In trouble with cycling.

BradleyB

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Hi and greetings from Calgary, Alberta.

We will be getting a young axolotl in a little less than 3 weeks. When I purchased the tank and filter from the local aquarium store, the staff member told me I should be able to cycle the tank and get it ready in 2-3 weeks. My bad for not reading more at the time, as I am now facing an uphill battle from what I can gather. In part this stems from the fact that it is almost impossible to purchase pure unadulterated ammonia in Canada, coupled with the fact that the staff member assured me that as long as I used a good cycling starter like Tetra Safe Start, all would be well. I learned about the ammonia problem on Saturday when I filled the tank and headed out looking for it, to no avail. Any household products are lemon-scented or the like and none of the local aquarium/pet stores seem to carry any. Ordering online would involve a 3+ week wait, as it would ship from the US.

I subsequently spent a good part of the past three days scouring the internet for possible solutions, other than using some sacrificial fish, or as one aquarium store employee suggested, adding a frozen cooked shrimp to the tank. At this time, I do not know anyone local that I could get some established filter media from :( Even if I did go the frozen shrimp route, I gather that it would be an extremely disaster-prone path to try, as controlling the ammonia level would be fairly difficult.

My current understanding is that a fast cycle still might be possible using the Safe Start if only I could access some ammonia, so that I can ensure a controlled food source for the nitrifying bacteria until the tank gets established. Being able to add some filter media from an established tank would be a huge bonus. The set-up is a 20 gallon long tank and a Aqua Clear 30 HOB filter. I tested the tap water prior to treating for chlorine and got the following results:

Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrites 0 ppm
Nitrates 0 ppm
PH 7.4
GH 300 ppm range
KH 100-150 ppm range

I filled the tank on Sunday and it appears to be settling in at 64 degrees F (18 Celsius).

Help!
 

Pigalit

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Is it possible to get the ammonia shipped from another country? Or find one from amazon? If you're worried about the tank not being cycled in time of when the axolotl arrives, you can always tub them. It's also not guaranteed that your tank will cycle at the given time of 2-3 weeks. Also if you can't find established filter media for thank specific type of filter, maybe think about looking into different filters such as sponge filters and find a used sponge filter.
 

BradleyB

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Hi and greetings from Calgary, Alberta.

We will be getting a young axolotl in a little less than 3 weeks. When I purchased the tank and filter from the local aquarium store, the staff member told me I should be able to cycle the tank and get it ready in 2-3 weeks. My bad for not reading more at the time, as I am now facing an uphill battle from what I can gather. In part this stems from the fact that it is almost impossible to purchase pure unadulterated ammonia in Canada, coupled with the fact that the staff member assured me that as long as I used a good cycling starter like Tetra Safe Start, all would be well. I learned about the ammonia problem on Saturday when I filled the tank and headed out looking for it, to no avail. Any household products are lemon-scented or the like and none of the local aquarium/pet stores seem to carry any. Ordering online would involve a 3+ week wait, as it would ship from the US.

I subsequently spent a good part of the past three days scouring the internet for possible solutions, other than using some sacrificial fish, or as one aquarium store employee suggested, adding a frozen cooked shrimp to the tank. At this time, I do not know anyone local that I could get some established filter media from :( Even if I did go the frozen shrimp route, I gather that it would be an extremely disaster-prone path to try, as controlling the ammonia level would be fairly difficult.

My current understanding is that a fast cycle still might be possible using the Safe Start if only I could access some ammonia, so that I can ensure a controlled food source for the nitrifying bacteria until the tank gets established. Being able to add some filter media from an established tank would be a huge bonus. The set-up is a 20 gallon long tank and a Aqua Clear 30 HOB filter. I tested the tap water prior to treating for chlorine and got the following results:

Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrites 0 ppm
Nitrates 0 ppm
PH 7.4
GH 300 ppm range
KH 100-150 ppm range

I filled the tank on Sunday and it appears to be settling in at 64 degrees F (18 Celsius).

Help!
Ok! Found a clandestine source of ammonium choloride for cycling on Kijiji! Will hopefully be picking up some this afternoon :)
 

BradleyB

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Is it possible to get the ammonia shipped from another country? Or find one from amazon? If you're worried about the tank not being cycled in time of when the axolotl arrives, you can always tub them. It's also not guaranteed that your tank will cycle at the given time of 2-3 weeks. Also if you can't find established filter media for thank specific type of filter, maybe think about looking into different filters such as sponge filters and find a used sponge filter.
Hi. I just found a solution for the ammonia problem, thanks to someone local who is clandestinely selling packets of ammonium chloride :)

Yes, had I not found a local source just now, it's possible to order from the US (that's the only source on Amazon as well). Problem is, because it involves international shipping, either it takes 3+ weeks to arrive (things are really slow in the current covid world), or else the likes of Fed Ex extort a shipping rate of $70+ to get it here in a couple days.

I'd be happy to find any established sponge :)
 

Pigalit

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Hi. I just found a solution for the ammonia problem, thanks to someone local who is clandestinely selling packets of ammonium chloride :)

Yes, had I not found a local source just now, it's possible to order from the US (that's the only source on Amazon as well). Problem is, because it involves international shipping, either it takes 3+ weeks to arrive (things are really slow in the current covid world), or else the likes of Fed Ex extort a shipping rate of $70+ to get it here in a couple days.

I'd be happy to find any established sponge :)
Glad to hear 😁 good luck!
 

YGDS

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I'm glad you found what you need. For the future, you ought to connect with Hollies Hobbies (facebook store: Hollies Hobbies Calgary) for axolotl associated needs, if you haven't already. They are based here in Calgary, and seem to have a good reputation. They were selling ammonium chloride packets and have really good materials on how to best cycle a tank.
 

BradleyB

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I'm glad you found what you need. For the future, you ought to connect with Hollies Hobbies (facebook store: Hollies Hobbies Calgary) for axolotl associated needs, if you haven't already. They are based here in Calgary, and seem to have a good reputation. They were selling ammonium chloride packets and have really good materials on how to best cycle a tank.
Thanks! It was Hollies Hobbies who I got the ammonium chloride from! Found them on Kijiji after I posted here this morning. Started the cycle process this afternoon and put a heater in the tank to raise the water temperature and help it along.
 
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  • Lilith:
    Does anyone know if aquacare general tonic is ok for axolotls as a treatment for bacterial or fungal infection?
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  • 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!
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  • 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)
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    Ok, thank you!
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  • 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?
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    Feed it chopped worms chitoos, its big enough and bloodworm is nutritionaly deficient.
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    Freeze dried , live or frozen bloodworm.
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  • chitoos:
    Oh ok thanks! I thought she might be ready for something more. do you have any advice about the apparent poop problem?
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  • xxianxx:
    @Lilith, fridging is not required for fungus treatment. Read my thread on treatment.
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    Feed it more, six bloodworm isnt much, dont use freeze dried foods
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    Feed daily , remove uneaten food
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    Gotcha, Thank you!
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    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
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