Agitated Axolotl, need a solution

Junaz

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Hi, so I’ve had my axolotl for about 4 months now, and so far she’s been doing ok. I’ve been having serious trouble getting her tank to cycle though. I jumped the gun on buying her, which is complete on me, as her tank wasn’t cycled when I bought her. She’s my first pet, and I feel terribly about it. However like I’ve said, as far as I can tell she’s doing ok. She hardly ever looks agitated, and she always eats. She hasn’t been pooping as regularly since I got sand as her substrate (which is something I should’ve done more research on because even though it said it would be fine, I read that it could cause constipation, plus she’s a baby), however I’m trying to find a solution to this as well. I’ve noticed a lot of brown algae, and I read that in small amounts it’s ok, but large amounts could indicate high nitrate levels in the tank, so every time I do a water change I scrub it off. I also changed the lighting, because it said that it could also be caused by the wrong lighting. To come to my point though, after I did my 50% monthly start change yesterday, she looks very agitated. And by that I mean her gills are curled very forward. Earlier, I saw her tail curling, and her swimming around frantically. I cleaned her filter today too, however she looked agitated before the filter cleaning. I checked her water levels, and like I said I just can’t get the tank to cycle. The levels were:
Ammonia- .50ppm
Nitrite- .25ppm
Nitrate- 5.0ppm
And I’ve already tried moving her to another water source in the past while my tank cycled, because it was recommended to me, however despite the fact that I treated the water, it was even less inhabitable than her tank water, so I put her back. Oh and also, her water temp is 68.3 in Fahrenheit, so that’s good at least. I have one guppie in there too, who I think is pregnant. I’ll leave pictures of the two of them. So...what should I do? I don’t want her to be in pain. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know anyone who has an established aquarium either. I just want her to be ok.
 

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Pigalit

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What was exactly inhabitable about the other water source?
I’d still recommend tubbing her if the water parameters are off while your tank cycles. The ammonia is 100% damaging their gills. They are VERY sensitive and is probably suffering with the ammonia and nitrite present in the tank.

Also sand should be fine in your tank but I recommend feeding them on a piece of slate so they don’t inhale the sand.

I’m not exactly sure what was unlivable but I’ll provide my tub setup so you get a general idea.

The water and possibly the fan is all you really need. Make sure you’re doing 100% water changes

Also for clarification, how did you go about cycling your tank? Were you doing a fish in cycle? Did you add a separate ammonia source?
 

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Junaz

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What was exactly inhabitable about the other water source?
I’d still recommend tubbing her if the water parameters are off while your tank cycles. The ammonia is 100% damaging their gills. They are VERY sensitive and is probably suffering with the ammonia and nitrite present in the tank.

Also sand should be fine in your tank but I recommend feeding them on a piece of slate so they don’t inhale the sand.

I’m not exactly sure what was unlivable but I’ll provide my tub setup so you get a general idea.

The water and possibly the fan is all you really need. Make sure you’re doing 100% water changes

Also for clarification, how did you go about cycling your tank? Were you doing a fish in cycle? Did you add a separate ammonia source?
I didn’t know how to make there tub water safe. My tap water has incredibly high levels of ammonia. I put the stuff in it that my local pet store told me to, TLC Dechlorinator and Conditioner as well as seachem Prime. That’s also what I use when I do water changes in her tank, and also what I put in the water I use to clean her filter. She started to get super red and I felt like I could see her slime coat falling off, so I put her back. The way I have been trying to cycle is my local pet store gave me some bacteria from an already established tank, as well as some guppies (the one in the photos is the only one left. I removed all of the bodies when I found them dead except for one of them that I can only assume was eaten because I have looked everywhere and can’t find it. Also as a fan, do you mean to cool the water? I had bought an extra thermometer in case I tubbed her, but my house is so cold already that I don’t really need one (a fan). My house is kept at 62 degrees at all times, so the water stays where it’s supposed to. How do I make the tub water safe for her? Because I have the hides and stuff, as well as a tub, I just need safe water.
 

Pigalit

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I didn’t know how to make there tub water safe. My tap water has incredibly high levels of ammonia. I put the stuff in it that my local pet store told me to, TLC Dechlorinator and Conditioner as well as seachem Prime. That’s also what I use when I do water changes in her tank, and also what I put in the water I use to clean her filter. She started to get super red and I felt like I could see her slime coat falling off, so I put her back. The way I have been trying to cycle is my local pet store gave me some bacteria from an already established tank, as well as some guppies (the one in the photos is the only one left. I removed all of the bodies when I found them dead except for one of them that I can only assume was eaten because I have looked everywhere and can’t find it. Also as a fan, do you mean to cool the water? I had bought an extra thermometer in case I tubbed her, but my house is so cold already that I don’t really need one (a fan). My house is kept at 62 degrees at all times, so the water stays where it’s supposed to. How do I make the tub water safe for her? Because I have the hides and stuff, as well as a tub, I just need safe water.
I think you might need to talk to someone about the levels of ammonia is your tap water tbh. You really shouldn’t have more than .25 ppm (if that much) of ammonia in your tap water. If you’re also doing water changes with your tap water that could be a reason why your cycling process is stalling/taking longer than usual. Hopefully someone whose more experience can have a better solution! But the best bet is check why your tap water has such high levels of ammonia because that’s not normal.
 

Junaz

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I live in Florida, and the tap water in my area is notoriously bad. If I stay in the shower too long my eyes start to burn and I get super congested. I’m gonna look up if I can just use bottled water instead, cause this is ridiculous at this point. Thank you so much for your help though, I really appreciate it :)
 
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    Does anyone know if aquacare general tonic is ok for axolotls as a treatment for bacterial or fungal infection?
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    Hi Lilith, you can check the medications page for a list of axolotl safe treatments. Although if the infection is mild, I would stick with fridge and salt baths!
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    I believe the fridge gets to about 54°, so if you can replicate that in the tank, it might be okay. I personally would fridge just to make catching them easier, and if the infection is something in the water column at all, it will hopefully die out while they're AWOL (I'm thinking like ich for fish, not sure if axies have an equivalent)
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    My three inch axolotl was having trouble pooping up to a few days ago. I wasn't feeding her as often because I was scared I would just add to her constipation. I fridged her until she pooped (twice), and then began to feed her around 6 bloodworms every other day. she's been pooping everyday now, but she's at that age where you can see through her stomach and I always see poop ready to come out but has not yet passed. I don't think she's constipated anymore, but I'm not sure and i don't want to over or underfeed her... any advice?
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    Feed it chopped worms chitoos, its big enough and bloodworm is nutritionaly deficient.
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    Freeze dried , live or frozen bloodworm.
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    Oh ok thanks! I thought she might be ready for something more. do you have any advice about the apparent poop problem?
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    @Lilith, fridging is not required for fungus treatment. Read my thread on treatment.
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    Feed it more, six bloodworm isnt much, dont use freeze dried foods
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    Feed daily , remove uneaten food
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    Its probably not pooping because its hardly beign fed, it pooped in the fridge because the lower temp caused it to purge itself. If it stays constipated you can pm me
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