Gills + Cycling

mgbella

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I got my GFP golden albino on Thursday (four days ago). They were born on 9/30/20 and are 3-4”. Right now I am feeding it bloodworms. The first three days it was in my uncycled tank in which I was using Fluval Cycle in (its been four days since the tank has been set up. I feel so bad.) I tested the water and it was 0-.25 ammonia, didn’t get a nitrite test, and the nitrate was ~5-10. I got veryy worried and I am currently tubbing my axolotl until I know the tank is fully cycled. I noticed today that it’s gills are curled. I am a little worried about the sponge filter and I don’t know if the flow is too much. Was wondering if anyone can help me determine before I fully cycle my tank! My pH in the tank is around 7.6. It may be higher since the api tests don’t go higher. Does the aloe vera affect that at all? Didn’t get hardness tests yet but eventually will.

I’m thinking that my lotl is probably stressed from the move or getting transferred into the tub. I think the tub is the best option for it while the tank cycles because I do not want to risk burns at all. So far, my axolotl has been feeding off blood worms. At first it was scared of me and would quickly swim away and go to the top of the tank and zoom from there. So I couldn’t feed it with tongs while it was getting used to me. I would just plop the bloodworms into the tank and it would eat some of them. On the fourth day (tubbing day!), it was quite used to me and it was eating from the tongs! It was soo skinny so it got fed 1 1/2 cubes. Maybe the food issue in the beginning and being scared of me everytime I cleaned the leftovers also contributed to the stress.

So when I set up my tank, my mom bought me Api Stress Coat. I very quickly learned that aloe vera is toxic and my lotl was only in that water for 3 days. I am using prime for the tubs now. I am going to do 100% water changes daily for the tubs, while I will be doing 25% while the tank cycles. The tank still has the api stress coat. Should I remove all the water in my 20 long gal tank or just mix in the prime water every-time I do a 25% change?

Also still a little worried with the tubbing since the constant daily water changes may stress it out. I’m only gonna do it once a day to prevent more stress. Since I’m feeding it daily and I’ll have to clean poop, will the bacteria be good until the 24 hours are up? Is my axolotl okay with no air pump in the tubs? It’s going up for air but still worried. I’m not experienced with tubbing. Tips for tubbing are appreciated!!

Below are the curled gills, my tubbing system, and the water flow with the sponge filter.


sorry the images are bad quality.

Ammonia cycle tips are very very appreciated! I will be purchasing ammonia drops and will be using them as advised by sites. My tank still has a little bloodworms and poop in it so I will try my best to clean it with my turkey baster.
 

mgbella

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Click the picture to see the filter video!
 

EasternRomioi3

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Ok, so first, I don't have the most experience with this nor do I have a lot of time, but I saw one thing that stood out to me, the API Stress Coat. I'm glad you caught that quickly, as soon as I read it I was like "OH NO!" and then you took care of it, good job.

Second, you have an uncycled tank, from what I can gather. They take at least 30 days to cycle. Do you know the cycling process? You seem to know how to manage the ammonia to nitrites, nitrites to nitrates routine. Do you own an API Fresh Water Master Test kit? It tests for those and hardness. My axolotl sits at like 7.4-.7.6 hardness, and her ammonia and nitrites are usually 0, her nitrates stay around 20-50, with 60 being the upmost limit. I do one big, at least 50% water change a week and I do one massive, 75% or more water change a month. I tub my axolotl for like 20 minutes while I do that.

The gills thrown forward is a defensive stance, stressed clearly. Are they holding their ground or fleeing? If they're darting around, super angry, they can get hurt so keep an eye on them. Mine was spooked once by my mom's dog getting too close to her tank and she smacked her nose, bled a bit, while swimming away.

