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

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Old 23rd June 2016   #1
NightlySkids
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Default Stressed?

I hear a lot about stressed axolotls having the curled gills, and the curled tail, however I don't ever see any example photos of the curled tail so I don't particularly know what it means.

My Axolotl Lauti often curls her tail, but never ever her gills. It usually looks like this, or just barely bent to the side. Is this a stressed curled tail or perhaps she just likes curling it?

My water perimeters are all normal for what they should be according to several posts on this website, the tank only has very slight water flow at the top from the filter and fan, it does not disturb the water below it. I feed her nightcrawlers every other day and she's nearly busting 8 inches, am I doing something wrong? She's in a 20 gallon tank and I do water changes weekly, usually 20-30%, the amount depending on the clarity of the water. Other than the curled tail she acts perfectly normal, she swims, nibbles, and eats just fine, and has plenty of places to hide under (I just got the photo from when she lays at the front of the tank, which she sometimes does). I do my best to keep the tank water below 70 degrees F, if it ever goes over it only gets to 71.

Am I doing something wrong?

(Sorry for the blurry photo! I could only get it from above!)
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Old 24th June 2016   #2
Cliff
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Default Re: Stressed?

Someone that has axolotls and more experience than me will probably join in soon. I don't think your doing much rong except the temp might be high? I have had larvae newts get stressed and die. It was more like a fish hook before they died. From your pic it looks fine to me. Might have small under water current. So it is balancing it self in the water that way? But if you have a fish hook tail it might be to late? It was for my larvae.



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Old 24th June 2016   #3
NightlySkids
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Cool Re: Stressed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canecorsonewt View Post
Someone that has axolotls and more experience than me will probably join in soon. I don't think your doing much rong except the temp might be high? I have had larvae newts get stressed and die. It was more like a fish hook before they died. From your pic it looks fine to me. Might have small under water current. So it is balancing it self in the water that way? But if you have a fish hook tail it might be to late? It was for my larvae.
I'm not sure. I have several fake plants in the water and they do not move at all. The only disturbance in the water is at the very top; I make sure to keep the tank filled well so the filter causes less water flow. But thank you so far for your help, I really appreciate the advice, even if you aren't knowledgable about axolotls :)



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Old 24th June 2016   #4
Donna
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Default Re: Stressed?

Hi there,
Please find attached a link to some information on axolotl health. It contains example pictures of an axolotl tail curled from stress.
Axolotls - Health & Diseases
As you can see from the picture it looks quite different from what your axolotl is doing.
Looking at the picture of your axolotl, and the information that you have given, I'd say that everything was fine.
If you could post your results from your most recent water test, and a few more pictures, we could be more certain.
I hope that this helps to reassure you.



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Old 24th June 2016   #5
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Default Re: Stressed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna001 View Post
Hi there,
Please find attached a link to some information on axolotl health. It contains example pictures of an axolotl tail curled from stress.
Axolotls - Health & Diseases
As you can see from the picture it looks quite different from what your axolotl is doing.
Looking at the picture of your axolotl, and the information that you have given, I'd say that everything was fine.
If you could post your results from your most recent water test, and a few more pictures, we could be more certain.
I hope that this helps to reassure you.
Thanks.
Here's my most recent water test, I know the testing strips are not as accurate but they're all I have to work with for the moment.
Nitrate: 35-40
Nitrite: 0
Ph: 7.8-8
I'm aware the ph is high, any suggestions for bringing it down some? I've heard that axolotls are quite flexible with ph but i would still like to know. Also, shes currently hiding under her favorite log so I can't get any clear photos of her tail!



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Old 24th June 2016   #6
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Default Re: Stressed?

The other problem with test strips is that they don't have an ammonia test on the 5-in-1 strip. Ammonia is the most toxic, and needs to be monitored, so you will need to get another strip that tests for ammonia, or move to a liquid test such as the API freshwater master test kit.
For information on the pH, please see the appropriate section in the attached link.
Axolotls - Requirements & Water Conditions in Captivity
I wouldn't worry about your pH at that level as it is within the acceptable range noted in the link. If you do decide to lower the pH please do not use the commercially available chemicals as they are most likely to precipitate out in your water and not actually help (going from my experience whilst cycling a fish tank previously).



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Old 24th June 2016   #7
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Default Re: Stressed?

PH is fine. Though I would purchase a liquid test kit: Welcome to API Fishcare: FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT otherwise your test results may not be accurate.

Seems your tank is cycled, but again, best to get the liquid test kit.

Your Axolotls tail is not curved it's just at an angle. Curving from stress looks like this:
Click the image to open in full size.
In most cases its a lot worse and more noticeable.

You only need to do water changes to keep your NitrAte below 40ppm. If the tank is cycled then Ammonia and Nitrite are always being converted into NitrAte by the biofilter (bacteria). Just test your water every week for Ammonia Nitrite and NitrAte, then when NitrAte is 40ppm or higher do a 20-30% water change and then test again for NitrAte to make sure its low enough.



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Old 24th June 2016   #8
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Default Re: Stressed?

Thank you all for the great replies, I'll be getting the water test kid ASAP. :) I really appreciate the help, this is a great community.



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