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Axolotl's back legs are floating. Ammonia, air bubble, digestion??

kaletsuki

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For some quick background info.. Got my axolotl almost a month ago. He's about 3 inches long, I feed him frozen blood worms every other day by the pet store worker's recommendation. He has a sand substrate, some fake plants, and a piece of wood recommended by the worker.

As for my axolotl today, I saw him hanging out in my plants today, but later I went to check on him again and couldn't find him. I opened the top and saw him floating at the top on his side. Scared me half to death but I poked him and he quickly swam away. I kept an eye on him and noticed he's having a hard time keeping his butt on the ground. I can tell he's getting a little stressed out not being able to sit on the bottom so sometimes he'll sit under a plant so he doesn't float away. I looked up a lot of stuff and one possibility that makes a lot of sense is an air bubble he can't pass. He does come up for air pretty often.

In a YouTube video, I saw ammonia could cause him to be floating. I bought a test kit today and it is at 1. I changed about 40% of the water today and also took out the wood today (I got scared he hurt his foot by getting stuck but that does make sense anymore cuz his leg looks fine and is working fine). He does leave behind some food when he's done eating and I pick up all of the extra worms, but I probably lost some in the sand. I'm gonna be taking out the sand tonight to make cleaning easier so I don't miss anything

Maybe a week ago I saw he was arching his back and found out that's because he's having trouble digesting. He's pooping just fine now though, and I haven't seen him doing it recently, but not sure if I wanna completely rule that possibility out.

What do you guys think it is? Right after I post this I'm taking out the sand then cycling out more water tomorrow to get the ammonia levels down. I went to a pet store today and they also recommended some drops that'll help "naturalize" the tank since it's still new or something like that. (not de-chlorinator, I always use that already). If it is the air bubble, what should I do? I'm really nervous about the whole refrigeration thing. And if it's the high ammonia, what else should I do to get it as close to 0 as possible as fast as possible without stressing Honey out??

UPDATE 2 HOURS LATER: I'm still in the midst of taking out the sand. It's a 30 gallon tank and I only have a 5 gallon bucket to work w lol. Put Honey in a pot I only use for cycling her tank so she could sit in shallow water without getting stressed cuz her back legs won't touch the ground. Found a few hidden worms so I'm rlly hoping getting this sand out will make her tank a lot cleaner. Any opinions or advice is very much appreciated
 
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Sassefras

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Constipation usually passes. Mine sometimes have air and floating butts for a day or so. Floating butts are no immediate cause for concern.

Ammonia is, as it's very toxic. If there's ammonia in your water, getting rid of the sand might only lead to higher ammonia levels, since that'll be where most of the beneficial bacteria converting ammonia (into non-toxic substances) will reside.

Based on what the pet store recommended, I take it your tank was not 'cycled' before you put in your axolotl. They probably gave you something to jump-start the nitrogen cycle. I hope that works well enough not to do too much damage to your axi. Axolotls can be tough, so I hope it'll be fine.

To be safe, I'd suggest adding as little waste as possible in the near future (no food for a few days) and test your water daily to make sure ammonia levels decrease. They should be at 0.

The sand is gone? What are your ammonia levels now?

I wonder what the other forum members think.
 
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kaletsuki

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Constipation usually passes. Mine sometimes have air and floating butts for a day or so. Floating butts are no immediate cause for concern.

Ammonia is, as it's very toxic. If there's ammonia in your water, getting rid of the sand might only lead to higher ammonia levels, since that'll be where most of the beneficial bacteria converting ammonia (into non-toxic substances) will reside.

Based on what the pet store recommended, I take it your tank was not 'cycled' before you put in your axolotl. They probably gave you something to jump-start the nitrogen cycle. I hope that works well enough not to do too much damage to your axi. Axolotls can be tough, so I hope it'll be fine.

To be safe, I'd suggest adding as little waste as possible in the near future (no food for a few days) and test your water daily to make sure ammonia levels decrease. They should be at 0.

The sand is gone? What are your ammonia levels now?

I wonder what the other forum members think.
thanks a lot for the advice! he's been much better since i made the post. i have removed the sand just because i was nervous about food being buried and me missing them when cleaning. he's still tiny and bloodworms get lost easily. i've tested the water every day and today the ammonia is at 0.
thx again for the advice, maybe someone 5 years from now will have the same problem and look at this post for help lol
 
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    Can anyone answer if I can use trichlorfon 20mg with my axolotls to treat the anchor worms it is supposed to kill them. I have purchased something from the shop called blue planet paracide which has 20mg of the trichlorfon
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  • axolotl nerd:
    sorry in advance for anyone who reads my latest post, it’s very long and was written late at night, ergo it isn’t wonderfully organized
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  • The-Axolotl:
    @axolotl nerd That's so cool that your looking into being a axolotl breeder/ having a axolotl sanctuary
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  • axolotl nerd:
    @The-Axolotl, im a hug energy when it comes to axolotls, and decided i might as well “shoot my shot” and try to make a living out of it. lots of inspiration taken from margie, who used to breed and sell here on caudata- she was raising about 1000 juveniles at a time, which is my end goal
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    huge nerd**
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  • The-Axolotl:
    Nice, if/when you start breeding axolotls make sure to post pics of the cute baby axies here on caudata
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  • axolotl nerd:
    i plan on it!
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  • Albi_the_axolotlt:
    Hi, i'm new to this community👋
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  • Albi_the_axolotlt:
    and I need help
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  • Albi_the_axolotlt:
    a lot of it
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  • Albi_the_axolotlt:
    if anyone can please reach out to me
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  • Albi_the_axolotlt:
    my axolotl is having airbubles in stomache
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  • Albi_the_axolotlt:
    and is stressing a whole lot pls help me any useful info would help
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  • The-Axolotl:
    @Albi_the_axolotlt have you made a thread on the forums about your axolotl having this problem?
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  • Elder_Axolotl:
    @Albi_the_axolotlt I would definitely make a thread about this, but before you panic try putting you axolotl in a tub where the water only goes about an inch above it, and then cool the water down SLOWLY, like a couple ice cubes at a time, to about 50 Deg F. sometimes this helps them pass gas, or even have a bowel movement. Just make sure the Temps from your current enclosure and the tub are within 4 degrees of each other and not higher than 65 Deg F. so you dont Temp shock your baby.
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  • Albi_the_axolotlt:
    well I don't know how to make a thread and I am very thankful for your help but the real reason I am worried about is that it goes away and comes back constantly like its gets better today then tomorrow morning she is at the top of the tank floating on her side all bubbled up? I do put her in a container with just enough water to cover her back and it helped but it gets annoying and scary when it's consantly happening and I am worried I am doing something horrible wrong.
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  • Albi_the_axolotlt:
    If you would like to know my care I will make sure to share it with you!
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  • britt6393:
    @Albi_the_axolotlt, Hi, do I still need to use aqueon pure balls in an established tank?
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  • britt6393:
    Do I still need to use aqueon pure balls in a cycled tank? I have not used in a few weeks and my tank is not clear.
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  • Albi_the_axolotlt:
    I am not sure britt6393 I don't want to give you wrong info ok? I hope you understand :)
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  • The-Axolotl:
    @britt6393 I dont think you do have to use them anymore
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    The-Axolotl: @britt6393 I dont think you do have to use them anymore +1
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