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Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 27th September 2009   #1
Kelpie
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Default Tea colored water!

As of Wednesday, I have become the proud owner of an 8in wild-type axolotl and he seems thus far to be doing quite well! His diet consists of sliced night crawlers(about 1" pieces). I have him housed in a 10 gallon tank with a sand substrate and a low current carbon filter. Temperature stays between 19.3-20.0 degrees Celsius.

Chemistry levels:
ammonia: 0.25 ppm
nitrate: 5.0 ppm
nitrite: 0 ppm
pH: 7.6

I placed three pieces of "baked" driftwood in the tank about six hours ago and came home to a tank with a light tea color. Little axo seems fine, but should I be worried about this or just wait for it to diffuse? Thanks very much!



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Old 27th September 2009   #2
Kelpie
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Default Re: Tea colored water!

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Old 27th September 2009   #3
Kerry1968
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Default Re: Tea colored water!

The 'tea coloured' water is the tannins leaking out of the wood. It doesn't harm your axie just discolours the water.You can get rid of it by regular water changes to dilute the colouration, or by taking the wood out and soaking it in a seperate bucket of water, then water changes daily until the water is clear.

Some people actually like the brownish colour of the water, I have slightly brown water in my tanks as I have lots of wood in mine. I don't mind and it seems to take along time for the colour to fade with weekly 20% water changes! Perhaps one day I have clear water!

Just be aware that some wood can alter the pH of your water, so make sure yours isn't too high or low.



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Old 27th September 2009   #4
Rayson
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Default Re: Tea colored water!

I am not so worried about the tannins. What i am more concerned about are the water parameters and temperature. Be vigilant with ammonia levels as even trace amounts can cause toxicity. Temperatures of 19-20 are on the upper limit and some axies with weaker constitutions can also get stressed as a result. It would be ideal if you can try to cool the tank down a bit and ensure good water parameters.



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Old 27th September 2009   #5
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Default Re: Tea colored water!

Yea, that tank is cycling and your axolotl definitely looks stressed.
http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml



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Old 27th September 2009   #6
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Default Re: Tea colored water!

When I used to keep tropical fish form the Amazon River I always used driftwood that would blacken my water. This is the natural color of the river and many of smaller rivers and creeks that feed it. That is why Neon tetras and other fish are so brightly colored from that area. It is hard to get noticed in such tea stained waters. This water is also has a PH of about 6.5 I know this is alittle low for Axies. I'm not sure if tannins are the cause or just help maintian this ph. But I have always thought that it was. I don't remember now if I read this somewhere. But I think it would be worth looking into. I use regular old black tea bags to blacken my water for my Mata Mata Turtles all the time but Axies come from what I beleive should be clear and cool mountain lakes and streams. So I would and do keep them that way.



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Old 27th September 2009   #7
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Default Re: Tea colored water!

I'm very glad to hear that the tea water is not a problem, though I do think I'd rather have it clear eventually.

I do also think he looks a little stressed (gills slightly turned forward, right?). I'm going to try to compensate for the cycling process by doing more frequent water changes. Ammonia levels are the same today, but I will be monitoring to make sure they go down. According to that article, looks like I want to make sure no waste hangs around in there, either, so I'll stay on top of that. Oh, and I do plan to bring that temp down to about 17C as soon as I can get my aquarium fan setup done (I've designed my own out of computer fans.)

Thanks everyone for your comments. An axo newbie needs all the help they can get! Feel free to continue to point me in the right direction.




Last edited by dragongirl413; 27th September 2009 at 21:04. Reason: Forgot a few details
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Old 27th September 2009   #8
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Default Re: Tea colored water!

There is some specific information on driftwood in aquariums here:
http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/wood.shtml
If the color becomes very noticable, I would recommend removing the wood to a bucket for a while, perhaps using boiling or hot water to accelerate the diffusion of some of the tannins.



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Old 27th September 2009   #9
Johnny O. Farnen
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Default Re: Tea colored water!

I agree with previous posts. Keep a close watch on the pH of the water and the temperatures.



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