New Axolotl

NewbieAxie

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hi, I have just recently adopted a juvenile gfp golden albino a 2,3weeks ago. For the time being I don’t even know if it’s a girl or a boy so I’m just going to leave it as it. I have did research about the tank setup and water parameters before picking it up. The condition of the axolotl was not in the best shape as of what I can see, the left side of its gills were a lot smaller than the right side and missing a lot of it’s head ferns. The front limbs were missing toes? I’m not sure if it’s called toes but yeah, there was only 2 toes on each front limbs. I have a api freshwater test kit and I have checked the water parameters before introducing it into the tank. I have been doing water checks every week for just in case because I’m new at this and all the parameters are fine, just the ammonia is always a little off ( I will attached pics ). It has been doing fine, eating well, pretty active too. Compared to when I first got it, it’s left gills are starting to grow out more and in the front limbs, there’s 3 toes now. But for the past 2 days I have noticed that it’s body has been getting a little chubby compared to when I first got it. It was pretty skinny when I got it. I have checked all the water parameters and it’s same as always and it’s still eating normal. I tried to check online and see if it’s bloated but I can’t seem to find an answer. Please help ! I’m not sure if it just getting better or getting fat.
These are pics of when I first got him:
46B1B0B3-9D10-48BB-BD49-4C5CCABE3E1D.jpeg
CF305285-2404-4F41-865D-E878515514CB.jpeg
2555E700-59D5-4358-8DB3-DC7BA5D99DCC.jpeg
0795E495-0030-486A-B044-849F7FC07A72.jpeg

water parameters: ( 2 of the test tubes broke so I can’t check all 4 levels at the same time ) The nitrite is always at 0 ppm and the nitrate is always at 0 ppm and from time to time it’s slightly yellowish orange so I’m guessing in between 0 ppm and 5 ppm. As you can see the ammonia is slightly green so it not really at 0 ppm. When that happens, I always do a water change of 30% of the water and it will go back to 0 ppm.
4B3E1EDF-20C7-435B-9584-585940EE1B19.jpeg

Now these are the most recent pics I took (from yesterday)
54B78B9C-07EE-4D37-8E0A-DCACDCB7EAAA.jpeg
FA5C49F8-661B-4CC2-A051-7B14CADDAB9A.jpeg
688F060C-D5B6-4DBB-8C52-E739ADF5A880.jpeg

Please help, let me know if it’s just getting fatter or it’s bloated and what can I do for help it from the bloat.
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

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hi, I have just recently adopted a juvenile gfp golden albino a 2,3weeks ago. For the time being I don’t even know if it’s a girl or a boy so I’m just going to leave it as it. I have did research about the tank setup and water parameters before picking it up. The condition of the axolotl was not in the best shape as of what I can see, the left side of its gills were a lot smaller than the right side and missing a lot of it’s head ferns. The front limbs were missing toes? I’m not sure if it’s called toes but yeah, there was only 2 toes on each front limbs. I have a api freshwater test kit and I have checked the water parameters before introducing it into the tank. I have been doing water checks every week for just in case because I’m new at this and all the parameters are fine, just the ammonia is always a little off ( I will attached pics ). It has been doing fine, eating well, pretty active too. Compared to when I first got it, it’s left gills are starting to grow out more and in the front limbs, there’s 3 toes now. But for the past 2 days I have noticed that it’s body has been getting a little chubby compared to when I first got it. It was pretty skinny when I got it. I have checked all the water parameters and it’s same as always and it’s still eating normal. I tried to check online and see if it’s bloated but I can’t seem to find an answer. Please help ! I’m not sure if it just getting better or getting fat.
These are pics of when I first got him:
View attachment 88508View attachment 88510View attachment 88511View attachment 88509
water parameters: ( 2 of the test tubes broke so I can’t check all 4 levels at the same time ) The nitrite is always at 0 ppm and the nitrate is always at 0 ppm and from time to time it’s slightly yellowish orange so I’m guessing in between 0 ppm and 5 ppm. As you can see the ammonia is slightly green so it not really at 0 ppm. When that happens, I always do a water change of 30% of the water and it will go back to 0 ppm.View attachment 88512
Now these are the most recent pics I took (from yesterday)View attachment 88513View attachment 88514View attachment 88515
Please help, let me know if it’s just getting fatter or it’s bloated and what can I do for help it from the bloat.
My biggest concern based on its size and that fact that it was clearly underfed when you brought it home would be whether or not it has been accidentally ingesting some of the sand. Generally speaking, I dont like to house axolotls on sand until they are a bit bigger for this very reason. It looks fine grain enough that it should pass on it's own, but you may want to consider tubbing him/her temporarily so you can prevent him from eating any more sand and to watch for sand to be pooped out.

