Male Axanthic Axolotl Would Love to Have His Water Improved (Please Help With My Cycling Crisis!)

kwally

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Hi all! I'm currently looking for some advice concerning the cycling of my tank and could use a few experts to help eliminate my problem. I am hoping to cycle the tank properly, but after 75 days I am still receiving concerning readings for ammonia and very little nitrate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I will post additional information regarding my setup below to help identify the problem. Thanks to all in advance for any help or support they can offer as this is my first post on the forum.

Tank: The tank is 55 Gallons with approximately 45 gallons of water contained within it.

Animal: A beautiful Axanthic male axolotl (7.5 in).

Substrate: I am currently using pool filter sand with large river stones as substrate.

Filters: For my filters I am using two Cascade 700 cannister filters with spray bars. These filters were only cleaned when they were first purchased and nothing has been done since they started running. The filters use a sponge, Floss and activated carbon.

Water Changes: I perform a 50% water change, weekly or as needed if ammonia levels are too high. The substrate is also cleaned and turned up to remove lost food.

Feeding: Feeding dishes are used to avoid additional mess at meals and he is fed once daily Pellets and bloodworms.

Cycling: I have used two entire bottles of Tetra Safe start, using half the bottle at each attempt to cycle the tank.

Testing: I use an API Master Liquid Test kit to determine Ammonia, pH, Nitrite and Nitrate levels. The kit expires in 2019.

Water Conditioner: I am using Prime water conditioner when performing water changes.

Chiller: I am using an active aqua 1/10hp Chiller to maintain a constant tank temperature of ~60°F.

Live Plants: There is currently 6 medium sized Moss Balls and 10 leaves of Java Fern in the tank with no lighting being used (low light plants)

Testing Trend:

Friday June 9th:
1.0ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.4 pH
66 Degrees Fahrenheit

Saturday June 10th:
1.0ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.4 pH
68 Degrees Fahrenheit

(*Water Changed*)
New Parameters:
0.5ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.4 pH
66 Degrees Fahrenheit

Thursday June 15th:
0.5 ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.8 pH
60 Degrees Fahrenheit

(*Water Changed*)
New Parameters:
0.25ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.4 pH
60 Degrees Fahrenheit

Tuesday June 20th:
0.5ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.8 pH
60 Degrees Fahrenheit

Thursday June 22nd:
0.5ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.8 pH
60 Degrees Fahrenheit

(*Water Changed*)
New Parameters:
0.25ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.4 pH
60 Degrees Fahrenheit

Thursday June 27th:
0.5ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.8 pH
60 Degrees Fahrenheit

(*Water Changed*)
New Parameters:
0.25ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
5.0ppm Nitrate
7.4 pH
60 Degrees Fahrenheit

Saturday July 1st:
0.5 ppm Ammonia
0ppm Nitrite
0ppm Nitrate
7.4 pH
60 Degrees Fahrenheit

Any additional information that might help lead to a solution, feel free to ask! I would really like to tackle this problem in the near future. Buying supplies is not a concern, whatever will help him feel more comfortable in his tank, I'll be willing to do. Thank you!
 
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  • Lonewolf:
    Ok I’m new so I have a pink Axolotl and it’s a baby like two three max inches and it eats from the top and it has now been floating a while now should I be worried ?? The other one is at the bottom of the tank and the tail isint hoocked or the gills aren’t curved flowerd they seem relaxed
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  • Lonewolf:
    ?? I’m new owner to the type of fish
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    Lonewolf has left the room.
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  • Lanalotl:
    Hi I recently rescued a lotl (i did weeks of research before rescuing) Hes mabey 5 or 6 years of age..the previous owner could not remember the exact age of him. I got him from her as he was or had been picked on by his tank mate another lotl who was bough with him from every younger age, I noticed one of his gills, a middle one at the end had split in two? And is slightly more floppy? He also appears or mabey I'm just over worried to mabey have lost some feathers, is that normal to lose some?...all levels in the tank are fine, but wondered if theres and advice anyone could give me as an experienced owner to a new one.
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  • Axolotl Queen:
    @Lanalotl Sounds like the gills may have been nipped by the tank mate. If he is in his own tank and the parameters etc are all good, then he should grow them back and they should go back to full health and strength. However, depending on how old the injury is they may not fully grow back if they have been constantly nipped at.
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  • Smknmom421:
    Can anyone tell me why this is happening? We just did a water change and after freaking out and whipping around the tank, an hour later they look like this. It won't let me send a pic. The edges of their gills are white and it looks like they have skin shedding off
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  • Murk:
    That sounds like severe skin damage. If you post a thread on the forum, you can attach pictures.
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  • Murk:
    It sounds like something went wrong with the water change, so this could be very dangerous. Did you use a dechlorinator? Could it be there are traces of chlorine or soap in the water? (Or for example, in the bucket you used?)
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  • Murk:
    Normally, I would recommend taking them out of the tank asap and putting them in a tub with fresh water, but if there's something wrong with your tap water or dechlorinator, that might not help either. Do you have acces to bottled water or rain water?
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  • Sal22:
    I think my axie is dying, he’s never had any issues before, I’ve had him 3 years, today I noticed some fluffy looking stuff coming from his genital area so I took him out of his tank and did a full tank clean to make sure the water wasn’t infected as I thought it was fungus and then I noticed he had a cut on his belly which was only small about 5 hours ago and now it’s spread to all of his belly, what do I do I’m freaking out
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  • Sal22:
    Update about my axie, unfortunately he has died over night, he looked as if he was bruised allover his belly, his mucus layer had also started to come off.
    +1
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  • Ganaa:
    Anyone here from DMV?
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  • AlexisJG:
    Hi I have 2 4in juveniles (I’ve had them about 2 weeks and they are doing well I think they’ve grown a little already honestly) but I am supposed to go on a 5-6 day vacation in October about 3-4 months from now. I am wondering how I should go about their care when I am gone. I thought about putting them in separate (fairly big) containers with live plants and/or bubblers with a fan in the dark and either fridging them (my last plan) but I am hoping to to either have someone I trust come feed them and turkey baste waste out or just leave them out and clean the containers before we leave and have someone come check on them once or twice. Does any of this sound like a good or bad idea? I want the best for them. All help appreciated :)
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  • Ganaa:
    @patrickstar116, do you still have your fire salamanders?
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  • patrickstar116:
    @Ganaa, I do you may message me if you wish
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    hi.....
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  • JDeslippe21:
    Hi, so I have 2 male axolotls and about an hour ago they were both perfectly fine and now only one of them has his tail curling up and his gills are slightly curled?? But other than that they’re both acting normally
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  • Murk:
    Could be he's just excited, spooked or temporarily stressed, which could pass in a few hours. It could also be an indicator of other problems. Do you have any recent water parameters?
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  • AlexisJG:
    Does anyone have any idea how to help with high ammonia levels? I have the API freshwater master kit and everything else’s test results were great besides ammonia. I did a 50% water change and I use API products including ammonia lock.
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    AlexisJG: Does anyone have any idea how to help with high ammonia levels? I have the API freshwater master... +1
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