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Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) A dedicated topic for those seeking help with Axolotls, showing off your photos, or just to talk about them.

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Old 14th March 2019   #1
threeaxiemoms
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Default New owners - need axolotl help!

Hi,
We're new axolotl moms and we're doing everything we can to make sure our two little guys are happy and safe.
They're both juveniles about 4-5 inches long and we recently took them out of their tank in order to place sand in there and do a 25% water change while we were at it.
Our smaller axolotl seems to be doing fine with the new substrate and his gills are always down. However, our bigger guy seems more stressed than when we first took him home and his gills seem more curled forward than they were before (little guy's gills have never been curled forward). The filter isn't strong in there so I don't think that's the problem and they've kept their appetite up and everything.
We've also checked water parameters and they seem fine, is there anything else that might be causing him to stress?
Or do you think he's still adjusting to the new environment? Please help
I'm just surprised our smaller guy seems to be doing better than he is. Please help!



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Old 15th March 2019   #2
Hayley
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Default Re: New owners - need axolotl help!

What are the water parameters? And temperature? Usually that's the culprit, though it may just be he is getting used to the sand. Each axolotl can react differently to tank changes so the little one may just not be bothered.



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Old 19th March 2019   #3
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Default Re: New owners - need axolotl help!

Thanks for your reply!
It's been a couple days of them being in the tank with the sandy substrate.
They're both eating well and keeping their appetite up.
Our bigger axie still has his gills pretty curved in.
Ammonia is staying between 0.20 - 0.50 ppm, nitrite and nitrate is 0. pH is around 7.4.
We are trying to cycle our tank and we understand it is harder to do with the axolotls in but we are doing 25% water changes every other day to help it along.
Is it the ammonia or pH to high? Do you have any tips on how to keep those down?
I just want to know if there's anything else we can do to make sure they're comfortable
Thank you!



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Old 20th March 2019   #4
Hayley
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Default Re: New owners - need axolotl help!

Okay that ammonia is high for axolotls, that's probably what is causing the stress. What dechlorinator are you using? I would recommend prime as it detoxifies the ammonia. If you use prime be wary when testing ammonia as it can give you false results.
Live plants and bottled bacteria should help, though I would recommend quarantining plants. Seeded filter media is great, even if it's just in a mesh bag in the tank. Seeded media is used filter media that has benefical bacteria on it, you can get it from a friend or ask your local fish store.



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Old 20th March 2019   #5
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Default Re: New owners - need axolotl help!

Right now we're using a dechlorinator called "Reptisafe" that said it's good for reptiles and amphibians. It also said it detoxifies ammonia but maybe its not doing a good job, I'll definitely give Prime a try!
And I was wondering about adding additional bacteria. Is it okay to add that with the axolotls in the tank? I was just hesitant to because I wasn't sure if that was ok to do while they're in there. But if thats the case I'll definitely add bacteria to help it!
Thank you



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Old 20th March 2019   #6
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Default Re: New owners - need axolotl help!

Also does the siphoning schedule sound fine for someone who's trying to cycle their tank?
I browsed other threads about it that suggested doing 25% water changes about every other day



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Old 21st March 2019   #7
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Default Re: New owners - need axolotl help!

Bottled bacteria is fine to use with axolotls, your hesitation is great though! Most bottled additives shouldn't be used with axolotls so glad to see your being cautious. I use Seachem Stability which has worked well for me.
I haven't used reptisafe but if it says it detoxifies ammonia then it should be fine. I did some googling and some turtle forums say it does. You'll still be able to detect the ammonia even using prime or reptisafe.
25% every 2 days sounds alright, just watch the axolotl. If the gills start to change (smaller, frills reducing) then the ammonia may be affecting it and you'll want to adjust.
If you haven't already it may be worth testing your water source for ammonia. Using a detoxifying dechlorinator will help this but it's good to know. My tap water has ammonia so I use prime and will wait 2 days or so before testing again.



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Old 21st March 2019   #8
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Default Re: New owners - need axolotl help!

I'll head to the store tomorrow and buy some bottled bacteria and Prime right away!
And I'll definitely keep an eye on his gills and our water source.
Thank you for your help!



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