I don't like to use my Seachem Prime and whatnot with my axolotl in the water, it irritated mine too much one night. She got super aggressive, like, holding her ground, gills forward, being super vigilant like she's expecting an attack. So what I do, and this works for my water, I have like 5 different 5 gallon buckets, I fill them up, put a bag over them, clean one, usually a garbage bag. I leave air for the water, like, the bag is just a preventative for dust and...cats. So after about 48 hours that water dechlorinates naturally and is safe for my girl. She's in a 20 gallon tank so at like worst case, I will always have a reserve 5 gallons. Just a trip to Home Depot to get 5 buckets, quick, easy. HOWEVER, I live in a US state that is fully landlocked and our water quality is notably terrible, and notably hard by default.

As for the sponge filter, mine actually likes the bubbles. I have two medium sponge filters in her tank (helped with the cycling and never removed the second one). She climbs up on them sometimes and puts her face in the bubbles. Yours may just need time to calm down. But there are some like "bubble shields." It's like just a long plastic tube that goes up towards the surface and herds all the bubbles in one specific direction. I have them on mine to keep her water still. Sometimes she climbs up on them.

You're doing, what I would say, a good job and being very cautious with your little guy. Sorry I can't help more, I have to run. I hope someone else can chime in soon. Any other photos you can post, like, if something changes, post, let the others see it.

Oh and is your axolotl still eating? Even when mine was super upset, she would still eat, so that's a good sign if your little guy will keep eating.
 

mgbella

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Ok, so first, I don't have the most experience with this nor do I have a lot of time, but I saw one thing that stood out to me, the API Stress Coat. I'm glad you caught that quickly, as soon as I read it I was like "OH NO!" and then you took care of it, good job.

Second, you have an uncycled tank, from what I can gather. They take at least 30 days to cycle. Do you know the cycling process? You seem to know how to manage the ammonia to nitrites, nitrites to nitrates routine. Do you own an API Fresh Water Master Test kit? It tests for those and hardness. My axolotl sits at like 7.4-.7.6 hardness, and her ammonia and nitrites are usually 0, her nitrates stay around 20-50, with 60 being the upmost limit. I do one big, at least 50% water change a week and I do one massive, 75% or more water change a month. I tub my axolotl for like 20 minutes while I do that.

The gills thrown forward is a defensive stance, stressed clearly. Are they holding their ground or fleeing? If they're darting around, super angry, they can get hurt so keep an eye on them. Mine was spooked once by my mom's dog getting too close to her tank and she smacked her nose, bled a bit, while swimming away.

I don't like to use my Seachem Prime and whatnot with my axolotl in the water, it irritated mine too much one night. She got super aggressive, like, holding her ground, gills forward, being super vigilant like she's expecting an attack. So what I do, and this works for my water, I have like 5 different 5 gallon buckets, I fill them up, put a bag over them, clean one, usually a garbage bag. I leave air for the water, like, the bag is just a preventative for dust and...cats. So after about 48 hours that water dechlorinates naturally and is safe for my girl. She's in a 20 gallon tank so at like worst case, I will always have a reserve 5 gallons. Just a trip to Home Depot to get 5 buckets, quick, easy. HOWEVER, I live in a US state that is fully landlocked and our water quality is notably terrible, and notably hard by default.

As for the sponge filter, mine actually likes the bubbles. I have two medium sponge filters in her tank (helped with the cycling and never removed the second one). She climbs up on them sometimes and puts her face in the bubbles. Yours may just need time to calm down. But there are some like "bubble shields." It's like just a long plastic tube that goes up towards the surface and herds all the bubbles in one specific direction. I have them on mine to keep her water still. Sometimes she climbs up on them.

You're doing, what I would say, a good job and being very cautious with your little guy. Sorry I can't help more, I have to run. I hope someone else can chime in soon. Any other photos you can post, like, if something changes, post, let the others see it.

