Help with cloudy and smelly tank

Gloriak26

New member
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Points
3
Location
Greece
Country
Greece
Hello guys! I’m finally at my wits end about the situation of my axolotl’s tank and I’m hoping someone here can give me a solution. I’ve had my axolotl for around two months now. At some point my tank started getting cloudy and smelly (smell like sulphur, rotten eggs) and after searching online I concluded that a lot of debris had accumulated in my sand substrate and anaerobic bacteria started to form( parts of the sand had started turning black too) even though I would weekly vacuum it. Also along the cloudiness and smell some sort of disgusting yewllow-y slime would form on the plants, surfaces and even when I cleaned the filter media everything was full of the stuff and everything, and I mean everything in the tank, even the moss balls, reeked like rotten eggs. At some point I removed the sand (but I didn’t rinse anything else so as not to kill good bacteria) and did a massive almost 95% water change. After that I hoped that the problem would be solved but slowly after 5-6 days the cloudiness came slowly back and so did the smell but not as strong. I did my last water change 5 days ago. The tank is cloudy as ever(though surprisingly not as smelly, almost no smell) and I honestly don’t know what to do. This has honestly taken all the fun out of keeping my little friend and I just can’t bear to look at the tank like that anymore. My parameters have always been good during this time, no ammonia, no nitrites, nitrates low, so it couldn’t have been a parameter problem. I even put shrimp inside the tank and those that didn’t become snacks still survive and I know how sensitive shrimp can be. Water temperature is always between 15-19 degrees celcius so I really don’t know what the problem is! 😔 Here are some photos of my tank(sorry for any reflections) Thank you for any advice you may have!
 

Attachments

  • 6DE72FED-B08A-4E74-B19A-FCE44427C26B.jpeg
    6DE72FED-B08A-4E74-B19A-FCE44427C26B.jpeg
    839.8 KB · Views: 22
  • 3F14BE87-6B6E-424F-A79E-1B2EDEC3C14D.jpeg
    3F14BE87-6B6E-424F-A79E-1B2EDEC3C14D.jpeg
    2.5 MB · Views: 16
  • C61C1484-14C6-4C0C-B551-124F6A4DDAD3.jpeg
    C61C1484-14C6-4C0C-B551-124F6A4DDAD3.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 16

AMurry24537

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
137
Reaction score
23
Points
18
Location
Minnesota
Country
United States
I would recommend doing a partial water change, around 30-50% every day until your tank stabilizes in a healthier way. Obviously, you should continue to do a full tank clean (take out around 30% of the water, rinse/scrub everything off in the old water, and replace with fresh, clean water) every week. Hopefully this will get rid of whatever is going on.
 

AMurry24537

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
137
Reaction score
23
Points
18
Location
Minnesota
Country
United States
Hello guys! I’m finally at my wits end about the situation of my axolotl’s tank and I’m hoping someone here can give me a solution. I’ve had my axolotl for around two months now. At some point my tank started getting cloudy and smelly (smell like sulphur, rotten eggs) and after searching online I concluded that a lot of debris had accumulated in my sand substrate and anaerobic bacteria started to form( parts of the sand had started turning black too) even though I would weekly vacuum it. Also along the cloudiness and smell some sort of disgusting yewllow-y slime would form on the plants, surfaces and even when I cleaned the filter media everything was full of the stuff and everything, and I mean everything in the tank, even the moss balls, reeked like rotten eggs. At some point I removed the sand (but I didn’t rinse anything else so as not to kill good bacteria) and did a massive almost 95% water change. After that I hoped that the problem would be solved but slowly after 5-6 days the cloudiness came slowly back and so did the smell but not as strong. I did my last water change 5 days ago. The tank is cloudy as ever(though surprisingly not as smelly, almost no smell) and I honestly don’t know what to do. This has honestly taken all the fun out of keeping my little friend and I just can’t bear to look at the tank like that anymore. My parameters have always been good during this time, no ammonia, no nitrites, nitrates low, so it couldn’t have been a parameter problem. I even put shrimp inside the tank and those that didn’t become snacks still survive and I know how sensitive shrimp can be. Water temperature is always between 15-19 degrees celcius so I really don’t know what the problem is! 😔 Here are some photos of my tank(sorry for any reflections) Thank you for any advice you may have!
Any updates?
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

