Help! Ammonia!

Chiara

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Hello everyone!

I am having trouble with the level of ammonia in my aquarium.
Last night I did a 50% water change + Seachem conditioner and the parameters were perfect. This morning the ammonia is at 0.5 already!!!
This is been happening just in the last week so I have been doing water changes every other day.

The two factors that have changed are:
- the water temperature (before 16-17C, now 18-19C), as we are having a heatwave
- I have removed a backdrop moss wall as it seemed to produce biofilm (just on the surface of the water)

Regarding water temperature I am keeping it as cool as I can with a fan and frozen water bottles; but a professional aquarium chiller should be delivered on Monday.

I have a Marina filter with 3 filter pads, and they are not yet to be replaced.

I have kept the moss wall so I could re-introduce if having biofilm is going to keep the ammonia at bay?

Could anyone explain why this is happening, or if you have suggestions?
I got my 2 axolotl 1 month ago, and all this is new to me, all advices are welcome.
Thank you xx
 

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DoctorBen

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Hello everyone!

I am having trouble with the level of ammonia in my aquarium.
Last night I did a 50% water change + Seachem conditioner and the parameters were perfect. This morning the ammonia is at 0.5 already!!!
This is been happening just in the last week so I have been doing water changes every other day.

The two factors that have changed are:
- the water temperature (before 16-17C, now 18-19C), as we are having a heatwave
- I have removed a backdrop moss wall as it seemed to produce biofilm (just on the surface of the water)

Regarding water temperature I am keeping it as cool as I can with a fan and frozen water bottles; but a professional aquarium chiller should be delivered on Monday.

I have a Marina filter with 3 filter pads, and they are not yet to be replaced.

I have kept the moss wall so I could re-introduce if having biofilm is going to keep the ammonia at bay?

Could anyone explain why this is happening, or if you have suggestions?
I got my 2 axolotl 1 month ago, and all this is new to me, all advices are welcome.
Thank you xx
Basically you don’t yet have a stable nitrogen cycled tank and the raised water temperature is causing increased metabolism in the axolotl is resulting in increased feeding increased defecation and an increase in waste product breakdown within the tank releasing ammonia.
You need to cool the tank, continue with your regular switching of water and be aware that many tap waters have raised nitrogen (ammonia) levels and so you need to test the water you’re adding to the tank - it may be that you need to buy bottled water. Also use a turkey baster are to suck up any visible poo as soon as it’s in the tank. Nitrogen binders and phosphate binders are available but only a offer temporary fix and adding helpful aquarium bacteria is only partially helpful as it shift to nitrate and nitrite production.
In summary cool the water, remove the poo, keep the water changes going and ensure you are replacing with water which is low in nitrogen (ammonia)
 

Chiara

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Basically you don’t yet have a stable nitrogen cycled tank and the raised water temperature is causing increased metabolism in the axolotl is resulting in increased feeding increased defecation and an increase in waste product breakdown within the tank releasing ammonia.
You need to cool the tank, continue with your regular switching of water and be aware that many tap waters have raised nitrogen (ammonia) levels and so you need to test the water you’re adding to the tank - it may be that you need to buy bottled water. Also use a turkey baster are to suck up any visible poo as soon as it’s in the tank. Nitrogen binders and phosphate binders are available but only a offer temporary fix and adding helpful aquarium bacteria is only partially helpful as it shift to nitrate and nitrite production.
In summary cool the water, remove the poo, keep the water changes going and ensure you are replacing with water which is low in nitrogen (ammonia)
DoctorBen, hello and thank you!
I suspected the increased temperature might have been one of the factors. I try to clean their waste but they are very active at night and often by the morning it's all dissolved in the water.
I live in a big city and it is true that the water comes by default with ammonia (tested it), so when doing water changes, I condition it and test it before introducing it in the tank.
I will increase the number of ice packs to lower the temperature further, I hope it works until I receive the chiller.
Thank you for taking your time to advise me!
I will keep you posted 😊
C.
 

