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

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Old 3rd June 2019   #1
ophelia123
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Default LOTS of axolotl poo--should I be concerned?

Recently, my tank had a bit of a nitrite spike due to some hidden uneaten food. As a result, my axie got some mild fungus, so I tubbed her for a few days and did some salt baths as I waited to fix up the water quality in the tank.

A few days later, I put my axolotl back in her tank as ammonia and nitrites were both reading zero. I also threw in an indian almond leaf. Since I was going out of town for a week, I added some API amo lock to the tank ( I was still worried about the recent water quality issues). I had a friend looking in on my axie while I was away and told her to add the recommended dosage of amo lock while I was gone, just to be safe.

I returned home tonight to find A LOT of waste in the tank. Normally, my axolotl will poop about once every two weeks. It looked like there was about four to five poos in the tank. I immediately tested the water. Ph was six (or even lower-the API water chemical kit doesn't provide accurate data for lower). Ammonia was about four ppm. Zero nitrites.

I immediately moved my axolotl to a tub after a quick salt bath (the fungus was back..) I think the amo lock may have saved her (I understand even though the ammonia is made safe, the readings will still indicate the ammonia's presence). I have never seen ammonia that high in my tank.

I have two questions:

1. How can I ensure that my tank is safe after a water quality scare?

I think I may have jumped the gun a bit last time and moved her back to the tank too early. There's a lot of literature about cycling a tank from scratch, but am having a hard time finding info about dealing with spikes in established aquariums. Do I still add brine shrimp (or an ammonia source) even though the ammonia is crazy high? Or at this point do I just wait for the nitrite level to rise? I'm thinking the low ph may have killed off my bacteria...

2. How much/how often do your axolotls poo?

Am worried the huge amount of poo might indicate another issue... I told my friend to give her one red wiggler every other day, so she was not overfed.

Thank you so much! This forum has been invaluable to me and my axie.

Tank parameters: 20 gallon w/ sand. Fluval filter w/ sponge, carbon, and filter media. One two year old axolotl. Water temp around 19.5-20 degrees C consistently.



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Old 4th June 2019   #2
KumquatSquats
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Default Re: LOTS of axolotl poo--should I be concerned?

water changes and time for the tank, as for 'lotl poo rates i'll just say im surprised how much of a mess my little guys can make in one shift at work, i imagine if your friend didnt pick anything up it could be trampled too so it would look like more after the time away.

hope someone else can give more insight!



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Old 5th June 2019   #3
Hayley
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Default Re: LOTS of axolotl poo--should I be concerned?

You don't need to add any ammonia, that's only when you're starting a new cycle. Do 15-20% water changes every few days. Keep your axolotl tubbed. This should bring it down slowly, it may take a couple of weeks. Indian almond leaves can drop pH quite quickly. I use crushed coral to counteract it as it'll bring it back up.
My axolotls eat every day, and poop probably every 2 days. A few poops a week from yours sounds fine to me if it's eating every other day.
The fungus is probably coming back due to the temp being a bit high. Add a fan on the surface of the water to reduce it a few degrees, if you haven't already.



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Old 6th June 2019   #4
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Default Re: LOTS of axolotl poo--should I be concerned?

Thanks so much for the input!

I've always heard that axolotls poop a ton, but that hasn't been my experience. Mine will poop twice a month (her waste is huge and hard to miss). This from feeding one worm (red wiggler) every day.



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Old 9th June 2019   #5
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Default Re: LOTS of axolotl poo--should I be concerned?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayleyy View Post
You don't need to add any ammonia, that's only when you're starting a new cycle. Do 15-20% water changes every few days. Keep your axolotl tubbed. This should bring it down slowly, it may take a couple of weeks. Indian almond leaves can drop pH quite quickly. I use crushed coral to counteract it as it'll bring it back up.
My axolotls eat every day, and poop probably every 2 days. A few poops a week from yours sounds fine to me if it's eating every other day.
The fungus is probably coming back due to the temp being a bit high. Add a fan on the surface of the water to reduce it a few degrees, if you haven't already.
Also, Hayley, how much of the crushed coral do you add with indian almond leaves? And how often does the coral have to be replaced?



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Old 11th June 2019   #6
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Default Re: LOTS of axolotl poo--should I be concerned?

I've added about a handful. Start with a bit, test the water after a few days, then add more if needed. I don't think you really need to change it, I haven't yet! You don't need to add any during water changes which helps!



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Old 15th June 2019   #7
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Default Re: LOTS of axolotl poo--should I be concerned?

Sounds good--do you leave the crushed coral in even when not using indian almond leaves or do you find that it drives your ph too high?



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Old 16th June 2019   #8
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Default Re: LOTS of axolotl poo--should I be concerned?

I've left mine in to help with hardness but you don't have to if your hardness is fine or you're not using the leaves :)



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