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



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Old 4th January 2019   #1
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Exclamation Shrunken/frayed looking gills?

Hi there! I've been an Axolotl mom for about 3 years now and I've never had any issues until now. My baby Neptune seems to have some form of damage on his gill filaments. They used to be long and fluffy but the ends now look like they were almost burned off or something?? I've seen similar posts to this but not exact so I figured I'd officially ask for some opinions. 😞

Some other info that might help (but I have no idea, I'm just trying to come up with anything at this point):

1) we recently moved into a new house in which the coolest place to put him was in our very large walk-in closet. And a couple weeks ago I realized he gets little to no light in there during this time of year so I bought an artificial sunlight lamp that stays on in there during the day. The light isn't pointed directly at him, of course, and it's much less harsh than the actual closet light being on. But I'm wondering if there is a possibility that the lack of light could have been a factor?

2) I recently realized (because of this situation) that I drastically have been over Priming the water. This has never been an issue before, but we also recently removed the sand from his tank because we felt it just made things dirtier and he grew up with a bare bottom tank so he's used to that already. Not sure if maybe the sand was keeping the water quality bad and therefore the over use of Prime wasn't a huge deal? And now that the water is cleaner maybe it hurt him?

At first I was worried that it was fungus but it doesn't really look like it. He had a white spot on his head which is why I initially thought so, but he swam around and it fell off. So again, I'm thinking it's a skin issue. But has anyone had experience with the possible side effects of using too much Prime? Any opinions and info would be greatly appreciated! I just want to make sure I'm doing all that I can for him.

PS. He eats completely normally, doesn't act super stressed or anything, and also his tank stays between 17 to 19 degrees C. I don't keep up with testing the water because I never seemed to have issues, but since this occurrence I have tested and the only thing I noticed was ammonia was a little high. Because of this, I thoroughly searched his tank and found some old poo in one of his hides and since then have been doing small water changes every day to get ammonia back to normal.

I'll also attach pictures of his gills before and after. Thank you guys again for any advice!
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Old 22nd January 2019   #2
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Default Re: Shrunken/frayed looking gills?

A lack of light shouldn't do any harm to the axie so that shouldn't be an issue. It does look like ammonia burns. Removing the sand would take out a lot of beneficial bacteria which may have caused the spike, as well as the hidden poop. Test the water at least once a week and do small water changes every couple of days to bring down the ammonia. If you are using prime it can throw ammonia results so try not to test straight after a water change (wait until the next day).
Was the white spot on the head fungus?

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axolotl advice, axolotl gills

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