Concerns over the wellbeing of my axolotl.

EasternRomioi3

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Hi guys, so looking back about a month now, my axolotl has had gill fungus. She had a clump here, it fell off, a clump there, it fell off, she never has more than one clump at a time and then it falls off and another replaces it in a different spot. I don't know what to do. We gave her a salt bath on Wednesday with 2 teaspoons of aquarium salt, bathed for 10 minutes. She was fine when I pulled her out and she ate a worm without any hesitation. My mom has been doing as much research as she can, as a retired vet, she has access to somethings but she thinks we need to do 3 teaspoons of salt, and 15 minutes. We read a lot of stuff on the forums and in what little her textbooks give about amphibians. It was super hard to do her salt bath today. She did not take it well, either 3 teaspoons is too much or 15 minutes is too long. She refused to eat for me. Even when her tank cycle was destroyed and she had a nitrite spike, she would still eat a worm.

My mom says the number 1 cause of this fungus is the water quality, including the temp. Her want averages 66 degrees, and can get up to 68 degrees when we're asleep. Our house has no air conditioning and my parent run the heat constantly. I use ice packs and I float them in zip lock bags with a string on them as a tether, so they don't drift around the surface or sink. I use frozen water bottles too. She has two little desktop fans that run constantly over her water. This has been the hottest year my city has had since 2012, it was 80 degrees out today when it should have been like 51. Like, it snows in May in my area. So I don't know what's with the heat.

My axolotl is in a 20 gallon long. She originally had a 10 gallon tank. She has a dark sand, ultra fine, substrate. 2 pieces of drift wood, a rock that many, many years ago belonged to our long departed snapping turtle. She has 2 sponge filters, and some plastic plants. Her tank is fully cycled but somehow I still have like .25 ammonia and always have at least 40 nitrates, sometimes 80, or above, and I do a water change and it barely effects anything. I can do a 50% water change and then the next day, the stats are the same. What am I doing wrong? Why does she still have a teeny bit of ammonia and high nitrates? Her nitrites are perfectly 0. On days I do a water change and then check, she has 0 ammonia but if I do it in 2 days, .25 ammonia, already. She has no skin burns or irritations.

I feel her 3 little pellets every other day and usually a worm twice a week, sometimes more. I gave her two on Wednesday for tolerating her first salt bath fine. She did not tolerate it well today and refused the worm. I am very upset. I do not know what to do. If I do nothing, she has gill fungus, and that can't be good. If I try to cure it, I hurt her and that can't be good either.

I am open to suggestions. But I do have some generalized questions that, if you read this, you'll have an informed opinion on and thus, be able to answer.

1, would moving her and 1 of her filters into her old 10 gallon tank improve her quality of life? It would be easier to cool 10 gallons then the 20 she has now but she would lose half her space.

2, should I even have a substrate at this point? Could it be causing any issues?

3, are salt baths the way to go with curing this fungus? Or should I just take her to a vet?

Please help. I don't want a sick pet. I am trying to start my new job but I haven't slept in 2 days and probably gonna end up quitting. There are other reasons as to why, two major ones that are entirely work related, but they want me to working a ton of long shifts, away from my sick pet and all I am doing is worrying. I'm tired, I'm gonna go play Skyrim now or draw, I don't know.
 

Binditheaxolotl

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Hi guys, so looking back about a month now, my axolotl has had gill fungus. She had a clump here, it fell off, a clump there, it fell off, she never has more than one clump at a time and then it falls off and another replaces it in a different spot. I don't know what to do. We gave her a salt bath on Wednesday with 2 teaspoons of aquarium salt, bathed for 10 minutes. She was fine when I pulled her out and she ate a worm without any hesitation. My mom has been doing as much research as she can, as a retired vet, she has access to somethings but she thinks we need to do 3 teaspoons of salt, and 15 minutes. We read a lot of stuff on the forums and in what little her textbooks give about amphibians. It was super hard to do her salt bath today. She did not take it well, either 3 teaspoons is too much or 15 minutes is too long. She refused to eat for me. Even when her tank cycle was destroyed and she had a nitrite spike, she would still eat a worm.

