Axolotl Gills not growing back

Morganes

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Hi all!
I got my little Axolotl Snorky :love: end of May 2020. When I got him from the pet store, the poor little guys gills were minimal with some fluffy bits, he didn't have any feet/only small stumps, his tail had a chunk missing and he wasn't in a good way :cry:
Its now been about 2 months, and he now has miniature hands on his tiny legs, his tail is showing growth but his gills are just not looking any better, infact the fluff is now droopy.

I treated him about 2 weeks ago as he has small cotton stings/fungus on his gills, which have now gone.
Now.jpg
When I got him.jpg
.


The following are my water parameters:
GH: 60-120ppm
KH: 40ppm
PH: 6.5-7
NO2: 0mg/L
NO3: 0mg/L
Temperature: 15°C (no heater)

He is now on a steady diet of tiger worm's, eating 1 a day(chopped into 4 small pieces), sometimes 1 every two days but I always try to feed him in case he is hungry but he sometimes just wont eat them if he is full.

Can anyone advise what they think is going on? Is there a way I can make them grow back? Is my KH too low/would that have an affect?
I hope he is okay!
Thanks so much for your help :D
 

Calgarycoppers

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It looks like you are using test strips which do not give you accurate results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate

I suspect cycle issues. and pH is also low.

I recommend tubbing and changing water daily. Consider johns solution as it helps gills.
Buy a freshwater master test kit and test your tank ASAP
 

Morganes

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It looks like you are using test strips which do not give you accurate results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate

I suspect cycle issues. and pH is also low.

I recommend tubbing and changing water daily. Consider johns solution as it helps gills.
Buy a freshwater master test kit and test your tank ASAP
Hi @Calgarycoppers,

Thanks so much for your response.
I have just purchased a Master Kit as per your advice, I was always concerned about the test strips not being accurate enough.
Will tubbing and water changing daily mess the cycle up even further if its potentially out?
Can you please send me an image of Johns Solution, as I am in Australia I will need to purchase from Overseas as I cant seem to find it on google in Aus.
Thanks again for your help!!
 

Calgarycoppers

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How did the results turn out?

You can be putting the poopy tub water in the tank to feed the cycle.

Johns Solution is a mix of aquarium/pickling salt so pure NaCl, pure epsom salt and Baking soda. It restores the mineral balance they need. I use it in all my tanks and it is recommended by exotic vets here is Canada. I have a handout with the recipe linked HERE

They talk about holtfreters, modified holtfreters and johns on the axolotl.org site

Hi @Calgarycoppers,

Thanks so much for your response.
I have just purchased a Master Kit as per your advice, I was always concerned about the test strips not being accurate enough.
Will tubbing and water changing daily mess the cycle up even further if its potentially out?
Can you please send me an image of Johns Solution, as I am in Australia I will need to purchase from Overseas as I cant seem to find it on google in Aus.
Thanks again for your help!!
 

Morganes

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How did the results turn out?

You can be putting the poopy tub water in the tank to feed the cycle.

Johns Solution is a mix of aquarium/pickling salt so pure NaCl, pure epsom salt and Baking soda. It restores the mineral balance they need. I use it in all my tanks and it is recommended by exotic vets here is Canada. I have a handout with the recipe linked HERE

They talk about holtfreters, modified holtfreters and johns on the axolotl.org site
Hey @Calgarycoppers ,

I haven't received the test kit yet - we have to order online as were in stage 4 lock-down here in Melbourne hehe. Ill post once I get it and do the tests:)
Wonderful, I will give the Johns Solution a go - thanks so much for the recipe!
Currently reading up about the holtfreters now!
Chat to you again soon :) Thanks again for your wonderful help!
 

Morganes

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Hi @Calgarycoppers

Received the test kit today, here are the parameters - what do you think I should do to increase the GH & KH?

GH: 107.4
KH: 35.8
PH: 7.2
NO2: 0mg/L
NO3: 0mg/L
Ammonia: 2.0ppm

What are your thoughts? Do you suggest Johns Solution to increase the GH & KH which will intern increase the PH?
Thank you :)
Morgan.
 

Calgarycoppers

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Well poop

You have an uncycled tank

First your lotl will be tubbed for the forseeable future and you will need to order some more things.

You will need a heater, beneficial bacteria supplement and pure ammonia.

A cycled tank has zero ammonia, zero nitrite and 5 plus nitrate.
I think there is a pinned post on the nitrogen cycle and how to.
If not I will find my cheat sheet again.

Hi @Calgarycoppers

Received the test kit today, here are the parameters - what do you think I should do to increase the GH & KH?

GH: 107.4
KH: 35.8
PH: 7.2
NO2: 0mg/L
NO3: 0mg/L
Ammonia: 2.0ppm

What are your thoughts? Do you suggest Johns Solution to increase the GH & KH which will intern increase the PH?
Thank you :)
Morgan.
 
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Binditheaxolotl

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Hi @Calgarycoppers

Received the test kit today, here are the parameters - what do you think I should do to increase the GH & KH?

GH: 107.4
KH: 35.8
PH: 7.2
NO2: 0mg/L
NO3: 0mg/L
Ammonia: 2.0ppm

What are your thoughts? Do you suggest Johns Solution to increase the GH & KH which will intern increase the PH?
Thank you :)
Morgan.
Take your lotl out right away, the ammonia is way to high. Cycled tanks should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some nitrate. Tub your lotl with 100% fresh water changes daily.
 

