New axolotl tank, best way to properly cycle?

DiamondAxi?Kappa

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Hey everyone (or anyone..) Not that its relevant but I got the fluval flex 32 gallon tank for my axolotl who is about a year old and I have had for about 9 months. I am in no rush to put him/her in the new tank and there are no issues with the current tank. Is there anything I can do to help properly cycle the filter using the current water I have in my axolotls aquarium? Thanks for the help !
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

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Hey everyone (or anyone..) Not that its relevant but I got the fluval flex 32 gallon tank for my axolotl who is about a year old and I have had for about 9 months. I am in no rush to put him/her in the new tank and there are no issues with the current tank. Is there anything I can do to help properly cycle the filter using the current water I have in my axolotls aquarium? Thanks for the help !
If you are setting up a new aquarium with a new filter, using your current tank water really isn't necessary since it doesnt contain nitrifying bacteria anyway. Cycling a tank requires the addition of ammonia to get your bacteria to grow.

I will copy and paste my "fishless cycling" instructions here from my website:

First, set up your aquarium using de-chlorinated water and let it run for 24 to 48 hours. This will allow you time to make sure all of your equipment is running properly. Test the water for all of the above listed parameters. These will be your starting base-line measurements. After the aquarium has been running for the recommended time period, add a small amount of your ammonia source. After 24 hours, test the water and record new results. Test the water every day or two and monitor the changes. When the ammonia level begins to drop and the nitrite levels begin to rise, add another small amount of ammonia to keep feeding the bacteria. Keep testing the water quality, and when the nitrates begin to rise, dose the tank with the ammonia source again. This should be the last dose required to finish the cycling process.

At this point, you should see a small rise in the ammonia level, a small rise in the nitrite level and a continuation in the rise of the nitrate level. When the ammonia reading drops to zero, the nitrite drops to zero and the nitrate is at a measurable level, the aquarium is considered to be cycled. Before you add any animals to the aquarium, do at least a 20% water change to lower the level of the nitrates. Different animals tolerate nitrates at different levels, but a safe rule of thumb is to keep your nitrate level below 40ppm. Typically, a 20 to 30% water change each week is enough to keep levels in a safe range.

It is important to note that while the tank is now cycled, the bacterial population will need to grow and compensate for your axolotl being added to the aquarium. The water should be tested on at least once per week to monitor water quality and hopefully prevent potential ammonia and nitrite poisoning.
 

vettdreamn

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If you are setting up a new aquarium with a new filter, using your current tank water really isn't necessary since it doesnt contain nitrifying bacteria anyway. Cycling a tank requires the addition of ammonia to get your bacteria to grow.

I will copy and paste my "fishless cycling" instructions here from my website:

First, set up your aquarium using de-chlorinated water and let it run for 24 to 48 hours. This will allow you time to make sure all of your equipment is running properly. Test the water for all of the above listed parameters. These will be your starting base-line measurements. After the aquarium has been running for the recommended time period, add a small amount of your ammonia source. After 24 hours, test the water and record new results. Test the water every day or two and monitor the changes. When the ammonia level begins to drop and the nitrite levels begin to rise, add another small amount of ammonia to keep feeding the bacteria. Keep testing the water quality, and when the nitrates begin to rise, dose the tank with the ammonia source again. This should be the last dose required to finish the cycling process.

At this point, you should see a small rise in the ammonia level, a small rise in the nitrite level and a continuation in the rise of the nitrate level. When the ammonia reading drops to zero, the nitrite drops to zero and the nitrate is at a measurable level, the aquarium is considered to be cycled. Before you add any animals to the aquarium, do at least a 20% water change to lower the level of the nitrates. Different animals tolerate nitrates at different levels, but a safe rule of thumb is to keep your nitrate level below 40ppm. Typically, a 20 to 30% water change each week is enough to keep levels in a safe range.

