Combating Gill Fungus

EasternRomioi3

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Hey gang, I have a sudden outbreak of some type of gill fungus with my axolotl. I am attaching pictures, the very first one is her as of today, by 1pm eastern standard time, right after her water change. The following is the entirety of what is going on so I want to thank anyone who actually has the patience to read what I wrote. I cannot simplify or reduce what I say without losing clarity. English is too vague half the time, anyways...

There is clearly a huge patch of something nasty on her right, uppermost gill stalk. I have been using Johannes Holtfreter solution, I started it, about...the end of August, so it's only been in her tank for a few weeks. Her tank is fully cycled finally, my last reading, as of 1pm, eastern standard, was ammonia at 0, nitrites, 0, and nitrates, 20. I am alarmed at this sudden breakout. She did not have it 2 days ago. I will post more photos showing the contents of her tank and whatnot, and if anyone sees something odd, let me know.

Anyways, she is in a 20 gallon long, her temperature usually fluctuates between 62 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees. I use solid ice packs in freezer bags with a string tether so they don't drift around, same deal with frozen bottles of water. She had a few rough days when the tank was cycling, mainly nitrite issues. I tubbed her one night, fresh water, in the fridge for like 5 or 10 minutes, immediate improvement. Currently, she is exhibiting no unordinary symptoms. She ate today perfectly fine, was able to catch her pellets as they fell and I intentionally gave her a worm in her hidey hole, which she happily pursued and dealt with. She isn't swimming all crazy, she's climbing around, if I am about her tank, she comes up to the surface to see what's going on. I feed her every other day, usually 3 pellets. I try to give her one or two worms a week. Now that her tank isn't as hot because summer is done, she's been much more active and her tail is perfectly straight, even the teeny tiny tip. But I am worried, and that's not good, for both my health and hers.

I am very, VERY hesitant to give her a salt bath because I do not want to intentionally inflict harm on my axolotl. The final pic at the bottom is literally from Wednesday, so this fungus just exploded basically. Please help. I do not know if she has Columnaris or Saprolegnia. She's had mild cases of gill fungus on and off since her cycle was originally screwed up in June but now that her tank is perfect, I don't know what's wrong. Could I have accidentally introduced something? Anyways, please help if you can. Any advice is greatly appreciated but please be thorough with your words.

Oh and one more thing, she currently has two sponge filters, temporarily. Her old, original one is in there, it's the one that can be seen with the charcoal attachment at the top. I had the foresight to save some of her old water back in July and put it in a spare 10 gallon tank, 5 gallons of old water, to pre-prep her new filter for cycling. That was my dad's idea and we added it and between it and the old one, her water quality is perfect. I am intending to remove the new one on October 1st and put it back in the 10 gallon tank. Oh and she currently has no plants, everything in her tank is fake, well, the rock and drift wood are real.

Thanks again.
 

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Calgarycoppers

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Look at the chubby happy axo aside from the start of fungus.

So which solution are you using and at what concentration?
I've seen you mention it as Johns and as Holtfreters which are very very different and used differently.
How you dose and redose after water changes is a big deal to keep concentrations at the right level.

Tubbed would be my first suggestion with just daily or twice daily water changes that is sometimes all thats needed
 

EasternRomioi3

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I've been using the Google doc that's been floating around here because it's the only one I can find, at least the only one that isn't in metric. 6 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of aquarium salt, 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda , and 3 and 1/2 teaspoons of Epsom salts. I've been using the 2 cups of it on her big weekly water changes, 1 cup for every 10 gallons, she has a 20 gallon tank. Yesterday I gave her 3 cups after I noticed the fungus. However, the fungus is gone now. The big clump fell off and she has little gill filaments there but they're red and pink, not white or withered. She seems to be fine, when I went to add some ice packs today she quickly came out of her hole and was clearly looking for food.

Oh and when I say I gave her 3 cups, I did the measurements and then added it directly to the one o the 5 gallon buckets I have. I have the like 4 5 gallon buckets that we bought, cleaned, fresh, that we put the water in from our bathtub and let it dechlorinate naturally. The whatever named solution I am using is in a 1 gallon jug of distilled water. I add it directly to the 5 gallons and then mix them and wait for them to reach normal room temp because they're in our reptile room and idle at like 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should I just keep doing what I'm doing or should I increase her dosage? Where is this fungus coming from? Does it just occur? I don't understand how it happens.
 

Calgarycoppers

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Thats my Johns Solution document.

After the first time you dose you should only be adding for the amount of water you remove in a water change as explained in the document.

20% is your maintenance dose. 30% is for only while treating fungus or skin ailments and should be done in a tub not the tank.

If you remove 8 gallons of water you only add 196mL approximately which is less than a cup to maintain 20%.

If you are adding the entire amount each time you you are likely 40-60% instead of only 20% which is detrimental. Do water changes and do not redose if so.
 

EasternRomioi3

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I only add once a week, if I do a little water change in the middle of the week, I don't add any of the stuff. I did have to do a change like, I wanna say 3 weeks ago, had high nitrites, took out like 10 gallons, added only what I had, so like 5ish gallons. Just enough water to cover up her filter's charcoal attachment, so it was somewhat lower than she is used to but I didn't have access to a large quantity of prepared water that night.

She has 2 fans that cause quite a bit of evaporation. If I don't do any water changes for a week, her fans will deplete at least an inch down on her water line. I only add like 7 gallons. The solution is included in that amount, as it says. I remove 7ish gallons, I add 7, of which, 2 cups are added to that. I used to add 8 gallons but it was often too much so I ended up giving the last of the water to the caiman.

When you say 20%, you base it off 20% of 10 gallons, right? So if she has a nearly full 20 (which she currently does), 20% would be two standard cup measurements but what do you mean when you say "redosing?" You said " How you dose and redose after water changes is a big deal to keep concentrations at the right level. " What does that mean? You mean it is dependent on the literal amount/quantity or more so method? Could you explain that please.
 
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  • Murk:
    That´s the most accurate. Depends on the size of the tub etc. - you just want to make sure the water is always clean
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  • Kwags:
    When little axolotls are tubbed is it common for them to get a little more spunky then usual? Water temps around 64-65 F and has been changed today with prime added
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  • Murk:
    Uh. That depends on your definition of "spunky"?
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @Kwags, how big?
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    my baby hes tubed and hes a wild child xD
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  • Kwags:
    Swimming like crazy. A little more pep in his step. I think about 3 inches.
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  • faebugz:
    Hi does anyone know if jungle fungus clear is safe to use for my axolotl? She has some either fungus or bacterial growth on her fillibrae and maybe body and I read that's good to use if you aren't sure if the problem is bacterial or fungal
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  • EasternRomioi3:
    I have not heard of that before.
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  • EasternRomioi3:
    That jungle fungus clear. I've been dealing with some fungus with my axolotl on and off this summer. The Holtsfreter solution and water changes just seem to do the trick after a bit
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  • faebugz:
    Where do you get the holtsfreter solution? I've been upping water changes but salt bath seems to be more stressful/harmful than beneficial because she does not like to be caught!
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    Anyone know how to harden soft water without raising pH?
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    To raise GH, add calcium carbonate (or tums). What has you doing this?
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