Chiara

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Basically you don’t yet have a stable nitrogen cycled tank and the raised water temperature is causing increased metabolism in the axolotl is resulting in increased feeding increased defecation and an increase in waste product breakdown within the tank releasing ammonia.
You need to cool the tank, continue with your regular switching of water and be aware that many tap waters have raised nitrogen (ammonia) levels and so you need to test the water you’re adding to the tank - it may be that you need to buy bottled water. Also use a turkey baster are to suck up any visible poo as soon as it’s in the tank. Nitrogen binders and phosphate binders are available but only a offer temporary fix and adding helpful aquarium bacteria is only partially helpful as it shift to nitrate and nitrite production.
In summary cool the water, remove the poo, keep the water changes going and ensure you are replacing with water which is low in nitrogen (ammonia)
Hello 😊
I am back with an update, as promised.
In the days following our conversation it was really difficult to keep the water temperature down due to heatwave. Eventually I have managed with some help. I have added one of these air bubbles machine to increase oxygen in the water, did a small water change every day, and used small amounts of Seachem Amguard.
On Monday I received a proper chiller, so I removed the ice packs, the bubbles machine and the cooling fan. Since installing the chiller everything is perfect again, the water shows no sign of ammonia, and the other parameters are spot on too. My two axolotls are very happy.
The factor that triggered every problem was the increased water temperature.
Thanks a lot, I hope you have a good day 😊
 

DoctorBen

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Hi,
Thanks for the update and glad things are now going smoothly - it incredible the difference the temperature change makes to multiple asects of the nitrogen ammonium cycling.
I'd love to hear about which chiller you went for and where you got it and how its performing - I had difficulties with a middle-line £150 model in the past and so have given up on them and switched to an air con unit for the room and regular water changes with fridge water. This is however, labour intensive and I'd love to hear about your experiences with your water chiller.
Best,
Dr Ben
 

Chiara

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Hi,
With pleasure! This is the chiller I bought: BAOSHISHAN Aquarium Chiller Water Cooler 160L Chiller Bounus Pump Kit Fish Tank Chiller Seafood Cultivation Equipment for Fresh/Salt Water Waterweeds Jellyfish Coral Crystal Shrimp (°C): Amazon.co.uk: Business, Industry & Science
I was initially looking at another machine sold in US, which has been unavailable for the UK market since. I couldn't wait any longer without a chiller so I opted out for the one above.
So far I am very happy with it as it produces very little noise (less than a fan or AC), and very little water movement even in a 56l aquarium (as axies are known for not appreciating much water movement). I even left a review on Amazon for the seller.
The reason why I did not opt for the AC is because
-in the winter I want to be able to have heating on without worrying about overheating them,
-the portable AC that I have borrowed from my friend is more noisy than the chiller, and I would still need ice packs (having to constantly replace them is stressful), and/or a fan on top of the water (produces noise and vibration in the aquarium, and stresses the axies)
- not having a chiller means that during hot days I can never be away from home for more than 2 or 3 hours as I would have to change the ice packs (sometimes the temperature reaches 35C or plus)
- I found that a portable AC capable of cooling the room as much as I need costs the same as the chiller, and I would still have to use ice packs.
I am not sure in which part of the world you are, but it seems like this chiller is available worldwide.

Now that a few more days have gone by, I can confirm that my two axolotls are very very happy with the water. They were stressed, grumpy and not sociable during the heatwave, before getting the chiller. Now they are much more playful and affectionate. Sending you a bonus video where Joselito is coming to the surface for a little kiss 😆