Definitely looks like he/she is putting some weight on, which is great. And the gills do look better. I am glad you are keeping a close eye on the water parameters and are diligent with the water changes. Those are all very good things.

What have you been feeding him/her? how much and how often?
 

NewbieAxie

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My biggest concern based on its size and that fact that it was clearly underfed when you brought it home would be whether or not it has been accidentally ingesting some of the sand. Generally speaking, I dont like to house axolotls on sand until they are a bit bigger for this very reason. It looks fine grain enough that it should pass on it's own, but you may want to consider tubbing him/her temporarily so you can prevent him from eating any more sand and to watch for sand to be pooped out.

Definitely looks like he/she is putting some weight on, which is great. And the gills do look better. I am glad you are keeping a close eye on the water parameters and are diligent with the water changes. Those are all very good things.

What have you been feeding him/her? how much and how often?
At first I was feeding frozen blood worms but as I did for a week or so, the has gotten way too messy and I had to do a water change almost every other day because the messiness is throwing off the Ammonia readings. I switched to night crawlers. As it’s still pretty small, I chopped it up into parts that’s about 1/2 cm so it would be easier for my axolotl to eat it. After 1 bite, it stop taking it so I switched it back to blood worms until the soft pellets I ordered comes in. Once I have received the pellets, I have been feeding it that ( for about 1 week or so). Normally I will feed it every other day based on what I have read online and saw on youtube. I feed about 4,5 pellets depending on how much it will take within 2,3 mins. It’s pooping normally I would say. I will see 1 or 2 poop around every other day and I will suck it out from the tank with a turkey baster when I see it. But if I’m not from from work and I see that there squashed up poop, I will suck out some of the sand that is mixed up with the poop.
So base on what you are saying, my axolotl is just gaining weight and not bloating up ?
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

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At first I was feeding frozen blood worms but as I did for a week or so, the has gotten way too messy and I had to do a water change almost every other day because the messiness is throwing off the Ammonia readings. I switched to night crawlers. As it’s still pretty small, I chopped it up into parts that’s about 1/2 cm so it would be easier for my axolotl to eat it. After 1 bite, it stop taking it so I switched it back to blood worms until the soft pellets I ordered comes in. Once I have received the pellets, I have been feeding it that ( for about 1 week or so). Normally I will feed it every other day based on what I have read online and saw on youtube. I feed about 4,5 pellets depending on how much it will take within 2,3 mins. It’s pooping normally I would say. I will see 1 or 2 poop around every other day and I will suck it out from the tank with a turkey baster when I see it. But if I’m not from from work and I see that there squashed up poop, I will suck out some of the sand that is mixed up with the poop.
So base on what you are saying, my axolotl is just gaining weight and not bloating up ?
appears to just be gaining weight, which is needed. Their body should be about as wide as their head (so he has a little ways to go still to get there). Sometimes their abdomen may look a little lumpy like that after a large meal, but as long as they are eating and pooping fine, I wouldn't be too concerned. just be mindful of the sand issue and keep him well fed.
 

NewbieAxie

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appears to just be gaining weight, which is needed. Their body should be about as wide as their head (so he has a little ways to go still to get there). Sometimes their abdomen may look a little lumpy like that after a large meal, but as long as they are eating and pooping fine, I wouldn't be too concerned. just be mindful of the sand issue and keep him well fed.
Ok I will. Thanks a bunch. I guy I got him from just told me to put it in a small plastic betta tank without any filter and it will be fine. But I did my own research just to be sure.
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

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Ok I will. Thanks a bunch. I guy I got him from just told me to put it in a small plastic betta tank without any filter and it will be fine. But I did my own research just to be sure.
oh yikes. I hope he didnt have any other axolotls. That is a horrible and cruel (and would be very short) existence. I am very glad you were able to rescue the little guy and as I said, he looks to be putting on good weight. Bloodworms definitely are messy and they have very little nutritional value so arent great long term. You can try earthworms again when he gets a bit bigger. Canadian nightcrawlers don't have the best acceptance rate in my experience, but red wiggler and european nightcrawlers are both great options. Red wigglers do produce a bitter slime coat that axolotls don't care for so they need to be rinsed in hot water first or blanched to remove that.
 

