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

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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
zoeeee
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Question Superworm goo stuck on axie eyes?

Hi all!

About 3 weeks ago we bought 1x adult (~1 yr old) and 1x juvenile axolotl (both female, both living in the same enclosure for a period of time before we bought them). We were told as a start we should feed them frozen bloodworms every couple of days, and eventually move onto live food like crickets, meal worms, etc.

For 2 weeks only the juvenile would eat food, and regardless of whether we held bloodworms on a pair of long tongs or left them on the floor of the tank in front of the adult, she just wouldn't eat at all. The juvenile was on the other side of the tank usually so was not bothering the adult during/after feeding.

We were told the adult was possibly looking for live or bigger food, so we bought super worms (cutting the head and tail off before feeding). After 2 weeks of not eating, we held a super worm on tongs in front of the adult and wiggled it for about 1 minute and FINALLY she ate the whole thing!

A few days later we tried again, and it took about 2 minutes before the adult took a small bite of the worm, then wouldn't eat the rest. We were persistent with the gentle wriggling, so she swallowed it all but then spat it back up. It hasn't eaten again now for another week despite trying 3 more times with super worms and blood worms.

We noticed from wriggling the super worms in front of the adult axolotl that the white goo from inside the worms has not only filled the tank water with heaps of white particles, but it looks like there's goo stuck on the adult's face and eyes. Do we need to physically rub the axolotl's face? Is the goo on it's eyes resulting in loss of vision or hurting it in any way? I've attached photos where you can see one eye looking cloudy.

She seems to have a lot of energy regardless, swimming around a lot. We don't turn the tank light often, they have a cave to hide in, a big plant, space up the front to dig around in the sand. The filter is only lightly pushing through the top of the water in one corner of the tank. I can't think of why she would still be stressed after a month?

What should we do? We don't want her to starve!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
Giuseppe
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Default Re: Superworm goo stuck on axie eyes?

Superworms are not an ideal food for axolotl, the chitin in the shell can be difficult for them to digest. I would recommend trying to find earthworms to feed they're easy and ideal nutritionally. I also would put a divider in the tank or separate them rn, they could pose a risk to each other at that big of a size difference. When they are more similarly sized they can be safely together! What are the water parameters and temperature? It could be a non visible environmental stressor causing lack of appetite. I cant really tell from the picture about the goo but it should come off on its own if it's what you described. If the white spot seems to grow it may be fungus



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Old 4 Days Ago   #3
zoeeee
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Default Re: Superworm goo stuck on axie eyes?

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Originally Posted by Giuseppe View Post
Superworms are not an ideal food for axolotl, the chitin in the shell can be difficult for them to digest. I would recommend trying to find earthworms to feed they're easy and ideal nutritionally. I also would put a divider in the tank or separate them rn, they could pose a risk to each other at that big of a size difference. When they are more similarly sized they can be safely together! What are the water parameters and temperature? It could be a non visible environmental stressor causing lack of appetite. I cant really tell from the picture about the goo but it should come off on its own if it's what you described. If the white spot seems to grow it may be fungus
Thanks so much for your help, unfortunately before we could get all the kits for testing, she died on Friday after having her for almost a month. We're not sure what happened but we're taking some tank water to the aquarium store so they can test it and we'll get plenty of kits so we can keep checking ourselves. When we held her after she died we wiped some of the white stuff off her tail and it came off pretty easily so I can't really tell if it was fungus.

The juvenile is still fine and eating every time, and we're switching out the blood worms for the earth worms going forward. I have a feeling that the adult only ended up eating twice in the month we had her, and seeing as the super worms may not have been the best food she possibly didn't get enough nutrition, but maybe we'll know more after the water test.

Once we know that the water is fine and we can keep it that way we'll probably look at getting another similar sized axolotl, good to know about the size difference! Thanks again for the help!



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Old 4 Days Ago   #4
Giuseppe
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Default Re: Superworm goo stuck on axie eyes?

Really sorry to hear that it's possible they came to you ill and there was nothing you could have done. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? You'll need to familiarize yourself with it and be sure your tank is cycled to maintain safe water conditions for your axolotl going forward
http://modestfish.com/how-to-cycle-your-aquarium/

Good luck I'm wishing your baby good health!



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Old 4 Days Ago   #5
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Default Re: Superworm goo stuck on axie eyes?

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Originally Posted by Giuseppe View Post
Really sorry to hear that it's possible they came to you ill and there was nothing you could have done. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? You'll need to familiarize yourself with it and be sure your tank is cycled to maintain safe water conditions for your axolotl going forward
http://modestfish.com/how-to-cycle-your-aquarium/

Good luck I'm wishing your baby good health!
Thanks again, we have a pretty basic understanding of it but this article goes into a lot of depth so we'll give it a read today, thank you so much!



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