My mom says the number 1 cause of this fungus is the water quality, including the temp. Her want averages 66 degrees, and can get up to 68 degrees when we're asleep. Our house has no air conditioning and my parent run the heat constantly. I use ice packs and I float them in zip lock bags with a string on them as a tether, so they don't drift around the surface or sink. I use frozen water bottles too. She has two little desktop fans that run constantly over her water. This has been the hottest year my city has had since 2012, it was 80 degrees out today when it should have been like 51. Like, it snows in May in my area. So I don't know what's with the heat.

My axolotl is in a 20 gallon long. She originally had a 10 gallon tank. She has a dark sand, ultra fine, substrate. 2 pieces of drift wood, a rock that many, many years ago belonged to our long departed snapping turtle. She has 2 sponge filters, and some plastic plants. Her tank is fully cycled but somehow I still have like .25 ammonia and always have at least 40 nitrates, sometimes 80, or above, and I do a water change and it barely effects anything. I can do a 50% water change and then the next day, the stats are the same. What am I doing wrong? Why does she still have a teeny bit of ammonia and high nitrates? Her nitrites are perfectly 0. On days I do a water change and then check, she has 0 ammonia but if I do it in 2 days, .25 ammonia, already. She has no skin burns or irritations.

I feel her 3 little pellets every other day and usually a worm twice a week, sometimes more. I gave her two on Wednesday for tolerating her first salt bath fine. She did not tolerate it well today and refused the worm. I am very upset. I do not know what to do. If I do nothing, she has gill fungus, and that can't be good. If I try to cure it, I hurt her and that can't be good either.

I am open to suggestions. But I do have some generalized questions that, if you read this, you'll have an informed opinion on and thus, be able to answer.

1, would moving her and 1 of her filters into her old 10 gallon tank improve her quality of life? It would be easier to cool 10 gallons then the 20 she has now but she would lose half her space.

2, should I even have a substrate at this point? Could it be causing any issues?

3, are salt baths the way to go with curing this fungus? Or should I just take her to a vet?

Please help. I don't want a sick pet. I am trying to start my new job but I haven't slept in 2 days and probably gonna end up quitting. There are other reasons as to why, two major ones that are entirely work related, but they want me to working a ton of long shifts, away from my sick pet and all I am doing is worrying. I'm tired, I'm gonna go play Skyrim now or draw, I don't know.
Definitely time to do a meth blue bath. Order some off chewy and follow dosing on the bottle. Do tubs, since it’s anti bacterial/fungal and will kill ur cycle
 

EasternRomioi3

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@Binditheaxolotl

Meth blue? And do tubs, you mean, give her a 10 minute bath in the meth blue, rather than salt?

Today, things went much better. We got a new bucket, put 2 quarts in, instead of 1, and 2 teaspoons for each quart. She took it much, much, much better. She ate as soon as I put her back in the water and when she ate, she sucked in the worm and the fungus fell off, I was able to suck it up and e-mail photos to our vet. We're waiting to hear from her on Monday.

Again, meth blue? That isn't a Breaking Bad joke, I take it.

And antibacterial, could this be a bacteria rather than a fungal infection? My mom's been really hitting up the old vet books she has and put some effort to go through the old library at her job. There is almost no info on axolotls but she found some on the Ambystoma family, so we've been using that as a reference point.

I woke up early for work today and my axolotl had a huge chunk on her and I was super upset all day at work, got home, was afraid to do the salt bath but my mom managed to detach herself from the situation enough to do treatment, not like, as a pet but as a patient, so that helps. I can't stand being responsible for any misery my pet goes through. However, my axolotl actually doesn't seem to mind me handling her at all. She swam up into my hand today. I guess we just over did it yesterday with 3 teaspoons in 1 quart. Oh and I was able to look over her right set of gill stalks, no fungus at all on them. No bare spots either, all her red fluffy filaments are back.
 

