Illness/Sickness: Killing Axolotls

Yaimfat

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Hi,

I have had a female aaxolotl for four years and two males for less than a year. Around 8 months ago they were put in a new tank and thrived but all three have fallen ill over the last month and a half, each showing different symptoms whilst living in an environment PERFECT for axolotls. The effort required to care for these axolotls, who are each not terribly ill in there own right, is starting to give me the feeling of dislike towards my own beloved pets! I cannot identify what could be causing there illness, I have devoted a whole other thread to it but recieved little help, sadly. Now, I have come to the point where I think they might be better off dead, for me and them. None are very sick and could seemingly live in this state perpetually however there constant illness is depressing, it takes 30 mins to feed them because you have to wait until they are ready to eat and lure them out etc where before it would take five mins and they would compete for first food. I also have to try and do it every single day as some days, even after half an hour of putting various foods in front of them they wont eat so making sure they get regular sustenance seems to be important.

I dont want to euthanize my axolotls but I can see little other choice unless I wish to hate my pets and my aquarium keeping hobby on account of a one off sickness! The minnows in the tank are absolutely fine, nothing at all bothering them! It just doesnt make any sense to me!!! Please help!!!
 

Aimzs Lotties

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Hi there, I can offer little assistance as to their sickness but I can offer you this.. Be patient. You will find the right advice that you need, your beautiful axies will get better, and you'll feel silly for even thinking these thoughts..

Every living thing is precious and deserves to live. If you do not wish to care for your beloved pets, donate them to a home that will love and nurture them, the way I'm sure you used to.

Please stay positive and keep doing your best for your little buddies.. they are relying on you.
 

ZoeT94

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Keep your chin up! I know it's difficult, my little axie didn't eat for about a week and a bit, then i just kept pushing and it simply made it worse..

Try putting some live food, like small earthworms, cleaned and NOT SECRETING LIQUID into the tank, sooner or later, their hunger will take the better of them and one will eat it i'm sure...

Hope it helps!
 

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If you really don't want to keep them any more then I'd recommend rehoming them on here instead of euthanasia if their illnesses aren't life threatening. There will be someone happy to give them the time that they need
 

Mandy6

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If you aren't enjoying them it's and they are frustrating you that much, please just rehome them to someone who can be patient and give them the care they need and work out what's wrong with them. If they aren't seriously ill it's not fair to euthanise them and I' sure there are many people, even on this forum who will be happy to take them off your hands.
 

Yaimfat

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Hi,

I have not wished to euthanise them and have and will continue to give them the best care I can but I cannot figure it out. I would most likely rehome before euthanising but I fear they will not get better. Is there any way of treating them that can reveal to me what is causing the illness, for example should I fridge them and dose an antibiotic or viral medication to see if that somehow miracle cures them? None are life threateningly ill but none are happy and it has been this way for just shy of two months! It is becoming ridiculous and even when fridged they were not getting any better... I am an experienced owner and have dealt with sicknesses before and am very experienced in general aquarium husbandry, owning multiple healthy tanks. This is just so unusual and is getting to the point where there stress is making me quite literally unhappy, just seeing them all the time in my room, unhappy, even when I'm in a great mood all it can take is one look at the tank or a feeding session before I feel upset for them again, not to mention frustrated, especially when feeding them is taking 30mins every day! Thats the kinda time commitment dogs take! Anyways, if you could check my other thread, entitled 'Three Sick Axies, Completely Stumped' perhaps some more case specific help could be provided.

I will soon make a complete, down to the last possible miniscule factors, treatment plan for them and the tank which I dearly hope will not make it all the way to the last option before they get better, which would be to fridge them, tear apart there beautiful aquascaped underwater jungle of a tank and redesign it to be completely simple, tasteless, easy to keep clean and easy to diagnose a problem in, even though there current tank is cleaner then a new car and has perfect water conditions.

Thanks for any help and rest assured I won't kill them! If anything I think they might wanna evolve, strangely enough... It was just a thought that popped into my head yesterday as to why they seem stressed with nothing to cause such stress; the stress may be a wish to move to land that isnt available to them...
 

Shizeric

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Well, I haven't seen your other thread, but let's try and figure out the issue on this thread.

