Never-ending fungus

Colettem

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I thought we were finally in the clear but today I go to check on Daisy and she has a large fungus growing on her gill once again. It’s the same spot it was last time on her gill. For those who don’t know, Daisy has had her gills curled forward since I got her two months ago. Within a week of having her she got a fungal infection that I treated with methylene blue in a quarantine tub with daily water changes for about 2 weeks. (Stopped for a couple days in between because it had gone away and come back) No matter what her gills are always curled and her tail tip is curved most the time. I am so upset. Her frills were finally starting to come back completely. She is 8 months old, and is usually in a 10 gallon temporary tank that’s been cycled for several weeks now. She’s also been eating fine.
Parameters of the tank are
Ammonia: 0-.1
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:10
pH:7.8
Temp: 65 F
Always dechlorinated with Seachem Prime.
I don’t know what else to do. I am constantly worrying myself sick about her and making the time to put in all the extra work when she’s sick.
what could be going wrong? Is there something I can put in the regular tank with her to continually prevent fungal infections? I’ve tried Indian Almond leaves and while the lotls love them, they haven’t seemed to help much. Is it possible she’s just extra sensitive? Her gills are very long and curly, so I don’t know if that just makes her more prone to getting something caught in them? Is it possible to just have a naturally sickly axolotl? Or am I doing something wrong? I feel terrible not being able to get her better. The anxiety it’s caused me is overwhelming
 

Colettem

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I thought we were finally in the clear but today I go to check on Daisy and she has a large fungus growing on her gill once again. It’s the same spot it was last time on her gill. For those who don’t know, Daisy has had her gills curled forward since I got her two months ago. Within a week of having her she got a fungal infection that I treated with methylene blue in a quarantine tub with daily water changes for about 2 weeks. (Stopped for a couple days in between because it had gone away and come back) No matter what her gills are always curled and her tail tip is curved most the time. I am so upset. Her frills were finally starting to come back completely. She is 8 months old, and is usually in a 10 gallon temporary tank that’s been cycled for several weeks now. She’s also been eating fine.
Parameters of the tank are
Ammonia: 0-.1
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:10
pH:7.8
Temp: 65 F
Always dechlorinated with Seachem Prime.
I don’t know what else to do. I am constantly worrying myself sick about her and making the time to put in all the extra work when she’s sick.
what could be going wrong? Is there something I can put in the regular tank with her to continually prevent fungal infections? I’ve tried Indian Almond leaves and while the lotls love them, they haven’t seemed to help much. Is it possible she’s just extra sensitive? Her gills are very long and curly, so I don’t know if that just makes her more prone to getting something caught in them? Is it possible to just have a naturally sickly axolotl? Or am I doing something wrong? I feel terrible not being able to get her better. The anxiety it’s caused me is overwhelming
The tank is also bare bottomed and she has two hides
 

Littlewolf

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I see that you have tried treating the fungus with methylene blue, but have you tried black tea baths or a salt bath yet? I have had great success using tea baths on many minor ailments, whether its bacterial, fungal or a small injury. Salt baths are a bit harsher and need to be done carefully, but are generally the most effective in treating fungal infections. Its possible that the fungus just wasn't completely gone and so it just regrew. To address the gill and tail curl, a 10 gallon tank is definitely not large enough for an axolotl, especially one that's 8 months old. There just is not enough water volume to maintain stable water parameters that don't fluctuate too much. Stressed axolotls in general are more prone to infections, even when the water parameters are good. At minimum, she should be in a 20 gallon tank. This could correct a lot of the issues you are having in the long term.
 

Colettem

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I see that you have tried treating the fungus with methylene blue, but have you tried black tea baths or a salt bath yet? I have had great success using tea baths on many minor ailments, whether its bacterial, fungal or a small injury. Salt baths are a bit harsher and need to be done carefully, but are generally the most effective in treating fungal infections. Its possible that the fungus just wasn't completely gone and so it just regrew. To address the gill and tail curl, a 10 gallon tank is definitely not large enough for an axolotl, especially one that's 8 months old. There just is not enough water volume to maintain stable water parameters that don't fluctuate too much. Stressed axolotls in general are more prone to infections, even when the water parameters are good. At minimum, she should be in a 20 gallon tank. This could correct a lot of the issues you are having in the long term.
She is only in the 10 gallon til she is big enough to go in with my other lotl! Didn’t want her to be a snack. It seems plenty big for her right now, I don’t think that’s the issue unfortunately ): it’s also much bigger than where she was previously being housed before I got her.
I haven’t done a salt bath because I was worried about how harsh it is and also she is very skiddish. She won’t let me pick her up to get her in and out and tries to jump if I try. So I was worried about trying to get her out of a salt bath without getting the salty water in the tank or tub with her. I haven’t tried the tea bath for the same reason. The only way I can get her out is if I put a smaller container in with her and get her to swim in. Even then she hates it and tries to jump out ): a breeder has advised me to put salt in her normal tank but that does not sound right to me. The water is also already hard so I don’t want to make it harder
 

