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

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Old 9th September 2018   #1
Zeropinkaxolotl
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Exclamation Advice for axolotl not eating please

Hello
Im wondering if anyone can help, a long post to give background info:
I have had my axie zero for two years approx and he has always been roughly the same size so im unsure how old he was when i got him.
I feed him on dendrobeana worms (not sure of exact spelling) from my wormery but in the last month he has been on and off food to the point now where he is completely refusing food.
I did a water check and everything was correct apart from a slightly high PH.
I was advised by another keeper that the water dechlorinator i was using was incorrect as it has aloe vera in it (which it did not mention on the packaging)
So i was advised to tub him as he is so underweight from not eating and that his gills where diminished- aparrently due to the aloe. (however i will say that im not sure they have ever been really big and fluffy,)
so he has been tubbed with daily water changes for about 5 days now and has only eaten once.
I have tried waxworms, bloodworms and prawn but he is not interested. I am in the process of setting up a better tank for him including cycling.
I have attached a photo of him currently

My question is, if it is the water conditioner that has causedhim to be unwell how long will it take for him to start to feel better
And how long can he go on refusing food
Im so worried about him so any advice is welcome
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Old 10th September 2018   #2
Hayley
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Oh wow! What brand of water conditioner were you using? It would be of interest to lots of people on here. It would be worth sending an email to the company to confirm if there is aloe vera, and ask them to label bottles better if it isn't on there.
I googled those worms and it's a fancy name for european nightcrawlers, which are a great food source. Although he has only eaten once, any eating is good. Keep up with the tubbing and water changes, offer food every day (multiple times if he refuses). They can go a while (over a week) without eating but you hopefully will see improvement while tubbing. What conditioner have you changed to?
The length of time it takes to recover is hard to say, it could take weeks, it could take longer. Just keep doing what you're doing. I wonder if indian almond leaves might help healing?



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Old 10th September 2018   #3
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

And you're sure the previous tank was cycled right?
Those are very poor looking gills, it could be genetic but better safe than sorry.
It's generally best to use the least amount of chemicals as you can in your tank because they are sensitive to them. A basic decholorinator that also removes heavy metals should be fine. I do use one that is marked with aloe in it, but only occasionally. Its the API Stress Coat+ in case you were wondering. But I only use it sparingly or if I've done a larger than normal water change since it's a higher concentration than my other decholorinator. I've never heard of this type of reaction, but you learn something new every day.

Keep trying food, they can fast for a while but its never good to test their limits. Try multiple times a day as well. The variety of food is good too, sometimes they get bored of one type and refuse for a while so switching helps a lot. My old tiger salamander used to get into moods where he would refuse food that he had been happily eating for months and wanted something different. Eventually try to steer him back to the nightcrawlers as they are most nutritionally complete. If you decide to fridge him for any reason be aware that their appetite will go down in there due to lower temperatures slowing down their metabolism.

Best of luck!



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Old 12th September 2018   #4
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Hi i was using tetra aquasafe and have switched to prime or tetra goldfish safe, he ate a peice of prawn two days ago and today i found it regurgitated in the tub the previous tank may not have been cycled properly but he has been in it for two years and only recently started showing these signs. i dont think his gills have ever been super big but they have never been this stubby. I guess il just keep trying, its really disheartening that he regurgitated the prawn, i think he has eaten a few bloodworms, im trying river shrimp and will try a worm tommorow, should i try snd keep him tubbed for a while until he starts to improve? Or aim to move him to the new tank once its cycled?



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Old 12th September 2018   #5
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayleyy View Post
Oh wow! What brand of water conditioner were you using? It would be of interest to lots of people on here. It would be worth sending an email to the company to confirm if there is aloe vera, and ask them to label bottles better if it isn't on there.
I googled those worms and it's a fancy name for european nightcrawlers, which are a great food source. Although he has only eaten once, any eating is good. Keep up with the tubbing and water changes, offer food every day (multiple times if he refuses). They can go a while (over a week) without eating but you hopefully will see improvement while tubbing. What conditioner have you changed to?
The length of time it takes to recover is hard to say, it could take weeks, it could take longer. Just keep doing what you're doing. I wonder if indian almond leaves might help healing?
I will keep offering multiple times a day, i dont know anything anout indian almond leaves? What are they for?



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Old 13th September 2018   #6
Hayley
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Yes keep him tubbed for now. What are your water parameters?
Indian almond leaves are kind of like tea leaves, they promote healing of the skin because they leech tannins into the water. I'm not sure if they will help the issue but it's worth looking into them. They're often used in betta tanks so should be available at aquariums/online aquarium stores.



