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Is he an axolotl?

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MrsFalker

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My name is Shelby and I rescued a "glow in the dark" axolotl from a less than reputable pet store. I love 'him' we call 'him' cooper but we don't truly know. I have attached images, where are his gills? I'm thinking the poor husbandry from the petshop got them nibbled off and hopefully with some love and care I can give him the best life I can! What do you guys think?
 

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Hayleyy

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Welcome! It looks like an axolotl to me, but yes it has very damaged/shrunken gills. The best thing you can do is keep the water cool and in perfect conditions. Do you have a test kit? I'd also recommend a GH/KH test kit to keep track of your water hardness. I've found recently that I have soft water so am adding aquarium salt to bring it up and my axolotl's gills are getting huge now!
How is feeding going for this one?
 

MrsFalker

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Feeding has been going well he eats a sinking shrimp pellet everyday I fed him a cricket once I do a 50% water change every week and use a Turkey baster every day. His water parameters are as follows
PH 7.4 ammonia (i know way too high ) 1 PPM nitrate 5.0 PPM nitrite just above 0 PPM temperature 60 degrees Fahrenheit. He is on a bare bottom floor.
 

Hayleyy

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Okay so I'd recommend tubbing your axolotl until your cycle is finished (once both ammonia and nitrite are 0, and you have nitrates). This will keep it protected from the ammonia and will help with healing. When tubbing you need to change 100% water every day. The good thing is if doing this you wont need to do any water changes in the tank, it'll cycle quickly that way. Bottled bacteria and live plants can help it along, though plants should be quarantined.
As for the diet pellets are good but crickets aren't the best. Axolotls have trouble digesting the exoskeleton which can cause digestion issues. I always try and get my axolotls on worms (nightcrawlers especially) as it's the best option and keeps them nice and plump. If you offer more pellets will he eat them, or have you tried offering pellets more than once a day?
Great that you are using the turkey baster! The ammonia tells me there must be something hidden in the tank making the levels so high. Move around the decorations in case he's left some treasures for you :)
 

MrsFalker

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I'm really glad I joined this community I really appreciate all of this advice I have purchased some ammonia detoxifier and I picked up some aquarium salt I'm going to do a water change today take him out tub him so I dont stress him out by shaking up his decor. He only ate the one cricket and isn't interested in anymore so I stopped and in the beginning I think I was overfeeding I gave him 3 pellets twice a day but he just gulps his one and swim/waddles off to another part of the tank so I've been just giving him the one in the morning which he happily eats then one at night and hes happy and not littering my tank with uneaten food. I will consider nightcrawlers, I realize you can cut them up for feeding but the ones I can buy locally are HUGE! And dying worms stink lol. I keep trying to add attchements of my tank and filter so I will keep you posted!
 

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Penguin Bio Wheel HOB filter for a 75 gallon tank
Is the filter we use. Pictures attached (hopefully)
 

MrsFalker

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Hi I added some aquarium salt and ammonia lock to my tank and have been doing 20% water changes every day heres my new numbers

Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 5.0ppm
Ammonia .25 ppm
 

Hayleyy

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Okay you're seeing progress, that's great! What amounts of aquarium salts are you using? I do about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons per 10L bucket during a water change (only if I have removed water, otherwise you'll be increasing the salt).
You can use garden worms if they're different to nightcrawlers where you live, they might be smaller. But only if you don't use any chemical additives to the soil. You can try red wrigglers, but some axolotls wont eat them because they have a bad taste. Blanching might help :)
Check how much of a current the filter makes. You want as little water movement as possible. If you need to reduce it a prefilter sponge shoved into the output works wonders!
I've learnt so much from this site, I'm so glad I found it! Keep me updated on how he's going.
 

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I did 1 teaspoon for 5gal, slightly less the the instructions recommended but I figure starting slow wouldn't hurt. I keep the water level right to the top of the filter so the flow is very muted, and I have a few artificial plants toward the surface to help with the pressure as well. He doesnt appear to be bothered, he will lay right under the filter instead of in his hideout. I haven't seen any gill improvement yet. I'm just being impatient :)
 

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Good to start small with the salt. The gills may take some time to heal but given the right conditions you'll get there :)
 

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Pink! Pink! His gill filaments are pink! They are starting to grow!!
 

MrsFalker

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Oh boy we gave him a worm for the first time he loves it!!
 

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Great news! Thank you for the update :)
 

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Great progress!!
 
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  • Lonewolf:
    Ok I’m new so I have a pink Axolotl and it’s a baby like two three max inches and it eats from the top and it has now been floating a while now should I be worried ?? The other one is at the bottom of the tank and the tail isint hoocked or the gills aren’t curved flowerd they seem relaxed
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    ?? I’m new owner to the type of fish
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  • Lanalotl:
    Hi I recently rescued a lotl (i did weeks of research before rescuing) Hes mabey 5 or 6 years of age..the previous owner could not remember the exact age of him. I got him from her as he was or had been picked on by his tank mate another lotl who was bough with him from every younger age, I noticed one of his gills, a middle one at the end had split in two? And is slightly more floppy? He also appears or mabey I'm just over worried to mabey have lost some feathers, is that normal to lose some?...all levels in the tank are fine, but wondered if theres and advice anyone could give me as an experienced owner to a new one.
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  • Axolotl Queen:
    @Lanalotl Sounds like the gills may have been nipped by the tank mate. If he is in his own tank and the parameters etc are all good, then he should grow them back and they should go back to full health and strength. However, depending on how old the injury is they may not fully grow back if they have been constantly nipped at.
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  • Smknmom421:
    Can anyone tell me why this is happening? We just did a water change and after freaking out and whipping around the tank, an hour later they look like this. It won't let me send a pic. The edges of their gills are white and it looks like they have skin shedding off
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  • Murk:
    That sounds like severe skin damage. If you post a thread on the forum, you can attach pictures.
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  • Murk:
    It sounds like something went wrong with the water change, so this could be very dangerous. Did you use a dechlorinator? Could it be there are traces of chlorine or soap in the water? (Or for example, in the bucket you used?)
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  • Murk:
    Normally, I would recommend taking them out of the tank asap and putting them in a tub with fresh water, but if there's something wrong with your tap water or dechlorinator, that might not help either. Do you have acces to bottled water or rain water?
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  • Sal22:
    I think my axie is dying, he’s never had any issues before, I’ve had him 3 years, today I noticed some fluffy looking stuff coming from his genital area so I took him out of his tank and did a full tank clean to make sure the water wasn’t infected as I thought it was fungus and then I noticed he had a cut on his belly which was only small about 5 hours ago and now it’s spread to all of his belly, what do I do I’m freaking out
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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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    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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