It is important to note that while the tank is now cycled, the bacterial population will need to grow and compensate for your axolotl being added to the aquarium. The water should be tested on at least once per week to monitor water quality and hopefully prevent potential ammonia and nitrite poisoning.
thank you for breaking this down. I am getting ready to set up my tank and start by cycle in prep for my lotl in a couple of months and although I have done a tone of research, i was not grasping this cycle thing.
 

vettdreamn

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I sure believe I followed your instructions but I am thinking I am either impatient or have missed something. 04/15 my ammonia was .5-1, Nitrites 0 and Nitrates 5. Today my ammonia is .25-.5, Nitrite and Nitrates 0. Shouldn't my Nitrates be climbing? My ph is steady at 7.6, temp is 64-66 for the last 2 weeks. I added a capful of .stability per another recommendation yesterday and today. Any suggestions? I am prepared to tub my baby next week when he gets here.
 

AMurry24537

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I sure believe I followed your instructions but I am thinking I am either impatient or have missed something. 04/15 my ammonia was .5-1, Nitrites 0 and Nitrates 5. Today my ammonia is .25-.5, Nitrite and Nitrates 0. Shouldn't my Nitrates be climbing? My ph is steady at 7.6, temp is 64-66 for the last 2 weeks. I added a capful of .stability per another recommendation yesterday and today. Any suggestions? I am prepared to tub my baby next week when he gets here.
What kind of test kit are you using? A liquid one is highly recommended.

Additionally, I would suggest a very slightly different approach, one that worked for me. I added enough ammonia that (testing the water a few hours later), it got high enough to max out the scale, but not much over. I then added that same amount (in drops) every 24 hours until the tank was fully cycled. This helps make sure the bacteria does not die from lack of food. Eventually (mine took about 4 weeks), you should be able to test a couple hours after adding ammonia and only have nitrates.
 

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i did something similar. I overdosed the ammonia and yes, it maxed out my API liquid test kit. I have been adding stability (1 capful a day) but the ammonia is not dropping and the Nitrites are zero and the Nitrates are still at 5. I did a 20% water change today and put in some hot water (lotl not here yet) to see if it will help with bacteria growth. I will test tonight again and daily. this is frustrating lol
 

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Ok raised the water temp all this week, still have ammonia maxed out (have not added any since the 15th, have done 1 20% water change. Ph is still good, nitrites are still zero amd nitrates are still 5. Any other suggestions? My little guy arrives tomorrow and I know I will have to tub him which is a whole other thing I'm not sure how to do
 

vettdreamn

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Have now gone through an entire bottle of STability trying to get this tank cycled. Have tried all suggestions and cannot get the ammonia to disappear overnight or the nitrates to grow. Lotl is tubbed and am doing water changes for his tub every day. The money spent in just trying to cycle the tank is crazy. Tank looks pretty lol but is useless right now. I am going to try the fish food next
 
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    Does anyone know if aquacare general tonic is ok for axolotls as a treatment for bacterial or fungal infection?
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    Hi Lilith, you can check the medications page for a list of axolotl safe treatments. Although if the infection is mild, I would stick with fridge and salt baths!
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    I believe the fridge gets to about 54°, so if you can replicate that in the tank, it might be okay. I personally would fridge just to make catching them easier, and if the infection is something in the water column at all, it will hopefully die out while they're AWOL (I'm thinking like ich for fish, not sure if axies have an equivalent)
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    My three inch axolotl was having trouble pooping up to a few days ago. I wasn't feeding her as often because I was scared I would just add to her constipation. I fridged her until she pooped (twice), and then began to feed her around 6 bloodworms every other day. she's been pooping everyday now, but she's at that age where you can see through her stomach and I always see poop ready to come out but has not yet passed. I don't think she's constipated anymore, but I'm not sure and i don't want to over or underfeed her... any advice?
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    Feed it chopped worms chitoos, its big enough and bloodworm is nutritionaly deficient.
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    Freeze dried , live or frozen bloodworm.
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    Oh ok thanks! I thought she might be ready for something more. do you have any advice about the apparent poop problem?
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    @Lilith, fridging is not required for fungus treatment. Read my thread on treatment.
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    Feed it more, six bloodworm isnt much, dont use freeze dried foods
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    Feed daily , remove uneaten food
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    Gotcha, Thank you!
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    Its probably not pooping because its hardly beign fed, it pooped in the fridge because the lower temp caused it to purge itself. If it stays constipated you can pm me
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