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Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 3rd March 2016   #1
Axiegilbert
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Unhappy Help!

Okay, just got my first axolotl a few weeks ago! Everything has been perfect I clean his waste out everyday and do water changes to make sure he stays healthy.... but the past week my ph has been at 8.4, ammonia at 8.0, nitrite at 5.0, and nitrate at 160ppm!!! I've been fighting to get them down by doing water changes everyday and testing it constantly. Even fresh after a water change its the same! I'm so confused... he has no signs of stress or anything and acts normal... I'm worried that somethings going to happen to him if I don't get it down soon. Please help my little gilbert!



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Old 4th March 2016   #2
Laura
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Default Re: Help!

With readings that extreme, a couple of thoughts come to mind. The first (and I hope this is correct) is that the readings are wrong. The second is that something in the tank is causing the readings.

So, first: do you get the same readings on tap water that you have added the appropriate amount of conditioner to? If so, then most-likely, your readings are wrong. Regardless, how are you testing your water? And what readings are you getting from the tap water?

If you get sane, sensible readings from your tap water, then let's assume that something is wrong in your tank. If the readings are anywhere close to correct, your axie needs to come out of there until you can get things figured out and fixed. Do you have a suitable container or small tank that you can keep your axie in? You can keep your axolotl in a container that holds a gallon or two for a while, as long as you are changing all of the water often enough (like, twice a day, always with conditioned water of the same temperature, preferably conditioned with a good conditioner like Prime that locks up ammonia and nitrite for a while.) The container needs to be "safe", as in, safe from children, cats or other animals, getting knocked over, etc.

So on to debugging your tank issues ... I am guessing your tank isn't cycled yet. That would cause ammonia to go up. But it should not cause pH to go up, and from your post, it sounds like pH is above what you are expecting. So I am wondering what you have in your tank for decorations and substrate.

So, since a lot of the follow-on information depends on answers we don't yet have, how about you tell us what you found out about your tap water, what is in your aquarium (decorations, hides, substrate, plants, filter) and what you know about the cycle and if your think your tank is cycled yet. There are lots of people who will be glad to help you here.



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Old 4th March 2016   #3
Killian J
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Default Help!

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.
My go to products. They are really cheap and help a lot!


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Old 4th March 2016   #4
Axiegilbert
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Default Re: Help!

Hi, Ive tested my tap water before and it has no explanation to the levels I get in my tank. All the other tanks in my house are perfect (I'm nuts about testing and having water perfect haha) but this one I just can't seem to control. I use a liquid test kit because of how much more reliable of a reading you get with them. The bottom of the tank has big rocks to cover the bottom glass and he has one hide I keep in the corner. I don't have any live plants or any decor other than his hide... I upgraded his filter to a better one than what I had hoping it would circulate the water more but I see no change in anything...



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Old 4th March 2016   #5
Killian J
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Default Help!

I know that it isn't fun to spend money at all but seriously the ammonia safe and easy balance are super effective and can help while you get the situation under control, but that's all I'll say about that. I don't want to sound like a marketer :) I'm just trying to help


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Old 4th March 2016   #6
Axiegilbert
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Default Re: Help!

Haha You don't! I'd definitely rather spend money than have him die on me... I'm going to check them out I just haven't seen them anywhere around in my area... thanks! I hope I find something that works



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Old 4th March 2016   #7
Laura
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Default Re: Help!

I suspect the rocks for the pH issue. Can you take them out? Also possibly poop/food under the rocks for ammonia, nitrate, etc.

Was the aquarium cycled before the axolotl went in? (And do you know what the cycle is? Forgive me, but some experienced aquarium keepers don't and have just gotten lucky.)

Regardless, I recommend keeping the axolotl out of the tank until you resolve the tank issue.



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Old 4th March 2016   #8
Chris
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Default Re: Help!

Laura is right, take your Axolotl out of the tank ASAP. Its being potentially exposed to extreme levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrAte. Take no chances, move your Axolotl to a separate container, I use large plastic food containers like this: Click image for larger version

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Then change the water everyday with dechlorinated water to make sure no ammonia builds up.

I wouldn't use any of the additional chemicals to bind ammonia or nitrate, Tetra AmmoniaSafe only detoxify's ammonia while you perform water changes, it does not remove it. You would be better to find the root cause of your extreme test results. Same with Tetra EasyBalance. You can easily perform water changes to lower ammonia and nitrate, then you eliminate adding additional chemicals to your tank. There's just no need for it when you can completely control your cycle your self.

It does seem that if all your other tanks in your house are giving correct test results then there is potentially an issue in your tank.


You need to establish whether the extreme test results are really true.

- Follow the instructions on your test kit perfectly to make sure you get true results.

- Make sure your test tubes are clean and dry before testing.

- Once you have performed the tests for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrAte place the tubes next to the color chart and take a picture, upload it to this thread.

- Take pictures of your tank/setup and upload to this thread.

But as Laura asked, how aware of the nitrogen cycle are you? Do you fully understand the process?



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Old 9th March 2016   #9
LawnFlamingo
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Default Re: Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axiegilbert View Post
Hi, Ive tested my tap water before and it has no explanation to the levels I get in my tank. All the other tanks in my house are perfect (I'm nuts about testing and having water perfect haha) but this one I just can't seem to control. I use a liquid test kit because of how much more reliable of a reading you get with them. The bottom of the tank has big rocks to cover the bottom glass and he has one hide I keep in the corner. I don't have any live plants or any decor other than his hide... I upgraded his filter to a better one than what I had hoping it would circulate the water more but I see no change in anything...
I'm pretty sure Petsmart carries the Tetra brand, they at least do in Canada.



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