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Old 15th June 2017   #1
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Default Help, bleeding gill & not eating

We have had our axolotl for over a year. Last week I feed him an earth worm (he eats 1 every other day, if I feed him daily he leaves the worms) I get the worms from a local tackle shop who says there's no pesticides used where they get the worms. As soon as he ate it he started to bleed from one of his gills. Before this incident everything was normal. His tank was full of blood and I didn't know what to do. The bleeding stopped after a few minutes. Since his tank was red with blood I did about a 25% water change, I know this is more than recommended but his water was red, and I was trying to reduce the blood. While I was cleaning the tank he threw up his worm. He's never done this before but I also never clean his tank right after a feeding.

His water parameters were fine prior to this incident but after it wasn't. I don't know if this is from the blood or if it's my fault for changing so much water. The day after the bleeding levels were:

pH: 7
Ammonia: 1ppm
Nitrite: 1ppm
Nitrate: 160ppm

I continued with small water changes daily trying to remove the pink hue in the water from the blood, and hopefully to correct the water parameters.

Today the levels are:

pH: 7
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0.25ppm
Nitrate: 80ppm

I have never used chemicals to correct for nitrate, I think maybe I should this time, can I use anything recommended at the local pet store or do I need something specific for axolotls?

He has not eaten anything since this day and it's been over a week. I don't know what to do. He seems fine aside from not eating, and the one gill which was bleeding is turned forward but the other 5 gills go back like they always did. I don't really want to fridge him unless it's necessary. I sometimes feed him axolotl pellets I bought from the breeder but he's not eating those either.

He (sorry I call it a he but I don't actually know what sex our axolotl is) is alone in a 10 gallon tank with 2 rocks, a few fake plants and a tube decoration. When he was smaller I used to feed him brine shrimp and blood worms (both from frozen). These were messy so we would keep a few ghost shrimp in the tank to clean the mess. They never lasted long as spike (that's his name) would eat them, we haven't had any ghost shrimp since March when we started feeding him earth worms as there was no leftover food for the shrimp. There is a small filter in his tank and I keep a loufa in front of the water flow to reduce the water water movement in the tank.

Sorry for such a long entry, but I wanted to make sure you had all the information I could give you.

I appreciate any advice you can give, thank you

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bleeding, eating, gills

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