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


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Old 8th March 2008   #1
Tom
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Unhappy help! aristotle has gone into seizure!

help!

aristotle has been fine since i got him a few weeks ago, he's always been pretty chilled and just swims around quietly and calmly and has been eating well and what-not. i have a tube in his tank for hiding, but he rarely goes in there. but thismorning i found he was hiding in there motionless, looking very frightened. when i approached the tank he suddenly went crazy and swam all over the place bumping against the edges. now he seems to pretty much either hide in the tube, or swim around wildly. it's quite hot today (about 27 celsius) so i've put an ice bottle in his tank and i've also completed a 40% water change. he doesn't show any outward signs of illness, although his gills are forward and tail is curved in the stressed manner. this all just occurred in the last 24 hours. the filter isn't creating too much flow, so that isn't bothering him, and there's not too much light anywhere. is he going to die or something?



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Old 8th March 2008   #2
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further, i have no idea what the levels of nitrite, nitrate, ammonia and ph are, and i can't afford to test them, so i've just been doing 20% water change every day since i got him. i guess it's looking grim, maybe i'll just have to go on two-minute noodles for a month and fork out the $100 or so for all the tests.



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Old 8th March 2008   #3
Eve D
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Is there a possibility that you could bring a sample of your water to a local aquarium or pet shop and have them test it for you? It might help in the meantime until you can afford the test kits.
Also if your axie is stressed maybe a little vacation in the fridge might do him good.



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Old 8th March 2008   #4
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just noticed: from all his flailing around he's managed to create a big tear in his tail, which seems to be making him even more pissed off.



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Old 8th March 2008   #5
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HI
From what I have been reading and my own experience I would get that Axie in the fridge imeediately hee calm him down - remember to change teh water daily though. You will need tonsure the water for the change is also refrigerated at same Temp. Also do salt baths in order to avoid infection on his tail. This should calm him down a bit. Again, the water you use to salt bath him must be refrigerated in order that you dont have Temp. fluctuations.

I am sure the pros will read your message shortly and give you further advice.
Good Luck!



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Old 8th March 2008   #6
Tom
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thanks for the advice. i've placed him in the fridge and he has calmed down. hopefully he'll be on the mend, assuming no one throws a lettuce or something on him. i've contacted my aquarium store and i'll hopefully get a water test tomorrow.
how salty should a salt bath be? like one teaspoon per litre or something? the poor little feller, he was doing so well. my paranormal abilities tell me he has a stomach ache, not sure why but just from watching him..



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Old 8th March 2008   #7
Jeff Altenburg
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forget the test kit- just change 10 to 20 percent of the water a week and there is no way the ph, hardness, or anything else is going to jump.

but buy a test kit anyway- they can't be more then the cost of a month and a half of food.



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Old 8th March 2008   #8
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dont worry about salt baths if the tail doesnt look infected, it should heal fine on its own if there is no infection. Salt baths will only stress him out more if they arent needed.



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Old 8th March 2008   #9
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Aristotle,

Getting water test kits are an absolute necessity! And by the sounds of it your axie is already stressed out which will inevitbaly lower it's immune system thus making it more susceptible to illness. You can always get your water tested at an aquarium (some even do it for free). Stop doing the daily 20% water changes for your tank, this isn't necessary- unless your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels high, then continue doing the water changes until they decrease. Otherwise changing the water daily when the parameters are normal is only going to stress your axie out even more. Also, regarding the test kits you can purchase some on eBay for an affordable price:

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Aquarium-Phar...QQcmdZViewItem

Good luck with your axie!

Jay.



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Last edited by Kal El; 8th March 2008 at 13:26.
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Old 8th March 2008   #10
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@ Aristotle - You're getting lots of contradictory advice. Good luck. Here's my 2p worth in summarised format:

Salt baths - Only do them if there is some infection to clear up. Salt is damaging to their gills so it's a lesser of 2 evils thing.

Water changing - Keep doing it. Daily. 100% in the small container in the fridge and 20% when back in the tank is ideal.

Temperature - Try and keep that under control. From everything you've said and knowing what your climate is like at the moment, that sounds like the most common cause of stress to your axy.


@Jay - I couldn't disagree with your comments more. Water test kits are a good idea. Sure. I'm lucky enough to afford to be able to test my water every day. Not everyone is. Perhaps Aristotle can follow your link and purchase the kit. Great.

However, if Aristotle's testing of the water showed that something was wrong then the advice would probably be to change 20% of the water every day until the levels were within an acceptable range. So, Aristotle is already performing the solution if there was a water problem and is doing good housekeeping if there isn't. So, by purchasing the test kit Aristotle would know more but the axy wouldn't be any better off. Your suggestion of stopping the 20% water change as being unnecessary, under the circumstances, seems bizarre.

No offence intended, but I'm not on your wavelength at all.



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Old 8th March 2008   #11
Jay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyl3r View Post


@Jay - I couldn't disagree with your comments more. Water test kits are a good idea. Sure. I'm lucky enough to afford to be able to test my water every day. Not everyone is. Perhaps Aristotle can follow your link and purchase the kit. Great.

