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Axolotl General Discussion>Cloudy Tank and Fussy Eater
funkpunk 09:01 28th June 2018
Hi everyone, I hope you can help with this question. I have searched for a couple of days with various degrees of success but I need an informed answer I think.

I inherited a 1 year old Axie this week who is housed in a glass 12" square tank. It has a sponge based filter, no substrate and two plastic fish ornaments. When I got it the water was only a few inches deep in order to transport easier.

When I got home I added tap water treated with API dechlorinater and swapped the unused hides for a more organic cave one, although this was for a vivarium and I am not sure it's appropriate for aquarium use.

Anyway, he came with no food so I purchased Lobworms for him as it was all the local pet store had and my pellet delivery hasn't turned up yet. He ate the lobworm and all seemed good. The next morning however there was a full worm skin on the bottom of the tank. I don't know if it was thrown up or not.

He then ate another one that evening and the same happened again the next day but now the water is cloudy. Even after a 50% change the water became cloudy soon after. Now he will not eat the lobworms, (I even left them in water to ensure not secretion).

Is there any suggestions to what I am doing wrong, be it the lobworms, water, filter etc.

I do have fine sand substrate, water testers and live plants coming this weekend so hopefully I can get his wee house back to living condition. Thanks in advance guys

Hayleyy 09:51 28th June 2018
Not eating could be the result of stress from transportation, see how he goes in the next few days. He will be okay a few days without food, if anything until your pellets arrive.
Post a pic of the cloudy water if you can, it might be a bacterial bloom which is normal when setting up a tank. This can be fixed with frequent water changes.
Did you thoroughly wash your sand substrate before putting it in the tank?

funkpunk 09:56 28th June 2018
Hi Hayley, I haven't actually used the sand yet, the tank is bare bottomed at the minute. I will rinse the sand before use though. The whole complete empty worm skin at the bottom worries me though as well as the clouding.

funkpunk 10:11 28th June 2018
Click image for larger version

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Here is an image of the tank from last night after I changed 50%

Hayleyy 12:59 28th June 2018
Oh sorry I read it wrong! The cloudy water is probably bacteria then. It will go down eventually, just keep doing water changes. Once your test kit comes test the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite to see where the cycle is at.
How many gallons/litres is the tank? 12"x12" sounds a small for an adult.

funkpunk 14:14 28th June 2018
I thought it a bit on the small side as well. Here are the measurements (under estimated) seems it's only 5-6 gallons

nter rectangular tank dimensions:

Measurement units: mm inches







Liquid Height



Measurement Tank Capacity Tank Contents
Litres 21.81 L 19.83 L
m3 0.02 m3 0.02 m3
Gallons (UK) 4.80 gal 4.36 gal
Gallons (US) 5.76 gal 5.24 gal
Barrels 0.14 barrels 0.12 barrels
ft3 0.77 ft3 0.70 ft3

Hayleyy 03:58 29th June 2018
Be on the look out for an upgrade asap, he will be much more comfortable with more room. The rule of thumb is 10 gallons per axolotl, but I always start at 15 or 20 gallons for the first, then 10 gallons for each additional axolotl. And you want a long/wide tank rather than a tall one. You can probably get a great deal with a second hand tank, or if your LFS have a tank sale :)

funkpunk 08:45 29th June 2018
Thanks I will have a look out for one. He's still not eating though. He's sees a worm and moves to the other side of the tank. I'm getting worried

Hayleyy 11:29 29th June 2018
It's probably just stress. He will be fine for a few days (even a week or so) without food. Once your other food arrives try those.
What kind of worms are lobworms? The red wrigglers where I live emit a nasty smell/taste and my axolotls have always hated it and refuse it. Do the worms leave a bad smell on your hands if you handle them/cut them?

funkpunk 14:06 29th June 2018
I think Lobworms are also called Nightcrawlers. Large worms with a flat tail. They don't smell at all and I put the under water a bit before I popped it into the tank as they do secrete apparently. He didn't really like blood worms either. I'll see how he does over the weekend.

Tags:cloudy water, food, lobworms, sickness, tank
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