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Axolotl swimming very frantically, but parameters are all fine! Is breeding age to blame?

SirDerek

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Hi all,

Our Axolotl has been displaying some concerning behavior over the past week. She has been swimming around frantically, often for extended periods at a time, bumping into the glass and often going to the surface.

I know that lotls sometimes get the zoomies, but this is far more frantic than usual, and much more prolonged. Out axolotls usually zoom for 15-30 minutes before being mostly relaxed. It happens throughout the day, but sometimes she calms down for short patches before returning to her frantic behavior.

It certainly looks like she's behaving like it's a water parameter issue, but I don't think that's the case. We did have a small ammonia spike with the reading being somewhere between 0-.25 ppm. Nitrite and nitrates return 0, we keep the temperature cool and have even covered the tank with a towel to block out light. Additionally, her gills look fine as usual, and she still eats (though a bit less enthusiastically than usual). She's a little red, but I actually think thats from the constant swimming, since when she calms down, she gets less red, like usual. Despite this, we figured that maybe it's best to put her in a tub of fresh dechlorinated water, and that calms her down for a while, but after a few hours, she still swimming like mad. To make things stranger, there's another axolotl in the tank and is absolutely fine, and showing no signs of distress.

We're trying to figure out the issue- perhaps its just axolotls being axolotls, but this is definitely a level of swimming that we haven't seen before. I'll try to get a video when I can.

One thing that stands out from my reading of similar topics, a few people here have mentioned potential mating behavior/distress. It could be a possibility, since she's just a bit younger than 1.5 years, and seemingly matured with black fingertips. Some people have mentioned that females can sometimes appear distressed if they're at the egg-bearing stage, but I can't find any more info on that.

Does anyone have any thoughts? Everything seems fine on paper, but the behavior is definitely concerning.
 

JM29

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If everything is all right with chemistry, perhaps is it physical.
Is there something vibrating in the neighborhood (a pump, a filter or something which has nothing to do with the tank ?)
Axolotls, like all larval caudate forms, are very sensitive to vibrations.
 

SirDerek

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We tried shutting off the filter for a little bit to see if she calmed down, but there was no change.

And then after a couple more days of this behavior on and off, she's back to her happy self. We're keeping an eye on her and all parameters are good, but it seems like this may be a case of Axolotls being weird little creatures. Perhaps she was stressed over something we couldn't detect, but all seems to be well.
 

Roxylotl

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I am so glad I have found this feed. My Lotl is doing exactly the same and has been for three days now. She is racing round the tank, will not settle and looks like she is trying to get out of the tank. Water is perfect, took it to be tested because I thought I was testing it incorrectly, temp perfect. She isn’t eating and I haven’t seen a poop for many days. Thought she might be constipated but I’m not sure. I am hoping it is her age ( 10 months ) and she is reaching her sexual maturity. I’ve got my finger crossed it stops soon.
 

SirDerek

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I am so glad I have found this feed. My Lotl is doing exactly the same and has been for three days now. She is racing round the tank, will not settle and looks like she is trying to get out of the tank. Water is perfect, took it to be tested because I thought I was testing it incorrectly, temp perfect. She isn’t eating and I haven’t seen a poop for many days. Thought she might be constipated but I’m not sure. I am hoping it is her age ( 10 months ) and she is reaching her sexual maturity. I’ve got my finger crossed it stops soon.
If it makes you feel any better, the behaviour has seemingly fully disappeared!

We ended up tubbing the Axolotl, which seemed to calm it down for a few hours at a time, but it would eventually get frantic in its tub. When that happened, we replaced the tub water with fresh and it calmed down. Over the course of the week, it would be relaxed for longer stretches of time, so it seemed like it got less agitated. Eventually we put it back in the main tank and it was fine. And this was all while the other Axolotl in the main tank was perfectly normal.

Maybe a month later the same Axie acted up again and we tubbed it, and after a few days it calmed down. It's been fine ever since, and the behaviour seems to be done for good.

I think the tubbing didn't really contribute to anything in the long term, though it did seem to calm down when being put in a more snug enclosure, so who knows. We didn't do anything different to the main tank, and the parameters remained stable all the way through, so it does seem like it was a strange phase that simply passed.

One other tip for if the axolotl being frantic is stressing you out (as it did with us). When we replaced the water in its tub, we put it in a small tupperware container with some tank water. The container was small, but just large enough to fit the Lotl comfortably. Funny enough, as soon as we put the Axolotl in the snug container, it chilled right out, even if it was super frantic. Maybe it's just a personality thing, but putting it in the container even for 30 mins seemed to help calm it down.
 

Roxylotl

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If it makes you feel any better, the behaviour has seemingly fully disappeared!

We ended up tubbing the Axolotl, which seemed to calm it down for a few hours at a time, but it would eventually get frantic in its tub. When that happened, we replaced the tub water with fresh and it calmed down. Over the course of the week, it would be relaxed for longer stretches of time, so it seemed like it got less agitated. Eventually we put it back in the main tank and it was fine. And this was all while the other Axolotl in the main tank was perfectly normal.

