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

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Old 5th October 2004   #1
katherine
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Hi,
I have just acquired a new axy. He is 3 years old and came from a home that could not keep him. I had to pick him up straight away so he went into an un-established tank. Recently I noticed that he is losing his gills. 2 gills have lost some of the feathery bits (the stalks are still there). He has no other tank mates, axolotls or fish. I have done regular water changes of 10-15% and siphon his tank every few days. Otherwise he eats steak every few days and seems healthy. He has been in the tank for 1.5 weeks and the tank was only set up 1 day before he went in. What can I do? The tank has a in water filter of 150L per hour. The tank has a pH of 7.6 and no ammonium.}
Thanks!



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Old 5th October 2004   #2
heather
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Hi Kat, I wouldnt worry too much about the whole thing,It might be your filter intake tube(if you dont have an under gravel filter)cutting up his gills in wich case you should get a filter sponge and cut it up so that it fits like a sock over the intake tube. His gills will regenerate over time. If it isnt the filter intake tube i dont know what it could be.....Ok the second thing, steak isnt exactly the best food for him, I would try earthworms. Almost everybodys axie loves earthworms, salmon pelets also work really well(at least for me)
Hope your axie gets better and good luck wiht your new friend!Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 5th October 2004   #3
benjamin
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There's a very small chance its going to morph. To keep it from drowning put some easily accessable land in the aquarium (just in case).



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Old 5th October 2004   #4
mik
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Hi Kat,

Morphing is extremely unlikey. I would go with Heather suggestion but ask is there a strong current in your tank from the filter outlet? If so try and aim at the wall of the tank or rocks. Someway to dissipate the energy.

We have a rather interesting ongoing discussion about red meat and suitability for axies. I advocate variety but use earthworms and pellets as the staple.

Try persevere but keep an eye out for for any sudden changes in your axies status.

Good luck



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Old 6th October 2004   #5
katherine
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Hi Guys,
Thanks for that. I have a small spray bar on his filter so there is not too much current. Barry hangs out under it, I think he gets a massage from it.
How would I know if he is going to morph? Should I lower the water level and put in an island now?
Also regarding food I tried feeding him axolotl food from the pet shop (mushed up greens, insects, shrimp in cubes etc) but he won't touch it so I tried steak which he likes. My other axy Taco loves the stuff. Barry is fussy but as soon as something moves in Taco's tank he bites it. I will try Barry on some pellets and earth worms like you guys suggest.
Also Barry is in a tank 2ft long by 1ft wide by 1ft deep is this ok or should it be bigger?
Thanks again, axies are definately the best pets.
Cheers,
Kat



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Old 6th October 2004   #6
kim
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Kat,

I really dont think form what you have told us that your axie will morph, so dont worry about it for now.

My axies sit under the out put for the filter even tho it is against the side of the tank!

Try earthworms.. barry wil love them trust me! everyone that trys them has success with them!

My axies also love bloodworms (frozen and live) have you tried him with that?

Barry's tank is fine.. My tank is about the same size and i have 2 axies, If you have a good filter system and keep the tank very clean and water changes etc you could keep 3. Im plannig on getting another shortly.!

On the loosing gills side, has any body thought that it may just be there is enough oxygen in the tank so it doesnt need as many feathers to absorb it??



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Old 6th October 2004   #7
kaysie
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JP, thats also a good point. It's probably just the stress of moving to a new home and having a new environment. Give him a couple weeks to get settled in. If he's eating, all is probably just fine.



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Old 7th October 2004   #8
benjamin
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I just noticed my axy's gills are shrinking to. I think it might be due to lowering temperatures causing there to be more oxygen in the tank. As for telling if animals are going to morph, there are a few general signs. Though gill loss is the most obvious one, the eyes will begin to increase in size and protrude from the head, it will develop eye lids, the tail fin becomes reduced and the head when viewed from above becomes rounder. Morphing is highly unlikely though, for axies.



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Old 12th October 2004   #9
katherine
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Seems like Barrys gills are starting to grow back a bit. I dont think he is morphing as nothing else is happening. Barry is living in a much cleaner tank with a better filter now so maybe he didnt need those feathers. He still hates the frozen axolotl food so will try get hold of worms. Trying to find a clean source though.



