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Old 18th October 2013   #1
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Question Missing gills and toe, also gender and floating

I bought my first axolotl 5 days ago, I'm not too sure of its gender yet but for now we have gone with a he and called him Abraham. When we got him, we saw him in the shop and he had been there for a good 2 weeks or more and once or twice a week we would go and see if anyone took him, but he was the last out of the batch to go, I think the reason for this being that his gills were not very noticeable, looking closely you can just about see part of them, but other than that, it looks as though they have been chopped off, I have no idea what this means, I thought it may have been due to the shops water conditions being poor, however nothing has changed and getting a closer look it looks like nothing is going to change!

I have looked everywhere and found nothing of this sort online, along with that, one of his toes on his back left foot seems to be stumped, I only have him so I have no idea how they are in groups and was wondering if this may have been damage caused by a previous tank mate?

The past day he has also been floating to the top of the tank, he often rises up to the surface of the water when waiting for his food, and his head is always higher than his body, however now his head and body are completely level and he stays suspended in the water at the top of the tank motionless until you ruffle the water a little which makes him move a bit, letting me know that he is still alive! I have no idea why he does it but it scares the life out of me! please help someone? He eats fine, he has a portion of blood worms once a day!

None of the photos attached are taken of him in his tank, I moved him briefly to a smaller tank to take the photos and to put him in the fridge as suggested on many sites, which did briefly stop him from floating, it almost seemed like he had trapped air that he relieved after about 2-3 hours in the fridge and was fine in his tank for a few more hours and now he is floating again!

Any ideas or responses would be much appreciated, thank you!
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Old 18th October 2013   #2
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Default Re: Missing gills and toe, also gender and floating

If they're young, tank mates will bite each other, especially in a tiny cramped pet store tank. Poor thing is probably having some difficulty breathing. His toe and gills should grow back though if you can keep his stress levels down and they don't get infected. Keep an eye out for any signs of infection like fungal wispy white stuff. There's no sure fire way to figure out his gender until he's older.

I hope he does ok, keep us updated. Best wishes for little Abraham.

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Old 19th October 2013   #3
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Default Re: Missing gills and toe, also gender and floating

I got my axolotl from a pet store too. They were keeping him and his sibling in betta cups! Mine also had a stumpy foot, which is still lagging behind his other legs in terms of growth. My point is, when they come from poor conditions such as those in most pet stores, it takes them a while to recover. Expect to see him at the top of the tank quite a lot until his gills grow back, and like Vainglory said, keep an eye out for fungus. I hope he makes a full recovery!

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floating on top of water, gender male female, help and advice needed, help or suggestions, metamorphing?, missing limbs, sick axolotl

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