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

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Old 26th January 2018   #1
tgmiller
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Default Looking for Advice and Experiences with Floating Juvenile Axolotls

I have been reading through previous posts on "floating" juvenile axolotls for the past couple of months and, after joining as a member of caudata, I have even posted some of my own personal experiences with floating juveniles in order to try and help others.

The problem is, most of my experiences have been failures. I am currently raising approximately 220 juvenile axolotls. It has been about 7 weeks since they have hatched, and in the first few weeks I would go to do their daily water changes and find almost half of them floating upside down! At first, I panicked. This is my first time hatching and raising axolotls (turns out axolotls can breed before they are even 8 months old) and I thought they were all dying. I did some reading on caudata and it turns out that this wasn't completely abnormal for newly hatched axolotls. Thankfully, at least in my case, I would have 30-50 floating on any given day for the first few weeks but I only lost 2 or 3 in total during this period of time. And this wasn't necessarily because of the floating issue.

After the first 2 or 3 weeks I went without any issues with floating axolotls until about week 5 or 6. Since then I have lost close to 10 axolotls due to floating/bloating and have had only 2 or 3 others recover. I cannot figure out what is causing this. So far it has only occurred in my smaller juveniles that are still eating live brine shrimp only and in some that are eating a mix of live brine shrimp and frozen blood worms. Am I getting too many unhatched brine shrimp eggs in with my hatched brine shrimp? Could that possibly be what is causing this? I don't know what else it could be or if it's just something that unfortunately happens naturally that I have no control over? I apologize for the long post but I would appreciate input from anyone who has any advice from their own trial and errors with this problem or who has read any helpful posts or articles regarding this issue.

I have attached a few images of two of my juvenile axolotls that I am currently trying to get through this issue. I still have hope for them, the wild one especially, as they are still floating on their sides and the bubbles are still small and separate instead of merging into one large air pocket. So far I have lost every one of my juveniles that the air bubbles have merged into one and they go from floating on their side to completely upside down.

Thank you to everyone who has read this post to the end. Any and all advice and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
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Old 26th January 2018   #2
LittleLotti
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Question Re: Looking for Advice and Experiences with Floating Juvenile Axolotls

Heya didn't want to read and run. Not too sure what this could be if your doing the right water changes and they are eating well. If it is the first clutch by the mother they are weaker. This is my first time raising my axolotls eggs. They are currently approaching 3 weeks. I don't think thats air bubbles in their tummy they are it's internal organs. I had a couple do this but they was the smaller ones. I have some like 3 times the size now on blood worm daph and crushed pellets. so separated them and put lower water and extra daphinia so that they ate more and they seem okay now. So I think mine did it because they was not eating enough. I have now separated them all so they are by similar size and in groups of 10. I sold most of the eggs so I'm only raising 40 so I can concentrate on them fully. Hope we get an answer from someone with much more knowlege and experience soon. Good luck with your little ones :)

Also just read how old the parents were this is very very young to breed! I believe it is something like 16 months before you should breed them so they are possibly a weak clutch anyway.



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Old 27th January 2018   #3
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Default Re: Looking for Advice and Experiences with Floating Juvenile Axolotls

Thank you for your input! The breeding was not intentional. Unfortunately I had a house sitter while I was out of the country for 10 days when they laid eggs. She wasn't sure what to do with them so she left them in the tank. By the time I returned they were already a week into development. I wasn't able to get myself to terminate them after I saw that they had already begun to develop (halfway to hatching it turns out). There is now a tank divider separating my male and female. I'm sure I am making several beginner mistakes during this process but I am hoping to learn minimize that by using caudata as a resource. I do daily water changes but it is always possible that some aren't getting enough to eat. With live brine shrimp it is harder for me to tell if they are eating enough, with blood worms I find it much easier.



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Old 4th February 2018   #4
LittleLotti
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Red face Re: Looking for Advice and Experiences with Floating Juvenile Axolotls

Mine were a happy accident too :) I am feeding mine on daphinia, some of the larger ones are now on small bloodworm and some crushed pellets as well. Did your floating ones survive?



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Old 7th February 2018   #5
Ryland
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Default Re: Looking for Advice and Experiences with Floating Juvenile Axolotls

One of my little babies has this problem too. The first clutch is always weak and more prone to genetic issues, especially when coming from younger parents. There is a disorder among axolotls that causes them to retain oxygen - they can take air into their lungs, but it is difficult for them to expel it. As long as the babies are still eating and pooping, they should be okay. I wouldn't keep them in tubs with a normal water level. Separate the floaters and put them in little tubs with just enough water to cover them completely. This will reduce any stress from floating, and may give them time to properly expel the air bubbles. This issue in itself is not inherently dangerous, although the stress from constant floating leaves them vulnerable to infections.



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