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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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  • axolotl nerd:
    betta*
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  • Asholotl:
    Just got to cycle the water. keep the water nice betas are pretty easy since they are very hardy, and they tend to glow once you give them the right attention. ive had a few. they are my go to fish to be honest.
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  • axolotl nerd:
    interesting.
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  • Nichill:
    Hi I'm a bit worried about our axolotl Berry she's approx 4 months old . She had a big meal yesterday of blood worm and today is very restless she's been swimming around all day and trying to get to the top sometimes not making it. Her tummy does seem really full even though she has had 2 poops . There's no gravel in her tank she's on sand . My water seems fine
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  • Nichill:
    Amonia 0 nitrite 0 and pH 7
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  • axolotl nerd:
    pictures would be very helpful- this could possibly be an emergency if it is something like bloat
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  • Nichill:
    I can't seem to upload a pic I've just searched bloat and it's nothing as severe as on there . How do I upload a pic
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  • Nichill:
    I have done another water check and my pH has gone down
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  • rads:
    Hey y’all! So I just had a quick question. I had a well established cycled tank. I added in a sand substrate that I had previously had in the tank (when it cycled the first time). It recycled and everything was golden. As I was re-adding it I noticed a smell to it but figured it was just “fish” smell. I also have a cat. Long story short, I think the cat managed to find the sand, pee in it, and because I was already suspicious I tested my tank just in case a few hours later to find my ammonia 2.0! I pulled my axolotl out and have done a 75% change. Prior to sand earlier today ammonia was 0. So do I add the ammonia blocker or stick to water changes?
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  • rads:
    The tank should be cycled but I believe the sand added too much ammonia that normally wouldn’t be an issue. So I’m thinking ammonia block for the next few days, but then won’t the ammonia just sit there since it can’t be processed? The safer bet is always going to be water changes I know,
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  • axolotl nerd:
    i have no words, honestly. this is like the time i accidentally dropped a worm in the sink and it was never heard from again, just a big “whoops” that i don’t know how to fix— my best advice//what i’d personally do is remove the sand entirely, remove all water, keep the filter media, and just recycle while your axie is tubbed. the sheer amount of ammonia in car urine is insane, and i’m impressed your axolotl survived
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  • rads:
    It was within the span of maybe two hours at most lol. I’ll do that and I have a second tank with lotls in it that has just enough room to temporarily keep them in it. I read up on it and decided to dose with ammo lock since it’s not a cycling tank and was cycled already along with water changes.
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    Captive Bread has joined the room.
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  • JazAxolotl:
    Hello everyone :]
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  • axolotl nerd:
    hiiiii!! currently on my way to typing out a welcome speech on your thread :)
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  • JazAxolotl:
    Aaa ty
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  • AxieFrankie:
    Hello 🙂
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  • AxieFrankie:
    Happy 2022 everybody! 😁
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  • DeCypher:
    I used to breed axolotls, since I was 14, and sell and barter with people here. Now I’m 24 and the axolotls are fancy breeds for a ton of money. Does anyone have 2 or 3 wilds?
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  • DeCypher:
    or leucistics
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  • Asholotl:
    I have a wild male with protein gene. I soon plan on getting a Lucy female soon.
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  • Nichill:
    Hi just need a bit of advice since I added plants to my tank (java fern ) my nitrate level has gone up to 0.5 what can I do to get them back down . My axolotl seems to love the plants so don't really want to take them out . Thanks
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  • britt6393:
    Hi new to forum and new to axolotl. Checked water parameters this am ph 7.6, high range ph 7.8, ammonia between 0 and 0.25 ppm, nitrate 5.0 ppm, nitrite 0. Should i water change or will this mess up the tank? Thank you
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  • bhollow:
    @britt6393, those water parameters sound good i dont think you need to do a water change. youd do one when the nitrates reach 20ppm
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    Hello Chat!
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