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

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Old 17th June 2016   #1
MarcKamil
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Question Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

I have two juvenile Axies that I purchased about 2 months ago. Recently the larger one of the two (Deoxy) is intermittently writing around violently. He does this mostly at night, and it will go on for about a half hour, before he calms down and appears once again healthy. I learned yesterday that forward turned gills can be a sign of stress. Deoxy has always had forward turned gills, so I'm wondering if he is just like that naturally? The other Axolotl Tesla has displayed none of these symptoms and remains happy and healthy. Both are eating normally and do not attack each other.
Here's a couple pics... The top two are pictures taken today of Deoxy. I was unable to document the Writhing on account of it only happens from time to time, again, usually at night. (it started 4 days ago)
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

here's tesla. Looking healthy. (so I don't think it's a water related problem??)
Click the image to open in full size.

please let me know what you think, I'm really worried about Deoxy!



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Old 17th June 2016   #2
Donna
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

Hi MarcKamil and welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear that your axolotl is unwell. I am fairly new to this myself, but there are a lot of very experienced breeders/keeprs on this forum and I'm sure that they will be able to give you some advice.

Best of luck.



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Old 17th June 2016   #3
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

thanks Donna! I cleaned up the tank a bit, did a 50% water change, and he hasn't had an incident all afternoon, so I'm hoping it won't start up again tonight.



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Old 18th June 2016   #4
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

Update:
Deoxy seemed better, (no incident that I was aware of yesterday) but he just had another spell this morning, writhing so much he caused some splashing. he then swam down to the substrate and calmed down. he seems totally normal now.



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Old 18th June 2016   #5
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

sorry to keep posting like this...
Deoxy had another episode about an hour again and discharged a pretty massive amount of stool. I thought, oh, okay, he was constipated... But about an hour later he had another episode. no stool. He seems like he's trying to scratch his side with his back leg. He's floating now, (appears alert and not ill) his gills seem paler than normal though.

if anyone has had anything like this happen, please let me know. I'm terrified he's getting sicker and I can't do anything!



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Old 18th June 2016   #6
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

after more research and the discovery that my stupid head didn't come up with the word "thrashing"
I think it could be a water quality problem, despite the fact that I dechlorinate, and the lotyls have been living happily in this water for over 2 months now. (also tesla is completely fine)
So I ordered a test kit, and in the meantime I cut the top off of a gallon jug of spring water and am keeping Deoxy in there for observation. (my QT tank has the same water as the lotyl tank)



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Old 19th June 2016   #7
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

Hi Marc,

When you have tested your water parameters, if you want to post them we will try to help.
Did you cycle your tank prior to getting your axolotls? Or perhaps you have given the tank a very thorough clean recently (including filter) and caused a mini-cycle.
Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling
If this is the case then it may be worth keeping your axolotl in the smaller container with 100% dechlorinated water daily water changes, until your cycle is complete.
Even if you are using spring water you will still needs to dechlorinated as it also deals with other stuff as well as chlorine.

Let us know how you get on.



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Old 20th June 2016   #8
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

General hardness - 140
Carbonate Hardness - 40
Ph - 7
NO2 - 0.5
NO3 - 5

None of that looks bad to me. (again Tesla is displaying no symptoms and has been in the water all weekend.

Deoxy seems better after quarantine in dechlorinated spring water.

should I put him back in the tank after my weekly 20% water change today?



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Old 20th June 2016   #9
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

Have you tested for ammonia?
I use the API freshwater master test kit.
Welcome to API Fishcare: FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT
Usually results for a fully cycled tank are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and up to 40 nitrates (depending on baseline tap water levels).



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Old 26th June 2016   #10
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

I tested for ammonia.
water quality was good, so after a few days of quarantine I put Deoxy back in the tank and he is doing well. Gills are pink again, no thrashing. eating and pooping normally. I guess whatever was ailing him passed out of his system.



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Old 26th June 2016   #11
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Default Re: Axolotyl Stressed and Writhing around

That's great news. I'm glad to hear that Deoxy is back to normal.



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