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

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Old 7th July 2019   #1
mothpen
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Default Bacterial bloom?

Hello everyone!

I'm very new to owning an axolotl and taking care of a fish tank in general. Usually I'm extremely vigilant when it comes to my animals and I made it a point to research beforehand, however I only learned that cycling does not, in fact, refer to turning on your filter and letting the aquarium water cycle through it ( I don't want to make excuses, but I swear that's what I genuinely believed it meant ) until my axie was already well on the way. I'm not in a position where I can simply let him wait it out in a tub, so I had to make the choice to get things sorted out with Boba, the axolotl, already in the tank. Thankfully, I have some time before I start my summer job, so I've been able to monitor his water extremely vigilantly. I wake up. I test his water. I make changes accordingly. Boba has been an absolute angel in the meantime; he's exploring his tank, he's growing quickly, he eats plenty of nightcrawlers and I've only seen him with his gills curled on the day I brought him home. In short, I adore this little guy.

After a few weeks of monitoring his water with no noticeable changes, a guide I was following suggested I try adding bottled bacteria. So one bottle of tetra safestart plus later, and suddenly I have a bacterial bloom. I have a very big bacterial bloom. I've been looking this up online, and I'm having trouble deciding what to do next. Some people say change the water, some people say let it stay. It hasn't been bothering my axolotl much, so I decided to leave it for the time being, but the bacteria is multiplying to the point that it's causing me to worry.

I changed out some of my water to see if it would help the cloudiness ( reluctantly, I didn't want to remove any beneficial bacteria but you couldn't see more than an inch inside the tank ) but before I did I tested my parameters and they were as follows.

Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm

Temperature inside the tank is 65 degrees or somewhere between the 19-18 range. I would give you my PH, but I think there may be something wrong with my test kit because it keeps registering it as off the charts. ( I do have test strips also and they put it at about 6.8, so I suspect my liquid kit may have something wrong with it. ) The tank is only a ten gallon, but I'm saving to upgrade him to a big forty gallon tank with all the furnishings once I have the money. ( He's still growing, so I assumed he'd be okay in the smaller tank for now. ) I plan on safely cycling that one without Boba in it now that I actually know what I'm doing to a degree.

Inside the tank there are five large marimo balls, three fake plants ( made out of a very soft material, I didn't want to risk Boba hurting himself ), one terra cotta pot, one cave, sand substrate and a sponge filter. There's an ammonia indicator attached to the side; I have a test kit so I don't use it to monitor my ammonia, it's there just in case of an emergency spike.

I'm wondering where I should go from here? I added the bacteria on Wednesday and while it has reduced the ammonia and given me nitrates, the tank is very cloudy. I don't know if I should wait for it to settle on it's own or continue to do water changes? Or if I should do occasional small water changes to improve visibility?
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Old 8th July 2019   #2
KumquatSquats
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Default Re: Bacterial bloom?

try and keep water changes to a minimum (only when ammonia or other levels get high) so that your cycle can complete, the blooms look bad but in my experience it takes about 3-5 days for the cloudiness to fade after adding bottled bacteria.
other then that it seems like you are on the right track, more plants might help reduce water changes needed since they eat up the nitrates and ammonia and give bacteria a place to live but you should be fine as is.



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Old 8th July 2019   #3
mothpen
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Default Re: Bacterial bloom?

Thank you so much! Everything seems about the same today, but my axolotl ( very enthusiastically ) ate a worm this morning like nothing was out of the ordinary and I can see him swimming around in there when he comes close to the glass.

I actually thought about adding more plants, but I heard axolotls can uproot them, so I went with the marimo just to be safe? He seems to like climbing on them and pushing them around; every morning I wake up and they're all in different places. I do have my eye on some driftwood pieces for his new tank when the time comes, so maybe attaching java moss might look nice?



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Old 8th July 2019   #4
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Default Re: Bacterial bloom?

i have a bunch of java fern and anubias superglued or tied to wood in my tank, it looks nice and other then a few loose leaves the 'lotls seem to leave them alone. I also just got some java moss and i attached it onto a reptile hammock with cotton thread, eventually the thread should break down and hopefully the moss will have rooted itself by then.
i also have a bunch of marimos, cant go wrong there



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