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


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Old 10th March 2016   #1
AxieDaxie
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Unhappy My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

My friend and I recently got two young axolotls, a black one(George) and a yellow one(Yella). When we first got them their substrate(?) was small rock but then I realised that was bad and we changed to sand, before I did that though I realised Yellas belly was a bit dark. It's been a while now and Yella still has a big dark belly and it looks bloated? I've been feeding them blood worms out of their tank so they don't eat the sand. They have lots of plants and some rocks to chill on, they seem happy but I worry about him/her



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Old 10th March 2016   #2
MoniWonton
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

There's a section in the Axolotl forum about sickness and health etc... You should move this post to that section so that people can find it an answer. In the meantime, I'd assume that the yellow one is a golden albino and, being that they are juveniles, he is probably still pretty transparent so you are just seeing his dark belly. Not a problem, it's just the nature of being albino. However, a pic would be helpful just to be sure. Check out the axolotl section of this forum! Cheers!



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Old 10th March 2016   #3
Chris
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

You tend to notice dark bellies when Axolotls eat blood worm. But there is a chance that gravel may have been ingested.

Post some images of the Axolotl at various angles.

Are you aware of cycling? What is the water temperature?



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Old 11th March 2016   #4
Laura
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Pictures would help figure out if Yella is bloated or simply a plump, healthy axolotl.

Often, you can see the internal organs of a light-colored axolotl through their skin. As they get older, they get more flesh and you can't see them easily any more. But pictures would help to be sure.



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Old 11th March 2016   #5
Killian J
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Default My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Click the image to open in full size. this was my "yellow" axie a year ago Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size. as Lsuzuki said the colors change


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Old 11th March 2016   #6
AxieDaxie
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

He's more yellow and his belly has a bigger dark spot I think :/
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Old 11th March 2016   #7
Laura
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Yella doesn't look bloated, but (s)he does look like maybe (s)he ate some gravel. (Or maybe just ate a lot of food.) Most of the time, it comes out the other end without any special treatment. Wait and see. It can be weeks/months before all of the gravel passes through their system, but as long as there isn't a blockage, it usually isn't serious.



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Old 11th March 2016   #8
Killian J
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Default My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Yours is actually golden albino, mine is just plain albino. Your axolotl looks healthy besides the fact it DOES look like it may have ate some gravel, the stomach is a little lumpy. What are the water parameters?


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Old 11th March 2016   #9
AxieDaxie
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Ok cool, as long as (s)he will be okay. I feel really dumb but what does parameters mean?



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Old 11th March 2016   #10
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Parameters are what you will be testing with your test kit (and a thermometer): ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and temperature.

Have you started reading about "the cycle" and "cycling a fish tank"? You need to. Seriously. Ask questions. We'll help you.

Have you been doing water changes? How much and how often? Axolotls produce a lot of ammonia. Ammonia is toxic. So is nitrite. (Nitrate is toxic if you have too much.)

Do you have a water conditioner that neutralizes ammonia and nitrite?

I know you were planning to get a master test kit - do you have it yet?

Time for bed in the USA ...



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Old 11th March 2016   #11
Chris
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

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Originally Posted by JadeAnnette View Post
Is this usual?
Can you take some more clear images at various angles?

I can see it's quite dark and perhaps what looks like a buldge bit more images are needed to confirm. Again, are you aware of cycling? Have you cycked your tank? What is the water temperature?

Your Axolotl does seem healthy otherwise



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Old 11th March 2016   #12
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

You'll need the Welcome to API Fishcare: FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT to test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrAte, and PH.

The Nitrogen Cycle is one of the most important factors of keeping your Axolotl healthy, its imperative that you test your water as often as possible, usually every week or so. The water will develop harmful toxins as your Axolotl excretes waste. Your Axolotl's waste and any decomposed food in the water will create Ammonia. Ammonia is a deadly toxin that if allowed to reach high levels can cause stress, fungus, disease, and potentially death. You need to 'Cycle' your tank.

The cycling process can take from 3-6 weeks.

For your tank to be cycled, a beneficial bacteria needs to grow and colonize your tank to convert the toxic Ammonia into Nitrites then these Nitrites into Nitrates. Ammonia is lethal to Axolotls and is produced from your Axolotls waste and decomposing food. Nitrates are slightly less toxic and created from the Nitrites being converted by the beneficial bacteria.

