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Old 15th February 2018   #1
Lily
(lilyrose08)
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Unhappy My axolotl has been looking really stressed! Help?

Hi there,

I've had my axolotl for 3 weeks now, he was born in mid December, and he'd been getting along brilliantly and growing by the second! He's in a 15L bare bottom tank with no filter temporarily as he grows up a little, with a couple small hides, a rock and an airstone.

I noticed just yesterday that his gills are extremely curled round! He usually gets a little curly gills during a water change understandably, but within an hour he's back to his normal active swimmy self. But, since yesterdays water change and through all of today his gills are extremely curled round. I know I could be paranoid and worried over nothing but better safe than sorry!
I'll include all the relevant info I can think of below to see if anyone can offer advice to something I could be doing differently.

We do daily almost full water changes and rinse his tank furniture every couple days too. At first I noticed just how stressed he would get when doing water changes because his gills would curl round and sometimes panic swim about, so I adapted how I did it.

Now instead of taking him out the tank to do a full clean every two days we do it every week, but still keeping up his almost full water changes daily. I even use a much smaller tube now to siphon water out and back in again. (It takes ages! But I think it makes a difference in his stress levels)

I feed him frozen bloodworm, up to one and a half cubes a day now he's bigger. I do this with fairly consistent timing.

I cover his tank with cardboard to block out direct light.

He has an airstone in there with him in a corner, on just a little so as not to affect water flow. I added it within the last week to increase oxygen levels after I noticed his consistent swimming to the surface for oxygen, and he recieved it well and as far as I can tell, he's used to it.

Nitrite levels are consistently 0ppm, Nitrate is between 10 and 20ppm (after filtering tap water through a nitrate filter), and this little guy produces up to 0.75-1.0ppm Ammonia in 24 hours between changes!

My 64L tank is almost ready and cycled, and I'm worried it'll prolong the stress if I move him into an entirely new area, with new things like plants and sand, if he'll be more stressed for longer. But at the same time I know that the daily water changes stress him as much as they do, I'm wondering if anything will really change how he's feeling other than consistency.

He's a lovely little energetic cutie, with a very curious side to him. Any advice or opinion that can help me take care of him better is entirely welcome!
Thank you!
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Old 16th February 2018   #2
DSaxolotl
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Default Re: My axolotl has been looking really stressed! Help?

Hello,

What is your tank temperature at? Having no filter is bad idea even in a small tank you can go for simple sponge filter or some hang on back. Having ammonia 0.75 to 1ppm is bad. That kind of ammonia will sure stress your axie.

In my opinion the cycled tank should have 0 ammonia at all times, and yours just cant because you do not have filter.

Doing your water changes also helps to dilute it but i would use a filter for best results. Do you use something to treat your water for chor/amines ? API Prime?

Cycled filter will help you to keep ammonia to 0 and will also help you reduce water changes.

Check your temperature that is not too high and invest in a filter!

Btw your axie looks so cute :)



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Old 17th February 2018   #3
Lily
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Default Re: My axolotl has been looking really stressed! Help?

Thank you for replying!

The reason I didn't put a filter in this tank is because it was meant to be temporary while my bigger tank cycled, also because he's still so small! You're right though, it's definitely the amount of ammonia he produces so fast! I'm going to move him into the bigger tank as soon as possible, and up my daily cleaning routine.

I'll even update in a few days when he's in :)



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Old 17th February 2018   #4
DSaxolotl
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Default Re: My axolotl has been looking really stressed! Help?

You always need working biological filter no mater whatever you are keep or how small it is.

You can keep one little guppie and it will still produce ammonia, keep in mind ammonia is produced from decaying organic matter, including foods, poop, plants etc. And axies are extremely messy. Having ammonia in the water will cause and be source of alot of issues such as skin burns,open door for sickness and other infections.

And remember the smaller the tank is the easiest you can foul your water quality and conditions. Esp in small tank like yours at 15L.

May I suggest something like API Prime for the ammonia and dechlorinating the new water. It is a brilliant product that is concentrated in ~100ml bottle that can treat like 4000l of water and that is ALOT of water changes. All you need is small syringe and add the appropriate amount it when you do a water change. It will help lock down ammonia, nitrates and nitrities for a short amount of time as well as dechlorinate your tap.


Btw can you post picture of your new bigger tank?



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