If you think it's ammonia do a 100% change in it's tub.



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Old 25th April 2014   #3
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Default Re: Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

I believe my father already put him in the fridge after I left for work. its been a few hours; should I have him take the axolotl out or would that just make it worse?



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Old 25th April 2014   #4
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Default Re: Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

I haven't seen any reports of death caused by removing an axolotl after a day of fridging and it pops up frequently as a mistake of the inexperienced. It's still not a good idea as it may cause more unnecessary stress or problems. I would consider fridging for a few more days with daily water changes before returning your axolotl to the tank.

In the future, fridging in this situation is unnecessary. Placing the axolotl's container in a cool dark area with fresh dechlorinated water would work just fine.



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Old 25th April 2014   #5
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Default Re: Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

What's been said before is right, fridging can be more stress and can slow down their metabolism when they need it most. I would keep two containers full at all times, keep him in one and then switch him to the other while switching out that container with 100% treated water. This lets the water acclimate to the same temp and lets out any gases in the water. He should hopefully improve after a few days. Keep feeding and make sure to remove any waste/leftover food. Do you have any pictures of him now?



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Old 25th April 2014   #6
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Default Re: Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

I'm still at work right now. I'll try for a photo when I get home in 3 hours. I did try to tell dad not to bother the axolotl until I had gotten a reply on here.. oh well. Last I heard, he was able to float right side up, instead of on his side, and that he was moving a tiny bit. So, that's good. Thanks for the replies everyone.



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Old 25th April 2014   #7
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Default Re: Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

A lot of times if you see your axolotl with its gills forward it means its time for a water change. 3.5 months is still pretty young and they can be a little more sensitive to bad water conditions. The positive side is they can heal up much faster than older axolotls so get him into some clean fresh water, offer food until he eats, and keep feeding daily. Also while he's recovering it might be best to cover the container with a towel just in case any light stresses him out.



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Old 25th April 2014   #8
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Default Re: Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

test your water in his tank and post the results
Ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, Ph and temp would be helpful



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Old 28th April 2014   #9
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Default Re: Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

ah.. the water he' been in has long been thrown out.. what he's in now has all normal parameters. He's still keeping his gills more forward than usual, but he's moving around more. He's only walking along the bottom of his container though, not swimming. He also generally lays flat on his belly, instead of up on his toes like his sibling (like he used to do, as well).

I'm still really worried about him though because he's still lethargic, and has refused food since this happened. The last time he ate before that was Thursday around 5pm. He's pooped twice, and doesn't appear to have any more to pass (correction, he just pooped one last time 7:36am).. he's much skinnier than I usually let them get, since they're fed daily still.

We've been offering him food 3 times a day - once before I go to work, around 5pm. Once when mom gets home from work, around 10pm. And once when I get home from work, around 6am.

I tricked him into taking a bit of bloodworm this morning.. I laid a tiny piece right under his mouth, and dripped some water over his head. I found this triggers him to snap (though, much less ferociously than he used to), and he'd sometimes suck up the bloodworm that I placed there... but he just holds them in his mouth, won't swallow.

I'll continue to offer him food like this.. but is there anything else I can do to get him to eat? He's still so small.. how long can a 2" axolotl go without food, anyway? :<



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Old 28th April 2014   #10
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Default Re: Extremely Stressed Juvenile Axolotl - Ammonia Poisoning?

Depends on the temperature, the lower the temp the slower their metabolism and the longer they go without eating. If it is not eating because it is sick that is a different story as the axolotl will begin to lose weight.



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