Gulping?!

Rxoc

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Today I cleaned out my axies entire tank to start over the time since ammonia levels were out of hand...so I loved her into a small critter carrier with appropriate water and a small sponge filter. I used a net to move her in one quick swoop of a motion. Yet when I added her to the container I noticed she was doing this weird gulping motion. Opening her mouth and the area under her chin was expanding like as if she was gulping air but she was under after. My axie also goes up for air often as her gills had been bitten off by fish at the LFS. I’m worried... I was actually so worried that I finished setting up her tank. Let her original new soaknge filter in and added a tetra whisper 10 filter from my established tank. So she has two filters in there one with some established media and one without. She gulped a couple more times, went up for air and then she seems to have relaxed in the bottom...no curved tail and her gills are nowhere near long enough to curl forward so I don’t have any indication to go off of. I’m super worried!
 

tundrabadger

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Okay, so what you've described with her doing the gulping motion under water sounds like a yawn...I don't know if they are actually yawning when they do that, I've just seen it called that. If I'm right it's a pretty normal bit of axolotl behavior, mine do it sometimes, it's just a cute thing they do occasionally. It can be a bit alarming if you catch it at the right angle, since you wind up seeing more of the inside of your pet than you might normally, but it's nothing to worry about. Even going up for air is pretty normal, you'll see axies with full, healthy gills do it when they're feeling lively, it's not cause for concern unless it's literally all the time. in the case of yours, since her gills have been damaged she might go more often, although I'm not too sure about that since I've never had an axie who has had that particular problem, and before this most of my experience was with newts who work rather differently.



Since you don't have long gills to judge by I'd suggest becoming a student of axolotl behaviour. Well, I would suggest that anyhow, they are really fascinating animals to learn about, that's part of the reason I have three of them (also they're beautiful, they do cute things and they're surprisingly good company). get to know your axie in particular, see what she does often, that sort of thing....then you will know what behaviour is cause for concern. Once you've got a handle on her personality she will tell you when somethings wrong, and then it's a matter of figuring out what.
 

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Ok! Thank you. I was super worried. Yeah I have been really enjoying her cuteness and it’s such a shame she had been hurt at the LFS. I wish I had another axolotl to compare her too but when I got her the only other “axolotl” was in the tank next to her and they told me it was not an axolotl but a tadpole....it’s looked very much like an axolotl to me.
 

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It's good that you are as much as you clearly do. I've seen your other posts, it looks like you know about testing water parameters. If she's eating okay that's a good sign. She's young, so it's normal for her to be more active than you might see in an adult. About how often would you say she goes to gulp air?
 

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I have been swimming around the fish keeping community forums for a while now since I have a tank with Tiger barbs in it as well...so that has helped! She gulped air like that for about an hour, and has only done it once or twice since then...she is going up for air normally. Has been very active...feeding agressively! lol I hope I am feeding her enough...she eats about 5 bloodworms twice a day (I just feed her until she moves away and wont take more).....she has not pooped in two days though...so i will be worried by tomorrow if she doesnt poop
 

tundrabadger

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I find that having experience with aquariums in general let me hit the ground running with axies....I've had fish, I had newts when I was a kid, that sort of thing.



Sounds like she is settling in....I can picture her eating aggressively, it's quite the sight when they do that. if she is eating until she won't take anymore and her belly is the width of her head you're feeding her enough. Not pooping is a legitimate concern, but if you've got stuff in the tank I'd suggest having a really close look...they don't always poop someplace conveniently visible, and if you don't see it right away it might not be in a nice cohesive lump.
 

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Her feeding is the cutest thing ever! For an animal that technically doesn't do much, they are so interesting to watch. She definitely has a personality and has come to know me as the person who feeds her, so she comes to the front of the tank when I am around. Luckily, she pooped last night...so everything is back to normal and she seems to be doing great :D
 

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Oh, man, I got in from work a little while ago, right? big tank is kind of where the living room meets the front hall, so I have to walk past it any time I go in or out. So I'm there, and I stop to say hello before I change out of my work clothes and Vita looked right at me and put her hand on the glass like "Hello, man who brings worms. I am wasting away and will soon perish". It was pretty delightful. Also she's lying, she is fed well and regularly.
 

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Lol!!!!! Little one will start biting at the glass and plants around her when she sees me as if to say "Feed me now!!!"' its so freaking cute. She then swims back and forth on the front glass.
 

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If Vita and Alexander are particularly hungry they'll swim straight up when they see me coming with food. Virginia kind of bounces, and one or two times she's overshot the food and bitten a plant by mistake.
 

Rxoc

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I feed from my hands because I havent had time to go buy some long tweezers, and she always gets my fingers instead.
 

tundrabadger

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I feed from my hands because I havent had time to go buy some long tweezers, and she always gets my fingers instead.



Yup...I've gotten the odd nip myself. If at any point you're feeding full nightcrawlers (she won't be big enough for that yet, though) you can kind of dangle them from one end, which reduces the odds of getting bitten.
 
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