However, if Aristotle's testing of the water showed that something was wrong then the advice would probably be to change 20% of the water every day until the levels were within an acceptable range. So, Aristotle is already performing the solution if there was a water problem and is doing good housekeeping if there isn't. So, by purchasing the test kit Aristotle would know more but the axy wouldn't be any better off. Your suggestion of stopping the 20% water change as being unnecessary, under the circumstances, seems bizarre.

No offence intended, but I'm not on your wavelength at all.
Tyler,

I wasn't telling Aristotle to stop performing water changes for the axie while it is in the fridge- this is necessary. And if you read my post correctly, I mentioned the tank water shouldn't be changed daily (if it isn't required). Like I said, IF the tank parameters are perfect then what's the point in changing the water? Aristotle is better off checking the parameters to see if they are within good range, then determining whether it would be ideal to continue with the daily water changes. But for now, Aristotle doesn't know what his/her (sorry matey, don't know your gender) water parameters are at so IF the parameters are within range, then it would've been just a waste of time and not to mention water (Melbourne is having a major water shortage crisis). Also, IF the parameters are normal, the daily water changes would only be disrupting the cycling of the tank because the bacteria wouldn't be getting a chance to proliferate. Yes, most people cannot afford the test kits, and I was simply trying to find the cheapest solution for Aristotle, hence why I suggested getting the water tested at the aquarium (one that does it for free).

So, to reiterate:

1. Determine the parameters (for free at an aquarium)
2. Based on the parameters (i.e. high ammonia) continue doing partial water changes. If parameters are normal then just return axie to the tank once when his/her stressed has declined.

Jay.



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Last edited by Kal El; 8th March 2008 at 14:04.
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Old 8th March 2008   #12
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@Jay - I did read your post carefully, and I don't think there's any misunderstanding on my part of what you meant. We obviously have different view points - that's what you get on a public forum. Such debate is healthy and, ultimately, creates better understanding amongst us all.

Edit: Ah. I see you've edited your original post. However, I still stand by my (un-dited) comments though. Peace.




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Old 8th March 2008   #13
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I agree with Tyler. 20% water changes daily should be done if you are unsure about your water levels. That kind of water change should not stress your axolotl out unduly or affect cycling significantly - that is why *partial* water changes are done, not large ones. I have kept my axolotl in the fridge and done 100% daily water changes for the last four days even if ammonia is 0, so using your logic Jay, he should be really stressed out, which is far from the case. So advising some one who is new to axolotls that 20% water changes are unnecessary and harmful if parameters are normal is not what I would consider appropriate advice.

In fact, I really doubt that Aristotle has cycled the tank if s/he does not have readings at all, there is no way of knowing if the tank was cycled or not. Anyway, don't worry Aristotle, many people have bought axolotls without cycling fully (including myself), here is an article on it that will help explain why testing your water is necessary:
http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml

Anyway, Aristotle, I have PM'ed you about aquariums in Melb and testing kits so hope that helps :)



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Old 8th March 2008   #14
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i thank everyone for their advice. i'm really disturbed by aristotle's behavior. he's been in the fridge for many hours, and yet he still appears to be in great pain, ignoring food and continually trying to flee in terror from some invisible enemy, although with decreasing vigor. i fear that the end is nearing for aristotle, i wish there was something i could do for the fellow, i guess so little is known in terms of axolotl medicine in comparison to human medicine. there's no one out there who can help aristotle if he has a stroke or prostate cancer or something, such needs will never be catered for, for the lowly axolotl.

i must admit that it is all probably my fault. the other day i threw caution to the wind and decided to give him a treat; i purchased a feeder fish from my local aquarium and fed it to him immediately, with no quarantine. i assumed that all of the talk of infection was sensationalism, but what a fool i was. i think he has a severe pain in his stomach due to this inbred diseased feeder fish from the chinatown aquarium. watching him, i feel like pulling him from his container and chopping his head off, just to bring an end to his suffering. he appears to be in such terrible pain. hopefully he'll make it through and won't be too scarred by this experience, that his personality won't be affected, that he'll live to be a wise old axolotl and recover from this harrowing event.. he was such an easy-going jolly fellow, i couldn't bear to see him die at my hands.



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Old 8th March 2008   #15
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Don't beat yourself up, Tom. We all do things from time to time that are far from text book and sometimes the results are more serious than others. You might have caused the situation and you might not. If I had to put some money on it, I'd bet a small amount that this was just a coincidence. (Although, if you bet then you have to accept that sometimes you'll back the wrong horse.) What matters is that you're (and we're) trying our best to help him now.

You've provided us with some more information (feeder fish) which might or might not have any bearing on his situation. Either way, I think the recommendation going forwards hasn't changed. ie. fridging and daily water changes with dechlorinated water. If he's not underweight then I don't think feeding is something to be concerned about at the moment.

You say that he's "...continually trying to flee in terror from some invisible enemy..." which suggests to me that you're continually watching him... or disturbing him. A natural thing to do, but perhaps the absolute darkness of the fridge door being closed followed by the bright light of opening the fridge door and inspecting him is the thing he's reacting to now. Some people suggest wrapping the container in a tea towel or other light preventing cover so as to reduce this on-off-ness of the lighting. This might reduce his 'terror'.

