Axie Escape!

JasmineLeigh848

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Hi everyone,

This morning I woke up and my axolotl Mossamander (monster + salamander, courtesy of my 3yo) was not in his tank. Now the lid had been left off (our fault, I know) so I’m not sure if he jumped or if one of my cats scooped him out... but I found him behind the tank ALIVE! I have no idea how long he had been there and I assumed he was dead when I first found him but, he’s not! He seems fine walking around. There is a small 1/2 a tic tac sized chunk of tail missing and some of his skin seems flaky but not a lot. It’s hard to see either of these things in the pics... I know there are options for tea baths but I’m wondering if he even needs this? And if so what kind of tea & how long!? Also I’ve wondered for months why his gills are bent forward like that if anyone has any insight? Not sure if that’s even a problem or not. All water levels are good and he eats fine and seems friendly and interactive most days. Also if he maybe DID jump out...why would he do that!? I haven’t seen any signs of morphing, he barely ever guys air.. only when his temp rises does he seem to gulp and I keep a close eye to minimize that.
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JasmineLeigh848

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I should mention the lid was off because we just moved his tank. The room he was in was hard to temp/light control so we moved it and siphoned and cleaned and everything yesterday. Not sure if that could have stressed him some how? We put him in a large tupperware container while moving it.
 

miola

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I would not tea bath him right off, salt or tea baths are usually for things like fungus. Just keep his water clean and cool to speed healing, and keep an eye on his skin for fungus. Stress can make them more susceptible to illnesses like fungus.
Check your water parameters daily to make sure all the cleaning and siphoning did not affect your cycle, that could send him to the top for air, or further stress him, leading to fungus.
Forward turned gills are usually a sign of stress. It could be the temperature problems you were having, or it could be a water current issue in your tank. Do you have a sponge filter? Or a HOB (hang on back) filter with the water fall effect? If you have a HOB it may be the water current that is causing him stress. You can rig up a baffle, or put plants or accessories below the waterfall to break up the current. I have a HOB and even the low setting creates a current, so I rigged up a baffle out of a plastic water bottle. I found the diy poking around on YouTube.
My money is on your cat, but I've read plenty of warnings about how much they like to jump, usually when startled. I'd say he's had a lucky escape, and it's a bit miraculous he survived!
Great name, by the way. My teenager named one of ours Smirnoff, so enjoy the cute little human stage while it lasts😉🤣
 

JasmineLeigh848

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I do have an HOB filter but it’s all the way up at the top of the tank and on the lowest setting. It creates a barely noticeable current across the top but I don’t think its enough to bother him, especially with 20gal of water between him and it lol. I am planning to get a sponge filter soon, just haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I’m thinking I may have been paranoid about his gills before. After this mornings episode they are REALLY bent, making me think before this it wasn’t really anything. Obviously he is extra stressed right now though. He has started to move around a lot more than he was when I initially put him back in so that’s a good sign!
 

miola

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No need to replace the HOB with a sponge filter, & glad to hear he's moving about! He is one lucky guy!
 

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Just to add (because I often see some confusion on this part):

- Salt baths are very harmful to the skin and hurt a lot, but are also harmful to fungus. You only want to do these if the axolotl has fungus problems.

- Tea baths are soothing and can help with healing skin. They do not help against fungus, but can help after skin problems or after salt baths. They're pretty easy: just take some unflavoured, unprocessed black tea and hang it in the aquarium until the water is a slightly darker colour. Not as dark as you would drink tea - the colour you would expect the water in a forest creek to have. That's it. It's no miracle cure, but some axolotls like it.
 
