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

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Old 14th June 2019   #1
Duckys
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Exclamation Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

Hi, after a water change our axolotl started acting frenzied. (It was with tap water conditioner and some aquarium salt for a 20 gallon tank).
During the water change it looked like sand got all over him. His coat started looking red. My son changed it again adding API Quick Start because he forgot to put it in the first time. His slime coat looked like it was coming off and looked more red. We moved him to another place with de-chlorinated water. But then moved him into a small tuperware (a lid with holes) and put him in the refrigerator, because we didn't know what else to do. We were thinking of doing a tea bath, but didn't want to disturb him more.

We got the water tested at Petco and the results were:
Amonia - .5
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0
ph- 7.0

Please let us know what to do; he had stopped moving awhile ago. He's still in the refrigerator. We were planning on moving him to a bucket temporarily. Someone had mentioned to use distilled water and an airstone. And cleaning the tank out.



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Old 14th June 2019   #2
Giuseppe
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

You shouldn't use aquarium salt with axolotl unless treating for fungus and even then exposure should be limited to prevent irritation could be what's causing the issues. I'd keep him in the fridge with regular 100% water changes. A tea bath might be helpful for repairing slime coat. Also your ammonia is too high, and it sounds like your tank is uncycled or the cycle has crashed. If you're not familiar with the nitrogen cycle heres a guide, you'll need to cycle your tank before your axolotl returns to it.

https://modestfish.com/how-to-cycle-your-aquarium/



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Old 14th June 2019   #3
Duckys
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

I'm assuming you're talking about the Tupperware we are keeping him in? If so, how do you properly change the water without disturbing him? When would we take him out, and would we put him in a bucket of reverse osmosis water and a airstone?

You mentioned a tea bath may be helpful, but how do you do that if he's in the fridge?

Do we keep him in the fridge until we fully cycle the water in the tank, or take him out and put him in cold reverse water inside a bucket? Someone recommended putting him a gallon ziplock bag in the bucket of water until the temperature is about the same.



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Old 14th June 2019   #4
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

I would keep another tupperware of treated water in the fridge with him so you can just scoop him with a net into the same water temp. Same goes for tea bath, just add the tea to the next changes water. Do you have photos of him now? If he's starting to look better you can take him from the fridge and move to a bucket, but you'll still need to do at least 100% water changes every day and keep the water temperate cool, 60-64F.



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Old 14th June 2019   #5
Duckys
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

Can we use Irish breakfast tea (Twinings black tea)? How long should the tea bag sit in the boiling water, and how long should we put it in the fridge afterwards? Do we boil distilled, reverse osmosis or tap water?

What do we do right now? We don't have net. And we have no aged treated water either, that's why someone suggested distilled or reverse osmosis water. (We are confused; to make de-cholorinated water would take 24 hours.) We have cold reverse osmosis water, and a new Tupperware. Changing the tank will take a few days for us. Someone advised to take him out already because they thought it wasn't good to keep him in longer. That's why he suggested to put him in bucket and slowly acclimate in 1 gallon plastic bag.



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Old 14th June 2019   #6
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckys View Post
Hi, after a water change our axolotl started acting frenzied. (It was with tap water conditioner and some aquarium salt for a 20 gallon tank).
During the water change it looked like sand got all over him. His coat started looking red. My son changed it again adding API Quick Start because he forgot to put it in the first time. His slime coat looked like it was coming off and looked more red. We moved him to another place with de-chlorinated water. But then moved him into a small tuperware (a lid with holes) and put him in the refrigerator, because we didn't know what else to do. We were thinking of doing a tea bath, but didn't want to disturb him more.

We got the water tested at Petco and the results were:
Amonia - .5
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0
ph- 7.0

Please let us know what to do; he had stopped moving awhile ago. He's still in the refrigerator. We were planning on moving him to a bucket temporarily. Someone had mentioned to use distilled water and an airstone. And cleaning the tank out.
Which water conditioner are you using? We switched to using SeaChem Prime after learning that Tetra Aquasafe contains iodine which is harmful to axolotls.

During water changes I've transferred our axolotl into a separate tupperware container with aquarium water in it. I've been scooping him out gently with a plastic cup so that I place the cup infront of his face and then gently pet his tail which makes him swim into the cup without too much stress.

Then I quickly and carefully put him in the tupperware container with aquarium water in it.

Regarding fridging.
Try to avoid drastic temp changes the best you can. If you are fridging, keep additional water ready in the fridge to do the water changes with.
When you are about to take him out of the fridge, do not hurry too much with it.
I've read that fridging should be ended so that you start replacing the water in the fridge container slowly with aquarium water in increasing proportions.

