The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Caudata.org Store

Notices

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

Reply

 

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 1st June 2019   #1
Axolotlx
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Nationality:
Posts: 2
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Axolotlx is an unknown quantity at this point
Question Struggling with Ammonia

Hi,

I have 2 golden albino axolotls, male and female (I think), approx 1-2 years old and 16-18cm in length.
I've had them since they were a few weeks old and ever since I've been struggling to keep them healthy.
I believe the main cause of the problem is Ammonia. I've tested Ph, nitrates and nitrites and they're always within a safe range
but I can't seem to keep Ammonia levels under 0.5ppm.
I realise there must already be a lot of threads on dealing with Ammonia but I've been battling with this for over a year now and I just can't beat it so I'd appreciate some advice.


My tank is approx 70l and I change approx 8l a day with tap water treated with a high dose of seachem prime.
I use a sypthon pump to quickly remove any uneaten food after feeding and any other mess from the bottom of the tank.
My tank also has an internal filter which filters either 50 litres per hour or 100, I set it to 50 because although my tanks 70, 100 sounds a little excessive for such a minimal setup and also it creates a stronger flow which might stress the Axolotls.
Once ever 2-3 weeks I'll do a larger water change and give the whole tank a more thorough clean.
I feed them a few hard pellets each day which don't create any mess.
Its a bare bottom tank with a couple of hides and a few artificial plants.
The temperature sometimes gets a little too high on a hot day but thats rare where I live.

The slightly larger axolotl which is I believe is female always seems the most unhealthy, she currently has pale gills, what looks like Ammonia burns, wafts her gills alot, can only swallow smaller pellets, curls her tail and rarely comes out of her log hide.
The smaller male isn't as bad, he has slightly pale gills, also has Ammonia burns and cannot close his mouth but other than that seems reasonably healthy.
They both seem to get worse just after a water change, I suspect this is due to stress but I'm careful not to disturb them too much.

I've tried tubbing them and cycling the tank again a couple of times, I've tried various products which deal with Ammonia, they do work but after just a few days the Ammonia level rises again and I'm back to square one.

I'm no expert but I feel that what I'm doing should be enough to keep them relatively healthy,
any ideas what I might be doing wrong

Thank you in advance



Axolotlx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd June 2019   #2
Hayley
(Hayleyy)
Prolific Member
 
Hayleyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 1,241
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 1
Rep: Hayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default Re: Struggling with Ammonia

I'll try and give you some suggestions! I know how hard ammonia can be to get rid of sometimes.
Have you tested your water source before adding dechlorinator? Mine has ammonia up to 0.25ppm.
Are you using the API ammonia test kit? If you are it is known to give false ammonia readings when used with seachem prime. Usually I'll wait 2 days after using prime before I test just to make sure I'm getting the right results. Since you are seeing issues with your axolotls there probably is ammonia but it's a good thing to know.
Have you tried any beneficial bacteria? Or live plants? These can help cycle everything along.
What kind of media is in the filter? You want stuff that holds lots of bacteria, like ceramic noodles and wool.
What happens if you leave water changes to once a week?
So if you have a 70L tank with 2 axolotls you'll want to upgrade. I imagine there is too much bioload on the tank which is probably causing your constant ammonia spike. For 2 axolotls ideally you want over 110L. Larger tanks also are more consistent in temperature and maintaining the cycle so it's better in the long run.



Hayleyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd June 2019   #3
Axolotlx
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Nationality:
Posts: 2
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Axolotlx is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Struggling with Ammonia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayleyy View Post
I'll try and give you some suggestions! I know how hard ammonia can be to get rid of sometimes.
Have you tested your water source before adding dechlorinator? Mine has ammonia up to 0.25ppm.
Are you using the API ammonia test kit? If you are it is known to give false ammonia readings when used with seachem prime. Usually I'll wait 2 days after using prime before I test just to make sure I'm getting the right results. Since you are seeing issues with your axolotls there probably is ammonia but it's a good thing to know.
Have you tried any beneficial bacteria? Or live plants? These can help cycle everything along.
What kind of media is in the filter? You want stuff that holds lots of bacteria, like ceramic noodles and wool.
What happens if you leave water changes to once a week?
So if you have a 70L tank with 2 axolotls you'll want to upgrade. I imagine there is too much bioload on the tank which is probably causing your constant ammonia spike. For 2 axolotls ideally you want over 110L. Larger tanks also are more consistent in temperature and maintaining the cycle so it's better in the long run.
I am using the api liquid test kit with seachem prime. I have tested my water at source and its fine.


Since I posted this I've realised my pH was too high but I've got that down from 8.5 to 7.5. I've been doing larger water changes left often as opposed to smaller more frequent ones and I've been adding a little seachem prime and beneficial bacteria. Things definitely seem to be improving, ammonia is now approx 0.25 rather than 0.5, 0 nitrites and 20ppm nitrates.


My filter media is like sponge with little black beads inside, no live plants. My 70l tank might not be ideal but hopefully if things improve it will suffice.



Thanks



Axolotlx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2019   #4
Hayley
(Hayleyy)
Prolific Member
 
Hayleyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 1,241
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 1
Rep: Hayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgHayleyy is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default Re: Struggling with Ammonia

Great to hear it's going down! Keep doing what you are doing. Hopefully the tank will stay okay but keep your eye out for good deals on a larger tank (second hand is great and much much cheaper)



Hayleyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sick axolotl

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Struggling with ammonia?!? Help?! hairdressica Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate 1 23rd October 2016 09:15
Illness/Sickness: Upside down and struggling griblybeast Sick Axolotl? 2 16th November 2010 11:21
Still struggling with a juvenile FBN... srfr72 Newt and Salamander Help 2 22nd February 2010 12:07
struggling with larvae monomike Sick Axolotl? 6 1st June 2007 19:17


All times are GMT. The time now is 21:05.