Maybe a month later the same Axie acted up again and we tubbed it, and after a few days it calmed down. It's been fine ever since, and the behaviour seems to be done for good.

I think the tubbing didn't really contribute to anything in the long term, though it did seem to calm down when being put in a more snug enclosure, so who knows. We didn't do anything different to the main tank, and the parameters remained stable all the way through, so it does seem like it was a strange phase that simply passed.

One other tip for if the axolotl being frantic is stressing you out (as it did with us). When we replaced the water in its tub, we put it in a small tupperware container with some tank water. The container was small, but just large enough to fit the Lotl comfortably. Funny enough, as soon as we put the Axolotl in the snug container, it chilled right out, even if it was super frantic. Maybe it's just a personality thing, but putting it in the container even for 30 mins seemed to help calm it down.
Yes I agree We did
If it makes you feel any better, the behaviour has seemingly fully disappeared!

We ended up tubbing the Axolotl, which seemed to calm it down for a few hours at a time, but it would eventually get frantic in its tub. When that happened, we replaced the tub water with fresh and it calmed down. Over the course of the week, it would be relaxed for longer stretches of time, so it seemed like it got less agitated. Eventually we put it back in the main tank and it was fine. And this was all while the other Axolotl in the main tank was perfectly normal.

Maybe a month later the same Axie acted up again and we tubbed it, and after a few days it calmed down. It's been fine ever since, and the behaviour seems to be done for good.

I think the tubbing didn't really contribute to anything in the long term, though it did seem to calm down when being put in a more snug enclosure, so who knows. We didn't do anything different to the main tank, and the parameters remained stable all the way through, so it does seem like it was a strange phase that simply passed.

One other tip for if the axolotl being frantic is stressing you out (as it did with us). When we replaced the water in its tub, we put it in a small tupperware container with some tank water. The container was small, but just large enough to fit the Lotl comfortably. Funny enough, as soon as we put the Axolotl in the snug container, it chilled right out, even if it was super frantic. Maybe it's just a personality thing, but putting it in the container even for 30 mins seemed to help calm it down.
Yes I agree We put Roxy in a Tupperware yesterday for a few hours on a cool surface and she calm down probably because it was shallow and wasn’t able to move around much. She has eaten this morning and seems much calmer. She is just having little frenzy swims this morning whereas yesterday she didn’t stop at all. Poor thing, I bet she was exhausted. Thank you for your advice I was a little past myself yesterday with worry not only for Roxy but thinking about what to say to my daughter as it’s her pet !
 
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  • Roach:
    nevermind! off my game tonight
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    Im so frustrated right now. My axolotl WONT eat and my tank still isnt looking too good. Some extra stress i needed.
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  • John:
    Sorry to hear that Shane. Did you post about it?
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    No, I havent. Im not really sure why he wont eat. Hes in a 1 gallon tub and still a juvenile. When i offer food he swims away from it. Does he need some extra time? or is this something I should be worried about.
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  • JulMl:
    Hello everyone! I’m new in this world and i need some advices please! I have 2 axolotl babies and currently the water from the tank is from bottled water ( all parameters are good) but i want to change 50% of the water with city tap water. My question is how to change it? Do i need to get axis out, do the change, add the prime, wait (how much?) until its dechlorinated or i can add the tap water directly into the tank with axis in it, and add the prime conditioner? Thank you!!
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  • Asmold1:
    1. You dont need to take them out of the tank to change the water as long as you pour it in slow as to not rattle them around too much
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  • Asmold1:
    2. add the prime to your tap water, for most conditioners the consensus is 5 minutes of waiting time
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  • Asmold1:
    3.After 5 minutes it should be safe to add
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  • JulMl:
    Thank you so much !!
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  • Asmold1:
    I private messaged you a bit clearer instructions just in case
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  • tammyaxie:
    Where can I get blackworms?
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  • John:
    Ebay or Eastern Aquatics
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  • noahc808:
    Does anyone know someone who can ship axolotls to hawaii? I recently did a water change and my axolotl died and there are no axos for sale right now.
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  • Sylvia88:
    Hello I'm wondering if fridging axolotl is necessary when giving it a salt bath? My fridge is unpredictable it just changes from freezing temperature to melting by itself. And driving me crazy. So I would not be keen to put my axie in these because of the sudden temperature changes it may experience. Can I leave him in a clean dechlorinated water tub in some of the room? Would I then need to refrigerate the salt water ? Or would I just keep it in a same room temperature?! I have everything ready for him to get a salt bath but just wanted to check about this fridging before I do ( waited for approval to join the forum:)
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  • Sylvia88:
    FYI I noticed a white fluffy strings on his gills yesterday. And looking through the forum and some pictures it looks like fungus .
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  • Quetzalotl:
    Freaking out
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  • Quetzalotl:
    Oh I thought you meant my axolotl lol
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  • Quetzalotl:
    I read the fridge is for if they're stressed or huge infections and erratic temp changes will cause stress
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  • Quetzalotl:
    If the water is already cool then the infection might prefer cold water
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    Quetzalotl: If the water is already cool then the infection might prefer cold water +1
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