Littlewolf

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She is only in the 10 gallon til she is big enough to go in with my other lotl! Didn’t want her to be a snack. It seems plenty big for her right now, I don’t think that’s the issue unfortunately ): it’s also much bigger than where she was previously being housed before I got her.
I haven’t done a salt bath because I was worried about how harsh it is and also she is very skiddish. She won’t let me pick her up to get her in and out and tries to jump if I try. So I was worried about trying to get her out of a salt bath without getting the salty water in the tank or tub with her. I haven’t tried the tea bath for the same reason. The only way I can get her out is if I put a smaller container in with her and get her to swim in. Even then she hates it and tries to jump out ): a breeder has advised me to put salt in her normal tank but that does not sound right to me. The water is also already hard so I don’t want to make it harder
I'm happy to hear that it is not her permanent tank. What is the size difference between the two axolotls? You may be able to put them together sooner rather than later, once the fungus is cleared up of course. I definitely wouldnt put salt in her normal tank. That can just get very dangerous if youre not careful. And the concentration needed for an actual salt bath is only recommended for about 10-15 minute intervals. Skittish or jumpy axolotls can definitely be a bit more difficult to catch, but it can be done. I have some that love to be "held" and will happily come over to stand on my hand and I have others that want nothing to do with it. You just have to be gentle (and quick). Letting the fungus continue to be a problem is more detrimental than a little handling. Generally salt baths are made up of 2-3 teaspoons of non-iodized salt per liter (4.2 cups) of water. I personally opt for 2 teaspoons to 4 cups and that usually works well. If you would like to go the tea bath route, brew one bag of plain back tea in 8 oz of hot water. Once brewed, dilute the tea with cold water until it is a light amber color. The natural tannins in black tea offer antibacterial and antifungal properties. While it doesn't work as quickly, tea baths are a little less stressful on axolotls and not as damaging to their slime coat and gills.
 

Colettem

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I'm happy to hear that it is not her permanent tank. What is the size difference between the two axolotls? You may be able to put them together sooner rather than later, once the fungus is cleared up of course. I definitely wouldnt put salt in her normal tank. That can just get very dangerous if youre not careful. And the concentration needed for an actual salt bath is only recommended for about 10-15 minute intervals. Skittish or jumpy axolotls can definitely be a bit more difficult to catch, but it can be done. I have some that love to be "held" and will happily come over to stand on my hand and I have others that want nothing to do with it. You just have to be gentle (and quick). Letting the fungus continue to be a problem is more detrimental than a little handling. Generally salt baths are made up of 2-3 teaspoons of non-iodized salt per liter (4.2 cups) of water. I personally opt for 2 teaspoons to 4 cups and that usually works well. If you would like to go the tea bath route, brew one bag of plain back tea in 8 oz of hot water. Once brewed, dilute the tea with cold water until it is a light amber color. The natural tannins in black tea offer antibacterial and antifungal properties. While it doesn't work as quickly, tea baths are a little less stressful on axolotls and not as damaging to their slime coat and gills.
My bigger one is about 13 inches and she is probably around 7-8! Do you think I I could put salt in the quarantine tub with her, take her out after a few minutes using a smaller container to get her out and then change the quarantine tub and then all that will be left is what’s in the smaller tub with her? I’m worried if I try and pick her up she will end up on the floor.
 

Littlewolf

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My bigger one is about 13 inches and she is probably around 7-8! Do you think I I could put salt in the quarantine tub with her, take her out after a few minutes using a smaller container to get her out and then change the quarantine tub and then all that will be left is what’s in the smaller tub with her? I’m worried if I try and pick her up she will end up on the floor.
Generally I use 3 small tubs for salt baths. One for the salt bath, one as a rinse tub, and one as the quarantine tub. I put them all next to each other so I don't worry about dropping them. After the salt bath, I move them to the rinse tub to get as much of the salt water off as I can and then move them to the clean quarantine tub. You want as little of the salt as possible to remain since prolonged exposure is harmful. You dont want to use the tub she is in because while you are adding the salt, it wont be dissolved or diluted.
 