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Old 12th October 2004   #10
kim
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Try bait shops, but remember to ask where they got them from.. as they may add things to them.



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Old 12th October 2004   #11
kaysie
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Or dig your own.



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Old 2nd January 2005   #12
randy
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question re: gill deterioration/fuzz etc. in a non-filter, no pump, no heater system.

The problem: We are beginners (our first !) and two weeks ago noticed some deterioration of feathery pink gill branches. Pet store said "get a heater." Chose to ignore this. Gave her on salt water (1 tsp salt/1 liter of water) bath for 10 minutes and noticed some improvement. 5 days later gills looked bad again so another 10 minute salt bath yesterday.

No anti-fungal or othe medicines available in the pet shops here. Axies are somewhat rare here.

Our axie is approx. 16 cm, 6-7months old (?). We have had her 2 months and keep her in a 33 liter tank, filled with 6 inches of water. We perform daily tests for pH, amnonia, NO2. All within normal ranges. We also change 2/3 of the water and vacuum gravel daily. Once a week we change 100% of the water. Once a month, we scrub the tank with baking soda/salt mixture as recommended by Univ of Ind.

The tank has fine gravel bottom with some slates. We feed 4 (very small) catfish pellets once a day. Axie shows good apetite and has grown 2 cm in the past 2 months.
Water temperature is between 9--13degrees lately.

Could the temp be the reason ?("cold water/loads of oxygen = less feathery gills"). How "cold" is "cold" ? What is the temperature range is everyone refering to ?

Anyone have any experience with a non-filter, no pump, no heater system ?

any advice is welcome.

randy



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Old 2nd January 2005   #13
leah
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When you do your water changes, are you careful to match the temperature and pH of the new water to the temp/pH of the old water? Little differences can stress, and since you're doing changes every day, it could possibly be a stressor pH shock problem. Does your axie seem frightened when you're doing your tank maintenance? Afterwards?

Personally, I doubt if it's a temperature problem. One of my girls has gorgeous feathery gills. It's summer here and my tank got over 20 for almost a week while I was sorting out cooling techniques- it was then that I saw her gills deteriorate a bit, not in the winter when the tank sits at 14ish degrees. I think it was stress related, and her gills are now back to normal.

I would try several consecutive days of salt baths, not just one now and then when she looks her worst. Just like if you were medicating your axie, you may need to treat for a week or more to see the full benefits. I haven't had to use salt baths before on axolotls, so hopefully someone else will chime in with better instructions.

When I got my second axolotl, she was quarantined for a month in a small rubber container- no filter, air pump, or heater. My cleaning routine was similar to yours, only I was doing full 100% changes everyday, because the tub was so small. For the first week, Aximander would spook and thrash about a bit when I'd transfer her out and clean the tub, but she got used to the procedure quickly and never seemed stressed after that. It's a lot more time consuming than having a tank with a filter, but as long as you keep everything clean there's no problem with this kind of setup. With the maintenance routine you've set up you shouldn't ever have water quality issues, but watch your axie for stress since that will probably be your biggest problem.

How long have you had her? Do you know what kind of water conditions she was in before you got her? If your water is drastically different to what she was kept in, there could have been some shock moving to her new home.

Not sure what else to say, hope that helps a little!



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Old 2nd January 2005   #14
leah
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Another thought- when you scrub with baking soda, are you rinsing really well? Baking soda will alter the pH quite a bit. I know you're only doing this once a month, but it may be worth considering



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Old 2nd January 2005   #15
randy
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Dear Leah...Happy New Year! My name is Leah too!To respond to your questions: The "old water" and the "new water" have about a one degree difference, I add a de-chlorinater and wait about 5 or 10 minutes before adding the "new". The pH tests consistantly at 7. La Pina seems very calm, she remains in the tank for the daily 70% water change and gravel vacuum and looks on with mild interest. We,ve had her two months. Very little idea how she was kept previously, She wasnot long in the pet shop when we got her. But what I saw were axolotls in 4" x 6" plastic boxes with bare bottoms (barren except for lots of excrement) in 2-3" of visibly dirty water. The store temperature was about 25-27(c),but with no thermometer on her tank.

Thanks so much for your kind response, will definitely rinse the baking soda scrub very well when I do a major cleaning in a few days!

Leah (from Japan)



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