What are the water parameters (including temperature), how large is the tank, how large are the Axolotls, how frequently do you do water changes, and what is their diet?
 

Yaimfat

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Hi,

http://www.caudata.org/forum/f46-be...3-three-sick-axolotls-completely-stumped.html

The tank is 4ft and 190L, it is filtered by an eHeim 2213 and also has a pump taking water to and from a chiller. The temperature is kept extremely stable by the use of a chiller and heater, remaining constantly between 18-22... The tank has a 40W Aquaglo bulb to help the many plants and the axies have HEAPS of hides. The water parameters always come up with 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, 20-40ppm Nitrate, pH is a bit high at 7.8, General hardness is 125ppm and kH is around 35ppm (crushed coral does not seem to raise the kh in my tank oddly enough... It does however work in my other tanks.

There diet is dominantly African Nightcrawlers though lately they seem to prefer some frozen foods (the nightcrawler i think might appear too much effort as they only take TINY bites now). I have a maintenance schedule with a minimum weekly maintenace of a 25% water change, and monthly i wash out the eheim with tank water. They were thriving for sooo long!!!

A short list of possible problem causes;
1) Intake water movement from 1000L/pH chiller pump,
2) An unbalanced diet (used to only accept the nihtcrawlers),
3) Lack of dissolved oxygen as the tank has very little water movement and only two airstones,
4) The chiller pumps tubing was from a hardware store and may contain BPA,
5) The light (though I find this unlikely)
6) An outside contaminent (maybe when I was feeding something on my arm was toxic, though I find this unlikely,
7) the 1tsp of salt I add to every 25L of water change,
8) The flourish excel I dose once a month,
9) The fish or shrimp in the tank are creating undue stress,
10) A bacterial or viral problem that is not severe enough to cause obvious, unanimous symptoms,
11) The two pieces of driftwood may be leeching oils unpleasant to them,
12) The iron stone, which I know to be virtually chemically inert, is leeching a toxin.

I will be posting up pics of the tank and axies as they currently are later this afternoon!

Thanks for the help and I look forward to your thoughts, seen as I am out of ideas...
 

Yaimfat

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I will have to post the pictures tomorrow as I just discovered our home is void of digital cameras and the one we do have (that isn't a poor quality phone camera) does not have the appropriate lens to take a detailed close up of the axies, so for now descriptions will have to do, my apologies and many thanks for the effort you are taking in helping me, I really appreciate it.
 

iChris

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although it may be harmful to your plants, try not using the lamp for a few days. you will see a whole new side to your axies.
 

Yaimfat

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I have already seen what they are like with no lamps, I owned my girl for several years with no lamp, and there is so much vegetative cover they dont seem bothered by it, and if they are there are heaps and heaps of hides. The lamps brightness in the images in the other thread are not representative of how bright the aquaglo lamp is. I have thought about the idea of trialling no lamp but given they were perfectly happy for months with the lamp I cant see it being the issue...

Also flourish excel is a carbon fertilizer to help reduce black hair algae and to give the plants a little extra love, if you look it up it is said to be one of the only fertilizers that doesnt bother axies...
 

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Can you set up a very simple tank with your axies as priority, see what the outcome is? Forget dosing and lighting the plants etc. Something is causing this, and if you continue doing what you've been doing, you'll probably continue to get these same problems :(

If you aren't prepared to make changes for whatever reason - which you are of course entitled to, I add my vote to trying to rehome rather than kill your axolotls.
 

Yaimfat

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Hi,

As I said, euthanasia is not my preference and I am more than willing to do what is required, hence my long standing attempts to make them better. I had them in the fridge which did very little, and I used this as an isolation style treatment as you suggested and nothing came of it, which inspired me to think it may be a bacterial or viral problem as there condition did not change in fridge vs tank. I do not have a second tank, not in use, that is larger than 12G which is part of the problem, though I have considered setting up the sickest of them in this spare tank and seeing the outcome. My dad is bringing me home a camera today with which I can provide detailed images to help diagnosis... Thank you for all the help!
 

Yaimfat

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Hi,

Here are some pictures, though I was unable to get s good shot of the extremely ill wild type. They are all back in the fridge now as they were getting far too ill... Sorry the pictures aren't fantastic, it has been difficult getting hold of a camera that has an autofocus with no flash.
 

