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Old 23rd June 2015   #1
Creepella
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Default Floating problems - causes and prevention

I just lost my first axie, I had her for almost two months. Everything seemed fine, then yesterday she started floating and having trouble staying upright. I fridged her, but I'm pretty sure she's dead now.

I've read it can be caused by impaction. I was using play sand as substrate because I read that it should be safe even if swallowed, I guess that's not true?

I found other threads here about floating/sick axies but so far I can't find a list of causes or any info on prevention. I'd like to get a new axie, but I don't it to die from the same problem. What causes floating, and what can be done to prevent it? What's the first thing to do if you notice your axie is floating?



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Old 29th June 2015   #2
Layna
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Default Re: Floating problems - causes and prevention

Sometimes axies can swallow air and it causes them to float

Are you sure your axie is dead? Do you have pics?

Did you cycle your tank before putting your axie in? What were the water parameters (ph, Nitrate, Nitrite and ammonia)?

What is your cleaning routine?

If you give us more information we can try to help you more



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Old 30th June 2015   #3
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Default Re: Floating problems - causes and prevention

Quote:
Originally Posted by layna View Post
Sometimes axies can swallow air and it causes them to float

Are you sure your axie is dead? Do you have pics?

Did you cycle your tank before putting your axie in? What were the water parameters (ph, Nitrate, Nitrite and ammonia)?

What is your cleaning routine?

If you give us more information we can try to help you more
Thanks for replying!
She was fine, eating (frozen bloodworms) and active. Then one day she wouldn't eat, and started floating at the surface, tilted to one side. I could see no other signs of illness - no skin issues or wounds, no curled tail, Her gills were a bit pale but not damaged or tilted forward. She seemed normal in the morning and by 5 pm was floating. I tried lowering the water level so she could touch the bottom, but that made no difference.

I followed the fridging guide thread and put her in the fridge that evening, in a clear plastic shoebox. The last time I saw her move was when I was moving her into the shoebox. After that she never moved again. I even tried picking her up in my hand a couple of days later, no response. I kept her in the fridge for a few days anyway, changing her water every day (I had prepared several shoeboxes with conditioned water and kept them in the fridge). She floated upright but was limp, mouth hanging open, her legs curled back and her gills almost white (she was a GFP wild type). There was no poop or debris. When I could see signs of decomposition I took her out.

When she was alive I was changing about a third of her water every second day, always using water conditioner. She was in a 10 gallon tank with rinsed play sand as substrate and a sponge filter. Temp was 68 degrees. When the water got a bit cloudy I started using a turkey baster every day to remove uneaten food and debris. Now I realize that when I got her, I hadn't kept a fish tank in years and had forgotten about cycling and water testing. My guess is that at the two month mark there was a sudden spike in ammonia or some other toxin, and that's what killed her so fast.

Since then I bought the API master test kit and I'm running a new tank to do a fishless cycle using a bit of fish food (I have a lot of old fish flake sample packs anyway). I'm doing the readings every day and partial water changes to deal with high ammonia and nitrate readings. My pH here is rather high, 8+ so I'm using an API PH down product when it gets over 8. I also bought API Ammo Lock for the future in case there's an ammonia spike while I have an axie in the tank. I know it won't remove ammonia but it makes it less toxic. I use a Fluval cycling bacteria product, but I've read these products don't do a lot of good.

So now I want to do what I can to prevent this from happening again when I get another axie. I was quite attached to my first axie, and I still miss her and feel badly that my own ignorance probably caused her death.



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Old 30th June 2015   #4
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Default Re: Floating problems - causes and prevention

Please, Please make sure you are absolutely ready to take on another Lotl... I know ignorance is a harsh lesson especially for your pet... But its so much safer to find the prevention than the cure.. I know there are articles about water change, some say do a 20% water change per week, and some say a 90% water change per week. I personally vacuum all 5 of my tanks everyday and the water loss is a least 15% - 20% which I replace with fresh water... My heart goes out to you for your loss and I very much wish you the best and all the luck with your next Lotl...



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Old 1st July 2015   #5
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Default Re: Floating problems - causes and prevention

Quote:
Originally Posted by jikaru View Post
Please, Please make sure you are absolutely ready to take on another Lotl... I know ignorance is a harsh lesson especially for your pet... But its so much safer to find the prevention than the cure.. I know there are articles about water change, some say do a 20% water change per week, and some say a 90% water change per week. I personally vacuum all 5 of my tanks everyday and the water loss is a least 15% - 20% which I replace with fresh water... My heart goes out to you for your loss and I very much wish you the best and all the luck with your next Lotl...
Thank you! I actually did a lot of research before I got my first axolotl. I kept fish tanks since childhood, but back then they didn't have water conditioner much less information about cycling! I used to prepare buckets of water beforehand and let them sit out for three days before doing water changes. We didn't cycle per se but I always set up and ran my tanks for at least 2-4 weeks before stocking them. I kept many species and types of fish - from fancy goldfish to bettas I imported from Asia.

Before I bought my axie I asked the breeder if I needed to set up the tank in advance, he said "oh no! Axolotls are hardy and you can put them in a new tank right away!" I should have realized that might have had something to do with the fact that he was selling the tank and setup with his axies.

I want to get another axie (different breeder this time) but first I've set up the tank and I'm doing the tests and water changes every day. I don't mind doing this at all - I'm used to it! I'd rather wait and do it right this time than lose another axolotl.



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Old 1st July 2015   #6
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Default Re: Floating problems - causes and prevention

Please don't rule out that your ax could already have been in the early stages of illness, or could have had genetic issues....such as kidney or heart problems.....which all the care in the world could not have fixed...it may have been nothing you did "wrong"at all.



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