 
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  • maddyb9903:
    Hello guys! I was wondering about nitrates in an axolotl tank. If there are 0 nitrates, will that harm the axolotl?
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  • AMurry24537:
    0 nitrates doesn't sound dangerous, but it does sound very unlikely if the tank is fully cycled. Are you positive you're performing the test correctly? If you're using the API one, that is by far the trickiest test to do right. If the reading is correct, I would guess that either your tank is not cycled, you just did like a 100% water change, or that you have plants sucking up the nitrates, but even those shouldn't leave you with 0.
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  • Dragonfire:
    0 is fine unless the tank isn't cycled. Most tanks definitely won't run at 0, but I've had fast growing emergent plants drop nutrients so low that other plants like floaters were choked out and began dying so it isn't impossible. Some less sensitive kits may read 0 but they are just not precise enough to give an accurate low level reading too.
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  • GabbyGums:
    Hey Yall my Axolotl has this like tail thats like a dent on the top, I was told it was meant stress but idk whats stressing out my Axolotl. The plants recently gotten moved since they were falling apart but like she's been eating/pooping fine and the temp and water tests are good for the Axolotl. So I don't really know whats causing her to be stress. Does anyone know anything?
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  • AMurry24537:
    Post a picture of the dent (in the "Sick Axolotl" thread) please
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    How do I do that? Im new to this website
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    nvm I found ot
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Hey guys! I’m having an issue with my filter and was hoping for some suggestions. I use an aqua clear 20-50 gallon filter for my 20 gallon axolotl tank. It has worked great since I got it back in December! Recently though, I’ve noticed the flow of the water has turned into more of an intense trickle than a constant flow (if that makes any sense?) I thought it may be something was stuck in the filter or maybe the sponge needed to be swished around in tank water, so I did both of these and it still trickles. It’s a very strong trickle, so the tank is still getting good filtration. It is just so loud and I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else and if there’s a way to fix it?
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  • AMurry24537:
    Hmm, I don't know much about those filters, and I'm having trouble picturing what you mean, but could it be simply that your filtration media is arranged in a different way? Or maybe you're losing water content to evaporation? Just throwing out ideas. 😁 Again, I don't really know much about that kind of filter
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  • CrazyForLotls:
    Hello all. My male axolotl's cloaca hasn't been looking quite right for 13 days. When I first noticed it, I immediately checked the temperature of his tank and it was around 70-71. Way too warm for him, so I took him out and have had him tubbed in the basement ever since. The temperature of his water is now 64-65. The issue seems to be that one 'half' of his cloaca is flared out and has white fuzzy stuff on it. It almost looks like a bunch of little white spikes of hair. Only one half is this way. Sometimes said half is flared out almost all the way, and other times it's almost completely back inside of him. I had him in tea baths overnight for probably five days, and then a solid 24 hours of mild tea for around three days. I don't remember exactly, my apologies.
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  • CrazyForLotls:
    Since it was looking better (not flared out so I couldn't tell if it was still fuzzy) I put him back in plain, dechlorinated water. He gets daily water changes, always dechlorinated. The tea I used was plain black tea. The brand was Lipton and it came in a large box, purchased from the grocery store. Does anybody know what this could be? I found a couple old threads with a similar issue, but nobody ever replied to them. I can post a thread if you'd like some pictures, but they aren't very good. My camera was having trouble focusing and my axolotl kept moving.
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    Hey guys! Just made a post asking for help with an injured eastern newt. I could really use some help. if you would read it, I would really appreciate 🙏😌
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  • Nexbane:
    @Audrey22, A salt bath *might* be a good idea, but I have never heard of them used for anything but axolotls. I would think as simplistic of a setup as possible would be best. Are you a member of the newts & salamanders group on facebook? You might have better luck getting more information quickly there! lots of the same members as here.
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  • Audrey22:
    Ok ill on Facebook too. Thanks. I've heard tea or salt and also neosporin. Do axolots breathe and absorb through their skin like sallies? Thats what I'm afraid of. Because I don't want them to absorb salt if that will hurt them. Anyways, I'll look at Facebook too
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  • gulickje:
    I need guidance… my lotls been struggling. How do i tell if theres anything noticably wrong woth Trudeau? I dont see a way to post a pic here. Hes got like a pinkish spine like down back but everything else looks normal i think. Trixie( my MEL) has been pretty good i think. Both in same tank. Eat same food etc.
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  • CrazyForLotls:
    @gulickje, could you make a thread in the sick axolotls section? You can put pictures there and it's easier for multiple people with axolotl knowledge to help you out. For now, we can't do much without seeing it and asking lots of questions. What is the water temperature? What's the tank like? (substrate, water conditions, any sharp decorations?) What are your water parameters? Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, etc.
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  • JasPinturas:
    Hello... I was wondering if someone could please check out the thread I posted, I’m genuinely concerned for my Axolotl.
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  • JasPinturas:
    It’s under the axolotl section “ baby axolotl broken fingers ? “
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  • tammyaxie:
    I saw it. It looks like the axie may have regrown those fingers after being nipped and they grew weird
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  • JasPinturas:
    Thank you for responding. His fingers were fine the day before I used the net, his fingers were perfectly fine and I don’t have any other axies so I knew he definitely he wasn’t nipped
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  • JasPinturas:
    When I noticed his little fingers were split, after I used the net
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    JasPinturas: When I noticed his little fingers were split, after I used the net +1
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