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

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
Tjebb
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Exclamation Tank lost itís cycle. What would be the next best step?

So my tank decided to act up and lose its cycle. The tank is only 10 gallons, which I know is the minimum and can cause lots of ammonia issues and such. One axolotl is in there, and I plan on upgrading him soon. For now, though, I am stuck. Here are the water parameters:
Ammonia: 1 ppm
Nitrite: 1 ppm
Nitrate: 5 ppm
Ph: 6

I siphon daily and do 20% water changes weekly. I genuinely have no idea what happened, it all just fell apart over night. He is eating, pooping, and looks healthy. Should I look into rehoming him if I canít upgrade his tank soon enough? I love him, but I donít want him to suffer.

For Ph, I need to know how to raise it, because I just tested my own water and we have low ph in my area.



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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
hunterwho
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Default Re: Tank lost itís cycle. What would be the next best step?

If you're keeping an axolotl in a tank that's cycling, you need to do minimum 25% water changes daily, and preferably around 50%, especially in a 10 gallon. Make sure the ammonia doesn't go over 1 ppm, and try to find a source of readily-established beneficial bacteria to help the tank start cycling again.

I'd agree with upping the pH; however, keep a few things in mind.
First, if you're measuring straight from the tap, the reading might not be accurate; for a better idea of your tap pH, keep a bucket full of tap water with an air stone in the bottom to keep it oxygenated. Measure after 24 hours; the pH of your aquarium's water can be heavily dictated by the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, and therefore still tap water tends to read lower.
Second, if your pH is higher, the ammonia in your tank will be more toxic to your axolotl (because pH means "power of hydrogen", and ammonia is made of nitrogen and hydrogen). As long as you're changing your water regularly this shouldn't be an issue.
Also, note that a pH at or below 6 will kill the bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate, so if your pH is consistently dipping that low, your cycle will keep crashing and never get stable.
If your pH really is that low, there are substrates you can use (in the filter, not in the tank, unless they're contained to prevent him from swallowing them) to raise the pH. Look for crushed coral or limestone. You could also increase aeration, and make sure you don't have anything that's lowering pH in the aquarium (driftwood and peat moss come to mind).

Steps for the future: try and get him a bigger tank, because a 10 gallon might not be able to handle the bioload of an adult axolotl. As long as you're changing the water and getting your current tank cycled, he should be okay in there until you can find a bigger and better tank. If he looks healthy and is eating well, there's no reason to rehome him, just change your water more often and raise that pH!



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