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


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Old 10th July 2011   #21
Jake
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Hi,

The gravel is aproximately 1.5ml in diameter and was ok'd in another thread by another serious owner... I was also worried and checked there poos for around 2 months but there were no stones, on top of that I watch them all the time and the way I feed them has trained them to never even inspect the gravel for food, it is quite odd but after around two months the wild type also stopped and would only try to eat when he saw me near the tank like the others. They are currently in the fridge and this weekend, after a week of consistent, 25% daily changes I will sort out the tanks issues and try placing them back in, if they continue to show illness then I will have to do more. As far as trying to feed them all the time I am only doing this because it is going on 3months that the wild type hasnt been eating so I am becoming extremely concerned that even in the fridge he will die... I am already pulling huge pieces of fungus off his gills daily! Anyway, I appreciate the help and I will definitely be removing the gravel etc... and fixing the tank...



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Old 10th July 2011   #22
Jake
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Also night-crawlers are earthworms, some of the biggest in the world...



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Old 10th July 2011   #23
frances dansie
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Im sorry but who ever said your gravel is fine has given you seriously bad information!!!
Anything smaller than an adult axies head is to small and can and will be swallowed at some point, you can not possibly watch them 24 hours aday and therefore I would still advise removal, I have known axies take months to pass stones after they were replaced with sand base.
Obviously this is my opinion but I assure you long standing axie keepers will give you the same one.
As for dispersal of water there are some very good dispersal bars that come in many lengths, if you connect one of these to you input and direct it towards the sides it reduces the flows power immensely.
Hope all goes well though and they pick up soon



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Old 10th July 2011   #24
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

I would definetely still get rid of the gravel.

I had my axie on gravel for a month or two. I hand fed him and never thought he swallowed any. After I switched to sand, I noticed bits of gravel that he had pooped out weeks later.

I've said it before too - that even if you hand feed or use feeding jars, axies can and most likely will end up swallowing the gravel.

And even though you don't think the light bothers them, I'd still leave it off most of the time, only put it on for photos. I didn't think the light in my original tank bothered my axie, but once I started leaving it off I noticed a lot of changes, he was much quicker to come out of hiding for food, he was more curious, coming up to the glass a lot more and just started looking a lot happier.



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Old 10th July 2011   #25
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

I also think that you should focus less on the needs of the plants and more on those of your axies. Back to basics so to speak.



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Old 10th July 2011   #26
Jake
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

As I said I will remove the gravel but I can assure you this is not the pressing issue, it is not the cause for these problems and I know that for several reasons... Firstly, they had been on the gravel for some time and were having no issues for easily 4 months then around 2 weeks after placing the wild type in the tank after he was quarantined with no symptoms for a month they all began getting sick, so unless they decided eating gravel was the smart way to go when they saw the wild type do it I find this to be unlikely. And the light is of very little concern also, they have so many places to hide they can get away for the 6hrs it is on a day, and used to do so and only began spending alot of time out when the lights are on when I acquired the Aqua-Glo bulb to replace the standard Sun-Glo which was far too bright. Furthermore the plant cover blocks out most direct light to the bottom of the tank as was originally intended and since the vals have covered the top of the tank quite thickly they loved coming out all day. The wood is not crumbly at all but I fear, despite being boiled for a long time, that it contains some sort of oil or something that irritates their skin and as such it will be one of the first items removed...



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Old 10th July 2011   #27
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Just cause something hasn't caused problems *yet* doesn't mean it won't.

You asked folks on here for advice, Jake, and you are getting it in heaps, many of us are saying the same thing, yet you are fiercely defending your setup as being perfectly fine. Something is going wrong for your poor axies, please take the advice in the spirit of which it is being given - for the love and wellbeing of your axolotls.



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Old 10th July 2011   #28
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Another thought to chew on. The tannins found in driftwood and such are supposed to be good for a axie's skin. This is were the idea of tea baths to treat certain skin complaints comes from, and seems to work too.

I don't think the problem is the wood itself. How often do you offer food, and how old are your axies?



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Old 11th July 2011   #29
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Im sorry but to accuse me of ignoring you is just poor form, especially when I have been dealing with these problems for some time and have already said I will remove the gravel, and gave perfectly sound justification for it and the light, which IS NOT A CONCERN. The aquaglo is highly reccomended for its low light intensity and when I put it in I noticed a significant change in my axies; they were happier than with the bright sun glo but at that point, even with the sun glo, were still thriving so it is not an issue.

The tannins can be an issue depending on the type of wood, and often it is the oils in the wood, not the tannin, which is what i was explaining. For example some woods, like tea tree, contain strong oils (some of which are used in some fish care products) which are seperate from the tannins and as the wood was not purchased but rather appropriated from an outdoor pond it could be an unsafe wood, despite being boiled for a very extended period with the water being changed regularly (to remove the tannin/oils).