Morganes

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Well poop

You have an uncycled tank

First your lotl will be tubbed for the forseeable future and you will need to order some more things.

You will need a heater, beneficial bacteria supplement and pure ammonia.

A cycled tank has zero ammonia, zero nitrite and 5 plus nitrate.
I think there is a pinned post on the nitrogen cycle and how to.
If not I will find my cheat sheet again.
Thank you so very much I got him out as soon as you said that and now will have to attempt to cycle his tank again. I think it was good at the start but I've gone overboard with cleaning or something. Either way I now know what does what so thanks much for your wonderful help xxxx
 

Morganes

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Take your lotl out right away, the ammonia is way to high. Cycled tanks should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some nitrate. Tub your lotl with 100% fresh water changes daily.
I got him out
Take your lotl out right away, the ammonia is way to high. Cycled tanks should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some nitrate. Tub your lotl with 100% fresh water changes daily.
I got him out will do the tubbing 😁thanks for your help xx
 

Calgarycoppers

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Good luck !!

Thank you so very much I got him out as soon as you said that and now will have to attempt to cycle his tank again. I think it was good at the start but I've gone overboard with cleaning or something. Either way I now know what does what so thanks much for your wonderful help xxxx
 

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I had 3 axolotls living together, one always had gills like this whilst the other two were normal. They got separated as one was becoming a bit vicious - even living alone for the last 5 years her gills look terrible. Sometimes it may be genetics that cause them to have short stubby gills.

I know you have ammonia issues from the above posts; but just wanted to say sometimes it can be genetics too.
 

Morganes

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I had 3 axolotls living together, one always had gills like this whilst the other two were normal. They got separated as one was becoming a bit vicious - even living alone for the last 5 years her gills look terrible. Sometimes it may be genetics that cause them to have short stubby gills.

I know you have ammonia issues from the above posts; but just wanted to say sometimes it can be genetics too.
Hi @dipsydoodle !
Thank you so much for writing that. It's so interesting because I have been thinking that too to be honest, I have looked at some people's dirty terrible tanks that look like they would have outrageous amounts of Ammonia etc yet their Axolotls have awesome gill fluffs! My tank is definitely out don't get me wrong, it's currently cycling while Snorky is in a tub but like your axolotl, I will be surprised if they do look as lovely as others. The conditions he was in when I got him, I wouldn't be surprised if he definitely has some sort of off genetics as the breeder certainly didn't give a fluff hehe. Anyways I appreciate you writing that, makes me feel better about my little guy! X
 

KayDee

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Hi Morganes

I also am very new to axolotl ownership and after 6 or so weeks I still stress out and fuss over the tank a little more than I probably need to. My little bloke has lovely fluffy gills, as did all of his friends who resided in the same tank. So it definately could be genetics. Only time will tell.

I see you are in stage 4 at the moment? Are you anywhere near Melton? If so, the aquarium store "Big Fish" are really helpful and knowledgeable regarding axolotls. They also do free water checks and offer great advice on how to cycle and how to solve any issues that arise. I purchased my axolotl from them.

I am in stage 3, so I am unsure about the rules pertaining to travel to certain areas. But I highly recommend a trip out to this aquarium store for advice.
 

Morganes

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Hi Morganes

I also am very new to axolotl ownership and after 6 or so weeks I still stress out and fuss over the tank a little more than I probably need to. My little bloke has lovely fluffy gills, as did all of his friends who resided in the same tank. So it definately could be genetics. Only time will tell.

I see you are in stage 4 at the moment? Are you anywhere near Melton? If so, the aquarium store "Big Fish" are really helpful and knowledgeable regarding axolotls. They also do free water checks and offer great advice on how to cycle and how to solve any issues that arise. I purchased my axolotl from them.

I am in stage 3, so I am unsure about the rules pertaining to travel to certain areas. But I highly recommend a trip out to this aquarium store for advice.
Hi @KayDee

Aw yay a fellow Victorian hehe 😁 I'm in the south east so can't get to Melton but definitely will consider if restrictions lesson. I do love checking out aquarium stores anyway haha. I got my Axolotl from Waterlife Aquarium in Hoppers Crossing, in a terrible state. All kids working in there who didn't offer any good advice haha I got my set up from Mentone Aquarium which were so good but didn't have any Axolotls when I wanted one a few weeks after:(

But yes, only time will tell. His tank is on its way in the cycle again, I got some Nutrafin cycle to help it along so not long before he is out of the bucket haha
Hey what's your general temperature in your tank? Mine stays around 15-18 degrees in my house. Always worried it's not stable enough.

Chat soon :)
 

KayDee

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My tank is at a steady 18 degrees. My worry will be a hot Melbourne summer. That is going to pose an issue for me.

Glad you told me about Waterlife Aquarium. I was on my way to buy one from there but got lost and my gps took me back onto a freeway so I gave up and went to Melton. So glad I did. Definately go to Melton when lockdown ends (if it ever does).
 
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    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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    My axolotl can you all take a look at that thread, I am freaked out about my axie
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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