Never-ending cycle?

mermaid

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WA
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Katie
Hi everyone,

I desperately need help! I have dangerous water conditions and no idea how to alleviate them. I had to get a new tank and am in the process of cycling it. Yes, my axolotl is in there. I thought it would be ok to cycle with him in there as long as I did daily water changes when levels started to rise. But since then I have discovered that this really isn't the case.

So here is what happened:

-First I had an ammonia spike (like normal at the beginning of a cycle), mostly alleviated and then totally eliminated with water changes, bringing ammonia to 0 ppm;

-Then immediately I had a HUGE HUGE nitrite spike. I had to remove my axolotl from the tank as the test was turning dark purple INSTANTLY after adding the test drops, even though I was doing 50% water changes every day.

-Then I went up to 95% water changes daily, and I added some plants.

-At first upon doing this all my problems seemed solved! -- Everything was at 0 ppm (ammonia, nitrites and nitrates)!

-But then after about 4 days I began having elevated ammonia, nitrites and nitrates (before it was just a nitrite spike, now it is all three).

-I've continued doing daily 95% water changes this entire time (so, altogether doing that for a few weeks now) still with no change.

-All this time I have of course been adding Prime with every water change. Since the nitrite spike I've been doing 5x the normal dose (as it says you can on the bottle during emergencies). And despite this, after 24 hours my levels are high again. I thought Prime was supposed to work for 24-48 hours, so I'm confused.

Here are what my readings have been at for the past week (they fluctuate slightly):
Ammonia = 0.25-0.50 ppm
Nitrite = .50-1.0 ppm
Nitrate = 5.0-10 ppm
pH = steady at 7.4

Before, during the initial nitrite spike, nitrite was reading at 5 ppm (although I think it was higher--that is just the max reading, and it was turning that color instantly). Now it is lower, but still bad, and accompanied by the increased ammonia and nitrates.

I'm really lost on what to do. Could the plants just be dying but not visibly showing it yet? Could that be causing the issues?

I'm worried that this problem will never go away! I am trying so hard to fix it with the daily 95% water changes, adding Prime always, getting the plants, and for the last few days adding Stability (another seachem product that introduces beneficial bacteria). Is this just a part of the cycle? It seems not to me as the ammonia and nitrate levels have risen again, rather than nitrites dropping to zero and nitrates rising as should happen toward the end of a cycle. I don't know what to do!!

In case it makes a difference, here is my tank setup: It's 10 gallons, bare-bottomed, with a few hiding places for him (all safe material, I got them at petco in the aquarium section), hang-off-the-back filter, several java ferns and a moss ball, and I have a nano chiller running that keeps his tank at a steady 67 degrees f. I also have a small air stone thing in there.
 
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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.
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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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