And Im sorry but just because I'm asking for the advice does not make my opinion any less valid than your own, hence it being called a forum. For all any of us know the people we are responding to have a billion times more knowledge than ourselves and could be just stumped on a small problem, so please don't tell me I should take all your advice right off the bat because questioning things is the only true way to move forward. Sorry to seem rude but I find some of those comments insulting. We are discussing what could be the issue and I have said I will rectify the suggested problems but that does not mean I cant also question their validity...



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Old 11th July 2011   #30
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

You said: 'around 2 weeks after placing the wild type in the tank after he was quarantined with no symptoms for a month they all began getting sick'.

I've been watching this thread and all my thoughts so far have been covered by others, but with this I'd say take them all to a vet ASAP. Just because he was showing no symptoms a\t the time doesn't mean he wasn't carrying anything that could be passed on.



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Old 11th July 2011   #31
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Im only very new to axies and wont pretend to have any answers but I tend to agree with loobylou. I very quickly had a read of your other post and you said the wild type was definitely the sickest. With this information my first assumption would be it's something he has brought in to the tank as your positive you've covered everything else in regards to substrate, water quality, temp, plants, lighting etc. You did the right thing by quarantining him for a month but maybe the symptoms were dormant at the time? Can I ask, where did you quarantine him?



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Old 11th July 2011   #32
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Im only very new to axies and wont pretend to have any answers but I tend to agree with loobylou. I very quickly had a read of your other post and you said the wild type was definitely the sickest. With this information my first assumption would be it's something he has brought in to the tank as your positive you've covered everything else in regards to substrate, water quality, temp, plants, lighting etc. You did the right thing by quarantining him for a month but maybe the symptoms were dormant at the time? Can I ask, where did you quarantine him?

Also just a bit off topic. My daughter has hermit crabs (I know, totally different to axies) and they were great for over 2 months. Then one of them began acting strangely. Burrying all the time, not coming out of it's shell. We finally figured out it was light that was the problem. We leave our lounge room light on of a night time as our son sleep walks. It took two months but continous light (natural by day, artificial by night) mucked her natural cycle up badly and made her very sick. We've now fixed it by moving the tank to a room that is dark at night and it is a totally different crab.
I know you've said light isn't a problem but would it hurt the plants too much to just try it off for a week? Just to officially rule it out? :)



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Old 11th July 2011   #33
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Jake, I'm not going to get into an argument about it, but you request help, we suggest things that are potential worries/solutions, with a wealth of experience to back it up (not talking about myself there), and you dismiss them as you feel YOU are right.

You are completely entitled to feel right. Maybe you are.

But I don't like reading posts where you would rather ask for advice on 'killing axolotls' than accept the advice you don't like the sound of. And I am perfectly entitled to tell you so.

I'm out of this thread, I really hope you solve the problem soon and your axolotls are back to 100%.



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Old 12th July 2011   #34
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

I will only throw in my $0.02 once:

Jake, you ask advice, but then come up with every justification you can to avoid doing that advice. So what are you looking for?



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Old 12th July 2011   #35
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

I had a problem with one of mine for a month or so when he wouldn't eat and just kind of flopped about, obviously unhappy. I tried fridging but that didn't help. I think what had happened was a build up of sand which eventually sorted itself out. If it seems as though it was the newcomer (despite quarantine) that started all the problems, maybe try a few weeks with him in a separate tank, just to see if that makes any difference to the other 2. Also, perhaps it's worth feeding every 2 or 3 days, rather than every day, It would save you some time and also may build up a bit of an appetite in the little guys.

I know it's not nice to feel like you're being criticised and having to justify your decisions when you've tried so hard, but keep going, even if you're axies aren't getting better, at least they're not getting worse!



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Old 12th July 2011   #36
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

No one here is insulting you, they are only offering the experienced advice that they have gained over the years of owning axolotls. I mean, have you gone away from the forum, after asking your questions, and at least TRIED the advice that has been given to you? Then at least you could always come back and say 'nope that didn't work, now what?'.

At least try what advice others here have given you. The people on this forum are very kind and willing to help anyone, so I can pretty much assure you no one was trying to be nasty, but prehaps frustrated that you haven't tried the advice they have given you.

My axolotl wasn't right once. He wouldn't eat, he had a curled tail, and was just miserable. Yes for someone more experienced they would of known what it meant, and now I do too, but at the time I didn't. If it wasn't for these guys, my axolotl wouldn't be as happy as it is now. They helped me step by step to sort out my tank and my axolotl, and I absorbed the information they gave me. I took the advice they gave me, and now my axie is extremely happy, and the next time something goes wrong, or I want advice, I will come here and ask, and take it on board.