Binditheaxolotl

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@Binditheaxolotl

Meth blue? And do tubs, you mean, give her a 10 minute bath in the meth blue, rather than salt?

Today, things went much better. We got a new bucket, put 2 quarts in, instead of 1, and 2 teaspoons for each quart. She took it much, much, much better. She ate as soon as I put her back in the water and when she ate, she sucked in the worm and the fungus fell off, I was able to suck it up and e-mail photos to our vet. We're waiting to hear from her on Monday.

Again, meth blue? That isn't a Breaking Bad joke, I take it.

And antibacterial, could this be a bacteria rather than a fungal infection? My mom's been really hitting up the old vet books she has and put some effort to go through the old library at her job. There is almost no info on axolotls but she found some on the Ambystoma family, so we've been using that as a reference point.

I woke up early for work today and my axolotl had a huge chunk on her and I was super upset all day at work, got home, was afraid to do the salt bath but my mom managed to detach herself from the situation enough to do treatment, not like, as a pet but as a patient, so that helps. I can't stand being responsible for any misery my pet goes through. However, my axolotl actually doesn't seem to mind me handling her at all. She swam up into my hand today. I guess we just over did it yesterday with 3 teaspoons in 1 quart. Oh and I was able to look over her right set of gill stalks, no fungus at all on them. No bare spots either, all her red fluffy filaments are back.
Methylene blue sorry 😅 that’s good she’s doing better. I would keep doing that, or whatever works for you, however, if it doesn’t go away I would go to methylene blue. It’s a lot gentler then salt baths as wlel
 

EasternRomioi3

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Ok, thank you for the recommendation. I may pick some up on Monday, try the aquarium store. They finally got a full shipment of just about everything, including axolotls!

I gave mine her second bath tonight. 2 quarts of water, 4 teaspoons of aquarium salt, 10 minutes. She took it a little worse than the other, when I put her in her tank, she went into her hiding spot immediately but after 15 minutes she came out and I gave her a tiny worm and she was thrilled. I feel awful, straight up she's lost 1/4th of her one gill stalk. I know they grow back but I don't want her to suffer at all.

Have you used this methylene blue stuff before?
 

Butterbut the great

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Ok, thank you for the recommendation. I may pick some up on Monday, try the aquarium store. They finally got a full shipment of just about everything, including axolotls!

I gave mine her second bath tonight. 2 quarts of water, 4 teaspoons of aquarium salt, 10 minutes. She took it a little worse than the other, when I put her in her tank, she went into her hiding spot immediately but after 15 minutes she came out and I gave her a tiny worm and she was thrilled. I feel awful, straight up she's lost 1/4th of her one gill stalk. I know they grow back but I don't want her to suffer at all.

Have you used this methylene blue stuff before?
What pet store?? I have been looking for axolotls around here.
 

EasternRomioi3

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Oh man, then you need to go to Elmer's in Monroeville! He had 7 last time I went but they're VERY expensive. He had a few in early October, 39.99 each now he has them for 79.99 each. Are you familiar with Monroeville? If you're from like Bethel Park of Wexford, somewhere no where near Monroeville, you should call in advance. Their hours are severely reduced because of the pandemic and they're policing storm occupancy, so just call ahead and ask "When are yinz open till and do you have axolotls?"

Do you already have an axolotl and looking to get more or are you ready to buy one after cycling a tank ahead of time? I would recommend cycling the tank ahead of time before buying one.
 

EasternRomioi3

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Well if you need any help setting up a tank for yourself and you're looking for an axolotl, I can help a bit. Just depends how far away you are. I'm in Penn Hills so I'm close to Elmer's.
 
