Illness/Sickness: Fungus/gill deterioration

jstral327

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Hi everyone!
I just got these guys a little while ago and am new to caring for axies. I have four in total in a 55 gallon tank. They've all been great up until about a week ago when I noticed that two of them seemed to not be growing well, and they're gills had been deteriorating. I added a bubbler and got a much better filter after that. The flow is minimal, not even enough to see on the plants, I usually keep the light off too. But about a week ago, they all started having issues with what looks like fungus. I've started salt baths to try and help. They've also lost most of their appetite.

I have been feeding them bloodworms, mysis shrimp, and brine shrimp, all in frozen cube form. I recently started trying to feed them red wigglers, but almost without fail, they puke that up along with whatever is in their stomach when I feed them those.

I check the water conditions daily.
Amonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Hardness: 300 Very Hard
Clorine: 0
Alkalinity: 120-180
pH: 7.6-8.4
Temp: 16-20C

I perform a 20% water change about every 2-3 days (depends on how dirty the tank gets), and a 50% every 2 weeks or so. I use Seachem Prime for the dechlorination, but that is it as far as chemicals go. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong and why this is happening? I have a few pictures showing the issues.
 

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Murk

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The Big One that is missing is your Nitrite values. With 0 ammonia and 0 nitrate, you either have a very well cycled tank - or a tank that isn't cycled at all (possibly in the midst of a nitrite spike). That would explain the problem with the gills.



It is difficult to diagnose, because regular salt baths are bound to destroy gills and appetite as well. Salt baths are horrible for axolotls. They're not as horrible as dying of fungus, so sometimes salt baths are the better of two evils, but salt baths aren't healthy in any way. It could very well be you rightly detected fungus (hence the deteriorating gills), treated the fungus with salt baths, and the current problems are due to the salt.



Do you still have fungus problems? I don't see anything at the pictures, but that could be me. If not, I would leave the axolotls alone for a few days - no water changes, no salt baths - and see if the appetite returns. See if you can give us Nitrite values as well.
 

jstral327

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I just started the salt baths today. I've actually been quite reluctant to do so, instead choosing to observe them and see how they fare. I only started it today because it has only gotten worse and started to spread. I've kept a very close eye on my ammonia and nitrites since the tank cycled and they haven't spiked so far as I've seen. Also, the fungus is more in the beginning. I'm honestly not even 100% sure it is fungus due to having only seen pictures. Its just a white blanket of fuzzy white spots that is hard to see. It's got a bumpy irregular appearance.

Nitrites have been at 0 also. I forgot to put it with those, my bad.
 

Kitan

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Okay, so I am VERY perplexed by the numbers you are giving me. So the cycle goes ammonia gets converted to nitrites which in turn get converted to nitrates...which then just sit there until removed. In a fully cycled tank you will usually have 10-40 ppm nitrates, but under 10 is extremely uncommon unless you have a fully planted tank, since live plants use nitrates as fertilizer. So WHERE are your nitrates going?? That doesnt make sense. Also your pH is fluctuating rather severely. It really shouldnt move much at all but the change in akalinity from 7.6 to 8.4 is actually very drastic. Something is up with your water. What kind of sand is that in your tank?

Are you feeding the frozen food into a dish...or right onto the sand? In that regards, a 'lotl under 5" shouldnt be kept on sand since there is a greatly increased risk of impaction and after that, they should be feed food that will cause them to lunge and suck food in (such as loose frozen) from a dish to prevent them from injesting too much sand and make removal much easier. When you feed frozen, do you thaw first?

Red wigglers are...problematic. They produce a slime that is super foul to axolotl's; many of them regurgitate them. You can try Canadian Nightcrawlers cut into small pieces. Just make sure they arent dyed, like from a bait shop :)
 

jstral327

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The Nitrates have been the same every day since before this started, reading at 0 every single time. Never any spikes in either that, nitrites, and ammonia. The PH is actually settled in at 7.4. And its marine grade live sand that is in the tank. The axie seems to be doing a lot better. The fungus is almost gone. The only issue that is still persisting is the gill deterioration and appetite which I'm hoping will change if I leave him alone now that the fungus is fixed. When I feed them, I either hand feed them or use a baster. I don't let it sit on the bottom of the tank ever. But I haven't been feeding them blood worms for a while now, except to try and get the sick one to eat. I also gave up on the red wigglers and moved to Canadian nightcrawlers that have been cut up. You mentioned impaction, are there any signs beyond floating that I should look for with that? Because he always sits at the bottom of the tank except to get air.

One other thing I want to point out is that I have four axies in there and none of the other three seem to be having this problem. They all are as healthy and happy as can be. It's just this one.
 
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    Nice! Also, from what I can see you have an amazing setup! What species?
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    S. S. Gigliolli
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    Ooo nice!
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    Thank you! I tried to share the video but unsuccessful. You can see it on my IG story @jnerdx
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    Cool! I just have a tiger and a long tail, who we are trying to find as he ESCAPED INTO MY ROOM!
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    Hey y'all, recently my juvenile axolotl's tail has been floating and can swim down but his tail lifts to an angle and I believe that it is stressing him out. He gets in between his plants to balance himself and I am cleaning out the bottom of the tank with my baster. I believe I overfed him and he also may have eaten many air bubbles. He's been like this for nearly 1 1/2 days.
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    What would be the best thing to do ?
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    Hey, does anyone know if hot glue is fine to glue rocks together?
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    Should be. Hot glue is good when dry I believe, just don't let it get too hot and you should be good. Most super glues are good as well just watch out for flume warnings
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    Ok, thanks! I am going to glue together the shale I mentioned.
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  • Kwags:
    hello, I am currently tubbing my axolotl due to cycling the tank. I have read different answers on how many times to do a 100% water change a day when tubbing. Some say once and some say twice. I just want to actually ask and get answers for myself. Thank
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  • Murk:
    As often as you need to keep the water clean! Since you´re cycling, I assume you have a test kit. Just test a few times to see how long it takes for your ammonia to go up, and as soon as it does, change the water.
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  • Kwags:
    Yes,I have the master test kit. Thank you! So just test the water in the tub that my axolotl is in now to gauge off of for changing?
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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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    Slash-GNR: Anyone know how to harden soft water without raising pH? +1
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