NewbieAxie

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oh yikes. I hope he didnt have any other axolotls. That is a horrible and cruel (and would be very short) existence. I am very glad you were able to rescue the little guy and as I said, he looks to be putting on good weight. Bloodworms definitely are messy and they have very little nutritional value so arent great long term. You can try earthworms again when he gets a bit bigger. Canadian nightcrawlers don't have the best acceptance rate in my experience, but red wiggler and european nightcrawlers are both great options. Red wigglers do produce a bitter slime coat that axolotls don't care for so they need to be rinsed in hot water first or blanched to remove that.
He normally sells them for about $60, I one got was the last one that he had and because of how long he had it for ( which is awhile ) due it the condition it was in and wasn’t able to sell it I was able to talk the guy into just giving it to me. I believe he buys them off from a breeder and sells them himself and doesn’t really care for it that’s why mine was in a pretty bad condition. At first he told me all it needs is to be fed bloodworms once a week and it can just live off that. And as for the tank I can put rock gravels and just use tab water.
 

GulfCoastAxolotls

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He normally sells them for about $60, I one got was the last one that he had and because of how long he had it for ( which is awhile ) due it the condition it was in and wasn’t able to sell it I was able to talk the guy into just giving it to me. I believe he buys them off from a breeder and sells them himself and doesn’t really care for it that’s why mine was in a pretty bad condition. At first he told me all it needs is to be fed bloodworms once a week and it can just live off that. And as for the tank I can put rock gravels and just use tab water.
I would definitely report him for neglect. Not only would he have to hold a business license to sell these animals, but many states also require permits to sell exotic animals so he would have to be registered with the state's fish and wildlife department. He should not be allowed to continue to sell and/or keep these animals if that is the condition he is keeping them in.

As for you tank, the sand you have is fine. You don't want to use gravel or small stones as they can easily swallow them accidentally. Tap water is also fine as long as you are using a water conditioner like Prime by Seachem. That is the only water conditioner I recommend as many others contain aloe and other harmful ingredients for axolotls.
 

AMurry24537

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He normally sells them for about $60, I one got was the last one that he had and because of how long he had it for ( which is awhile ) due it the condition it was in and wasn’t able to sell it I was able to talk the guy into just giving it to me. I believe he buys them off from a breeder and sells them himself and doesn’t really care for it that’s why mine was in a pretty bad condition. At first he told me all it needs is to be fed bloodworms once a week and it can just live off that. And as for the tank I can put rock gravels and just use tab water.
That is honestly horrifying that this is the level of care he is recommending, especially since people like that often do even less than they advise. This is straight up animal abuse. I'm glad you're doing your research to take better care!! If you ever have questions, feel free to post them on here! Someone usually has some good advice 😊
 