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    @ChocoUniversa, Buy some ammonia and an eyedropper from Walmart and a water test kit for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Figure out (through testing) how many drops it will take to get the ammonia level to the test's maximum measurement. Add that same number of drops every 24 hours. Eventually, the ammonia will start to go down as it's converted to nitrites. Keep adding ammonia. The nitrite levels will spike for a while and then they too will start to go down as they convert to nitrates. These you get rid of by doing water changes, which you should be doing anyway throughout the process. Once all of these are at low levels, your aquarium is ready. It takes about a month, maybe two (mine took a month and a half). Be sure to add ammonia until the day of or the day before you add your axolotl.
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  • Kmia_13:
    Hey guys, this is my first time using this so bear with me. I have an adult axie who looks like he’s developed some fungus on gills. It’s still really small and only on one part. I put him in a 10 gal quarantine tank with an Indian almond leaf. I want to give him a black tea bath but not sure if I can add my black tea to the tank with the Indian almond leaf in there. Any advice?
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  • Gillygills:
    Hi, My axolotl has just started morphing, but has some fungal spot behind the gill.
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    Should I fridge therapy and salt wash? or will this not be wise when she is morphing.
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    Need help identifying what’s wrong with my axolotl
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  • madcaplaughs:
    @BChen3695, what are your parameters and temp? The fact that they're raised bumps could indicate fungus or bacterial infection.
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    Hi! I have recently gotten a spotted salamander. Did some research and found lots of info, but just wondering if they brumate in captivity! Thank you to anyone who can answer this ☺
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    Hello its urgent!
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  • Pookisoo:
    I have a tiger salamander and i got him as a gift , recently it looks like something has been eating at his tail! Almost like its dissolving..? Ive checked that there is no other bugs in the closure, ive also ben giving him salt baths but its inly getting worse. Sorry if its much hahaha im just super worried!😓
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  • afmtgn:
    Hi @Pookisoo it seems to be a fungal disease
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    @XxJennXx, I don't believe so. They are closely related to tigers and my tiger doesn't brumate. I think first year they might but after they see they aren't needing to, they should be good. They might try and hibernate to, mine did for the first year but now I see him crawling around right now.
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  • RG:
    @Pookisoo, The refrigerator is a good hospital for tigers.Temperature between 7 and 2 degrees Celsius can stop bacteria. If necessary or if you dare 0 to -2 can also help.Reduce the temperature in a few days from 7 degrees to 2. After that you can reduce further. Feel free to let it sit for a few weeks. Place the animal in a plastic container with a lid with some air holes. Fill it with some soil and / or leaves. Check regularly whether there is still moisture or ice in this container. At temperatures above 2 degrees, they do not go into hibernation. They will then live on their reserves. Doing nothing is not an option, I speak from experience. You can avoid these kinds of problems by keeping them fairly dry for much of the year.
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  • Paige1warren:
    Hi guys! I’m new to this site and a new axolotl owner. I’ve had my baby (his name is toothpick) for about a month or so now. I finally got a water testing kit and I tested the perimeters earlier today. My ammonia was at 3 ppm and my nitrite was at 2 ppm. This freaked me out because I know they are supposed to be at 0 ppm. I did a water change a little bit ago and it went down to ammonia 1 ppm and in between 1-2 ppm nitrate. I change 50% of my water weekly and clean up any pieces of waste or excess food with a turkey bastwr everyday. Could this just be because the tank isn’t fully cycled yet? Should I be concerned? Toothpick hasn’t shown any signs of distress
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  • Pookisoo:
    @RG, yeah.. im a new owner and i thought just giving salt baths would work, Thank you so much for this tho!🤗
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  • Pookisoo:
    Sorry again... but when i take him out is he supposed to be moving funny..? Sorry hahaha🤕
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  • madcaplaughs:
    @Paige1warren You need to tub your axolotl and perform 100% daily water changes. Your tank is not fully cycled, and any readings of ammonia or nitrite are toxic and potentially deadly. A fully cycled tank should at all times have readings of 0ppm ammonia/0ppm nitrite/0pmm<nitrate.
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    madcaplaughs: @Paige1warren You need to tub your axolotl and perform 100% daily water changes. Your tank is... +1
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