Axolotl Floating & Can't Swim Down?!! HELP

maddief

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I have two juvenile axolotls, Squirt (leucistic) and Crush (melanoid). They are approximately 3 inches in length, Crush is a little bigger. They've been eating lots of blood worms (thawed from frozen blocks) and I decided to see if they would eat pellets. I gave them 1-2 last night and I woke up to find Crush floating on the top of the water.

I lightly touched him to see if he was alive and he frantically swam away. He keeps trying to swim to the bottom of the tank but he just floats to the top of the water again. He looks stressed by the way he's swimming. When I try to feed him, he won't eat. He's also floating to the side (tilting) but not completely upside down. I'm very worried and I'm not sure what to do. (Squirt is completely fine, normal behaviour, and eating regularly).

MY TANK: - 20 gallon long tank, I'm currently cycling it at the moment.
- nitrite: 0ppm nitrate: 0ppm ammonia: 0.2-0.5ppm pH: high
- currently doing water changes every 3rd day
- temperature of the tank is around 19 - 20 degrees Celsius

!! I know that ammonia is highly toxic, should I be doing more frequent water changes?
!! Whats causing Crush to float ??
!! How do I help my poor axie??
 

KombatVirus

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If you have ammonia, your tank is not fully cycled yet. Maybe he is sensitive to that. I think you should take him out and chill him, make sure to change the water daily, and just let him sit in the fridge for a couple of days. Hopefully he will come to
 

auntiejude

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I would say there are 2 problems that are unrelated - the floating and the ammonia are not connected.

The floating is most likely caused by the change of food - basically it's gas - and should pass in a few days. Give your axie something to wedge under such as pondweed or a cork mat would be useful until it passes.

The ammonia and lack of nitrate means that your tank is not yet cycled, you need to test the water daily and change water as needed to keep the ammonia under 0.5.
 
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  • Murk:
    Hi Nerdybirds - open a thread, that usually gets more views and also allows you to post pictures and give more background information: water parameters, age, etc.
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  • Roadrunner:
    My axolotl can you all take a look at that thread, I am freaked out about my axie
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  • MVM1991:
    His gills seem kinda small, I don't think that's normal but I'm not a huge expert on axolotls
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  • Roadrunner:
    Yeah his gills is kinda small and it can be caused by nitrate level, I am taking care of it atm, I am worried about his weight, is he only overfed or are there any kinds of problems there ?
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  • MVM1991:
    Well, again, I'm no expert. But I did just read axolotls are supposed to have a body about as wide as their head. The gills I'd say are the biggest problem, which could reduce oxygen intake, which could make a whole mess of problems.
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  • Roadrunner:
    Thanks for the help then, I will deal with his gills in no time
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    Bri the axolotl mom has left the room.
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    Bri the axolotl mom has joined the room.
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  • nerdybirds73:
    Any one have advice on feeding a tubbed axolotl?
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  • nerdybirds73:
    mine hasent eaten in weeks and im not sure what to do
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  • LauraLobster:
    Hello, I am a new owner of a 3 month old axolotl, and although I have done a lot of research on axolotls, I can barely find any for babies. If anyone can help me with these questions, I would be super happy. How many hours do baby axolotls tend to sleep per day? How many times should I feed it and what would be considered too much (it's current diet is freeze-dried brine shrimp and blood worms, and I currently feed it around 3 bloodworms since they are not that big)? How many times a week should I change the water and how? I have a good filter and use Prime as my conditioner to remove the chlorine and other chemicals, but I still need to figure out how to deal with ammonia and such in the water. How do I clean it's waste (should I use a dropper to easily pick it up)? I need a better cooling system because currently I use ice packs on the side of the tank and I make sure to angle my ac so that it hits the tank.
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  • LauraLobster:
    I also leave the lid open during the day so that evaporation can cool down my tank. I want to buy a fan, but since winter is coming I won't have to buy one yet. Lastly, what water testers are effective and affordable for a broke student like myself? Please, if anyone has any advice I will love to hear it. I care for this creature too much at this point, but I have no one to help me with caring for it other than the internet :,)
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  • EmilyP:
    Hi LauraLobster I am a new owner of axolotls myself and have been getting advice from things like this, I feed mine twice a day on blackworms and brine shrimp blood worms are more of a treat food, a question on where you are keeping you axolotl are you keeping it in the main tank or in a tub also if in the tank did you cycle it first? and if not i suggest tubing it until the tank it cycled, mine are still tubed since I was given bad advice by the shop people about cycling my tank and am still in the process of cycling it. I use pipettes to clean up the mess of my axolotls. I use the API mater test kit for freshwater tanks I am also a student and had to look around to find it the cheapest I could.
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  • AnimeDan:
    Hi LauraLobster, like you I got my first ever Axolotl back in July. Iv found that he has enjoyed and eaten red wigglers well. They are a good source of protein and help provide the nutrients a young lotl needs to grow up big and strong. You will probably need to break it up into smaller pieces until they get bigger but they are what I have primarily fed my buddy since I got him. He’s actually so picky that he won’t even eat his pellets anymore and will hold out till he gets his favorite wormy.
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  • Readysalted:
    Hi I would like to know how you treat nea
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  • Readysalted:
    Hi I would like to know how you treat newt inflamtion I've got one and recently it's started to develop an inflammation on its throat can someone please tell me how you treat this I've also checked if he had something stuck but I didn't se anything
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    Anyone have any Notophthalmus viridescens for purchase to a loving home?
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    Hi, I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this as I am new to the site, b
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  • ltoloxa-:
    Hey, can anyone recommend a good fan/cooler in UK?
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  • Nycolebayne:
    I’ve got proven female axolotls available if anyone is interested.
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    Hey, does anyone know if shale is ok for long-toed salamanders?
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  • MVM1991:
    As long as its cleaned yeah! You can even make overhangs if you have enough pieces to make nice caves and platforms
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  • Mark.H:
    Ok, thanks!
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  • MVM1991:
    My pleasure! River rocks work well too, and go rather well with all kinda lung less salamanders,
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  • Mark.H:
    Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :)
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    Mark.H: Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :) +1
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