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Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 23rd October 2018   #1
Amber C.
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Exclamation Canít get a cycle going

I have had my axies since March. They were tiny, probably a month after hatching. Once they started to get to be about 2 inches, I started trying to cycle a tank for them. I used sand, ornaments, and a fluval filter. It took FOREVER using ammonium chloride and just waiting for the bacteria. I hadnít heard many good things about Quick Start or anything like that, so I figured I would do it the long way. I finally had nitrates forming, and continued to use the ammonium chloride until I felt sure that the bacteria could handle both axolotls. I added them to the cycles tank after a 50% water change. Three days later, the tank crashed.

That was 5 months ago, and I havenít been able to get a cycled started again after that. Same method, same filter, new media (I had a massive algae problem for some reason), and I havenít seen any nitrifying bacteria since. Iím at a total loss on what to do.

I gave in and tried Quick Start, and Dr. Timís to try to get some bacteria started, with no luck.

I donít know anyone that has freshwater aquaria that I could get some bacteria from.

What can I do? They are around 8 inches now and still growing. Iím doing a 50% water change (in their 20 gal tank) every other day. I donít want to have to do that forever. HELP!!!!



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Old 23rd October 2018   #2
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Default Re: Canít get a cycle going

So for axolotls, only do a 20%-30% maximum water change any more stresses them out.
Try using Seachem stability for seven days 2 caps the first day 1 cap other six days. Use a sponge in your filter, not a filter cartridge, they are bad for axolotls sometimes. Use Seachem AmGuard if the ammonia gets high.



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Old 25th October 2018   #3
Hayley
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Default Re: Canít get a cycle going

I'd suggest keeping the axolotls in a temporary home until you can sort the tank out. If you do the tub will need 100% water changes every day so ammonia, etc, doesn't build up. The way I would do it is to have 2 tubs so you can easily set up the second one and just move them between tubs each day. It's a lot to change it every day but generally tanks cycle better without animals. Without the axolotls in there you won't really have to do water changes unless ammonia/nitrite/nitrate gets super high.
Like Nacho said seachem stability might work for you. I used it when setting up my last tank and it seemed to work well. The ammonia source I used was spare fish food, adding a couple of pieces each day.
Your filter is fine, but you can add a sponge filter. I have a HOB filter plus a sponge.
Some live plants may help as well, something like java fern you could just tie to a decoration or let it float on top.
If you can keep the axolotls separate you can let the tank sit warmer which will help the cycle.
Hope this helps!



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Old 25th October 2018   #4
Amber C.
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Default Re: Canít get a cycle going

A few things:

I do the 50% change in sections, instead of dumping a whole 10 gallons in at once. It probably doesnít work out to be a true 50, so I think I misspoke there.

I have a 10 gal and a 2.5 gal that I used when they were smaller (the 10 gal is also where I started the first cycle before). I would like to avoid tubbing them if at all possible. Would you suggest that I leave them in the 20 gal and try to cycle in the 10 again? Or the other way around? Water changes are not a problem either way.

What would be the benefit of having two different filters? Is it just about real essays for the bacteria?

Iíll try the seachem stability next. It should work with the Dr. Timís ammonia, right?

Thanks you guys!



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Old 26th October 2018   #5
Hayley
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Default Re: Canít get a cycle going

Big water changes are only a problem when cycling because it removes a lot of the bacteria's food source thus slowing the cycle, which is why people often suggest little to no water changes. This is also why fishless cycling is faster, with fish/axolotls in there you have to do frequent water changes to stop them being exposed to ammonia and nitrite.
I wouldn't worry about trying to cycle the 10 gal. How many axies do you have, and how big are they? I would say move it into the 10 gal then put the axie in the 2.5 while you change the water in the 10 gal, but it isn't a lot of room for more than one axolotl. It might be okay to keep 2 in the 10 gal temporarily with lots of hides but they may start nipping each other.
You can keep the axies in your 20 gal tank to cycle but it may continue to be a struggle to get it going, I would give a different method a try (like mentioned, axie-less cycling).
The sponge filter isn't absolutely necessary but does provide more biological filtration and I've read in the past that it's good for nice fluffy gills. The sponge on it is an excellent home for bacteria and is easily transferred between tanks to help cycles if needed. For a 20 gal your filter is sufficient, I have a larger tank so like the extra little bit of filtration.
I think stability should be perfectly fine with the ammonia source you have :)



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