The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Store


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



Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 29th July 2015   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 1
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Elphaner is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Non-Feathery Gills

I've had my axolotls, Salt (female albino) and Peppa' (female wild type), since January. They were about 3 years old when I got them from a breeder who was moving out of state.

When I got them they had the feathers on their gills (they never had very plump gills) but recently they have lost mostly everything (pictures included). I was wondering if anyone had some past experience and knew the cause of something like this. I've included some information about them below.

The previous owner kept them in a 10 gallon tank ever since they were born, and that is what they are in now, but I will be upgrading to a 20 or 30 as soon as I move at the end of the week. I know 10 gallons is too small for two

Salt has always been thinner than Peppa', but I think that Peppa' is just a glutton. I feed them thawed blood worm cubes right now (one each every 2-3 days). I tried hand-feeding earthworms a couple months ago. Salt refused to eat them, but Peppa' just went crazy for them. Salt got even thinner, so I switched back to the bloodworms.

I don't have a filter on the tank right now, because every time I turn it on, their gills curl up. I've found literature online that water movement is stressful, so I've always assumed that to be the cause of their gills curling up.

Because I don't have the filter I try to change the water (20%) at least once a week, but I haven't been very diligent in the last couple weeks unfortunately. I just tested the water and the results are as follows, PH: 7.4; Ammonia: 0; Nitrite: 0; Nitrate: 50.

Peppa' is very active, she swims and walks about frequently, while Salt is mostly sedentary. Peppa' has always gulped air, but Salt has recently started doing it too.

Please let me know if you have any advice.

Thank you

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Elphaner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th July 2015   #2
Axolotl Enthusiast
Skudo09's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 1,145
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Skudo09 has given consistently excellent advice and informationSkudo09 has given consistently excellent advice and informationSkudo09 has given consistently excellent advice and informationSkudo09 has given consistently excellent advice and informationSkudo09 has given consistently excellent advice and information
Default Re: Non-Feathery Gills

I can't view the pictures unfortunately.

10 gallons is very small for two adult axolotls. The sooner you can upgrade them the better so it is good you are doing this soon. I feel that this is probably due to water quality. I would maybe move them to a tub of clean, fresh, dechlorinated water and conduct daily 100% water changes until you can transfer them to the new tank. Having them in the tub will allow you to monitor them closely and ensure they are in good water conditions to aid in recovery. You could also try a black tea bath to help soothe their skin. Tea also has some mild antibacterial and antifungal properties and is a gentle treatment. It may also be better to keep them in the tub doing daily 100% water changes until the new tank is cycled as further exposure to ammonia and nitrite whilst the new tank cycles would not aid their recovery.

With food, bloodworm and blackworm are not nutritious enough as a staple diet for adult axolotls. What type of earthworms have you tried? You could try a different type of earthworm or perhaps try blanching the worm first (pour hot water over the worm for a second to kill the worm and then immediately pour cold water to cool them)? Worms, particularly red wigglers, excrete a foul tasting substance which sometimes axolotls don't like. Blanching them first kills the worm and stops this from happening. You could also try chopping the worm up into smaller portions. Sometimes, you may need to offer nothing else and see if they get hungry enough to eat the worms. If you can't get them to eat earthworms, a good quality axolotl or newt pellet may be a better option as these will provide more nutrition than bloodworm or blackworm.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unwakened" - Anatole France
Skudo09 is offline   Reply With Quote

albino, axolotl, gills, sick, wild

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What are Axy's feathery gills for? racheljritchie Axolotl General Discussion 4 3rd July 2012 09:22
Illness/Sickness: Gills becoming less feathery Lizzie Sick Axolotl? 10 21st November 2010 15:15
Kicking at gills with hind legs and gills flapping! Sampson Sick Axolotl? 7 7th June 2010 16:56
Loosing feathery parts of the gills (not due to fish) mitchell101 Sick Axolotl? 18 14th April 2009 12:21
Axolotl with no feathery gills? HeavenlyCharmed Axolotl General Discussion 9 17th January 2009 10:21

All times are GMT. The time now is 13:35.