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

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Old 5th March 2019   #1
Didake
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Unhappy Cloudy tank and algae everywhere!

Hi, I'm a new axolotl owner and I need urgent help with my tank.

I've had Mizu (my leucistic axolotl) for roughly 2 months now, and I'm really concerned about the state of my tank. It's a 20 gallon tank, with very fine white sand as substrate, three natural plants. a cave as a hide and an air stone. It has installed a backpack filter (https://www.amazon.com/Fluval-14001-...gateway&sr=8-1) set on low to minimize the flow and also a couple of fans to keep it cool (always under 68 °F if possible).
Mizu has been growing non-stop since I brought him home, eating an earthworm and some axolotl pellets everyday since it's still pretty young, and as far as I'm concerned it looks very happy and healthy in his new house.

But the problem isn't Mizu's health, the problem is the tank. I've had some issues ever since i set it up, having to wait sometime for the substrate to set on the bottom when filing it with water, or reducing even more the flow by attaching a sponge into the filter exit because it was disturbing my axolotl. But now those problems seem to be solved.

What isn't solved, and matter of fact is becoming worse, is the algae on the tank. It started to appear the first weeks, attaching to the plants, the cave and also the walls of the aquarium, but at first I thought I had it under control. The water was crystal clear, and a 20% water change every week and some scrapping on the glass looked like a fine solution. But I was wrong! The algae, that I don't even now if it's algae and what type it could be (very fine white filaments that attach to everything), has been growing and growing, and now it's out of control. The water has become very cloudy and I don't know if that's also an algae thing.

Mizu looks fine by now, but I'm concerned, not only about the looks of the tank, but also about the axolotl's health. I always add the water to the tank treated, and I cycled the aquarium with SERA biostart before introducing Mizu. I clean all the poop as soon as i see it and never leave any food that hasn't been eaten. I even control the amount of light that the tank gets to try to stop algae from appearing.

I don't know what else to do, and I'm starting to get worried. Is there any solution to the problem, or have I been doing something wrong? Any help would be much appreciated.

One last thing, sorry for my bad English (I'm from Spain) and also I think it's important to say that I don't have any kind of experience with aquatic pets or aquariums maintenance at all.

:)



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Old 6th March 2019   #2
Hayley
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Default Re: Cloudy tank and algae everywhere!

Can you attach a photo of the tank, especially the algae? And what are your water parameters?
Is the tank near a window? Algae will go crazy in natural light, I have to scrub my outdoor turtle tank weekly because of the algae.
The cloudy tank may be from the algae, but it may also be a bacterial bloom. This can happen and does sort itself out, with weekly water changes as you are doing.
What kind of live plants are in the tank? If you can also attach a pic of Mizu as well it might help.



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Old 6th March 2019   #3
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Default Re: Cloudy tank and algae everywhere!

Hi Hayley!

Ok, I will attach some photos. About the parameters I haven't checked them, should I buy some water tests?

The tank is near the window of my room, but I keep it dark most of the day since I'm at university all morning and I don't get much light in the evening.

Regarding the plants, there's an Elodea, a Ceratophyllum demersum and another one that I couldn't identify but it's shown in the pictures.

Thanks for the help!

Click the image to open in full size.
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(Here is the links to the photos since the images weren't loading on my computer https://imgur.com/a/WeoNvCf )




Last edited by Didake; 6th March 2019 at 17:22. Reason: Link
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Old 8th March 2019   #4
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Default Re: Cloudy tank and algae everywhere!

I'm sorry I can't help with the algae I've never seen that before.
However I can recommend that you get a test kit I like API freshwater test kithttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B000255NCI..._1MCGCbGDBR91S

Knowing the parameters of your tank will help you solve lots of problems and manage your axolotls health

Is your tank cycled? Tank cycling is an important part of making an axolotl home that many beginners don't know about.
Here is a guide to the nitrogen cycle that I like I'm sorry I only have one in English.

Good luck with your very cute axolotl!



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Old 8th March 2019   #5
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Default Re: Cloudy tank and algae everywhere!

We’ve had cloudy tank and algae issues in the past and discovered our filter wasn’t working properly..... The water was being sucked up fine, but then overflowing inside and going back into the tank without being filtered.... might be worth checking that out.
Draping a towel to completely cover the tank for 2 or 3 days can help too - the algae all comes together to become something that can be sucked up into the filter or scooped out with a net.... There are also commercial water treatments you can buy too...



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Old 9th March 2019   #6
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Default Re: Cloudy tank and algae everywhere!

The cloudy water looks like it could be a bacterial bloom but the white algae stuff has me stumped. I would have thought spermatophores but it doesn't look like other pictures I have seen. If it is algae I wonder if it might have been brought in by the plants. Another idea is maybe it's fungus? When I was setting up a betta/planted tank the wood I put in grew a layer of fungus which eventually went, though it didn't have the same structure as this and I'm not sure what the source would have been in your tank.



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Old 11th March 2019   #7
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Default Re: Cloudy tank and algae everywhere!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuseppe View Post
I'm sorry I can't help with the algae I've never seen that before.
However I can recommend that you get a test kit I like API freshwater test kithttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B000255NCI..._1MCGCbGDBR91S

Knowing the parameters of your tank will help you solve lots of problems and manage your axolotls health

Is your tank cycled? Tank cycling is an important part of making an axolotl home that many beginners don't know about.
Here is a guide to the nitrogen cycle that I like I'm sorry I only have one in English.

Good luck with your very cute axolotl!
Thanks Giuseppe! :)
I'll definitely get some freshwater tests to know what's wrong with the water in my tank.
I want to believe that the tank is cycled, since I added some bacteria from a starter kit, plants from already cycled tanks and I've been doing regular water changes and tank maintenance in general, however I'll know for sure once I test the water and keep an eye on the parameters.
For now the water seems to be more clear and the constant scrapping of algae from the glass looks like it's working.
I'll surely post an update once the problem has been solved or I have tested the water and found the cause of the mess!



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Old 11th March 2019   #8
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Default Re: Cloudy tank and algae everywhere!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsAJ View Post
We’ve had cloudy tank and algae issues in the past and discovered our filter wasn’t working properly..... The water was being sucked up fine, but then overflowing inside and going back into the tank without being filtered.... might be worth checking that out.
Draping a towel to completely cover the tank for 2 or 3 days can help too - the algae all comes together to become something that can be sucked up into the filter or scooped out with a net.... There are also commercial water treatments you can buy too...
Thank you so much MrsAJ! since your answer I cleaned the filter to make sure it was working properly, replaced some components that were already "worn-out" I guess, and I've kept the tank covered with a towel for two days.
Everything is much clearer now, and algae doesn't seem to be growing as much once I remove it. I'll keep doing some cleaning and water changes and hopefully everything will finally come back to normal :)



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