Oh and is your axolotl still eating? Even when mine was super upset, she would still eat, so that's a good sign if your little guy will keep eating.
Thank you so much for the reply, it was super helpful! I was using individual Api Test kits, but just purchased the master one! I think I am going to drain all the tank water since it has aloe vera in it and start the cycle over when I get the ammonia drops. They’ll come in the February which is a little annoying because I’ll have to tub my axie for a little while longer. Mine actually seems calm, possibly darting. They aren’t swimming very quickly, just at a steady pace to either go in a corner or to go up for air. Maybe pacing? I don’t think so but it’s a possibility that they are. I would say fairly calm while also just floating at the bottom (since this is my first lotl, i dont really know normal behavior and am trying to spot what you’re describing. Still dont know for sure!) I did get them like five days ago now. This morning the gills uncurled a bit but I had to transfer them into a different tank. They were stuck in the net a bit and needed some extra help getting into the new tub. They get a bit of a fright when I whip out the net! Really skittish, swimming away really fast from the net. I feel so bad )-:

The seachem prime says the water is good to go immediately, I believe? I let my water sit for an hour until I added it. Maybe I’ll let it sit longer like you do. I read somewhere that this person was skeptical and just waited an hour to be safe. Maybe a few more hours is safer. May be what’s also contributing to the stress, along with the constant moving between tubs.

Also, thank you for your input about the sponge filter! I wasn’t sure at all and thought maybe the flow was also a little bit stressful. When the tank is fully cycled, it will probably have calmed down as you said! Thank goodness. I still might consider the bubble shields just to be on the safe side. I want to do everything I can to prevent stress. Also, it’s so cute how your axolotl climbs up on your shields!

And yes, my axolotl is eating like a champ! It ate bits of a night crawler today and I fed it some bloodworms! It was swimming up to the tongs and it was adorable. It bit the tong and lost balance. It was a little sad but still cute, aha. Even though they’re stressed, they’re being very cooperative. I just purchased pellets since they’re still a little too small for the worms and bloodworms aren’t that nutritious. I feel bad about the stress. I did notice that on the pictures on the site I purchased my axolotl, them and their siblings had their gills curled a little. Maybe they naturally have curled gills, just not as bad as they are now.

Thank you again for your advice! It helped me out a ton and was in a way a relief. Thank you for taking the time to read everything, I really appreciate it so much!!

Here are today’s pictures after the transfer.
 

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EasternRomioi3

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Aw, look at that little cranky axolotl. I think they're just stressed but they will calm down. They're still quite small but you know what you're doing. And that pacing thing, mine does that sometimes late at night, when there's no lights on, I can see her doing it and I think it's just her stalking fictitious prey lol. I am glad you've got a good handle on this and a good idea of what to do.

I see you mentioned a net, do you pick them up in the net or are you cleaning around them? Reason I ask is, unless the net is a ultra-fine mesh, you run the risk of getting a gill stalk or filaments caught in the mesh of the net. I use my hand to pick my girl up. A lot of people say don't do that, and I totally get it, but a lot of people also say it's good for your axolotl because they need to be able to tell who their owner is and to be able to know we're not going to hurt them, that we're not a predator.

Just be careful with that Prime, I don't like it. I know it works but I prefer to take the time to let the water dechlorinate naturally. Now, again, we have a bunch of reptiles at my house too, so we have 5, 5 gallon buckets, and we have like 8 1 gallon jars that are dedicated entirely to the animals and their tanks. We have turtles, all aquatic reptiles.
 

Littlewolf

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Thank you so much for the reply, it was super helpful! I was using individual Api Test kits, but just purchased the master one! I think I am going to drain all the tank water since it has aloe vera in it and start the cycle over when I get the ammonia drops. They’ll come in the February which is a little annoying because I’ll have to tub my axie for a little while longer. Mine actually seems calm, possibly darting. They aren’t swimming very quickly, just at a steady pace to either go in a corner or to go up for air. Maybe pacing? I don’t think so but it’s a possibility that they are. I would say fairly calm while also just floating at the bottom (since this is my first lotl, i dont really know normal behavior and am trying to spot what you’re describing. Still dont know for sure!) I did get them like five days ago now. This morning the gills uncurled a bit but I had to transfer them into a different tank. They were stuck in the net a bit and needed some extra help getting into the new tub. They get a bit of a fright when I whip out the net! Really skittish, swimming away really fast from the net. I feel so bad )-:

The seachem prime says the water is good to go immediately, I believe? I let my water sit for an hour until I added it. Maybe I’ll let it sit longer like you do. I read somewhere that this person was skeptical and just waited an hour to be safe. Maybe a few more hours is safer. May be what’s also contributing to the stress, along with the constant moving between tubs.

