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

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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Topsy
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Default Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Hi all, I've currently got a single 20cm axie gal in a 10gal tank which was cycled until recently- Id used an old filter from a previohs tank which id never cleaned after 2 months of owning and threw it out without trying to seed the new filter -yes i regret and know better now-.

Now we're both struggling, after that rookie mistake i made another one of not knowing how often I should change the water in an uncycled tank and was doing a full change one every fourish days. Shes now got pretty bad ammonia burns and Im doing my best to help but i need some advice before i decide where to go from here. Worst comes to worst i can always give her to a good home but id really like to avoid that if at all possible.

I could keep her in the uncycled 10gal and do 50-100% water changes daily? (Whichever percebtage yall recommend) And once its cycled move her and all her accessories + newly cyled filter to the new tank.

OR

Ive got a new 36gal tank today which i could put her in and cycle her in that instead? I could only do a max water change of 50% daily though. But if i did how large of a water change would i have to do daily and which option which benefit her more?



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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
Topsy
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Okay after some thinking, I realized I probably can't even really do the half water changes on the 36gal and with the small one I can manage it a lot more closely and do full water changes so I'll be sticking with the 10 until it's cycled.

My question now is- will the one (very small) filter media from this filter be enough for the bigger tank? If not I can add a sponge another one of those or even a sponge filter assuming I can attach it to the side? And do the filters have to be running for the bacteria to grow or is just being submerged good enough?



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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Good god I'm spiralling a bit here- 2am and I'm frantically googling a better way to do this as my schedule has gotten full over the next two-three weeks and I'm worried I won't be able to keep up.

I've found something called Tetra SafeStart Plus edit: or API Quick Start and I wanted y'alls opinions on them? Does it actually work or have a decent success rate at least? Which one is better?

As far as I'm aware, you can put the whole bottle in a tank and then you have to let it sit with no water changes ect. for 14 days? Would I be able to do this with my axie in her 10gal or would it be safer/work better in my 5gal with three guppies and two mystery snails? Just an fyi-I know there's too many snails for the tank size, we're working on that.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Gosh sorry to spam -my own thread nonetheless- but it won't let me edit my posts c':

When using the quickstart should I add the dosage for the tank it's going to go in and add extra media for the bacteria to ensure enough is established for the larger tank? If I did that would it be better to do that in the axie tank as she's going to be the one who ends up in the tank and produces a lot more waste to feed the bacteria than the guppies and has more space for said media (probably a couple of large sponge filters)?

Or if I'm doing this should I just add everything straight to the 36gal (ie add the starter, axie and new media/filters) and the start cycle from there instead?

If I did it in to 5 or 10 gal would it be stable enough to move to the 36gal after the 14 day wait period?



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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Hello!
You seem to be stressing a bit, so let me start with the most important thing:
Your axolotl will be fine. Relax.

The internet is filled with horror stories about uncycled tanks - I know, but axolotls are sturdy creatures. They can handle a lot.
The worst thing you could do right now is stress out and make impulsive decisions. It's not necessary, your axolotl will be fine.


So, having said that:
If you can fill the 36 gallon tank with fresh, clean water, that would be great. A single axolotl will take a long time to make such a high volume of water messy. If you make sure there is no food (or large chunks of poo) floating around, an axolotl can easily live a week or two in such a tank, even if uncycled.

Put the filter in there (running), and change water if you can. Doesn't need to be much. If you have the time and the water, do a water change. If you don't have the time, don't. It's still supposed to be fun.
The bacteria will come, eventually. The tank will cycle, eventually. Until then, you're fine. I personally wouldn't hastily add chemicals.


Some things that might help keep the water healthy until the cycle kicks in:
- Try to keep cool. I don't know how hot the water is, but if you can keep it cool, that helps. A fan works, those cooling blocks you put in your freezer first work miracles too. A few degrees can really make a difference.
- Don't leave food or poo alone. If you see something dirty, take it out. That doesn't take much time (a few seconds, even) and does most of the work.
- Do you have live plants? Usually they feed on nitrates, but in an uncycled tank they do filter some ammonia. They're also a great surface for beneficial bacteria.
- If it really comes down to it: put your axolotl on a diet. An adult axolotl can easily go without food for a week. No food added = no ammonia added. I don't think this will be necessary though.


But really. 36 gallons is a lot for one axolotl. That's a lot of water. You'd need a lot of poo to raise ammonia levels in that.
Uncycled tanks take more cleaning, but they're not a crisis situation. You'll be fine.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Sounds like solid advice. Let us know how your axie is doing when you can, Topsy. Im sure everything will be fine.



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Old 6 Days Ago   #7
Topsy
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Ahhh sorry for the long wait, thank you for all the advice and especially the part about not stressing out. Unfortunately I didn't heed your warning and ended up being on the verge of giving her away because I was convinced her gills were stringy, and thinning and always curled and she was too stressed to stay with me. Turns out I was looking way too hard into it and convincing myself of things that weren't there and now that she's eating regularly too (thank gosh for earthworms) I'm a lot more relaxed and content with where we are!

