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



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Old 25th February 2016   #1
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Unhappy Axolotl Fungus on Gills

Hello, I am a new axolotl owner and have recently run into some trouble. My axolotl had a little ball of white fungus-looking material on his gill, which has recently detached (The ball, not the gill)

There's still a little white spot on his gill, and I have put him in a quarantine tank. I read online that salt baths would help, and so I've tried that, but for about 4 hours after the salt baths his gills go really pale and he doesn't move at all (He usually is very active). He seems very listless and doesn't eat, when before the salt baths he had a huge appetite. I have some tetracycline that I can use, but I read that it could be an irritant to his skin.

I don't know what to do, the salt baths seem to really stress him out, and the tetracycline could irritate his skin. The fungus ball fell off before I started the salt baths, and so I was thinking that he might get better if I just leave him alone.

The water is currently at 18-19 C (~65 F) and has zero ammonia and nitrites. The water in his old tank had similar parameters, and I change the water (30%) weekly.

Since halting the salt baths for a few days he's been active, and eats well. His gills seem to be back to their normal colours, but the one gill with the fungus ball is much shorter than all the others, but it still has a little white spot.

What do you guys think I should do?

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Old 26th February 2016   #2
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Rep: LSuzuki has given good advice and informationLSuzuki has given good advice and informationLSuzuki has given good advice and information
Default Re: Axolotl Fungus on Gills

Stop the salt baths. The fungus is gone.

Often, for a little bit of fungus on a gill stalk, you don't need to treat with salt baths. Unlike fish, where a bit of fungus usually means its a goner, axolotls will bounce back without treatment assuming water conditions are good.

However, you should see if there is a cause to the fungus. In my personal experience and the experiences of some long-term keepers, if nitrates go up, little bits of fungus become much more likely. Have you tested your nitrate levels? You want them below 40 ppm, preferably lower.

Also, this last bit is conjecture on my part, so may not withstand scientific study, but when I started using a mix of unsoftened water and softened water (instead of straight softened water), I stopped seeing those occasional bits of gill fungus. However, at about that time, I also started doing 50% weekly water changes instead of 25%, so it could also just be lower nitrates.

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axolotl, fungus, gill, salt, salt bath, tetracycline

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