Also, thank you for your input about the sponge filter! I wasn’t sure at all and thought maybe the flow was also a little bit stressful. When the tank is fully cycled, it will probably have calmed down as you said! Thank goodness. I still might consider the bubble shields just to be on the safe side. I want to do everything I can to prevent stress. Also, it’s so cute how your axolotl climbs up on your shields!

And yes, my axolotl is eating like a champ! It ate bits of a night crawler today and I fed it some bloodworms! It was swimming up to the tongs and it was adorable. It bit the tong and lost balance. It was a little sad but still cute, aha. Even though they’re stressed, they’re being very cooperative. I just purchased pellets since they’re still a little too small for the worms and bloodworms aren’t that nutritious. I feel bad about the stress. I did notice that on the pictures on the site I purchased my axolotl, them and their siblings had their gills curled a little. Maybe they naturally have curled gills, just not as bad as they are now.

Thank you again for your advice! It helped me out a ton and was in a way a relief. Thank you for taking the time to read everything, I really appreciate it so much!!

Here are today’s pictures after the transfer.
Hey there! First of all, I have to say that you make me happy in that you are conscientious about your lotls. You are the type of person I love to have as a customer because you ask for help AND take the advice given. So yay! Secondly, I agree with all Eastern has told you so far. I too panicked when I saw the stress coat thing, but I am glad you have rectified that situation. Axolotls are very sensitive to chemicals, but they are also very resilient little things and fortunately they let us know when something is bugging them. I am really glad you got the API master test kit and the prime. Both are on my list of necessary supplies.

Prime is perfectly safe but I usually dont recommend adding it straight to the tank. 5 gallon buckets are definitely a must. The bucket system Eastern mentioned is fine, but you dont have to let it sit for a hour or anything if you don't want to. Just make sure the prime is nice and missed in before pouring the bucket in. I have a 75 gallon, a 36 gallon, and a 20 gallon (plus all of our baby setups) and dont have the time or space to leave 5 gallons buckets sitting around to "air out" and I've never had a problem. Just do what works for you.

Tubbing is really quite simple. 100% water changes daily and make sure the water is staying nice and cold. You do not really need an air stone in a tub. Sometimes air stone will create too much water movement and that stresses them out. Of course that will depend on how big the tub is too. Every axolotl is different though. I have some that LOVE bubbles and others that are freaked out by them.

Tank cycling is definitely a process and can take some time. Adding starter bacteria to the tank can help seed things along, but it will still take time. Microbelift Special Blend is my go-to for bacteria additives. It smells like a bottle of 1000 roadkills, but it works. I will even dose my tanks after I've done a larger water change or messed with my filter media. I do recommend however, only add about a quarter to a half dose at a time because it can lower the oxygen level in the tank briefly. I have a whole write up on my website about tank cycling, but I will copy and paste the fishless tank cycling breakdown here:

First, set up your aquarium using de-chlorinated water and let it run for 24 to 48 hours. This will allow you time to make sure all of your equipment is running properly. Test the water for all of the above listed parameters. These will be your starting base-line measurements. After the aquarium has been running for the recommended time period, add a small amount of your ammonia source to bring your ammonia level to 2ppm. After 24 hours, test the water and record new results. Test the water every day or two and monitor the changes. When the ammonia level begins to drop and the nitrite levels begin to rise, add another small amount of ammonia to keep feeding the bacteria. Keep testing the water quality, and when the nitrates begin to rise, dose the tank with the ammonia source again. This should be the last dose required to finish the cycling process.

