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

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Old 26th August 2013   #1
saadoyle
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Question Newbie mistake, need advice asap

Hi everyone,
This is my first post. I am a total Axolotl newbie but learned everything I could about them before getting one (most from this site!). Here goes: I have a 3-4" albino. I had her in a cycled 25 gallon tank at 66 degrees with a bare bottom. All parameters are perfect. She was doing great, swimming around everywhere and eating well. Having never run a tank with a bare bottom (I have 15 goldfish with gravel), I was concerned that without substrate the beneficial bacteria might struggle. I read up on the types of sand and decided on the very fine Tahitian Moon Sand. Well, within 5 minutes my Linda-Lou had a gut full of it. I was shocked. I fridged her at 6 degrees and after 24 hours the container was full of the sand and she looked like it was about 90% clear. I left her in the fridge for 48 more hours and no sand was in the container. I thought she was good and I followed the correct procedures for getting her back in her tank. The next morning she was not swimming around anywhere and it looked like she had another gut full of sand (I took all the sand out before she went back in). It has been 4 days since she went back in her tank. My question is, should I try the fridge again? Is it too soon? I don't know if the temperature changes would be too much. I am really worried and don't know what to do next. I feel terrible for taking her out too soon



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Old 26th August 2013   #2
emmyk
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It sounds like you're doing the best you can, and the sand is passing fine. I would put her in a tub of dechlorinated water and keep checking on her. If she doesn't pass it, then try fridging. She is probably a little too young for the sand, that's the problem.

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Old 26th August 2013   #3
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Default Re: Newbie mistake, need advice asap

I figured her age had something to do with it. I was also thinking that the twinkly sand may have looked like it was moving, so she went for it. Thanks so much for the advice. I don't want to fridge her again unless I have to.



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Old 26th August 2013   #4
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Fridging is generally the last resort anyways. You're being a good momma/daddy.

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Old 26th August 2013   #5
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Default Re: Newbie mistake, need advice asap

If you want the look of sand without the dangers you can always use silicone to stick the sand down. I have an acrylic plate with sand siliconed to it, it can be taken out for a scrub, bare patches re-covered, vacuumed with our aquarium vac - and with none of the dangers of loose sand or pebbles.

And yes fridging should be a last resort - a cool fresh tub or just leaver her in the tank and remove the sand as she passes it.



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Old 26th August 2013   #6
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Default Re: Newbie mistake, need advice asap

Thanks so much for your reply. The sand "glue down" sounds very interesting. I'll have to get my crafty hat on and give that one a try! It's great to know that whatever can be done is being done. I feel like such a dunce.



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Old 27th August 2013   #7
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Default Re: Newbie mistake, need advice asap

So today, after putting her in a cool tub of dechlorinated water last night for a few hours, she pooped out the food she had, but she still has a bunch of sand in there. Is that cause for concern? I figured the sand should come out first...



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Old 27th August 2013   #8
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Default Re: Newbie mistake, need advice asap

Some of the sand will move slower than organic matter, some of it will get mixed. It will get itself sorted - if she's passing the sand it's not impacted and she'll be fine.



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Old 27th August 2013   #9
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Default Re: Newbie mistake, need advice asap

I wouldn't fridge unless she stops pooping again. I've read somewhere on here that if you keep them well fed on worms etc, the food will help smooth the way for the sand to pass too.

Also pleased to hear you've removed that sand, I've heard that particular sand, although fine and sparkly can be very sharp and dangerous. There are many good sands to use and probably much cheaper anyways.



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Old 29th August 2013   #10
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Default Re: Newbie mistake, need advice asap

Thanks for the response. I looked everywhere and could not find anything on "refridging". As of today, Linda-Lou started swimming around her tank a little. I was so happy to see that! She is still eating well, munching on bloodworms. I do have to get any sand that she has pooped out right away…or she eats that too...



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Old 30th August 2013   #11
Rhiannon
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Default Re: Newbie mistake, need advice asap

If you don't want to go with the sand option again, you could always try a slate rock bottom. It has the same traction level as sand, and a surface the good bacteria can grip to. I have a fairly decent sized chunk of it in my tank and everything is going great.



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