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  • Lanalotl:
    Hi I recently rescued a lotl (i did weeks of research before rescuing) Hes mabey 5 or 6 years of age..the previous owner could not remember the exact age of him. I got him from her as he was or had been picked on by his tank mate another lotl who was bough with him from every younger age, I noticed one of his gills, a middle one at the end had split in two? And is slightly more floppy? He also appears or mabey I'm just over worried to mabey have lost some feathers, is that normal to lose some?...all levels in the tank are fine, but wondered if theres and advice anyone could give me as an experienced owner to a new one.
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  • Axolotl Queen:
    @Lanalotl Sounds like the gills may have been nipped by the tank mate. If he is in his own tank and the parameters etc are all good, then he should grow them back and they should go back to full health and strength. However, depending on how old the injury is they may not fully grow back if they have been constantly nipped at.
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  • Smknmom421:
    Can anyone tell me why this is happening? We just did a water change and after freaking out and whipping around the tank, an hour later they look like this. It won't let me send a pic. The edges of their gills are white and it looks like they have skin shedding off
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  • Murk:
    That sounds like severe skin damage. If you post a thread on the forum, you can attach pictures.
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  • Murk:
    It sounds like something went wrong with the water change, so this could be very dangerous. Did you use a dechlorinator? Could it be there are traces of chlorine or soap in the water? (Or for example, in the bucket you used?)
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  • Murk:
    Normally, I would recommend taking them out of the tank asap and putting them in a tub with fresh water, but if there's something wrong with your tap water or dechlorinator, that might not help either. Do you have acces to bottled water or rain water?
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  • Sal22:
    I think my axie is dying, he’s never had any issues before, I’ve had him 3 years, today I noticed some fluffy looking stuff coming from his genital area so I took him out of his tank and did a full tank clean to make sure the water wasn’t infected as I thought it was fungus and then I noticed he had a cut on his belly which was only small about 5 hours ago and now it’s spread to all of his belly, what do I do I’m freaking out
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  • Sal22:
    Update about my axie, unfortunately he has died over night, he looked as if he was bruised allover his belly, his mucus layer had also started to come off.
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  • Ganaa:
    Anyone here from DMV?
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  • AlexisJG:
    Hi I have 2 4in juveniles (I’ve had them about 2 weeks and they are doing well I think they’ve grown a little already honestly) but I am supposed to go on a 5-6 day vacation in October about 3-4 months from now. I am wondering how I should go about their care when I am gone. I thought about putting them in separate (fairly big) containers with live plants and/or bubblers with a fan in the dark and either fridging them (my last plan) but I am hoping to to either have someone I trust come feed them and turkey baste waste out or just leave them out and clean the containers before we leave and have someone come check on them once or twice. Does any of this sound like a good or bad idea? I want the best for them. All help appreciated :)
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  • Ganaa:
    @patrickstar116, do you still have your fire salamanders?
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  • patrickstar116:
    @Ganaa, I do you may message me if you wish
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    hi.....
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  • JDeslippe21:
    Hi, so I have 2 male axolotls and about an hour ago they were both perfectly fine and now only one of them has his tail curling up and his gills are slightly curled?? But other than that they’re both acting normally
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  • Murk:
    Could be he's just excited, spooked or temporarily stressed, which could pass in a few hours. It could also be an indicator of other problems. Do you have any recent water parameters?
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  • AlexisJG:
    Does anyone have any idea how to help with high ammonia levels? I have the API freshwater master kit and everything else’s test results were great besides ammonia. I did a 50% water change and I use API products including ammonia lock.
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    Help! I got my first axolotl two days ago and they have stopped eating. They ate a few frozen blood worms the first day and haven’t eaten or been interested in food since. I feed them frozen blood worms and the tank is around 64 degrees. I do have a filter that moves sometimes and I noticed them swimming up to it, I have a new filter and a fan coming today or tomorrow. I leave the worms in the tank or a little bit before taking them out so I don’t know if they ate when I wasn’t looking. I know it takes a while for them to digest. Does anyone have any tips or knowledge they can share? The pet store I bought them from didn’t have gravel or sand in the tank so I’m not sure if theres an issue or if I’m just impatient. Thank you!
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu, how big they are? also for substrate, i would not do gravel at all I would either do sand or none at all!
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    Thank you so much for the information and advice! They are eating again, they ate a lot today. I think it might have been stress from the move or digesting old food, I also noticed they ate some of the food left in the tank (I removed the rest). I’m going to keep the tank bare bottom.
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu,your so welcome im glad to be of help! and I'm glad that they are eating as well!
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