Please see step number 4 here for reference:
https://www.caudata.org/forum/showthread.php?t=85263


How much salt did you add and what kinds of salts?

If you want and need to supplement salts for tuning the water hardness, check out the guide below if you haven't already.

http://www.axolotl.org/requirements.htm
"Water Hardness & Dissolved Salts" at the very bottom.


The salts used for John's solution are probably the easiest to source. Just keep an eye for any added anti-caking agents and you especially do not want to use salt (NaCl) that contains added iodine.

To play it safe, only use pure chemicals that do not contain anti-caking agents. The ingredients for the chemical should only contain one substance.

Magnesium sulphate can be found from many well equipped department stores and chemistry grade MgSO4.7H2O is also relatively cheap. One kilogram or pound lasts forever.

For NaCl I have used rock salt.

NaHCO3 commonly goes by the name "Baking Soda". Do not use baking powder, since it is a mix of baking soda, an acid and some other chemicals.



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Old 14th June 2019   #7
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

We are currently using API tap water conditioner. If that isn't recommended we can switch to SeaChem Prime in the future. As for salt we used API aquarium salt, around 2 tablespoons as suggested on the box. Thank you for your links and advice.



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Old 14th June 2019   #8
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckys View Post
We are currently using API tap water conditioner. If that isn't recommended we can switch to SeaChem Prime in the future. As for salt we used API aquarium salt, around 2 tablespoons as suggested on the box. Thank you for your links and advice.
this is why his skin is shedding, that is far too much for axolotls. the directions are for fish.

1 tbsp per 10 gallons is axolotl ratio, you may want to use slightly less until his slime coat grows back



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Old 16th June 2019   #9
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

You can simply use tap water with the appropriate amount of API water conditioner. It doesn't take 24 hours to dechlorinate, it takes effect very quickly. You can prep some dechlorinated tap water ahead of time to keep in the fridge for water changes if you choose to fridge him. Agreed that's way too much salt and likely causing the skin shedding. You really don't need salt in the aquarium at all.



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Old 16th June 2019   #10
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

Here's a guide for tea baths from caudata:
"The procedure is preferably done in a quarantine tank, not the animal's regular setup. I take one bag of unflavored black tea for every 10 litres (2.5 gallons) of water. It is important to use black tea because this kind of tea is fermented, so it has tannins. This tea gets covered with boiling water in a small bowl - I leave it there for at least 10 to 15 minutes, so the tannins are dissolved into the water. After the tea cools down, it is added to the quarantine water. After a week I do a large water change (60% at least), and the rest of the tea is removed over time by normal water changes. If you have to make water changes sooner (i.e., you are using a very small bowl or tank) the tea concentration can be replenished during water changes. As far as I know, there are no negative effects, even for long term treatment."

I believe the tea brand you mentioned should be fine. Another option is to add Indian almond leaves if you have an aquarium store nearby.



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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
axolotlmom89
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

Your axolotl is showing signs of losing his slime coat, 2 options for relief as stated with the tea or methylene blue. I prefer using the methylene blue because you can leave it in for over 24 hours and it tends to do a better job at soothing them. I count the methylene blue for saving my axolotls when I had a bacterial because I used a mix of Furan 2 and the methylene blue as a treatment plan. The bacterial presented in the limbs slowly being eroded and I used the Furan 2/Methylene blue combination and seen improvement within 48 hours. I lost half my clutch and yet the survivors were quick to heal and I credit that treatment with saving my Briar (albino), her gills never improved but she has a great quality of life.



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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
Ruta
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Default Re: Urgent! Please help, Axolotl sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by axolotlmom89 View Post
Your axolotl is showing signs of losing his slime coat, 2 options for relief as stated with the tea or methylene blue. I prefer using the methylene blue because you can leave it in for over 24 hours and it tends to do a better job at soothing them. I count the methylene blue for saving my axolotls when I had a bacterial because I used a mix of Furan 2 and the methylene blue as a treatment plan. The bacterial presented in the limbs slowly being eroded and I used the Furan 2/Methylene blue combination and seen improvement within 48 hours. I lost half my clutch and yet the survivors were quick to heal and I credit that treatment with saving my Briar (albino), her gills never improved but she has a great quality of life.
I wouldn't use medication to treat this problem. It's dangerous, stressful, and ineffective against this issue. These medications are meant for infections. Indian almond leaves, tea baths, or just cool, clean, fresh water would be ideal for treating this illness, as it's safe to say the irritation was caused by poor water conditions.



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