Axie prefers to be at top of tank?

axielover28

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Hey guys! I need some help please! I've only had my axolotl for a few weeks, and at first he was fine (he is a juvenile, not sure exactly how old though) but as of the last few days he has been sitting on top of the heater inside his tank which is located in the back left corner. He sits just below the surface of the water (at times the tops of his gills breach the surface) and if the water flow pushes him off his little platform there, he'll circle the tank and go back. Also, I've noticed that a few times I've caught him on the bottom of the tank and he'll swim to the top and suck in air to help him float back up to the top :(
What could he be up to? This is not only at feeding times, its the majority of the day, and he'll return to his post shortly after feeding... Suggestions?
Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated! (I've been waiting for THREE DAYS to be approved by the Admins in order to create this post, so I'm getting desperate now for an answer!)
 

Finley

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Why do you have heater in your tank? Axies need cold water, 16-18 centigrades is ideal. Also if he's being pushed away by water flow it sounds like the current is too strong, they don't like the water to move too much.
It's normal for them to gulp air from time to time so no need to worry about that unless there's also something else wrong.
What are your water parameters? is your tank cycled?
 

Cacique

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Finley's asked all the questions I would ask. I would check the parameters and remove the heater as they need the cold water like Finley said. You can do a search for DIY filter baffle to slow down the current, or put some filter floss blocking the water coming out of the filter to slow it down. If your tank is not cycled, are you doing frequent water changes?

If your tank is not cycled, you need to check the tank daily for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates because you cannot let these get too high. You will need to do frequent water changes to keep the water parameters livable for your axie.
 

axielover28

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Thanks guys! The heater is on its lowest setting, as the tank is in my basement and it can get very cold. The water temp is kept at 18 degrees. I've considered taking the heater out completely though, he'd be okay even in very cold temperatures? I don't want the poor little guy to get too chilly... Also, the water flow is already blocked, he was just sitting very close to the output and every once in a while he'd drift off of his post.
Anyways, I got him a new (bigger) tank, this one is 15 gal, it's all set up and I'll switch him over once it's been cycled. I'm hoping he seems to like his new home better.
 

Boomsloth

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Axolotls can survive in temps pretty close to freezing. Your basement shouldn't go below freezing though and your axolotl will live longer at a slightly colder temp than 18C.
 

Boomsloth

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Also adding in that a heater can be a huge risk if it ever malfunctioned and got stuck in the on position. It's rare but not so uncommon. Happened to me and I came back home to fish stew in my room.
 

axielover28

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Yikes! Great point! I'll go remove it this minute!
 

Nachtmare

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Yea your axies are much better off with slighty cooler temperatures rather than slightly warmer temperatures. Also like everyone else said make sure the water parameters are ideal for the axies.

What would be the best way to reduce the movement of the water flow from the filter?

I personally have the Tetra whisper EX 30 and at the moment I am cycling my tank so it's just filled with sand but the flow from my filter moves the sand to where I can see the bottom of the tank. I don't see any way one the filter to control to intensity of the output of the filter. I was thinking about putting my hideaway against the wall where the sand is being moved around and hopefully that helps bounce the flow so its not as strong. Any other suggestions?
 

mewsie

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I personally have the Tetra whisper EX 30 and at the moment I am cycling my tank so it's just filled with sand but the flow from my filter moves the sand to where I can see the bottom of the tank. I don't see any way one the filter to control to intensity of the output of the filter. I was thinking about putting my hideaway against the wall where the sand is being moved around and hopefully that helps bounce the flow so its not as strong. Any other suggestions?
Good idea - I looked at the filter and don't see any attachments for reducing the flow. If you have any fake silk plants, try hooking or wedging one so that the leaves break up the flow. I've previously had a plant with the base out of the water and leaves pointing downwards - if that makes sense...?

Axielover28 - as the others have said, you really shouldn't need the heater, 18 is where most of us start to worry that we might have to cool it down. I'm jealous of your cold basement!

Also, some axolotls do just like hanging out at the top. Most of us at some point in our axolotl-filled lives have thought one was dead because it was just floating there, but it's often just a personality thing, especially when they're young. Here's a video I took of one of mine when he was little, enjoying the outlet from his filter; it was his favourite place for months. You can just make out that he was probably 1/3 out of the water! Weirdo. I bet it felt nice though!

Albi Jacuzzi - YouTube

It may well be temperature still, so the advice above is sound, but welcome to the world of axolotls, where sometimes nothing makes sense ;)
 

Nachtmare

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Good idea - I looked at the filter and don't see any attachments for reducing the flow. If you have any fake silk plants, try hooking or wedging one so that the leaves break up the flow. I've previously had a plant with the base out of the water and leaves pointing downwards - if that makes sense...?

yea that makes sense. My girlfriend is buying all my stuff for my birthday but wont tell me everything that she got so I stuck kind of waiting until I get them(which is Tuesday...finally :D)


Also, some axolotls do just like hanging out at the top. Most of us at some point in our axolotl-filled lives have thought one was dead because it was just floating there, but it's often just a personality thing, especially when they're young. Here's a video I took of one of mine when he was little, enjoying the outlet from his filter; it was his favourite place for months. You can just make out that he was probably 1/3 out of the water! Weirdo. I bet it felt nice though!


yea I'm guessing you just gotta learn how your axie acts what they like/dislike.

looks like its enjoying the fresh air haha
 

Cacique

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I wanted to add that you can do a search for DIY aquarium filter baffle and you'll get some instructions for a baffle with a plastic bottle to spread the flow of the water. What I just did was just cram some extra filter floss in the outflow opening and it's slow enough so that my axie (and all my other critters in the other tanks) can swim around without any issues but not slowing it too much to cause filter problems.
 
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