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Can anyone explain this to me?

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bluefroggy

Guest
Hello again,

So last time I posted I was having problems with my aggressive axie following a nitrate problem. Well! Since they were still behaving a little strangely (if looking rather well) I decided to have my water re-tested, just to be on the safe side.

Now since the water is looking clearer and more sparkly than ever before, I really hoped the results would be good, but apparently now I have an ammonia problem, and an acidic PH!!!

I'm not completely sure what I'm doing wrong, because I kept these two axies in a smaller tank for over a year with no problems at all, it's only since the move to the bigger thank that the problems have come up.

The advice I was given was to stop feeding for a week, and add Bicarb of Soda to my tank. But since this wasn't an axie specialising shop, I wanted to check with you guys. Is this what you'd do?

Also, what would cause my PH to drop like that? I was too flabberghasted at the time to think about asking!

Thanks guys,

bluefroggy.
 
L

leighton

Guest
Hi,

We've just had a similar problem in one of our tanks (but not the other) - there's a short discussion in the Vivaria section. Jennifer and Ed suggested adding limestone or 'calci-sand' - i.e. calcium carbonate, which is pretty much the same advice you got, bar the feeding.
 
K

katy

Guest
how long has the big tank been set up? new tanks need a while for the bacteria population to grow to sufficient numbers to keep the tank healthy - it may just be a temporary settling thing. i read somewhere it can take up to a couple of months for this settling period to pass. it might be worthwhile to invest in some ammonia-controlling products like those balls, but i admit i haven't had much success with them.
 
L

leah

Guest
Crushed coral is a good pH buffer that should help raise your pH, and it's WAY safer than using chemical buffers that you'll find in pet shops. An unstable pH can be deadlier than a low pH- don't fiddle around until you can get yourself a set of your own test kits (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH for starters) and keep tabs on your water parameters.

What is the pH of your tap water to start with? if it's significantly higher than the tests are showing now, and with an ammonia problem, your tank could be "crashing." What was the ammonia reading? Is there any ammonia in your tap water? When testing your tap water, check for ammonia before you've treated it with your dechlorinator- if you're using a dechlorinator which claims to detoxify ammonia or break the chloramine bond, you could be getting false-positives when you test, depending on the test kit you're using.

How often are you cleaning your tank? How big is the tank, how many inhabitants, how long has the system been running? What kind of filtration, how much and often do you feed, etc... any info you can think of would help us out. It could be crashing because of overfeeding/not performing regular water changes, or it could be something completely different, like maybe something has changed at your water treatment plant?
 
B

bluefroggy

Guest
Hi guys, thanks for your prompt advice, as always.

Leah, I'll do my best to answer as many of your questions as I can. Prior to the problems in my tank, I was taking 25% of the water out once a week. It's a fairly new tank, been running about a month-ish, and it's 36 by 18 by 18 in size.

In my tank there are two axolotls, who were previously kept together in a smaller tank. Other than some new and strange behaviour (the aggressiveness etc I mentioned in other posts) they seem normal and happy.

I have a Fluval 2 filter, the tank is lined with large pebbles and contains a few rocks, a limestone and one large fake plant.

I'm feeding the axies every other day at the moment, but have been feeding them in a separate container recently, so that less food was being lost under the tank pebbles.

Up until now I've been having my water tests done at a local aquariam, since it's just round the corner and free, but I see that it's more sensible to have my own kits - I got hold of a PH testing kit today. I've stabilized my tank PH to 7. Unfortunately I can't tell you what the ammonia reading was because it was tested for me, but I'm aiming to get a new kit tomorrow. Can you recommend one?

I've also been using a treatment as a dechlorinator, but this also claims to convert ammonia into a non-toxic form. It says that the treatment doesn't actually remove ammonia but rather changes its form, so tests will still come back as positive, even though the ammonia is now non-toxic.

I didn't realise this until today when I studied all the details of the treatment, since I was mainly using it for its decholorinating properties!

Would you recommend I change to a different treatment, since I have no way of knowing whether or not the positive ammonia readings I'm getting are toxic or not? It seems like a weird concept now I think of it properly - how would I ever know if it was doing its job?

I'm sorry this post was so long! Many, many, MANY thanks to you all!
 
L

leah

Guest
If you have ammonia in your untreated tap water, I'd stick with the treatment you're using. If not, it might be easier to change dechlorinators rather than find an ammonia kit that doesn't give false positives. There are some out there, and tehy'll usually say on the box if they AREN'T compatible with certain declorinator ingredients.

If your tank is only a month old and you've been doing water changes regularly, it probably isn't finished cycling. Cycling usually takes about a month and water changes only slow down the process. I'm not saying don't do water changes- your axies need them, but if you can move the axies to another container and keep them out of their tank until the cycle is done it would speed things up, without exposing them to crazy water parameters. You'll know it's done cycling when your ammonia is zero, nitrite is zero, and nitrate (hopefully) less than 20. Once everything is settled, keep up with the water changes and your tank should be happy.

What is your tap water pH? 7 sounds good, though I'm not an axolotl expert and I think they prefer *slightly* higher, but it's close, if you can keep it steady. What did you use to raise the pH?

From what you've said, I'd guess your ammonia readings are because of the dechlorinator, but I don't think your tank is done cycling yet. You probably still have high nitrite and nitrate levels, which are just as dangerous!

Until you get all your test kits, it'll be hard to monitor, but it sounds like you're doing everything else right!
 
B

bluefroggy

Guest
Thanks so much for all your help!

Fingers crossed that it is the tank cycling. I'll keep up with my water checks.

Thanks again!
 
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    its around 3 small pieces in the tank. Since i've just moved homes, my axolotl is still at my old house. Yesterday i fed him bloodworms and he missed a few. I couldnt get them out without a turkey baster and decided to let them sit because i was gonna move him to the house tomorrow. But now its late and I dont have a car and my dad wont drive me. Will he be fine?
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  • melon:
    I would think so i would just try to get them out tomorrow
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    yeah, im heading over tomorrow morning to move him to this house and feed him. Thanks for the help!
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    So my axolotl tank cycle just crashed and while i was in the middle of a water change my bucket overflowed and spilled water all of the ground in my brand new home. This is going super well 👍
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  • the:
    ooff
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  • the:
    good luck recycling the tank!
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    do the classifieds still exist?
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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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