During cycling the beneficial bacteria will colonize your tanks surfaces such as substrate, ornaments, filter, and first begin to feed on the Ammonia turning it into Nitrites, then bacteria will break down the nitrites into nitrAtes. The bacteria is known as a 'biofilter', as it filters the ammonia and nitrites into less harmful nitrAtes. Then you can lower the Nitrates by performing weekly water changes.

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Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling
Caudata Culture Articles - Water Quality



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Last edited by AxolotlChris; 11th March 2016 at 09:16. Reason: Additional information
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Old 11th March 2016   #13
AxieDaxie
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

So because I rushed into this and didn't cycle, but have been doing water changes and putting conditioner in should I still take them out and cycle it? If so, simply, how? And also any ideas what I do with my little ones while it's happening?
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Old 11th March 2016   #14
Chris
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Read this thread: http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-beg...ling-help.html

The above thread will give information on cycling without your Axolotls in the tank.



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Old 11th March 2016   #15
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

JadeAnnette, I have merged both your threads into one ..hopefully it'll make it easier to follow the responses :)



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Old 12th March 2016   #16
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeAnnette View Post
I have my axies in their container (they've been fed and I've redone the water) and I've done a full water change, I've conditioned the water and now I have the filters on. I have sand substrate with a little "rock bed", about 9 plants(one on drift wood) and a little half dome hide that they love i figured out today that I have approx. 37 litre tank but I don't know the water readings because I'm still waiting on my test kit I'm really concerned about leaving them in the container though because I don't think they like it and they seemed happy in the tank so I'm confused
The reason for keeping them in a container is that it is easier to keep the water fresh and safe in the container while the tank cycles.

Axolotls excrete ammonia and their poop decays into ammonia and other nasty stuff. Once your tank is cycled, the bacteria can convert the ammonia into nitrite then into nitrate, which isn't as toxic. Have you started reading the links on "the cycle" yet?

Yes, you can keep them in the tank, but then you have to keep doing big water changes to keep the ammonia low enough to be safe. It is much easier to keep them in a smaller container and do frequent total water changes and just let the tank cycle.

If you cannot keep them in containers safely (like, cats or children that you can't keep away from the containers), then you should keep them in the tank, but you need to be very careful to keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite.

In an ideal world, everyone would cycle their tanks before getting an axolotl (or fish) but very few pet stores tell people that option, much less recommend it.

Meanwhile, the tank ... 1. I suspect some of those rocks are too small for a full-grown axolotl, so keep an eye on that as they grow. You want rocks bigger than their head. 2. If it is 37 L, you will need a bigger tank before they are full-grown. For two axolotls, a 110 L is a good size.



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Old 12th March 2016   #17
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Uuuugh I keep typing these big long messages go to attach a photo and it deletes it all!
I hate getting use to new sites I'm going to upload a photo of their container because I think it's getting too dirty too quick(with poo) and I might have to change it more often.
I'll upload more photos of Yellas belly.
I still have no test kit and that's why I'm worried about putting them back in(though they did seem happy)
I've done a bunch of water changes some big (whole tank) and some smaller ones, I always put conditioner in after and let the tank run and I also don't feed the axies in the tank they go into their container so I can do the water changes.
I have 9 plants(if you want to help me make sure they're all safe I made a thread about it) one on drift wood, a hide, a mineral rock, a "pebble bed" and two filters(ones more of an air filter)
I also have the fan over the tank because I got a thermometer and the water is too hot.
I've been reading about cycling and I'm confused about what to do because I don't think they like the container, Yella likes to chill on plants and George is usually in the hide



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Old 12th March 2016   #18
AxieDaxie
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

I'm sorry also because I don't know how to upload more than one photo at a time
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Old 12th March 2016   #19
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Only have photos I've already taken because he's in the container
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Old 12th March 2016   #20
Laura
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Default Re: My little axolotl and his big dark belly!

Whenever I see poop, I do a 100% water change in the container. I also change the water in the container usually twice a day, but that is partly because I have very high pH. (I raise baby axolotls in containers.)

Different explanations work for different people. Google "fishless cycle". If one explanation doesn't make sense, another will.

Short explanation: When you are doing a fishless cycle, you are providing food (ammonia) for the beneficial bacteria. When enough ammonia-eating and nitrite-eating bacteria are living on surfaces in your tank and filter, they will eat the ammonia that your axolotl produces and keep the water safe between water changes. It takes a few weeks - these bacteria reproduce slowly.



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