Question: Cloudy Tank Won't Clear! Help!

WindWolf

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Ellie
Hello, all!
So, I have my adult leucistic axolotl, Axel, in a 15 gallon tank that has been cycled and established for over a year. This July while I was out of town I was informed that my tank was starting to look cloudy, and when I got back the same week there was a massive bacterial bloom going on. I did a few partial water changes and made sure the filter wasn't clogged, and after about two weeks the tank became crystal clear again overnight, but only stayed that way for about a week before becoming ridiculously cloudy again. It's now been over a month and the tank is still a nasty-looking, bacterial cloud. In that time my HOB filter stopped working entirely so I had to replace it, and I've also added another Java fern, moss ball, and Indian almond leaf in hopes that it would clear. I made the mistake of doing a 80% water change last month (I got so fed up with the cloudyness), which I'm sure only made it worse, and from there I've been doing 20-25% water changes whenever I detect any traces of ammonia, and dosing with a biological booster.

I have a 55 gallon tank I plan to move Axel into once I move up to Idaho, but that won't be for another several weeks and even then it'll take at least 2 months to cycle the tank before I can move him. So my question is: what on earth am I doing wrong, and is there any way I can get the tank to clear up before too long?

My current tank parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10 nitrate, alkalinity at approx. 180 ppm, pH of 7.8, and the temperature is sitting at about 65 degrees.

Here's a photo below what the tank looks like. Just a big, nasty cloud.
 

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WindWolf

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At the advice of local aquarium specialists, I did a 90% water change on the tank and from there checked the parameters daily for a week, doing 20% water changes whenever I detected any ammonia. So far it's working and Axel's tank is clearing up!
 

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Hayleyy

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How is this going now?
 
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  • Sal22:
    Update about my axie, unfortunately he has died over night, he looked as if he was bruised allover his belly, his mucus layer had also started to come off.
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    Anyone here from DMV?
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  • AlexisJG:
    Hi I have 2 4in juveniles (I’ve had them about 2 weeks and they are doing well I think they’ve grown a little already honestly) but I am supposed to go on a 5-6 day vacation in October about 3-4 months from now. I am wondering how I should go about their care when I am gone. I thought about putting them in separate (fairly big) containers with live plants and/or bubblers with a fan in the dark and either fridging them (my last plan) but I am hoping to to either have someone I trust come feed them and turkey baste waste out or just leave them out and clean the containers before we leave and have someone come check on them once or twice. Does any of this sound like a good or bad idea? I want the best for them. All help appreciated :)
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    @patrickstar116, do you still have your fire salamanders?
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    @Ganaa, I do you may message me if you wish
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    hi.....
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  • JDeslippe21:
    Hi, so I have 2 male axolotls and about an hour ago they were both perfectly fine and now only one of them has his tail curling up and his gills are slightly curled?? But other than that they’re both acting normally
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  • Murk:
    Could be he's just excited, spooked or temporarily stressed, which could pass in a few hours. It could also be an indicator of other problems. Do you have any recent water parameters?
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  • AlexisJG:
    Does anyone have any idea how to help with high ammonia levels? I have the API freshwater master kit and everything else’s test results were great besides ammonia. I did a 50% water change and I use API products including ammonia lock.
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    Help! I got my first axolotl two days ago and they have stopped eating. They ate a few frozen blood worms the first day and haven’t eaten or been interested in food since. I feed them frozen blood worms and the tank is around 64 degrees. I do have a filter that moves sometimes and I noticed them swimming up to it, I have a new filter and a fan coming today or tomorrow. I leave the worms in the tank or a little bit before taking them out so I don’t know if they ate when I wasn’t looking. I know it takes a while for them to digest. Does anyone have any tips or knowledge they can share? The pet store I bought them from didn’t have gravel or sand in the tank so I’m not sure if theres an issue or if I’m just impatient. Thank you!
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu, how big they are? also for substrate, i would not do gravel at all I would either do sand or none at all!
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    Thank you so much for the information and advice! They are eating again, they ate a lot today. I think it might have been stress from the move or digesting old food, I also noticed they ate some of the food left in the tank (I removed the rest). I’m going to keep the tank bare bottom.
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu,your so welcome im glad to be of help! and I'm glad that they are eating as well!
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  • MotherofAxolotls:
    Does anybody know where I can find a Starburst Wild type axolotl??
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    Good morning everyone.
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    morning!
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    @MotherofAxolotls, i have like 3 but they aren't for sale T-T
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    @HalfDrunkToast is their a price that could change your mind? 🙂
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    @MotherofAxolotls, no sorry :( but if i do come across another one i can msg you.
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    HalfDrunkToast: @MotherofAxolotls, no sorry :( but if i do come across another one i can msg you. +1
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