Floating 8 month old axolotl

Mouse Mason

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Hi every one. So I just acquired my third axolotl, a female Albino named Robbie (don't ask). Long story short, I intended to get another male, but when I got to the shop I saw this little girl floating on the top of the tank. She was definitely alive, and kept struggling to get to the bottom but just floated up. The guy in the shop wouldn't sell her at first (in case she died) but I managed to get her in the end (as, whilst I'm no expert, I believe I can look after her better than the shop purely because they have 40+ tanks full of other fish to deal with). So she's at home and seems to be doing better already. She's in her own container with water that i tested and has 0 nitrite and ammonia (it's still the water that was in her tank at the shop, so that's not the issue). The nitrates are high but from testing them I'm pretty certain my test strips are faulty on nitrates. She's only got a bit of water in, so she can touch the bottom and is now much less stressed. She ate a whole cube of blood worms for her dinner, and I let her disgest them for a bit, and now she's in the fridge (I've heard conflicting reports on whether that helps, so any advice welcome). She's not too thin, and very lively. So, other than the floating (and possibly a slight bit of fungus on the tail?) she seems a normal healthy 8 month old axolotl. Is there any cause of the floating that you can think off, and any advice to stop It? Thanks, from both me and Robbie!
 

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xxianxx

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Looks like slime coat loss rather than fungus , as its in conjunction with floating it's probably due to too high temp and/or poor water quality. It's a bit underweight so I wouldn't bother fridging it, feed it earthworms rather than bloodworm, keep it cool in clean water, add almond leaf to prevent fungus. If the floating continues in a couple of weeks it may be due to impaction, in which case try fridging.
 

Mouse Mason

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Looks like slime coat loss rather than fungus , as its in conjunction with floating it's probably due to too high temp and/or poor water quality. It's a bit underweight so I wouldn't bother fridging it, feed it earthworms rather than bloodworm, keep it cool in clean water, add almond leaf to prevent fungus. If the floating continues in a couple of weeks it may be due to impaction, in which case try fridging.

Hi, thank you very much for your reply. The man at the shop did mention that they couldn't keep the temperature as low as they'd Like, so I think that is probably the cause. Are earthworms essential? I don't have a supply of them currently, and she seemed to take the bloodworms well? Also, as it's currently quite hot here I'm struggling to find a place cool enough for her that's not the fridge. What would be the ideal temperature for her at the moment do you think?
 

xxianxx

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Axolotls should be kept below 20c, if you can't do that ATM the fridge is the best place and you need to find a way of providing a permanently cool tank. She won't eat in the fridge and it's because she's a bit underweight that I suggested not fridging. Earthworm is a better diet for bigger axolotls than bloodworm.
 

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Axolotls should be kept below 20c, if you can't do that ATM the fridge is the best place and you need to find a way of providing a permanently cool tank. She won't eat in the fridge and it's because she's a bit underweight that I suggested not fridging. Earthworm is a better diet for bigger axolotls than bloodworm.

Sorry I probably should have said, my other two are in a tank with a cooler (set to 16°) but I don't want to put Robbie in with them yet, so it's a question of finding a place that's not the tank and warmer than the fridge, but still cold! I take it she should be kept at around 16° like the other two? And I'll try and get hold of some earth worms. Thanks again for replying.
 

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By cool I mean below 20c, your existing tank is the ideal temp
 

Mouse Mason

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By cool I mean below 20c, your existing tank is the ideal temp

Really sorry to bother you again, but Robbie is now much better (not floating as much, and eating really well), but her toes are becoming grey, and there's a pattern of grey lines running down her feet. Also, one side of her stomach has bumps on It, and seems to be bulging slightly (sorry it's hard to see in the pictures)? Is this normal, or something to be worried about?
 

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DSaxolotl

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Really sorry to bother you again, but Robbie is now much better (not floating as much, and eating really well), but her toes are becoming grey, and there's a pattern of grey lines running down her feet. Also, one side of her stomach has bumps on It, and seems to be bulging slightly (sorry it's hard to see in the pictures)? Is this normal, or something to be worried about?


Toes color in my opinion is ammonia burn... how are you water specs?


PH/Ammonia/Nitriate/Nitrate?


Side of stomach might also be issue with something bacterial or bad water specs or both. Truth told you axie looks sick and malnourished, eating is a good sight but yeah get her a smaller cycled tank and not tub... keep water specs good and take it from there. It might be just me but from the looks of it I would pre preemptively use treatment of API E.M or dose of Kanaplex just to be on the safer side. Or amphibian vet is available go that route.
 

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Toes color in my opinion is ammonia burn... how are you water specs?


PH/Ammonia/Nitriate/Nitrate?


Side of stomach might also be issue with something bacterial or bad water specs or both. Truth told you axie looks sick and malnourished, eating is a good sight but yeah get her a smaller cycled tank and not tub... keep water specs good and take it from there. It might be just me but from the looks of it I would pre preemptively use treatment of API E.M or dose of Kanaplex just to be on the safer side. Or amphibian vet is available go that route.