The nature of the written word makes it really difficult for us to picture what you're seeing. If you can do this easily then perhaps a quick youtube of his behaviour might cast a bit more light.

Personally, I think you're a long way from chopping his head off. Easy for me to say, but I think you should try and calm yourself down a bit: Go for a long bike ride. Watch your favourite film. Try and get a kiss from your special girl (or boy). Whatever floats your boat. The old cliché of time being a great healer is often so true.



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Old 9th March 2008   #16
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Sarah,

Point taken and each to their own.
You mentioned that you were doing 100% water changes for your axie while it was in the fridge- that's fine, I have nothing against that (in fact, I strongly recommend it). But to tell me that your axie wasn't stressed out and this should be the same logic when doing partial water changes to your tank while your axie is in there is very misleading. You see, when you do 100% water changes, you are placing your axie back into the fridge- a place that will reduce it's stress significantly. However, in the tank there aren't any stress free zones if your going to be continuously altering the water levels. The fridge is not the same as the tank.

As for the partial water changes, I made a point of emphasising that IF Tom's parameters were out of the norm, then he should continue doing the 20% water changes. However, nobody knows that (not even Tom) which why I said he should get his water tested first prior to performing partial water changes. Sarah, I'm assuming that your tank has been cycled properly- do you do partial water changes on a daily basis? I don't think so. The same thing stands for Tom, IF his tank has been cycled properly then doing partial water changes is only going to cause more trouble for his axie and the beneficial bacteria within the tank.
Without knowing what the water parameters are first and just going ahead and doing partial water changes doesn't make sense in the slightest. That is the equivalent to walking into a war zone and not knowing who the enemy is.

Jay.



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Old 9th March 2008   #17
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I do 20% water changes once or twice a week in a cycled tank. I have never noticed my axolotl being stressed out by this even though I occasionally remove him from the tank to do more thorough cleans. I would not have a problem doing 20% water changes daily actually but I don't feel I need to. You (but your post is now edited) told the original poster not to do "pointless" water changes. You advised a member here who is unlikely to have cycled (for a starters, they have no way of knowing) the tank to STOP doing water changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal El
As for the partial water changes, I made a point of emphasising that IF Tom's parameters were out of the norm, then he should continue doing the 20% water changes. However, nobody knows that (not even Tom) which why I said he should get his water tested first prior to performing partial water changes.
If you don't know your parameters and you are likely to have ammonia, you don't advise someone to wait until they have test results BEFORE doing water changes, you tell them to wait until AFTER they have proper results before stopping water changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by "Kal El
he same thing stands for Tom, IF his tank has been cycled properly then doing partial water changes is only going to cause more trouble for his axie and the beneficial bacteria within the tank.
Again, by this logic, any 20% water change is going to disrupt bacteria somewhat. I don't agree that this means that the cycling of the tank will be distrupted significantly or that it will cause stress to your axolotl. People without filters have to change their tank water by about this much every day to second day and as a filter is not listed as a requirement for keeping axolotls, so I really doubt it is going to be a stressor for an axolotl.




Last edited by Saspotato; 9th March 2008 at 03:08. Reason: last sentence was not clear initially
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Old 9th March 2008   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyl3r View Post
I think you should try and calm yourself down a bit: Go for a long bike ride. Watch your favourite film. Try and get a kiss from your special girl (or boy). Whatever floats your boat.
I didn't really come here for inspirational life advice, but hey sure. Anyway, I was off my trolley last night and now have a pretty mean hang over. Nevertheless, Aristotle still seems unhappy. I'm not worried about stressing him by doing water changes or checking up on him, he's always been a pretty relaxed dude, usually not fazed by minor disturbances. Now, however, he seems to be constantly disturbed by something. He's worn himself out, but despite being in the fridge and what-not he appears to be continually flinching and trying to swim. Usually he (and most axolotls, from what I can gather) just kind of hangs out, motionless. But yeah, he's just been pinballing and thrashing around. It's slowed now, either due to the lowered temp or that he's out of steam but you can still see that he's freaking out. I'm pretty sure it's not toxins in the water, because with the 100% fresh dechlorinated water changes he is still disturbed. He must be fighting demons within, possibly in his stomach.

Here's a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv1QUq7QY4Y

All the stuff in the bucket is bloodworm that I tried to feed him just previous to a water change. Does he look skinny?



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Old 9th March 2008   #19
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He looks fine to me in the video. Good body shape and he looks to have good gills. Normal movement for an axolotl, not thrashing from what i could see or was that one of his quiet moments?



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Old 9th March 2008   #20
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I've just looked at your video of your pretty little axolotl and size wise to me he looks fine, and to be honest he doesn't look too frantic there either ( ok he may have chilled a bit) .. I'm not too sure what other may think but his movements with his hind legs really reminded me of how my female was when egg laying, I wonder if he is needing to pass something. Out of curiosity what feeder fish did you give him ?.
I think your best course of action is to keep him covered in the fridge ( no lower than 5 degrees) with a cloth to prevent light startling him and see how he does..continue with the daily water changes too.



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