My axolotl can't swim!!!

saraiam

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I am really worried about my Fishy. He used to be able to swim fine, I have had him almost a year and got him when he was a baby.

Just yesterday I noticed he can't swim to the tip of his tank like he normally can. He tries so hard and it is heart breaking to watch. I have trained him to swim up when I sing to him and he often comes up for food too and he is often found swimming around In and out of his weeds and rocks. Now when he tries he just kind of bends into a U shape (lifts his head and tail) but can't get himself off the bottom of the tank.

Any ideas what might be up? He has clean water, a good diet and lots of love and care. It's devastating to see him like it! :(
 

shmifty5

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does he live on gravel? he might have swallowed some and it's keeping him at the bottom.
 

saraiam

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He has rocks but some could be small enough to swallow... If this is it will he be ok? Does the rock come out eventually??
 

tomkeogh

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If you were to supply some info you will get a lot more help. do you know temperature, water levels, what does he eat and how often, is he showing any signs of stress, curled gills curled tail etc? If he has ingested gravel fridging will help him relax and pass quicker

Axolotl Sanctuary

Take a look on that site... have you seen your axie with his hind legs pointing up this is a sign they are trying to pass something?

You may also want to lower the water level so he can surface easier
 

bellabelloo

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If he has swallowed some rocks it may cause problems. Before we all jump to conclusions though , could you post us a picture of your tank and your axolotl?
Julia
 

saraiam

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Thanks so much everyone! I'm working on posting a photo but am currently writing posts on my iPhone.

I am kind of a novice so am not sure about water temp etc. But he has always been a very healthy little guy, never stressed out and always swims about heaps. He lives alone in his tank and I have raised him from a very young age. His water is always clean and neutralized and I feed him a combination of beef heart strips and axolotl pellets I got from the aquarium.

Sorry I can't provide much more info. All I know is he still looks happy and healthy (a little fat though) and he just can't get himself off the bottom of his tank.
 

tomkeogh

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Has he been 'chubby' for a while? Caudata Culture Articles - Foods this page is good for looking at an Axolotl menu. It must get really warm in oz do you use air-con? it is really worth getting a thermometer from pet store will cost spare change! How big would you estimate the smallest bits of gravel are?
 

ted22

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Yeah get a thermometer as its impossible to tell tank temp any other way, water temperature is one thing that needs to be closely monitored when keeping axies! I found when my tank got to the dangerous side of 24deg a few weeks back my axie was acting a bit strange and had very sluggish movement almost stumbling about but got the temp back down to a nice stable 17deg and hes back to his usual active self! If you fear that your axolotl has eaten stones I have heard that a nice relaxing chill in the fridge can help pass larger stones but im sure someone will advise you what to do if this is the case. Hopefully its just your axie being lazy as they seem to like making their owners worry sick about them by acting weird!

When you get your thermometer grab a water test kit too! It is wise to regularly monitor all water parameters as you may have an underlying problem that would otherwise be invisible to see!

Hope your axie is back to normal soon!
 

saraiam

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Hey thank you everyone for your help! Just had to let you know that Fishy passed the rock he swallowed and is swimming about happily! Now I just have to get him to stop floating and scaring me! And it's straight back into working on his tricks :D

Thanks again! This is the first time I've used this forum but after this it's definitely NOT the last...:D
 

Snailbait

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Hey thank you everyone for your help! Just had to let you know that Fishy passed the rock he swallowed and is swimming about happily! Now I just have to get him to stop floating and scaring me! And it's straight back into working on his tricks :D

Thanks again! This is the first time I've used this forum but after this it's definitely NOT the last...:D

Good to hear he's better! :happy: You will have to change your substrate if he can swallow the rocks - next time he mightn't pass it as easily. Sand, very large rocks or nothing at all would be better. ;)
 

Jennewt

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I agree - get the rocks out of there right away. The rule of thumb is that the rocks must be larger than the axie's head. And do get that thermometer!
 
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