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

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Old 28th April 2014   #1
Vision
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Default Is my Axy sick???

Hi all,
We are new axolotl owners and I'm a little paranoid that our buddy might be sick. My wife and I have both spent a considerable amount of time trying to learn what we can from these forums but I'm just a little uneasy about a couple things as of late, so I'm hoping someone can provide some answers.

A little history: we bought "Grindy" from a pet store about six weeks ago. We brought it home (hopefully someone can help us find the sex) and added her to our tank with out 3 tetras whom we were told would be compatible tank mates. After about a week we realized that this was bad advice as Grindy's gills were being eaten and back legs were mysteriously getting shorter.

So, common sense suggested that we remove the tetras which we did and after about a week or so Grindy began acting a lot different. More active, more poops, eating better etc. Since then we've noticed significant growth and more activity. Gills have grown back to full and back legs are looking really good too. However, some little white spots close to belly on either side have developed as well as what ( I think ) is forward gills.
Grindy still eats as usual, and is pretty playful when you feed by hand. Likes to rub up on fingers etc. Still active, crawling along sand and swimming up and around.

A few signs suggest that nothing is wrong but then a few suggest there might be some issues.

Water is fine and we change it and condition it about 15-20% a week.

Please, someone ease my mind and let us know if there might be any issues.

Also, I assume it is a wild type???
Any idea on sex???

Thanks all.

PS. Grindy is pronounced with soft "i" as in Grindylow from Harry Potter ( yes. Super nerdy)
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Old 28th April 2014   #2
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Default Re: Is my Axy sick???

It looks too young to sex.

What are your actual water parameters? (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?) Is the tank cycled?

Other than that question, I don't really see anything wrong per se.



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Old 28th April 2014   #3
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Default Re: Is my Axy sick???

The gills look like they have curved forward enough for it to be a concern yet, but the white spots do look odd - is the tank regularly cleaned and is the water not too warm? The optimum temperature for axolotls is 18c.
When the tips of his/her toes turn white it means it is reaching maturity, and maybe then you can give sexing it a go!
Good luck with finding out what's wrong, she (or he) is adorable!



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Old 28th April 2014   #4
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Default Re: Is my Axy sick???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letitluce View Post
The gills look like they have curved forward enough for it to be a concern yet, but the white spots do look odd - is the tank regularly cleaned and is the water not too warm? The optimum temperature for axolotls is 18c.
When the tips of his/her toes turn white it means it is reaching maturity, and maybe then you can give sexing it a go!
Good luck with finding out what's wrong, she (or he) is adorable!
Gill curling in adults aren't a major concern for stress, it is usually juveniles.

The white spots look like iridophores. Shine a light onto them and if they are reflective it's okay and part of their skin. If it's cloudy then it could be a slime coat issue and tea baths and correct water parameters will help.

Toes turning white in wilds/melanoids and dark in leucistics/golds does not mean maturity. Juveniles develop this too. You can start sexing them from 12 months up depending how big or small they are and how quickly/slowly they grow.



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Old 28th April 2014   #5
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Default Re: Is my Axy sick???

Sorry about my incorrect facts - the internet is full of different information!



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Old 28th April 2014   #6
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I'll update water parameters shortly.
Any suggestions as to how to cool the water? Might be a tiny bit high.
And just to clarify, gills do or don't look like they are forward??


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Old 28th April 2014   #7
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Default Re: Is my Axy sick???

You can use a fan pointed across the surface of the water to help cool the tank, but if this is going to be a regular issue you might want to invest in an aquarium chiller. Axies are coldwater animals - it's essential that they be kept stably cool, under 20c.

Its gills look fine.



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Old 28th April 2014   #8
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Tank is consistantly at 19.5 - 20c. Kept in a reasonably cold part of the house. I heard chillers are super expensive so is like to avoid that if that's the case.
Anyway. Parameters are:
Ph-7.5
Am-.25ppm
NO2-0ppm
NO3-close to 0ppm



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Old 28th April 2014   #9
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Default Re: Is my Axy sick???

It looks like you haven't cycled your tank. You'll need to do daily water changes to ensure the levels are safe enough for your axolotl to live in. A fully cycled tank reads 0 ammonia and nitrites, with a reading but less than 40ppm nitrates.

If you don't have time to do mass water changes in the tank daily you can take him out and put him in a tub with 100% daily water changes and providing an ammonia source for your big tank.



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Old 29th April 2014   #10
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Hmm? We've had the tank up and running for about 12 months. We've had fish/aqua frogs/snails in the past but decided to give the axie a go so as to provide a little more interaction for our kids. Before the axie went in, the tank had only the snails for about 4-5 weeks.
I'm not an expert at all so I don't mean to sound like I know what I'm talking about.

How am I to make sure the tank is "cycled" if it hasent already??


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Old 29th April 2014   #11
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Also, I'll keep an eye on temp and levels but I'm really only concerned if my axie is sick, don't want to start freaking out about anything if he/she is doing fine and I'm just paranoid for no reason


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Old 29th April 2014   #12
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Default Re: Is my Axy sick???

According to your readings it's uncycled as there is no trace of nitrates. Or you tested wrong/faulty test. Is the test in date?

Did you do anything to crash the cyr like change substrate or remove substrate, new filter, new media etc?



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Old 29th April 2014   #13
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Everything in the tank has been there for six weeks.
We did change the substrate, but a long time ago. Test is brand new. I'll do it again to make sure.
I did clean the sponge etc for the filter but in tank water while doing a water change.


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Old 29th April 2014   #14
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Default Re: Is my Axy sick???

How did you rinse the sponge? If you cleaned it in old tank water it should be fine, but if you rinsed it under tap water it is very likely that killed off the beneficial bacteria.



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Old 30th April 2014   #15
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Default Re: Is my Axy sick???

During the summer I float frozen water bottles to keep the temperature down



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