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

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Old 12th August 2018   #1
mdtaylor
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Default Conservation of mass violation

Hi all,
Finally got my tank cycled... it took about three months, but it's stable. Kimchee's appetite hasn't gone away! I'm feeding him on Hikari carnivore pellets, maybe six to eight a day plus the occasional bloodworm. Somehow he almost never makes a poo, though! By my count, it's been about a week since his last (which was a big one).

He doesn't seem to show any discomfort and is still very active and perpetually asking for more treats, but I'm a little concerned about overfeeding him. He likes to swim around and crawl through his PVC pipes, but he hasn't been floating at all. He's just under 8 inches long and has the standard 1:1 body width to head width ratio. I just don't understand where all the mass is going... it seems like so much more goes in than comes out. Is this any reason for concern, or is he just very efficient?
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Old 12th August 2018   #2
tundrabadger
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Default Re: Conservation of mass violation

Have you checked inside the pipes? My axies are absolute demons for poop hiding. or maybe it's getting caught underneath something? I can also tell you mine aren't always great poopers. I don't fully understand how their digestion works, so that statement does not make sense to me, but there it is.



I wouldn't worry about the floating if he seems happy otherwise....I've got two of mine in a tank together, same water, same diet, they're about the same age, and one floats a fair bit, the other I have never seen float even after she goes up to gulp air. but they are still both active and apparently happy and healthy axolotls. It sounds like he's active, so it could be floating just isn't his cup of tea.



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Old 12th August 2018   #3
Tye
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Default Re: Conservation of mass violation

There's a chance your axolotl is eating the poop before you find it. They are known to do that sometimes. If you have the time, do more frequent checks. I wouldn't be worried until you notice heavy floating issues of the rear or a complete refusal of food for a few days.



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Old 15th August 2018   #4
mdtaylor
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Default Re: Conservation of mass violation

Thanks for the replies... Still no poo discoveries. I've checked pretty thoroughly around the tank, and moved everything around during his water change yesterday, but there isn't much aside from a little snowy detritus on the glass bottom. I imagine that's mostly biomass from the sponge filters, etc, because his pellets are pretty dark-colored. The water stays crystal clear.

I check the tank pretty regularly. There's a blind spot while I'm at work during the day (~8 hours), and a smaller one when I sleep (~5 hours) but I go to look at him at least once every hour or two otherwise. Given how perpetually hungry he is, I could see him trying to eat it, but that still wouldn't solve the conservation of mass issue... and I doubt it's just completely dissolving, because usually there's *some* trace of it still.

It's been 12 days now... and he still seems fine (if a little chubby) and hasn't been floating. Still wiggly as always. Today he ignored some food, which is pretty unusual for him, but it was also bloodworms instead of his usual pellets since I figured maybe eating only pellets for awhile might have contributed.

Anyways... still sort of concerned, but glad that nobody seems to be terribly worried based on what I shared earlier. I know the frequently-mentioned cure is fridging (which I had to do when I first got him because he was on death's door) but I'd hate to stress him out unnecessarily, and it's still a scary prospect. Do you think I should keep waiting it out, or let him have a day in the fridge to see if that uncorks him?

Also, forgot to put them in the message below, but here are the parameters:
pH: 7.0
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite:0ppm
Nitrate: ~30ppm
Temperature: 64F and steady
Hardness: Slightly soft GH, frustratingly soft KH

Thanks all!



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Old 17th August 2018   #5
mdtaylor
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Default Re: Conservation of mass violation

Aaaaaaand boom. He's better.

I still think he has a weird pocket dimension inside him though, because I have no idea where he was keeping that massive loaf. I had fed him a tiny bit of beefheart yesterday in the hopes that maybe it'd grease the gears, and I'm not sure if that's what did it or not, but it sure seems like it.

I had been feeding him exclusively on Hikari pellets while cycling his tank because they didn't leave a mess everywhere, and he'd always snatch them as they fell. They get nice and soft pretty quickly in the water, but I'm wondering (especially since a few other posts hint at this) if they either expand or stay dry in the middle if they get eaten right away, and he just got a bit corked up. Anyone else think that seems right? Thanks for the support!

...I remember one of the earlier posts I read after getting Kimchee said something along the lines of... "If you keep an axolotl, sooner or later you're going to start talking about poop. People you know will get sick of it. But that won't stop you from excitedly telling all your friends and neighbors about your axolotl's majestic byproducts."



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Old 18th August 2018   #6
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Default Re: Conservation of mass violation

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdtaylor View Post
...I remember one of the earlier posts I read after getting Kimchee said something along the lines of... "If you keep an axolotl, sooner or later you're going to start talking about poop. People you know will get sick of it. But that won't stop you from excitedly telling all your friends and neighbors about your axolotl's majestic byproducts."



That is true. it's like becoming a parent and for a while your entire conversational range is baby poo.



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