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

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Old 5th January 2006   #1
melissa
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Hi I dont know if anyone can Help me but I am only fairly new to axy's I have 5 about 3 weeks ago our First axy started to float on the top of the water & seemed very lathargic, she seemed to come right again a few days later Then did the same thing all over again, about 1.5 weeks ago she started developing what looked like mould growing over her gills, we started salt baths which seemed to clear it up heaps but with in an hour of being put back in the community tank the mould seemed to grow back worst, I went to the pet shop & was reccommened Myxazin and because two more of our axy's have just started developing the same signs we treated all 5 on the first dose the 2 that have slight signs seem to be better except that they seem drunk wobbly walking and just a bit weird my 1st axy is now very sick looking as at time I think she has died all her gills are covered as is the innerside of them, I have just placed her in the fridge in an ice cream container to see if this may help, But I am very concerned as to what else to do & how to stop it in the community tank, we even went to the full measures yesterday of stripping the tank ( which i know is a BIG no no ) but I thought maybe it was something in the tank, the only new thing we added prior to this problem starting was some live plants which i purchased from my axy supplier?
Can anyone help me further or have i done everything that is recommmened?

Thanks Mel

Ps. I have just lost My really sick axy, He passed away in the fridge over night, Note about other 4 they are all looking very lathargic now but still no more signs of fungus only I spot on one of them, We have had high 30 degree temps over christmas but this started prior to heat temps.

PPS Sorry bout posting in wrong area



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Old 6th January 2006   #2
Andy Baker
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It definatly sounds a lot like temperature problems.

When an axie is exposed to high temperatures 24C+ for long periods of time it weakens their immune system. This coupled with the fact that fungus and mold prefer to grow in these warmer climates, have contributed to your problem.

Are your axies still in their tank? If so what is the water temp? And if you have a test kit can you please post your Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH readings please.

The preferred treatment for fungal outbreaks are salt baths. You say you have been doing these? Have you been using 1 teaspoon of salt per liter of water? and have you been doing this 3 times a day?

Also how are you cooling your tank at the moment, i may be able to make a few suggestions.

Also if you have any pictures of your affected axie, it would help diagnosis if you could post a few.

I am terribly sorry about your loss. I hope i can help you before you loose any more.

(Message edited by andrew_82 on January 06, 2006)



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Old 6th January 2006   #3
alex
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my tank has been about 24 degrees for almost 2 weeks now and my axies are fine. not like wellington to be this warm. but i do agree with you andrew.



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Old 6th January 2006   #4
melissa
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Hi Andrew

I didnt have a thermometer but now i do the tank is sitting between 20 - 22 degrees at the moment, But we also have had cooler weather, we were told ice cubes added to water & ice bottles or iced water which we have tried during warmer weather, I checked out Myxazin & it is on the safe list also salt baths we were told 12 hrly which is what we done until i found your web site yesterday & found out we could put the affected axy in the fridge but I think it was a little to late for her, I am trying to take pics but they are turning out terrible so i will try again tomorrow in the light, flash just isnt helping, My black axy now has skin off both sides of her tail but not sure if it is due to being eaten during feeding or from same thing she is the one that has the one spot of fungy on her gill but that is still only a dot & isnt getting bigger so maybe what treatment i have done is keeping it at bay at moment other 4 look good, We replaced the golden axy today as it was my 6 yr olds & we didnt have the heart to tell him so we told him the axy dr made her better ( Little white lie to keep him smiling he was really worried but her)ive attached a pic of all our axys but will try to get more detail pic of black one in morning.

Thanks MelClick the image to open in full size.



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Old 6th January 2006   #5
melissa
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Hi andrew i just found someone else that posted the same problem & pictures look identical to my golden axy that passed its under
Caudata.org Newt and Salamander Forum Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) Sick Axie? Help!!! Is it Gill fungus? Christina

If that helps any

Mel



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Old 7th January 2006   #6
Andy Baker
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Hmm. Until you get your water tested I am clutching at straws to say that your nitrate levels could be too high. How much water and how often do you change it?

Your tank also looks a little over stocked. In general most people like to have 12 inches of floor space per axie. So for five axies to live comfortably you would need a 5x1 foot tank.