Active member
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
312
Reaction score
119
Points
43
Location
Florida
Country
United States
Hello guys! I’m finally at my wits end about the situation of my axolotl’s tank and I’m hoping someone here can give me a solution. I’ve had my axolotl for around two months now. At some point my tank started getting cloudy and smelly (smell like sulphur, rotten eggs) and after searching online I concluded that a lot of debris had accumulated in my sand substrate and anaerobic bacteria started to form( parts of the sand had started turning black too) even though I would weekly vacuum it. Also along the cloudiness and smell some sort of disgusting yewllow-y slime would form on the plants, surfaces and even when I cleaned the filter media everything was full of the stuff and everything, and I mean everything in the tank, even the moss balls, reeked like rotten eggs. At some point I removed the sand (but I didn’t rinse anything else so as not to kill good bacteria) and did a massive almost 95% water change. After that I hoped that the problem would be solved but slowly after 5-6 days the cloudiness came slowly back and so did the smell but not as strong. I did my last water change 5 days ago. The tank is cloudy as ever(though surprisingly not as smelly, almost no smell) and I honestly don’t know what to do. This has honestly taken all the fun out of keeping my little friend and I just can’t bear to look at the tank like that anymore. My parameters have always been good during this time, no ammonia, no nitrites, nitrates low, so it couldn’t have been a parameter problem. I even put shrimp inside the tank and those that didn’t become snacks still survive and I know how sensitive shrimp can be. Water temperature is always between 15-19 degrees celcius so I really don’t know what the problem is! 😔 Here are some photos of my tank(sorry for any reflections) Thank you for any advice you may have!
I know you said your water parameters are good, but lets get an update on that.
Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, pH?
What size is the tank?
What kind of filtration do you have on the tank?

Everything you're describing points to a bacteria bloom. Generally this occurs when there is too much organic waste in the tank. Even in a cycled tank, it can still happen. It can also happen if the water is not filtered properly.
 

Gloriak26

New member
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Points
3
Location
Greece
Country
Greece
I know you said your water parameters are good, but lets get an update on that.
Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, pH?
What size is the tank?
What kind of filtration do you have on the tank?

Everything you're describing points to a bacteria bloom. Generally this occurs when there is too much organic waste in the tank. Even in a cycled tank, it can still happen. It can also happen if the water is not filtered properly.
Nope, everything is normal when it comes to parameters, has been for a long time now! Ammonia is 0, nitrite 0 and nitrates are always bellow 10. Ph is between 7.6-7.8. That's what always seemed strange to me! How can a tank so cloudy and murky have such good parameters!? Plus, my axie never exhibited any signs of stress(no curled gills, no curled tail). My tests are liquid and new, I always shake them before use, so it can't be that they are the problem. My tank is 63 liters long. My filter is an internal fluval u2 , but after someone's advice on facebook I bought an extra hob filter (niagara 370), that I started using two days ago and added seachem purigen as media. I too thought that it was a bacterial bloom at first, but the cloudiness and smell have lasted for so long that I really am at a loss!
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

Active member
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
312
Reaction score
119
Points
43
Location
Florida
Country
United States
Nope, everything is normal when it comes to parameters, has been for a long time now! Ammonia is 0, nitrite 0 and nitrates are always bellow 10. Ph is between 7.6-7.8. That's what always seemed strange to me! How can a tank so cloudy and murky have such good parameters!? Plus, my axie never exhibited any signs of stress(no curled gills, no curled tail). My tests are liquid and new, I always shake them before use, so it can't be that they are the problem. My tank is 63 liters long. My filter is an internal fluval u2 , but after someone's advice on facebook I bought an extra hob filter (niagara 370), that I started using two days ago and added seachem purigen as media. I too thought that it was a bacterial bloom at first, but the cloudiness and smell have lasted for so long that I really am at a loss!
Its definitely bacteria. You don't get that smell or the slimy coating on everything otherwise. As I said before, you can have bacteria blooms even if your water parameters are testing within normal limits. Internal filters aren't the best thing to use with these guys because of the amount of waste they produce. You'd honestly be better off using the HOB and adding a large sponge filter. Sponge filters offer a large surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow which can help keep bacteria blooms in the water to a minimum. They're also pretty inexpensive.

In addition to the sponge filter, I would suggest doing 30% changes daily for 3 changes. wait 3 days and do another 40% change.

My other question is: What are you feeding your axolotl? How much? and how often?
 

Gloriak26

New member
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Points
3
Location
Greece
Country
Greece
I am now running both (internal and hob) filters. Do you think I should remove the internal and just go with the hob? I am feeding live nightcrawlers (1-2) every other day.
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

Active member
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
312
Reaction score
119
Points
43
Location
Florida
Country
United States
I am now running both (internal and hob) filters. Do you think I should remove the internal and just go with the hob? I am feeding live nightcrawlers (1-2) every other day.
Id remove the internal and add in a sponge filter. It will be a lot more beneficial that the internal.