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Old 13th September 2018   #7
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayleyy View Post
Yes keep him tubbed for now. What are your water parameters?
Indian almond leaves are kind of like tea leaves, they promote healing of the skin because they leech tannins into the water. I'm not sure if they will help the issue but it's worth looking into them. They're often used in betta tanks so should be available at aquariums/online aquarium stores.
Do i need to check parameters when tubbed?? Even though im changing the water everyday?
The new tank is not yet set up- i will of course cycle and check parameters when it is.
I bought a 125L tank so i could get him a friend when he is better but now have been told thats too small! There seems to be so much conflicting advice
I shall look into the leaves



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Old 13th September 2018   #8
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

125L is absolutely fine, you can fit another axie in one that size. I go by the rule of 20 gallons (75L) for the first axolotl and 10 gallons (37L) for each additional axolotl. And long tanks are better than tall.
I was wondering the tank parameters of the tank he was in before being tubbed, as it is often the cause of issues. Yes you don't need to test the tub water as it's being changed every day :)



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Old 14th September 2018   #9
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Awesome! i think his/her old tank parameters may have been out because after about 2 years of keeping him i was advised i could do a 50% water change once a month which i now know is very bad advice. I was also using the test strips which i now know are unreliable and have bought the api freshwater test kit
He/she has been eating some river shrimp over the past few days so i will encourage worms now as i hear they get super picky if they prefer something else and i have a whole worm farm for him/her!
(I was told a boy but now im unsure as ive had mixed opinion)

One last question.. i have had him for approx 2 1/2 years now and i dont think hes have grown, still the size he was when i got him, and hes only 6 1/2 inch does this mean its a dwarf?

Thankyou so much for your advice, i shall just keep going with what im doing with the tubbing and feeding :)



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Old 15th September 2018   #10
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Great that you're making improvements, there's lots of wrong information out there!
6 1/2 inches isn't super small but I would imagine at 2 years old they would be bigger. Mine are somewhere around a year old and is 8 inches. It didn't look dwarf in the picture but if you can get another picture we can see better :)



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Old 15th September 2018   #11
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Well sadly today i went to check and he had thrown up all the shrimp he ate over the last few days i dont understand as hes obviously hungry but cant keep them down , i have atached a picture.
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Old 15th September 2018   #12
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Do you have anything on you besides prawns that the axolotl likes to eat?
Shrimp, krill, etc have hard to digest chitin which could be the cause of the regurgitation. The fast could have weakened the axolotl and it just can't digest the material fully. Normally they can handle such food fine, maybe a bit of constipation, but they do digest and pass them. Your buddy could just weaker from not eating.

Side note, the difference between male and female is typically in the cloaca area. A male will have a larger more pronounced cloaca and a more boxy shape and females will have a less pronounced cloaca and be more rounded when in good body weight.



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Old 15th September 2018   #13
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

will he take pellets? If he likes the shrimp normally and the chitin is too much for his digestion like Tye suggests, i know my girls really dig sinking shrimp pellets, so I keep them on hand for the occasional treat/variety in their diet. it's probably as good as some other options nutrition wise, but they're high protein and it would get something in him if he can keep them down.



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Old 16th September 2018   #14
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

I have tried worms and waxworms, have bought some pellets and will try those, if not i guess he will have to go to the vet, he/she is too skinny to sex at present i think



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Old 30th September 2018   #15
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

I dont know if anyone will see this but im getting a bit desperate, its been 5/6 weeks now and he hasnt eaten or when he has shown an interest he has taken food in and then regurgitated days later. The vet has no idea whats wrong has said that he doesnt feel impacted but hes too small for it to be likely to see anything through xray- nothing showed up on ultrasound. Vet says that even if you could see something on xray it couldnt be operated on due to his size. He has had treatment for a multitude of parasites and still no change. He is still tubbed and is active but im at a loss for what to do.. should i just keep trying to get him too keep food down and if he wont how long will he survive? I dont want him to starve to death, im not sure if he should just be euthanised?



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Old 2nd October 2018   #16
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

Have you had a look at the force feeding guide on here? I've never tried it but it's worth looking into since it's been so long since he has eaten. https://www.caudata.org/forum/showthread.php?t=70199



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Old 2nd October 2018   #17
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

[QUOTE=Hayleyy;490055]Have you had a look at the force feeding guide on here? I've never tried it but it's worth looking into since it's been so long since he has eaten. [url]https://www.caudata.org/forum/showthread.php?t=70199[/
The concern is that if he is just regurgitating then it will just cause stress if hes going to throw it up anyway.. the vet has suggested a steroid injection so thats the next step i guess



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Old 2nd October 2018   #18
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Default Re: Advice for axolotl not eating please

That's a good point! Glad you have a vet who can go through options for you. I hope this step helps.



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