You can get your water tested for free at just about any pet store. I really recommend you do this otherwise treating the symptoms will do nothing unless you treat the cause aswell.

Hope this helps.



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Old 8th January 2006   #7
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I now have a problem of that my black & 1 wild coloured one are shedding skin off their tails & their tails are bend around, plus my other wild coloured one has a bent tail too but no skin shedding, i understand bent tail is stress, do you thing salt baths & placing in fridge is the way to go, as to testing i wasn't informed of any testing other then PH can you explain the need of the other testing you recommended, i will take a sample to my pet shop today not sure if they do testing but ill try.

thanks mel



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Old 8th January 2006   #8
sin
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best thing you can do melissa is invest in an ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH kit. Whilst i'm still an amateur at all this, by understanding what's happening with your water quality it can tell you what to do when things go wrong.

let us know how the testing goes.



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Old 8th January 2006   #9
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I rang my local pet shop who wants to charge a fortune to do water tests, I will go purchase the test kits that have been recommmended, PH test is still sitting between normal 7.0 & just under 6.8 roughly.

We have had no probs until we placed some grass in the tank, Which we have now removed, Ill take pics of the grass cause im not sure what sort it is but i have it in my goldfish tank as well.

I want to add some pics some are clear some are a little blurred maybe they can help.

Click the image to open in full size.

the black has one dot of white on his back, both have shedding tails & bent tails, the wild colour is stressed gills forward facing.

I have done salt bath & placed both in the fridge.

Can anyone give me instructions on the fridge & salt thingy so i make sure i'm doing it right, I presume the salt water would have to be same temp as the water in fridge?, How often do you need to do water changes in the fridge? Does the fridge need to be at a certain temp? Is it best to leave in the fridge til there is no more signs or fungus?



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Old 8th January 2006   #10
sin
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yup, the salt water needs to be the same temperature as the water they're in otherwise the temperature shock is going to be too much. I'm treating one sick little guy with fungus in the fridge at the moment, the salt bath i've been using is quite strong 3 teaspoons of salt to 1.5 litres of water, twice a day for 10 min, any longer the salt effects their gills. Cover your containers with a towel so that when you open the door the light doesn't startle them. Your fridge really needs to stay above 4 - 5 degrees (i have a small bar fridge solely for my axies which sits on 10 degrees), and keep them in there (and do the salt baths) until the fungus is gone, they don't stress so much at the cooler temperatures and it helps them heal faster. When you are ready to take them out of the fridge though, make sure you let them sit and warm up gradually otherwise the temperature shock is too much.



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Old 8th January 2006   #11
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I've found a pet shop a little further up the road & they are going to water tests for me heading there now so hopefully i'll have results to post in the next hour.



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Old 8th January 2006   #12
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Results are in I dont have levels but the water was a little high in ammonia and raised nitrate levels, she recommended a little more blue crystals & live bacteria, But reading on another web site it states that you can reduce the ammonia levels by reducing the ph level to between 6.1-6.8 is this true also, does that help any?



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Old 8th January 2006   #13
Andy Baker
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Ok first off, you shouldn't need to do salt baths as the peeling is just their slime coat. Axies shed it when it becomes damaged. This i would say would be the result of high ammonia.

As i said previously your tank is overstocked. This is most likely would have caused your first axie to develop fungus as your nitrates would be too high. The more bio load your tank has (eg number of axies) the more often you have to change water to keep nitrates in check.

Your problems now are from doing such a huge clean of everything, as you have cleaned out too much of the beneficial bacteria that used to break down your ammonia into nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. Your tank needs to re-cycle and this is going to be difficult as you have so many axies.

I would recommend that you immediately place all of your axies in the fridge (change water daily) until your ammonia levels drop to a safe level. Then one by one place them back into the tank about a week to two weeks apart from each other(keep a check on ammonia and nitrite during this process). This will allow you beneficial bacteria to regrow without risk to your axies.

DO NOT alter your PH. Doing this does nothing to the ammonia levels, but does slightly affect its toxicity. You will learn all about the relationship of ammonia and the PH when you get your test kit.

I would also try getting your water tested at another pet shop. All the petshops in my area do this for free. Most even advertise "Free water testing" on their shop fronts.



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