I'm not having a go, I'm just merely suggesting you at least try the advice you have been given. I wish you luck, and hope your axolotls recover 100%.




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Old 12th July 2011   #37
Jake
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Hi, I have been working through many of these problems for some time and the only reason I even made a thread was as a last ditch effort because my generally vast knowledge has failed me time and time again... When naming the thread it was primarily as a means of creating interest so someone would actually post in reply which has worked. The only one I have even considered euthenising at any point is the wild type as he is becoming extremely unwell despite being in the fridge.

I have used nearly every piece of advice handed out so far, and am currently tearing down my beautiful tank to create a better life for these guys so to say I ask advice and give every reason why it is wrong is merely a biproduct of me having tried nearly everything so far. I am unwilling to turn off the light for any period for the sake of the plants which are already suffering enough stress from currently being de-rooted and due to my understanding that this is not the issue.

On a more promising note the theory about the hermit crabs and light cycle may be a key to there unknown stress! I keep the tank in my bedroom and as a result my T.V. and lamps create light until atleast 12pm each evening, which could severly alter their circadian rhythm and cause stress over time! Such a thought! The other interesting idea given which I have overlooked completely for some reason is that despite his extended quarantine he may have been carrying a pathogen such as bacteria or a virus (a parasite seems unlikely as more consistent symptoms are usually present right?). Anyway, these two seem like promising option but I have no way of diagnosing as finding and paying a specialised herp vet is not really within my budget...

They are currently in the fridge and as I said I am redoing their tank over the next week or two. Hopefully by then they seem well enough to return to the tank. Once again I apologize for snapping but I have tried many things to fix this and have been working myself silly caring for these guys. It has now been 2months and 2weeks since the wild type ate. I am genuinely hoping he can turn around or euthanizing him might be the more caring option. He is now so skinny you can see his bone structure and every day, despite salt baths and fridging he develops more fungus! Is there a way of treating bacterial or viral infections that is general or all purpose as to avoid an accurate diagnosis and treatment? I am worried also that any treatments may stress him to the point of death...

Thanks for all the help and I look forward to responses... Also I will take new, detailed photos of each of them to try and help diagnose what the issue might be...



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Old 13th July 2011   #38
Jake
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

I believe my wild type, Emilio, died today or over the last day. I went to do there water change and salt bath today and he offered no resistance to anything and didnt move at all. In a hope he has not passed I have changed his water and put him back in the fridge but I have little hope for him now, he is too weak to eat and has not eaten in soo long that this was inevitable at this point, poor little guy... That has ruined my day so hopefully as I write a complete treatment plan for them tonight (just a long checklist of remaining possibilities) I will be able to feel as though the other two will at some point get better...

Thanks for all the help but I just couldnt do enough for him. Though I am starting to believe more and more that he was carrying something that has been the cause of all this misfortune.



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Old 13th July 2011   #39
frances dansie
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Im sorry to hear he was unable to recover and sincerely hope the others do.
i did read some years ago about genetics and axolotls and there are somethings that upto that time could not be explained, where whole groups from the same batch would just die at the same time, one group would be thriving and at approx 3months over a period of a couple of days the vast majority would perish, another group lived heartily to approximately 6months (if my memory serves me correct) and then perished. They were from different pairings and these deaths occured again and again within th same timeline and the conclusion drawn was that it was something to do with their genetic make up, so my point is (after a long drawn out prattle lol)
there is not always a solution to the problems, we just have to try everything that we can. If we eliminate all the possible all that remains is the impossible, and that we cant do anything about

If the others arent eating though please try as I suggested and put either live blood worm or daphnia into their tubs it stimulated mine after weeks of starvation and now they are back to normal.




Last edited by digger; 13th July 2011 at 09:29. Reason: missed word
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Old 14th July 2011   #40
Jake
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Default Re: Killing Axolotls

Hi, thank you for the comforting words and this genetic issue might have indeed been the case, though then the other two shouldn't have gotten ill. He was in the same position today so I assume he has passed. When I bought him he looked odd, having strange curves and inconsistent toes on each foot - basically an axolotl with poor genetic makeup -0 though I had assumed having lived until able to be sold or adult then he would not die from these poor genetics. I myself had an entire batch of 3mm baby axolotls die in a three day period all of the same uncontrollable hemorrhaging. I put this down to poor genetics as the father was too young to mate when he did so.

Anyways, I will continue to work on this and I will try to feed them some daphnia, bloodworms or brine shrimp while they are in the fridge though they never seem interested, especially not in the huge worms I try every other day... Though even when bloodworms are offered they are turned down most often.

What do you guys think about the possibility of the circadian rhythms being interrupted by night time light exposure? This was an intersting point raised and I wonder if it could be the key to this slowly built up but consistent stress they seem to be suffering from...

Cheers



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