At this point, you should see a small rise in the ammonia level, a small rise in the nitrite level and a continuation in the rise of the nitrate level. When the ammonia reading drops to zero, the nitrite drops to zero and the nitrate is at a measurable level, the aquarium is considered to be cycled. Before you add any animals to the aquarium, do a 20% water change to lower the level of the nitrates. Different animals tolerate nitrates at different levels, but a safe rule of thumb is to keep your nitrate level below 60ppm.

Hope this helps!
 

mgbella

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Aw, look at that little cranky axolotl. I think they're just stressed but they will calm down. They're still quite small but you know what you're doing. And that pacing thing, mine does that sometimes late at night, when there's no lights on, I can see her doing it and I think it's just her stalking fictitious prey lol. I am glad you've got a good handle on this and a good idea of what to do.

I see you mentioned a net, do you pick them up in the net or are you cleaning around them? Reason I ask is, unless the net is a ultra-fine mesh, you run the risk of getting a gill stalk or filaments caught in the mesh of the net. I use my hand to pick my girl up. A lot of people say don't do that, and I totally get it, but a lot of people also say it's good for your axolotl because they need to be able to tell who their owner is and to be able to know we're not going to hurt them, that we're not a predator.

Just be careful with that Prime, I don't like it. I know it works but I prefer to take the time to let the water dechlorinate naturally. Now, again, we have a bunch of reptiles at my house too, so we have 5, 5 gallon buckets, and we have like 8 1 gallon jars that are dedicated entirely to the animals and their tanks. We have turtles, all aquatic reptiles.
They haven’t done this today, but were doing this yesterday. They were swimming at the top of the tub water, definitely pacing. They’re for sure very stressed and it breaks my heart.
I’m actually quite scared to use my hands because I don’t want my axie to jump out or I don’t want to drop them. I just don’t trust myself enough to handle such a delicate little creature. They do not like the net at all though :-(.
Now that you mention it, there’s been no issues yet, but I will probably get a net that is more fine. That could be bad in the future, thank you for the reminder. The net isn’t the worst, but it definitely could be more safe. I pick them up and transfer them to another container with nice, clean, and cool water every 24 hours with the net.
Also, I have been letting my water sit longer now! I’m thinking of getting two more buckets to have dechlorinated water that has been sitting on hand. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and I really took what you said into consideration. The prime not having sat for long could also be why my axolotl is stressed out. It has a few factors that could be stressing them out and I want to eliminate that option completely.
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you! Your advice has been so helpful and thank you for taking the time out of your day to reply!
 

EasternRomioi3

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Man, me reading this and remembering I needed to pick up 2 more buckets at Home Depot...maybe I can remember to do it before work tomorrow lol.

Anyways, yes, I understand, they're so small, it's a concern. When they get bigger you may want to get them acclimated to your hands so they know you're not a predator.

Btw, have you tested your water straight from the tap at all? My dad made me do that to better understand where my axolotl's water needs to get to, before it can be added. That's how we learned our water is real hard to begin with. We don't drink the water in my area too much anymore. I refuse to, I've seen our sources of water lol.

And you're welcome, feel free to message me directly any time, but remember, I am not that experienced, so I only know from trial and error.
 

mgbella

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Hey there! First of all, I have to say that you make me happy in that you are conscientious about your lotls. You are the type of person I love to have as a customer because you ask for help AND take the advice given. So yay! Secondly, I agree with all Eastern has told you so far. I too panicked when I saw the stress coat thing, but I am glad you have rectified that situation. Axolotls are very sensitive to chemicals, but they are also very resilient little things and fortunately they let us know when something is bugging them. I am really glad you got the API master test kit and the prime. Both are on my list of necessary supplies.

Prime is perfectly safe but I usually dont recommend adding it straight to the tank. 5 gallon buckets are definitely a must. The bucket system Eastern mentioned is fine, but you dont have to let it sit for a hour or anything if you don't want to. Just make sure the prime is nice and missed in before pouring the bucket in. I have a 75 gallon, a 36 gallon, and a 20 gallon (plus all of our baby setups) and dont have the time or space to leave 5 gallons buckets sitting around to "air out" and I've never had a problem. Just do what works for you.