Hiya- thanks for the reply, but without wishing to be rude I'd appreciate it if you read the original post. I got her from a pet store where she was malnourished and floating due to heat stress. She's in the fridge at the moment just to keep her cool and in a couple of inches of water until the floating stops completely (there's a cycled and cooled tank waiting for her when she does :) ) I'm feeding her each day to try to get her back to a normal weight.
As I said in the original post, all water specs are fine except nitrates which are supposedly high, but (having tested them on water I know has 0 nitrates) i think the strips I have may be faulty for nitrates. I'm changing the water every day using 0 ammonia bottled water, so do you think there might be any other reason for the toe colour? Given that information (and also the fact that she's started to stop floating and her gills are growing back), do you still think she's ill (and if so with what) or is she on her way to recovering? I'm reluctant to add chemicals at this point until I know for sure what's wrong with her.
Thanks
 

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Hey man no problem, I did read the initial post and props to you for doing that and trying to help it.


I just stated how it looks, did not say its your fault ;). Axie looks sick, it seems to have ammonia burns, it does look malnourished.


You said water is zero ammonia, but that can change in blink of an eye esp in small containers like that, you said your srtips might be faulty for some of the test, then you ammonia might also be.


Why not get API Prime that temporarily locks ammonia nitrate/ries and use that until you get a reliable test that you know is not faulty? Daily water changes however do help.


If you dont want to add medicine/chemicals then I would suggest a visit to the veterinarian clinic.


No other way than that, noone here is competent to say exactly what might be it more than licensed vet who will do required tests and then gives your treatment. Its all guessing game here on the internet from few pictures at this point ;). Is up to you to decide if someone is correct or not...as much you can.. considering you are here asking for advice and not know what might be as well.


As to what I personally suspect that might be going on here is some kinda of bacterial infection which kanaplex and its broad spectrum will cover most of them without vet test.


Like I said , hit or miss game , if you want definitive results visit the vet, let him do some cultures , see results and then prescribe you treatment
 

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DSaxolotl;48 1)I just stated how it looks said:
1)Ammonia burns make a white axolotl pink and/or their veins show through the skin, those symptoms don't appear to be showing on this axolotl. Pet shops are generally ok at keeping water specs ok but poor at temp control. This axolotl is most likely suffering from heat stress and a compromised slime coat.
2)Daily water changes on a fridged axolotl are fine, they are unlikely to eat much at 5c. No need to use chemicals in this instance .
3)Unless you can find a specialist phib vet or a vet experienced with axolotls your just going to end up with a bill for a load of tests which show nothing. Axolotls are amazingly healthy if kept properly, problems with them are generally environmental, few vets will give husbandry advice which generally solves the problem.
4)Bacterial infection symptoms are generally a mottled rash and/or swollen throat, doesn't appear to be case hear. The toes are black and they may fall off, chances of infection can be reduced by adding almond leaf.
Putting an axolotl in a cycled tank with a damaged slime coat is risking fungal and bacterial infection. Dechlorinated tap water changed daily with some almond leaf should prevent infection. If you can find a competent vet feel free to get some professional advice. It's good that it's stopped floating which would indicate it was a heat related problem.
 

DSaxolotl

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Looks like slime coat loss rather than fungus , as its in conjunction with floating it's probably due to too high temp and/or poor water quality. It's a bit underweight so I wouldn't bother fridging it, feed it earthworms rather than bloodworm, keep it cool in clean water, add almond leaf to prevent fungus. If the floating continues in a couple of weeks it may be due to impaction, in which case try fridging.




I beg to differ on few things there

1. The black toes and no ammonia burns. In my experience shredding skin can be caused by ammonia burns, black toes also present when ammonia spikes.

2. Cycled tank is healthy tank and it will have as much of a chance of getting infection as tub.

3. Almond leaves are a plus but not a substitute for cure or treatment id say at best a good measure of prevention. If something needs to be treated its better to use meds.

4. Bumps and skin conditions can be harder to notice or diagnose on white axies. For example columnaris and its white patches among other things are harder to catch on whiteish skin. Swelling is not exclusive to throat.

All this with initial
bad water quality and wrong temps... At this point can be anything.

But you know what they say about opinions :p
 

xxianxx

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I beg to differ on few things there

1. The black toes and no ammonia burns. In my experience shredding skin can be caused by ammonia burns, black toes also present when ammonia spikes.

2. Cycled tank is health tank and it will have as much of a chance of getting infection as tub.

3. Almond leaves are a plus but not a substitute for cure or treatment id say at best a good measure of prevention. If something needs to be treated its better to use meds.

4. Bumps and skin conditions can be harder to notice or diagnose on white axies. For example columnaris and its white patches among other things are harder to catch on whiteish skin.

