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Axolotl erratically flailing

charliebearbrom

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So my axolotls Wilson and Flo live together in a 200 litre tank. Wilson is about 18cm and Flo is about 14cm. I’m pretty sure Wilson in a boy and Flo is a girl having examined their bits. Wilson has taken to trying to eat Flo, he’s had a go at her gills, feet and tail.

As a result I’ve added a divider in the middle of the tank to separate them. It’s acrylic so won’t rust or rot and there a 1cm holes Incrementally to allow for water flow. Water parameters and temp are all right.

It’s been in situ for a couple of days now and Wilson has began thrashing erratically. I’ve attached a video but he has been doing it much more aggressively at times. Like literally curling up in a ball and flailing in distress, I can’t understand why! He doesn’t seem to have fungus so I don’t think it’s that. Any ideas, I’m stumped!
 

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wolfen

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this type of behaviour is quite normal although more likely to be seen at night, the thrashing about is because he decided that the tight spot between the rock and glass is a good place to fit through.
 

axolotl nerd

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this type of behaviour is quite normal although more likely to be seen at night, the thrashing about is because he decided that the tight spot between the rock and glass is a good place to fit through.
i'm inclined to believe the same, but i'd like to raise the question of how long he has been behaving like this for. if it's been more than just for one night it could point to something neurological, as @Autistic Catholic suggested. i know axolotls can get brain damage from hitting their heads, so i wonder if that is a possibility
 

Autistic Catholic

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i'm inclined to believe the same, but i'd like to raise the question of how long he has been behaving like this for. if it's been more than just for one night it could point to something neurological, as @Autistic Catholic suggested. i know axolotls can get brain damage from hitting their heads, so i wonder if that is a possibility
I've seen threads on here about people describing their axolotls spinning and though outwardly it seemed "normal", it was at a much higher frequency and the problem did turn out to be neurological. Which is why I would like more observational data and to raise that concern at the very least.
 

axolotl nerd

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I've seen threads on here about people describing their axolotls spinning and though outwardly it seemed "normal", it was at a much higher frequency and the problem did turn out to be neurological. Which is why I would like more observational data and to raise that concern at the very least.
agreed. if it's a consistent issue it's much more likely to be neurological
 

charliebearbrom

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I've seen threads on here about people describing their axolotls spinning and though outwardly it seemed "normal", it was at a much higher frequency and the problem did turn out to be neurological. Which is why I would like more observational data and to raise that concern at the very least.
He did spin yesterday. The only way I could explain the movement is to imagine holding a tea towel by the corner and whipping it around in all different directions, very distressing. I’ll keep my eye on him today and try and get more videos. If it is neurological what should I do.

I also think it is particularly frustration because he can see the other side of the tank where Flo is and can’t physically get there
 

Autistic Catholic

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Here is a video a member put up several years ago on YT of an axolotl suffering spinning problems. It was determined that there was a neurological infection going on and the axolotl was euthanised.

If it's similar behavior to your axolotl, I would recommend consulting with a vet for advice. If you think it has to do with that he can see the other axolotl in the tank, maybe try a more opaque divider or perhaps tub him and see if his behavior improves.
 

wolfen

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keep monitoring your axolotl, if it starts to become lethargic, unresponsive, floating belly up etc.. then and only then consider euthanasia, unlike most animals axolotls have the ability where any damaged part of the brain is repaired (which is why axolotls are being used to try and find a cure for alzheimers) so even if it is neurological then it can still recover.
 
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