Tubbing is really quite simple. 100% water changes daily and make sure the water is staying nice and cold. You do not really need an air stone in a tub. Sometimes air stone will create too much water movement and that stresses them out. Of course that will depend on how big the tub is too. Every axolotl is different though. I have some that LOVE bubbles and others that are freaked out by them.

Tank cycling is definitely a process and can take some time. Adding starter bacteria to the tank can help seed things along, but it will still take time. Microbelift Special Blend is my go-to for bacteria additives. It smells like a bottle of 1000 roadkills, but it works. I will even dose my tanks after I've done a larger water change or messed with my filter media. I do recommend however, only add about a quarter to a half dose at a time because it can lower the oxygen level in the tank briefly. I have a whole write up on my website about tank cycling, but I will copy and paste the fishless tank cycling breakdown here:

First, set up your aquarium using de-chlorinated water and let it run for 24 to 48 hours. This will allow you time to make sure all of your equipment is running properly. Test the water for all of the above listed parameters. These will be your starting base-line measurements. After the aquarium has been running for the recommended time period, add a small amount of your ammonia source to bring your ammonia level to 2ppm. After 24 hours, test the water and record new results. Test the water every day or two and monitor the changes. When the ammonia level begins to drop and the nitrite levels begin to rise, add another small amount of ammonia to keep feeding the bacteria. Keep testing the water quality, and when the nitrates begin to rise, dose the tank with the ammonia source again. This should be the last dose required to finish the cycling process.

At this point, you should see a small rise in the ammonia level, a small rise in the nitrite level and a continuation in the rise of the nitrate level. When the ammonia reading drops to zero, the nitrite drops to zero and the nitrate is at a measurable level, the aquarium is considered to be cycled. Before you add any animals to the aquarium, do a 20% water change to lower the level of the nitrates. Different animals tolerate nitrates at different levels, but a safe rule of thumb is to keep your nitrate level below 60ppm.

Hope this helps!
Sorry I scared you with the aloe vera thing!
I actually did purchase a 5 gallon bucket to mix prime in! I’m gonna get two-three more. I’m gonna need an extra since I’m gonna remove all the water from the tank. I’m going to keep the sponge filter in the old tank water while I get the new (aloe-vera free) tank water in. I’m perfectly fine with starting the cycle over, I want to do it more informed this time. I want no aloe vera in it, I know small traces are okayish- but nope. I’m also thinking of adding slate to the bottom of the tank as grip before I add new water. I’m just having trouble finding a reliable sealant to use. I think the grip would be nice for my axolotl to have. I just want what’s best and I want them to be comfortable!

I was just thinking about airstones for the tub (2.5 gallons). I think my axolotl is getting enough air though. They go up for air every now and then and seem content. They definitely prefer the calm water. My tank has a sponge filter but it has an air pump with no settings. The flow is definitely too much, so I am going to purchase a new air pump that is adjustable. I haven’t found much information regarding what their preferred flow is, but I know they like very calm water with no current.
Thank you for the recommendation on the bacteria! I was using some but I really don’t think depending on that was good for cycling in the long run (the bottle said you could add fish immediately). If that type of stuff will help speed things up, I’ll take it! My tank is in my room, so the roadkill smell might suck though!

Thank you for also sending me advice on what to do when my tank is cycling. Cycling actually seems pretty simple and the only difficult thing is waiting. When I was first looking into cycling, it seemed very complicated. The way you put it is very helpful and simple.
To keep my nitrates down after cycling, I’ll probably add some plants that will tolerate cool water. I don’t want to have to add fertilizer to the plants, so I’ll probably get moss balls and planters. (I believe those are when you have the roots of plants going into the water and feeding off the nitrates? I’m still looking into it. I don’t know if axolotls like roots at the surface, I’m still trying to research the best I can.)
Thank you for your reply! It was very in depth and definitely helped with the whole cycling issue.
 

mgbella

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Man, me reading this and remembering I needed to pick up 2 more buckets at Home Depot...maybe I can remember to do it before work tomorrow lol.