Colettem

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Generally I use 3 small tubs for salt baths. One for the salt bath, one as a rinse tub, and one as the quarantine tub. I put them all next to each other so I don't worry about dropping them. After the salt bath, I move them to the rinse tub to get as much of the salt water off as I can and then move them to the clean quarantine tub. You want as little of the salt as possible to remain since prolonged exposure is harmful. You dont want to use the tub she is in because while you are adding the salt, it wont be dissolved or diluted.
Thank you! Luckily the fungus came off just now. Poor baby is missing a few gill frills. I am gonna leave her in the quarantine tub with the medicine til tomorrow and I’ll keep an eye on her. If it comes back again, we will have to try salt baths.
 
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  • Junaz:
    Thank you, I appreciate it. I'll look up ammonia and nitrate lockers, and see if I can find someone who can help me with cycling the tank with her in there. She still is looking and acting ok so I hope everything turns out ok. Thanks for the advice
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  • madcaplaughs:
    Hey @Junaz. It appears your tank is uncycled. You'll need to purchase a source of ammonia (i.e., Dr. Tim's Aquatics ammonium chloride) to cycle the tank with. Dose the tank up to 2ppm (bottle says 4 drops/gal=2ppm. This is false. 2 drops/gal=2ppm) daily until you've build up a bacteria colony that is able to convert 2ppm of ammonia into 0ppm ammonia and 0ppm nitrite in 24hr. You'll want to tub your axolotl immediately and while you cycle as these levels are extremely toxic. To tub, just use a food-grade tub large enough for the axolotl to extend itself and turn around in, and perform daily 100% water changes. Make sure your water is dechlorianted (and make sure your dechlorinator has no aloe or iodine, both of these are toxic to axolotls). If you have any more questions about cycling or axolotls, PM me :)
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  • Chamoxnle:
    My new axolotl enjoys floating. He doesn't seem stressed, or like he's being forced to float. He just likes to chill at the top. Why do some enjoy floating around? Most of my other axolotls are content staying stationary, but this one just continues to move, only stopping to eat. Again, he doesn't seem stressed, and it's not a fretful swim.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Hi, Im fairly new to keeping axolotls. I have to lil buddies that I got a few months back. They were doing fine, up until a month ago when one got fungus in his gills. Took him out to fridge him, then the other guy got it too. I'm currently fridging both and doing salt baths for one (not enough fridge space to keep that much pretreated water for both at the same time). Its been hard to tell if its helping or not and then about a week and half ago one of my axies had a bunch of weird white goop in the water. I immediately changed it, happened a tiny bit again, then seemed to be okay. I had returned him to the tank, but it happened again. Back to the fridge but wanted hear from people who knew more
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I have pictures. Tried looking through other peoples questions, but couldnt find the same white goop.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    @Kailynom My cousin (who i got my baby axies from) had the same problem. She developed an allergy to the bloodworms she was feeding them and it got really bad. To the point where her throat would close up just being around the bloodworms. Happened within a few months. Be safe :)
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  • madcaplaughs:
    @MadamePirateOwl Fridging is best left to life-or-death situations, and salt baths are unnecessarily harsh, stressful, and abrasive. I'd suggest doing tea baths instead (using caffeinated black tea, where the only ingredient is black tea).
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    so no idea what the goop is?
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  • madcaplaughs:
    Hard to tell without a photo, but might be algae or fungus floating. Water changes will take care of that.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    It definitely came from the axolotl. Looked to be mixed into poo the first time. Can I post the photos here?
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Im not actually sure how i would post it. It seems to want a link
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Its fairly thick and chunky
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    (Also thanks for your patience and help!)
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  • madcaplaughs:
    You could always upload the photo to imgur and link it back here
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    The second image was how it looked the first time, it was mixed with some other poop like stuff. after that its been small and without the poopy stuff
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  • madcaplaughs:
    The second photo looks reminiscent of partially-digested worms, though I've never seen anything like that. Have you checked your parameters lately?
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Right now theyre in smaller tubs that i do daily water changes in
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I'll admit Ive bought test strips but they havent come in yet
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    I use Prime to dechlorinate the water, which was recommend by the girl I got them from
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  • madcaplaughs:
    For now I'd tub the axolotl and do daily 100% water changes until you're able to test your parameters
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  • madcaplaughs:
    I'd also recommend ordering a liquid test kit such as the API Freshwater Master Test Kit since strips are generally unreliable and inaccurate.
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  • MadamePirateOwl:
    Okay, thank you for your help and advice :)
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  • k.em:
    anybody growing tylototriton?
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    k.em: anybody growing tylototriton? +1
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