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  • maddyb9903:
    Hello guys! I was wondering about nitrates in an axolotl tank. If there are 0 nitrates, will that harm the axolotl?
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  • AMurry24537:
    0 nitrates doesn't sound dangerous, but it does sound very unlikely if the tank is fully cycled. Are you positive you're performing the test correctly? If you're using the API one, that is by far the trickiest test to do right. If the reading is correct, I would guess that either your tank is not cycled, you just did like a 100% water change, or that you have plants sucking up the nitrates, but even those shouldn't leave you with 0.
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  • Dragonfire:
    0 is fine unless the tank isn't cycled. Most tanks definitely won't run at 0, but I've had fast growing emergent plants drop nutrients so low that other plants like floaters were choked out and began dying so it isn't impossible. Some less sensitive kits may read 0 but they are just not precise enough to give an accurate low level reading too.
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  • GabbyGums:
    Hey Yall my Axolotl has this like tail thats like a dent on the top, I was told it was meant stress but idk whats stressing out my Axolotl. The plants recently gotten moved since they were falling apart but like she's been eating/pooping fine and the temp and water tests are good for the Axolotl. So I don't really know whats causing her to be stress. Does anyone know anything?
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  • AMurry24537:
    Post a picture of the dent (in the "Sick Axolotl" thread) please
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    How do I do that? Im new to this website
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    nvm I found ot
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  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Hey guys! I’m having an issue with my filter and was hoping for some suggestions. I use an aqua clear 20-50 gallon filter for my 20 gallon axolotl tank. It has worked great since I got it back in December! Recently though, I’ve noticed the flow of the water has turned into more of an intense trickle than a constant flow (if that makes any sense?) I thought it may be something was stuck in the filter or maybe the sponge needed to be swished around in tank water, so I did both of these and it still trickles. It’s a very strong trickle, so the tank is still getting good filtration. It is just so loud and I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else and if there’s a way to fix it?
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  • AMurry24537:
    Hmm, I don't know much about those filters, and I'm having trouble picturing what you mean, but could it be simply that your filtration media is arranged in a different way? Or maybe you're losing water content to evaporation? Just throwing out ideas. 😁 Again, I don't really know much about that kind of filter
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  • CrazyForLotls:
    Hello all. My male axolotl's cloaca hasn't been looking quite right for 13 days. When I first noticed it, I immediately checked the temperature of his tank and it was around 70-71. Way too warm for him, so I took him out and have had him tubbed in the basement ever since. The temperature of his water is now 64-65. The issue seems to be that one 'half' of his cloaca is flared out and has white fuzzy stuff on it. It almost looks like a bunch of little white spikes of hair. Only one half is this way. Sometimes said half is flared out almost all the way, and other times it's almost completely back inside of him. I had him in tea baths overnight for probably five days, and then a solid 24 hours of mild tea for around three days. I don't remember exactly, my apologies.
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  • CrazyForLotls:
    Since it was looking better (not flared out so I couldn't tell if it was still fuzzy) I put him back in plain, dechlorinated water. He gets daily water changes, always dechlorinated. The tea I used was plain black tea. The brand was Lipton and it came in a large box, purchased from the grocery store. Does anybody know what this could be? I found a couple old threads with a similar issue, but nobody ever replied to them. I can post a thread if you'd like some pictures, but they aren't very good. My camera was having trouble focusing and my axolotl kept moving.
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  • Audrey22:
    Hey guys! Just made a post asking for help with an injured eastern newt. I could really use some help. if you would read it, I would really appreciate 🙏😌
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  • Nexbane:
    @Audrey22, A salt bath *might* be a good idea, but I have never heard of them used for anything but axolotls. I would think as simplistic of a setup as possible would be best. Are you a member of the newts & salamanders group on facebook? You might have better luck getting more information quickly there! lots of the same members as here.
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  • Audrey22:
    Ok ill on Facebook too. Thanks. I've heard tea or salt and also neosporin. Do axolots breathe and absorb through their skin like sallies? Thats what I'm afraid of. Because I don't want them to absorb salt if that will hurt them. Anyways, I'll look at Facebook too
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  • gulickje:
    I need guidance… my lotls been struggling. How do i tell if theres anything noticably wrong woth Trudeau? I dont see a way to post a pic here. Hes got like a pinkish spine like down back but everything else looks normal i think. Trixie( my MEL) has been pretty good i think. Both in same tank. Eat same food etc.
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  • CrazyForLotls:
    @gulickje, could you make a thread in the sick axolotls section? You can put pictures there and it's easier for multiple people with axolotl knowledge to help you out. For now, we can't do much without seeing it and asking lots of questions. What is the water temperature? What's the tank like? (substrate, water conditions, any sharp decorations?) What are your water parameters? Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, etc.
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  • JasPinturas:
    Hello... I was wondering if someone could please check out the thread I posted, I’m genuinely concerned for my Axolotl.
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  • JasPinturas:
    It’s under the axolotl section “ baby axolotl broken fingers ? “
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  • tammyaxie:
    I saw it. It looks like the axie may have regrown those fingers after being nipped and they grew weird
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  • JasPinturas:
    Thank you for responding. His fingers were fine the day before I used the net, his fingers were perfectly fine and I don’t have any other axies so I knew he definitely he wasn’t nipped
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  • JasPinturas:
    When I noticed his little fingers were split, after I used the net
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    JasPinturas: When I noticed his little fingers were split, after I used the net +1
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