Anyways, yes, I understand, they're so small, it's a concern. When they get bigger you may want to get them acclimated to your hands so they know you're not a predator.

Btw, have you tested your water straight from the tap at all? My dad made me do that to better understand where my axolotl's water needs to get to, before it can be added. That's how we learned our water is real hard to begin with. We don't drink the water in my area too much anymore. I refuse to, I've seen our sources of water lol.

And you're welcome, feel free to message me directly any time, but remember, I am not that experienced, so I only know from trial and error.
I was actually going to test the water tonight. I haven’t received my api master test kit yet, but I still have the smaller ph, ammonia, and nitrate tests. I don’t know if the aloe vera changed the ph at all, but mine is definitely high.

I don’t think my county’s water sources are bad compared to other places. I never drink water straight from the sink though. It’s just..different. I like fridge water way more than both tap and bottled. The fridge filter makes all the difference haha

Thanks for offering additional help. Even if you aren’t the most experienced, I appreciate you answering what you can through what you have found. All the advice and information you have given me has been great!
 
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  • Junaz:
    Thank you, I appreciate it. I'll look up ammonia and nitrate lockers, and see if I can find someone who can help me with cycling the tank with her in there. She still is looking and acting ok so I hope everything turns out ok. Thanks for the advice
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  • madcaplaughs:
    Hey @Junaz. It appears your tank is uncycled. You'll need to purchase a source of ammonia (i.e., Dr. Tim's Aquatics ammonium chloride) to cycle the tank with. Dose the tank up to 2ppm (bottle says 4 drops/gal=2ppm. This is false. 2 drops/gal=2ppm) daily until you've build up a bacteria colony that is able to convert 2ppm of ammonia into 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite in 24hr. You'll want to tub your axolotl immediately and while you cycle as these levels are extremely toxic. To tub, just use a food-grade tub large enough for the axolotl to extend itself and turn around in, and perform daily 100% water changes. Make sure your water is dechlorianted (and make sure your dechlorinator has no aloe or iodine, both of these are toxic to axolotls). If you have any more questions about cycling or axolotls, PM me :)
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  • Chamoxnle:
    My new axolotl enjoys floating. He doesn't seem stressed, or like he's being forced to float. He just likes to chill at the top. Why do some enjoy floating around? Most of my other axolotls are content staying stationary, but this one just continues to move, only stopping to eat. Again, he doesn't seem stressed, and it's not a fretful swim.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Hi, Im fairly new to keeping axolotls. I have to lil buddies that I got a few months back. They were doing fine, up until a month ago when one got fungus in his gills. Took him out to fridge him, then the other guy got it too. I'm currently fridging both and doing salt baths for one (not enough fridge space to keep that much pretreated water for both at the same time). Its been hard to tell if its helping or not and then about a week and half ago one of my axies had a bunch of weird white goop in the water. I immediately changed it, happened a tiny bit again, then seemed to be okay. I had returned him to the tank, but it happened again. Back to the fridge but wanted hear from people who knew more
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I have pictures. Tried looking through other peoples questions, but couldnt find the same white goop.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    @Kailynom My cousin (who i got my baby axies from) had the same problem. She developed an allergy to the bloodworms she was feeding them and it got really bad. To the point where her throat would close up just being around the bloodworms. Happened within a few months. Be safe :)
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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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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Im not actually sure how i would post it. It seems to want a link
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Its fairly thick and chunky
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    (Also thanks for your patience and help!)
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  • madcaplaughs:
    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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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Right now theyre in smaller tubs that i do daily water changes in
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I'll admit Ive bought test strips but they havent come in yet
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I use Prime to dechlorinate the water, which was recommend by the girl I got them from
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  • madcaplaughs:
    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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  • madcaplaughs:
    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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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Okay, thank you for your help and advice :)
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  • k.em:
    anybody growing tylototriton?
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    k.em: anybody growing tylototriton? +1
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