Floating axolotl due to temperature??

juicebox

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My axolotl has been floating for about 22 hours now and I'm pretty worried. I tested the water when I noticed yesterday, pH is at 8.2, ammonia is at 0ppm, and nitrates are at about 10ppm. He does occasionally float around for fun, but I noticed he wasn't behaving the same as usual and he didn't dart away when I blew on the water or gently touched his back. He can't stay down at the bottom of his tank without tucking himself under the filter or one of his plants. Earlier he was doing just fine for a couple of minutes but he started floating again and he's currently got his front half under the leaves of a plant with his tail floating up, so he's almost vertical. I don't think he would be impacted by anything as there's just sand, plants, and one large rock in his tank aside from his cave he uses to hide. I did notice that the temperature fluctuates quite a bit during the day so I think this could be the cause? I usually check it when I get up in the morning and it stays at 64°F/18°C until late afternoon when it can go up to almost 70°F/21°C. It doesn't always get that high, but it does change throughout the day. My room only gets sunlight in the mornings and I have one of those sun shade things you'd put in the windshield of your car wrapped around the side of the tank that faces the window. I also have a fan blowing across the top of the water. It creates a bit of a current that he probably doesn't like but I figured that was better than letting the temperature get too high. I'm not sure what I could do to keep the temperature stable though, so if anyone has any advice I would love some help. I'm currently saving up for an aquarium chiller to hopefully help with this issue so if anyone also has any recommendations for a good quality one I'd love to hear some suggestions. Thanks
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

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My axolotl has been floating for about 22 hours now and I'm pretty worried. I tested the water when I noticed yesterday, pH is at 8.2, ammonia is at 0ppm, and nitrates are at about 10ppm. He does occasionally float around for fun, but I noticed he wasn't behaving the same as usual and he didn't dart away when I blew on the water or gently touched his back. He can't stay down at the bottom of his tank without tucking himself under the filter or one of his plants. Earlier he was doing just fine for a couple of minutes but he started floating again and he's currently got his front half under the leaves of a plant with his tail floating up, so he's almost vertical. I don't think he would be impacted by anything as there's just sand, plants, and one large rock in his tank aside from his cave he uses to hide. I did notice that the temperature fluctuates quite a bit during the day so I think this could be the cause? I usually check it when I get up in the morning and it stays at 64°F/18°C until late afternoon when it can go up to almost 70°F/21°C. It doesn't always get that high, but it does change throughout the day. My room only gets sunlight in the mornings and I have one of those sun shade things you'd put in the windshield of your car wrapped around the side of the tank that faces the window. I also have a fan blowing across the top of the water. It creates a bit of a current that he probably doesn't like but I figured that was better than letting the temperature get too high. I'm not sure what I could do to keep the temperature stable though, so if anyone has any advice I would love some help. I'm currently saving up for an aquarium chiller to hopefully help with this issue so if anyone also has any recommendations for a good quality one I'd love to hear some suggestions. Thanks
Hello! You definitely have a bit of a temperature swing there, which isn't great. one or two degrees they can tolerate ok, but more than that can definitely cause some stress. If he seems lethargic or isn't responding if you lightly touch him, I would definitely consider tubbing him in clean, cool water for the time being. Sometimes it's easier to monitor them and see whether or not they are having regular BMs in a tub. Do 100% changes on the tub daily.

Even with sand, he could still get an impaction depending on his size so let me ask a couple questions:

1) Has he been eating normally? pooping normally?
2) What do you normally feed him? how much and how often?
3) How old is he? size?
4) Tank size? last partial water change?

Photos of him from different angles would also be very helpful
 

juicebox

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Hey, thanks for your reply! I hadn't responded yet because I thought he was getting better but that doesn't seem to be the case. :( I went ahead and tubbed him for now as you said because I could see he was getting stressed in his tank. To answer your questions: he's been eating normally but as for pooping... He was trying to go for over an hour yesterday but he didn't expel nearly as much waste as usual and he hasn't gone since then. I feed him about 1/3 of a Canadian nightcrawler once a day, he ate today but not yesterday as he was hiding during the time I normally feed him. He's five months old(not entirely sure if "he's" a male yet honestly) and about 5 inches long. I keep him in a 20 gallon long tank and I do 20% water changes once a week, usually on Fridays. I don't have any pictures at the moment as I've been keeping his tank mostly covered so it stays dark, I might be able to get some tomorrow morning though. Since I've put him in the tub he's been a little less lethargic but he's had his right legs touching the bottom and his left legs up in the air with his toes sticking out of the water? It's mostly his back leg, he had his whole foot out at one point. I made sure the water was deep enough to cover him but he should definitely still be able to reach the bottom. He just keeps tilting sideways, not sure why he seems so off balance. He's also been blowing a lot of bubbles at the surface.
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

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Hey, thanks for your reply! I hadn't responded yet because I thought he was getting better but that doesn't seem to be the case. :( I went ahead and tubbed him for now as you said because I could see he was getting stressed in his tank. To answer your questions: he's been eating normally but as for pooping... He was trying to go for over an hour yesterday but he didn't expel nearly as much waste as usual and he hasn't gone since then. I feed him about 1/3 of a Canadian nightcrawler once a day, he ate today but not yesterday as he was hiding during the time I normally feed him. He's five months old(not entirely sure if "he's" a male yet honestly) and about 5 inches long. I keep him in a 20 gallon long tank and I do 20% water changes once a week, usually on Fridays. I don't have any pictures at the moment as I've been keeping his tank mostly covered so it stays dark, I might be able to get some tomorrow morning though. Since I've put him in the tub he's been a little less lethargic but he's had his right legs touching the bottom and his left legs up in the air with his toes sticking out of the water? It's mostly his back leg, he had his whole foot out at one point. I made sure the water was deep enough to cover him but he should definitely still be able to reach the bottom. He just keeps tilting sideways, not sure why he seems so off balance. He's also been blowing a lot of bubbles at the surface.
Without photos, it's hard to say but it sounds like he may just be a little constipated. Keep him tubbed for now and monitor him. Make sure to keep the tub water cold and clean.
 
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