Gills on my axolotl no feathers?

postytheaxolotl

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I recently got my axolotl from a store a few weeks ago, and noticed when I brought him home he didn't have much for feathers. He currently is in a 20 gallon tank and is around 2-3 inches long. I feed him pellets and earthworms to give him a mix of food. Do his gills look healthy or should I be worried? he's got an airstone and a standard hang-on filter that doesn't cause too much current. Please help me with some advice!
 

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Murk

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Gills are a difficult indicator.

Small gills could mean that the axolotl isn't feeling well, that his skin is irritated, or that the water quality is so bad he gets most of his oxygen by gulping air - all of which are bad.
Small gills could however also mean that the axolotl is very relaxed (so his blood flow is low and he doesn't need much oxygen) and that the water quality is so good he can get enough oxygen without big gills - all of which are good.

Similarly, big bright gills could mean an excited, healthy axolotl who doesn't need to gulp much air; but could also mean a stressed axolotl, agitated skin and water without much oxygen.

And then there's also a genetic factor - some axolotls just have bigger gills than others.

So the gills alone aren't much of an indicator. That also mean the gills alone aren't anything to worry about, too.
As long as the water parameters are good, the axolotl seems relaxed and healthy, and there are no sudden changes in the gills, there's no reason to worry. If they've been this way for as long as you have him, that seems fine to me.
 

postytheaxolotl

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I've had him for a few weeks and haven't noticed any changes besides him getting bigger. I'm going to do a water change soon, as his tank has just finished cycling and the water is a bit cloudy. He's definitely been eating normally and quite a bit, so the gills were the only big concern I had. Thanks for the help!
 

KumquatSquats

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if your water is "soft" (little to no electrolytes) you might see fluffier gills by supplementing some aquarium fertilizers made to increase GH/KH
i saw gill improvement and less fungus once i started supplementing with powdered mixes so its worth looking into, GH/KH test kit is just a few bucks and the bottle of "alkaline buffer" by seachem i bought is going to last me a long time. 1tsp per 20gals puts me at 2-3KH which my 'lotls seem to enjoy (the plants i have eat some of this so i have to test and adjust sometimes but typically it remains stable)
 
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  • Murk:
    Hi Nerdybirds - open a thread, that usually gets more views and also allows you to post pictures and give more background information: water parameters, age, etc.
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  • Roadrunner:
    My axolotl can you all take a look at that thread, I am freaked out about my axie
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  • MVM1991:
    His gills seem kinda small, I don't think that's normal but I'm not a huge expert on axolotls
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  • Roadrunner:
    Yeah his gills is kinda small and it can be caused by nitrate level, I am taking care of it atm, I am worried about his weight, is he only overfed or are there any kinds of problems there ?
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  • MVM1991:
    Well, again, I'm no expert. But I did just read axolotls are supposed to have a body about as wide as their head. The gills I'd say are the biggest problem, which could reduce oxygen intake, which could make a whole mess of problems.
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  • Roadrunner:
    Thanks for the help then, I will deal with his gills in no time
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    Bri the axolotl mom has left the room.
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  • nerdybirds73:
    Any one have advice on feeding a tubbed axolotl?
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  • nerdybirds73:
    mine hasent eaten in weeks and im not sure what to do
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  • LauraLobster:
    Hello, I am a new owner of a 3 month old axolotl, and although I have done a lot of research on axolotls, I can barely find any for babies. If anyone can help me with these questions, I would be super happy. How many hours do baby axolotls tend to sleep per day? How many times should I feed it and what would be considered too much (it's current diet is freeze-dried brine shrimp and blood worms, and I currently feed it around 3 bloodworms since they are not that big)? How many times a week should I change the water and how? I have a good filter and use Prime as my conditioner to remove the chlorine and other chemicals, but I still need to figure out how to deal with ammonia and such in the water. How do I clean it's waste (should I use a dropper to easily pick it up)? I need a better cooling system because currently I use ice packs on the side of the tank and I make sure to angle my ac so that it hits the tank.
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  • LauraLobster:
    I also leave the lid open during the day so that evaporation can cool down my tank. I want to buy a fan, but since winter is coming I won't have to buy one yet. Lastly, what water testers are effective and affordable for a broke student like myself? Please, if anyone has any advice I will love to hear it. I care for this creature too much at this point, but I have no one to help me with caring for it other than the internet :,)
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  • EmilyP:
    Hi LauraLobster I am a new owner of axolotls myself and have been getting advice from things like this, I feed mine twice a day on blackworms and brine shrimp blood worms are more of a treat food, a question on where you are keeping you axolotl are you keeping it in the main tank or in a tub also if in the tank did you cycle it first? and if not i suggest tubing it until the tank it cycled, mine are still tubed since I was given bad advice by the shop people about cycling my tank and am still in the process of cycling it. I use pipettes to clean up the mess of my axolotls. I use the API mater test kit for freshwater tanks I am also a student and had to look around to find it the cheapest I could.
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  • AnimeDan:
    Hi LauraLobster, like you I got my first ever Axolotl back in July. Iv found that he has enjoyed and eaten red wigglers well. They are a good source of protein and help provide the nutrients a young lotl needs to grow up big and strong. You will probably need to break it up into smaller pieces until they get bigger but they are what I have primarily fed my buddy since I got him. He’s actually so picky that he won’t even eat his pellets anymore and will hold out till he gets his favorite wormy.
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    Hey, can anyone recommend a good fan/cooler in UK?
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    I’ve got proven female axolotls available if anyone is interested.
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  • MVM1991:
    As long as its cleaned yeah! You can even make overhangs if you have enough pieces to make nice caves and platforms
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  • Mark.H:
    Ok, thanks!
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  • MVM1991:
    My pleasure! River rocks work well too, and go rather well with all kinda lung less salamanders,
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  • Mark.H:
    Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :)
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    Mark.H: Great! I'll use some of those too. Thanks for the help. :) +1
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