That's good for the food. Sometimes that can be a contributing factor so just wanted to make sure.
 

Gloriak26

New member
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Points
3
Location
Greece
Country
Greece
Id remove the internal and add in a sponge filter. It will be a lot more beneficial that the internal.

That's good for the food. Sometimes that can be a contributing factor so just wanted to make sure.
Thank you so much for your help! I was considering a sponge filter but opted for the hob, because the tank is in my bedroom and, being a light sleeper, I was afraid the air pump would drive me crazy. If you have any suggestions for a quiet pump I’d be grateful! If the sponge filter does the trick I’ll just find a way to deal with the noise.
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

Active member
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
312
Reaction score
119
Points
43
Location
Florida
Country
United States
Thank you so much for your help! I was considering a sponge filter but opted for the hob, because the tank is in my bedroom and, being a light sleeper, I was afraid the air pump would drive me crazy. If you have any suggestions for a quiet pump I’d be grateful! If the sponge filter does the trick I’ll just find a way to deal with the noise.
You're very welcome. I use whisper air pumps usually. They're really quiet and just make a soft humming sound. HOBs are good because they offer chemical, biological, and mechanical filtration. Sponges lack the chemical part so using both is generally a good balance. Sponges also only need to be changed maybe once every 6 months or so. When you do water changes, just rinse them gently in a bucket of old tank water to remove any debris, then pop them back in the tank.

Please feel free to send me a direct message anytime if you have any questions
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lilith:
    Hey guys, one of my axolotls has developed some fungus on one of her gills, I've started salt baths, but do salt baths need to be done in the fridge, some people said I should have her in the fridge permanently during the process, even when not in the salt bath, is this true? As some people said its unnecessary as long as the tank is below 20°c which it is. Also do I need to get them both out the tank and clean it out?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Nagato:
    Does anybody know where I can find Triturus karelinii?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    RobynB27 has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    RobynB27 has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    RobynB27 has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lilith:
    Does anyone know if aquacare general tonic is ok for axolotls as a treatment for bacterial or fungal infection?
    +1
    Unlike
  • faebugz:
    Hi Lilith, you can check the medications page for a list of axolotl safe treatments. Although if the infection is mild, I would stick with fridge and salt baths!
    +1
    Unlike
  • faebugz:
    I believe the fridge gets to about 54°, so if you can replicate that in the tank, it might be okay. I personally would fridge just to make catching them easier, and if the infection is something in the water column at all, it will hopefully die out while they're AWOL (I'm thinking like ich for fish, not sure if axies have an equivalent)
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lilith:
    Ok, thank you!
    +1
    Unlike
  • chitoos:
    My three inch axolotl was having trouble pooping up to a few days ago. I wasn't feeding her as often because I was scared I would just add to her constipation. I fridged her until she pooped (twice), and then began to feed her around 6 bloodworms every other day. she's been pooping everyday now, but she's at that age where you can see through her stomach and I always see poop ready to come out but has not yet passed. I don't think she's constipated anymore, but I'm not sure and i don't want to over or underfeed her... any advice?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Feed it chopped worms chitoos, its big enough and bloodworm is nutritionaly deficient.
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Freeze dried , live or frozen bloodworm.
    +1
    Unlike
  • chitoos:
    Oh ok thanks! I thought she might be ready for something more. do you have any advice about the apparent poop problem?
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    @Lilith, fridging is not required for fungus treatment. Read my thread on treatment.
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Feed it more, six bloodworm isnt much, dont use freeze dried foods
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Feed daily , remove uneaten food
    +1
    Unlike
  • chitoos:
    Gotcha, Thank you!
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    Its probably not pooping because its hardly beign fed, it pooped in the fridge because the lower temp caused it to purge itself. If it stays constipated you can pm me
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Audrey22:
    Hi guys. Quick question. I have newly morphed eastern newt efts. They lost their gills but they still prefer the water. I have coconut fiber, moss, hidey holes and some food in the temporary habitat for them (waiting for the other newts to morph as well). But they still run back to the water. Is it the wrong substrate? Do they prefer something other than coconut fiber? I've been doing everything else properly (According to my research) but just wondering why they haven't ventured up. Have any ideas?
    +1
    Unlike
    Audrey22: Hi guys. Quick question. I have newly morphed eastern newt efts. They lost their gills but they... +1
    Top