We have a few plants, three medium-large Java Ferns and a bunch of Java Moss. I'd really like to get a bunch of Hornwart, watersprite and some Anubias as well but those are going to for the bigger tank as I don't want to crowd her current one.
And it's still winter for us so her tank is currently sitting at 16C so no worries there! <3


Currently she's still in the 10gal as I want a couple more things for the larger tank before I put her in it- mainly a sponge filter as our current larger filter has the media out of water and I fear that if there's a power cut and it dries out we'll end up having the same problem all over again.

The plan is that once I've got everything for the big tank and it's inside and set up, I'll put her in and get her settled and then dose with API Quick Start. I'll won't water change until I absolutely need to and if I'll do I'll redose the right amount but hopefully I can make it the full recommended two weeks without doing it. I know you seem to prefer I didn't but if it does work it'll make all the difference and I think it's well worth a try and if it stresses her out at all I can always remove her from the tank and if necessary do a full water change to get rid of it.



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Old 5 Days Ago   #8
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

That's great to hear!
It's good to be careful and concerned, but it's also good to keep calm

I'm not opposed to using chemicals or quick starters, if I gave that impression. I'm only opposed to doing it in the rush of the moment.
The current plan sounds solid. 10 gallons isn't as much as we'd like, but I've had axolotls in similar tanks for a few weeks in times of aquarium crisis (with much higher temperatures, too!). They didn't like it but were fine overall.
(Disclaimer: I can only speak from personal experience. Keep a close eye on it anyway.)

You said the axolotl already had ammonia burns on the tail? That's interesting, because those usually appear on the gills first. Do you have any pictures of it?



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Old 4 Days Ago   #9
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Ahhhh yeah, I've learned my lesson with that!
We're getting into a good rhythm now, and after reluctantly eating her first earthworm with me she's always begging for them now so I'm super pleased about that as she was always hesitant to eat before. But I still have yet to see her poop and it's coming onto my third week of having her, so that's always a bit of a worry but no signs of discomfort yet so hopefully she's just still settling in and it'll happen any day now.

Oooooh that's a very good way to go about it, I just assumed it was your overall opinion, sorry!
Sweet, I hate seeing her in that tank and while it's at least a relief to know that it's of the minimum requirements and she's not a huge axie, it's still going to be a relief for us both when she's finally in her big tank!

What I'd assumed where ammonia burns but I've had a hard time finding any real references unless the axie was near dead. I don't unfortunately, however the gills did go red soon after too.

It first appeared on the tail as a rather dark pink and slowly spread to halfway up her tail and the redness darkened right at the end of her tail, the redness is a bit curved so it's not quite as present in the middle of her tail near the base. When it was just starting to really develop redness is when her gills looked to be a lot redder and bushier than usual.

This was all within a few days or maybe a week, I wasn't sure at first when the initial darker pink came in as I hadn't taken any photos of her when I first got her and wasn't sure if it was her normal coloring or not.

Would it be worthwhile taking a picture of it and uploading it here once I get home in a few hours?



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Old 4 Days Ago   #10
Kitty
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Im so happy everything is alright, Topsy!



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Old 2 Days Ago   #11
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Default Re: Tank No Longer Cycled - Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TopsyTurvey View Post
Ahhhh yeah, I've learned my lesson with that!
We're getting into a good rhythm now, and after reluctantly eating her first earthworm with me she's always begging for them now so I'm super pleased about that as she was always hesitant to eat before. But I still have yet to see her poop and it's coming onto my third week of having her, so that's always a bit of a worry but no signs of discomfort yet so hopefully she's just still settling in and it'll happen any day now.

Oooooh that's a very good way to go about it, I just assumed it was your overall opinion, sorry!
Sweet, I hate seeing her in that tank and while it's at least a relief to know that it's of the minimum requirements and she's not a huge axie, it's still going to be a relief for us both when she's finally in her big tank!

What I'd assumed where ammonia burns but I've had a hard time finding any real references unless the axie was near dead. I don't unfortunately, however the gills did go red soon after too.

It first appeared on the tail as a rather dark pink and slowly spread to halfway up her tail and the redness darkened right at the end of her tail, the redness is a bit curved so it's not quite as present in the middle of her tail near the base. When it was just starting to really develop redness is when her gills looked to be a lot redder and bushier than usual.

This was all within a few days or maybe a week, I wasn't sure at first when the initial darker pink came in as I hadn't taken any photos of her when I first got her and wasn't sure if it was her normal coloring or not.

Would it be worthwhile taking a picture of it and uploading it here once I get home in a few hours?
If yours is an albino or lucy its not uncommon for the tail to turn pink/red from irritation or even just increased activity. My GFP golden has really sensitive skin and I had the same worries you had at one point, I now know if the color fades in about 10-15 mins it was just from activity and if it stays pinker than normal i need to test my water ASAP
(last time his tail tipped me off that my pH had crashed from 7.6 down to 6.8, everyone else was acting normal and I wouldn't have known to check otherwise, have since added crushed coral to prevent this)



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