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



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Old 6 Days Ago   #1
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Default Help please - tank tantrum!

Hi everyone,
Hope Iíve posted this correctly in the right place? My apologies if not.

Iíll put you in the picture before I ask you my questions (bear with me, I have a tendency to ramble!).

So, I already have an established and currently very happy & stable (dare I utter that word :)) tropical tank.

Recently I decided to set up another tank (45l) for an axolotl. I set it up with a slate bottom and the filter that came with the tank which is an internal one that turns over 340/hr and is suitable for up to 68l tank. By happy coincidence it has a waterfall type effect back into the tank which made it ideal for the low flow preferred by the axolotl.* I put some live Anubis in, attached to an ornament as well as several Marimo moss balls and some java moss wrapped around 3 small rocks. Off we went adding food each day to the tank to kick start the cycle (as well as several aqua pure aquarium balls). A couple of weeks in I switched to dosing the aquarium with a few pure Ammonia drops (dr Timís) as Iíd read that this was better. After a few weeks of testing (api master) the tests finally showed that the tank was 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 20ppm Nitrates. So a week later I popped in our 9 month old axolotl (already 7Ē).

A few days later I noticed the anubias plants didnít look so good - some were turning darker green in patches and seemed to be sort of melting - (despite being assured that anubias would cope fine with 18c temp and low lighting) I put it down to*them not coping and took out the ornament with the plants attached (good thing too as they were all rotting and falling apart! Only managed to rescue part of 2 of them into my tropical tank). I replaced them with some silk plants. During this period I remember we did have a power cut of over 2-3 hours but didnít give that much thought.

Shortly after all this my daily readings began to show traces of ammonia 😱 and I began doing daily water changes of 35-50%. A week of testing showed no change 🤔

So I did some research and thought of boosting the bacteria by couriering an order of Fritz-Zyme Turbo Start live bacteria. But then I had a brainwave and given Iíd got a huge amount of media in my tropical tank - I made a small bag to replace a phosphate sponge in the axolotl tank filter and filled it with lots of small pieces of ceramic media from the tropical tank to double the media content available but mainly place established media in to hopefully begin to aid the tank tantrum I was seeing. Brainwave thought I!! That feels like 2 weeks ago at least but there has been no change in the ammonia readings which hold steady at 0.5 before a water change and 0.25 after one. Nitrites are at 0 and Nitrates are still at 20ppm (they start at this though in our tap water locally). Iím using Seachem Prime as of the past few days (was using API Stress Coat but research showed me that Prime would aid in neutralising the ammonia whilst the tank recovers).

So, if you are still awake after all that :) my questions are:
- Have I done the right thing by adding some established media inside the filter?
- How long will it take for me to see results to know if itís working?
- Would it be beneficial to get the Fritz-Zyme anyway or would this be overkill?
- Will the media be enough to support the Axolotl or is there a possibility that there isnít enough media to populate enough bacteria to cope with the load?

The tank does have an air stone close to the filter to aid with good oxygen. Iíve reduced feeding for the axolotl to every other day in order to keep Ammonia levels down a little.

Apologies for the epic novel but Iím starting to never see an end to the daily water changes and hovering over the tank assessing axolotl gill shape, colour, fluff, skin tone, ďis she eating enoughĒ etc etc, like a weird stalker 🙄.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Many thanks.

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Old 3 Days Ago   #2
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Default Re: Help please - tank tantrum!

A 45l tank is far too small for a 7" axolotl. They generate a lot of mess, so that is why you will be getting ammonia readings I recon.
A single adult axolotl needs at least 70l of water, but more important is the footprint of the tank - the bigger the better. I've just put our 6 month old 7" axie into a 30" x 18" tank as they were visibly frustrated in the 68l 2' tank they were in.

I've got good success with getting tanks to cycle using a combination of seachem prime, seachem stability and pure aquarium balls (make sure the axolotl cannot eat these).

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