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iChris

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I personally think that the substrate in that tank is completely unsuitable for axies. It's still gravel regardless of the size and to the soft insides of a salamander, passing that could cause harm.

they are also very thin. what and how often do you feed them?
 

iggiethegecko

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I agree, it does look like they're on a very fine gravel. The rest of the tank does look good and axolotl friendly. I would remove the gravel straight away and hope if they have digested any they will pass it whilst in the fridge.
 

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Sorry but I have to agree, that substrate will cause more harm then good, sand would be a much better option as this will pass easily through them if ingested, you havent really described their symptoms other than not eating is there anything else that you have noticed?
Such as excessive floating or permanently curled tail?
Also sorry to sound dim, but what is a night crawler?
We feed ours earth worms, sometimes my adults will go a week or so without eating, which does them no harm by the way.
Continually trying to force them to eat will also cause them stress, i would advise you to just pop the food in and leave them to it, if it goes uneaten for a couple of hours or so remove it, earth worms can survive for hours.
Red worm is also a great stimulator as long as it is live.
 

scooty16

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Hi there, I dont have as much experience as these guys, but I agree with the substrate, is there any possibly your axies have eaten any of it? Also, Digger is right about the Earthworms, have you given these a try? My axolotl didn't eat for a couple of weeks, was always bending, and was just generally unhappy looking. He wouldn't eat his bloodworm so I went and dug up some earthworms after reading on here about them, and bam, he snapped it up in one go. Now he is back to his usual self. Sorry I couldn't be much help :(
 

ashmac5

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Hi,

I hope you manage to get these guys better again. If it were me I would remove them from the tank into seperate containers to fridge them (incase it's constipation etc) and give that tank a good sort out. Remove all the substrate, a good water change (without destroying the cycle) and keep an eye on the levels for a while. Also earthworms would be a great option to try, if they can't manage a whole one cut it up and if they seem unwilling to take it try leaving it in their tub and seeing if a bit of privacy helps?

I'm not very experienced with axolotls yet but from having a lot of other tanks on the go throughout my life I have learnt a little, so that is all I have to offer!

Good luck x
 
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    That’s a pic of it in the enclosure.
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    Nice! Also, from what I can see you have an amazing setup! What species?
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    S. S. Gigliolli
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    Ooo nice!
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    Hey y'all, recently my juvenile axolotl's tail has been floating and can swim down but his tail lifts to an angle and I believe that it is stressing him out. He gets in between his plants to balance himself and I am cleaning out the bottom of the tank with my baster. I believe I overfed him and he also may have eaten many air bubbles. He's been like this for nearly 1 1/2 days.
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  • Kwags:
    hello, I am currently tubbing my axolotl due to cycling the tank. I have read different answers on how many times to do a 100% water change a day when tubbing. Some say once and some say twice. I just want to actually ask and get answers for myself. Thank
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  • Murk:
    As often as you need to keep the water clean! Since you´re cycling, I assume you have a test kit. Just test a few times to see how long it takes for your ammonia to go up, and as soon as it does, change the water.
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    Yes,I have the master test kit. Thank you! So just test the water in the tub that my axolotl is in now to gauge off of for changing?
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    That´s the most accurate. Depends on the size of the tub etc. - you just want to make sure the water is always clean
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    When little axolotls are tubbed is it common for them to get a little more spunky then usual? Water temps around 64-65 F and has been changed today with prime added
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    Uh. That depends on your definition of "spunky"?
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    @Kwags, how big?
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    my baby hes tubed and hes a wild child xD
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    Swimming like crazy. A little more pep in his step. I think about 3 inches.
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    Hi does anyone know if jungle fungus clear is safe to use for my axolotl? She has some either fungus or bacterial growth on her fillibrae and maybe body and I read that's good to use if you aren't sure if the problem is bacterial or fungal
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    I have not heard of that before.
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  • EasternRomioi3:
    That jungle fungus clear. I've been dealing with some fungus with my axolotl on and off this summer. The Holtsfreter solution and water changes just seem to do the trick after a bit
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    Where do you get the holtsfreter solution? I've been upping water changes but salt bath seems to be more stressful/harmful than beneficial because she does not like to be caught!
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