All this with initial
bad water quality and wrong temps... At this point can be anything.

But you know what they say about opinions :p

The qualifying statement in your post "in my experience". Which is ?
A cycled tank is full of bacteria/fungal spoes etc, advising putting an axolotl with a compromised slime coat in one is poor advice. How would it be beneficial over fresh daily water changes ? Why would you advise using ammo lock on a fridged axolotl with daily water changes and a reduced metabolic rate and feeding regime , it wont produce much ammonia ?
The almond leaves were advised as a preventative not a cure.
 

DSaxolotl

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The qualifying statement in your post "in my experience". Which is ?
A cycled tank is full of bacteria/fungal spoes etc, advising putting an axolotl with a compromised slime coat in one is poor advice. How would it be beneficial over fresh daily water changes ? Why would you advise using ammo lock on a fridged axolotl with daily water changes and a reduced metabolic rate and feeding regime , it wont produce much ammonia ?
The almond leaves were advised as a preventative not a cure.




"In my experience " is a statement that allows member to not take everything at face value and consider that experiences can vary, so that they are able to form their own opinions. Not everything that applies to me is/will/can apply to all. You will notice that a lot on my posts.



And I stand on my ammonia theory, i am open to hear hear other explanations about the black toes and legs.


Cycled tank can have water daily water changes, its called quarantine tank and can be as big or as small to allow that. Being into tub can also work but how fast can ammonia build up in a tub vs 30l QT tank with a cycled filter? ( at this point no meds are used yet to nuke the filter) if that was the case then its different thing...



Tubs can also harbor bacteria and fungus even with the daily water change. While tank might have bigger area and its not easily cleaned if parameters are fine then all of the nasty stuff will have lesser chance to present itself, pretty obvious i think.


Again QT tanks.


Why I suggested "ammo lock" well i suggested specifically Prime. Because it also locks up NITRATE which he said are rather high but did not say how much;) Feel free to head over to seachem site and read it for yourself if you will. It was not all about the ammonia lock since he said ammonia are 0 but cant hurt there too. While temporary it will negate that issue of his day to day.



What I was trying to do eliminate all the possible causes from the info that is available.
 

xxianxx

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Simple question, you have a cut on your hand, which is most likely to cause an infection ?
A) tap water
B) water from a cycled tank.
Take your time, contemplate this question before answering as you don't want to embarrass yourself in public.
The correct procedure for fridging involves cleaning the tubs, take the time to read the appropriate sticky.
I used the phrase "ammo lock" as a generic term for prime and the other products which lock up nitrates etc. Why you would use it on a fridged axolotl which will be producing little ammonia as they don't eat much at fridge temp AND is on daily water changes is beyond me.
Pretty much the only thing you posted that I agree with was about opinions, everybody has them , what you failed to mention is that some of them are informed....
 

xxianxx

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Questioning people's advice is not an attack, correcting bad advice is not an attack, asking for information on a person's level of experience to validate their opinions is not an attack. Facts don't care about feelings, if people feel under attack because their views are being questioned it's because their views are based on poor knowledge. Calling somebody a "clown" is a mild form of attack unless they are infact a "clown" in which case it's a statement of fact.
As your axolotl has stopped floating it's probably a result of the drop in temp. I wouldn't leave it in the fridge too long as it's malnourished, at fridge temps it will have problems digesting food even if it eats so the sooner it can rebuild it's body mass the better. Keeping the temp down is vital but I would caution against placing it in your existing tank. It needs to be quarantined in case it's suffering from something transmittable.
 
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  • madcaplaughs:
    @MadamePirateOwl Fridging is best left to life-or-death situations, and salt baths are unnecessarily harsh, stressful, and abrasive. I'd suggest doing tea baths instead (using caffeinated black tea, where the only ingredient is black tea).
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    so no idea what the goop is?
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  • madcaplaughs:
    Hard to tell without a photo, but might be algae or fungus floating. Water changes will take care of that.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    It definitely came from the axolotl. Looked to be mixed into poo the first time. Can I post the photos here?
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    Im not actually sure how i would post it. It seems to want a link
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    Its fairly thick and chunky
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    (Also thanks for your patience and help!)
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    You could always upload the photo to imgur and link it back here
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    The second image was how it looked the first time, it was mixed with some other poop like stuff. after that its been small and without the poopy stuff
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  • madcaplaughs:
    The second photo looks reminiscent of partially-digested worms, though I've never seen anything like that. Have you checked your parameters lately?
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    Right now theyre in smaller tubs that i do daily water changes in
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    I'll admit Ive bought test strips but they havent come in yet
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    I use Prime to dechlorinate the water, which was recommend by the girl I got them from
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    For now I'd tub the axolotl and do daily 100% water changes until you're able to test your parameters
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    I'd also recommend ordering a liquid test kit such as the API Freshwater Master Test Kit since strips are generally unreliable and inaccurate.
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    Okay, thank you for your help and advice :)
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