New to Axlotl's, Need Help!

Delaney

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I've had my axlotl for about a week now, and a couple days in I noticed his water was pretty cloudy and stinky. I did an ammonia test, which was high, so I did a 25% water change. Than two days later (today), his water was even cloudier/stinkier. I did an ammonia test, 'stress', Nitrate and Nitrite, both 0, I did 2 pH tests, the first was 7.0 and the second was 9.0, than KH and GH all normal. So I did a 90% water change, all the tests came back normal. Did I move too quickly?
 

EasternRomioi3

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@Delaney

Ok, first, the stinky water, the stench, how bad is it? Like, can you smell it from like 5 feet away?

Second, what type of filter do you have? I recommend, highly recommend a sponge filter and if you're having issues with water transparency, I would actually get two and use them both at the same time in the tank, if you have the room. That's what I do with mine, keeps her water crystal clear.

Third, what size tank do you have? 10 gallon, 20?

Fourth, can you post some photos of your tank set up, like showing what you have and then get us a photo of your axolotl. Don't stress them by taking them out of the tank.

And just to clarify, I say this a lot because I wish someone would have told me about it soon, but the tank cycle for a sponge filter goes as follows...

1 = add axolotl to tank. 2 = axolotl produces waste, that leads to ammonia in the water. 3 = sponge filter slowly converts the ammonia into nitrites. 4 = filter slowly converts the nitrites to nitrates. 5 = nitrates are the end of the cycle, you have to do a water change.

And be aware that a tank cycle takes usually 30 days, a whole month. So you need to be vigilant and check your ammonia and all that at least once every two days, that's what I did and I was able to catch a night when my axolotl had really high nitrites. Ammonia being high will cause burns, nitrites will make them sluggish and lethargic, nitrates I think deprive them of oxygen. You want your ammonia and nitrites at 0, of course, and I think nitrates are 20-60.

What are you using to text with? Like, what kit. I use an API Fresh Water Master Kit, and it's super accurate, super easy to use, and it has saved my axolotl's life. And as for the pH, it should be like 7.5.

If any of this sounded redundant and you know all of it already, I apologize. I am only speaking from experience as I, unintentionally, reset my poor axolotls tank cycle back in August. Oh and I hate to say this but if you do buy a sponge filter, make sure the pet store actually has air pumps for you. I HATE when they sell the sponge filters and not the pumps or they're out of them, or out of hose, like, I REALLY hate that.
 

Calgarycoppers

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Hi

Congrats on your new baby!!!

It sounds like you started a new tank and added your baby right without "cycling" first.

This can cause harm to your axolotl if you aren't HYPERvigilante with testing and water changing every day!!

I recommend cycling without any livestock in the tank.
It requires a few supplies but gives you peace of mind your axolotl is not being harmed in any way, while you get a strong "cycle" in your filters to convert the heavy bioload (poop factory) of an axolotl.

If you need help with either way keep posting here with which way you want to attempt and the members with the most experience can definitely help.
 

EasternRomioi3

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Yeah, cycling sounds like the immediate issue. If you're home all the time, not working, or working from home, whatever, it's a lot easier to help your axolotl through a cycling but if you're at work for long periods of time, like 10 hour shifts, your axolotl will be hurting.
 
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    @ChocoUniversa, Buy some ammonia and an eyedropper from Walmart and a water test kit for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Figure out (through testing) how many drops it will take to get the ammonia level to the test's maximum measurement. Add that same number of drops every 24 hours. Eventually, the ammonia will start to go down as it's converted to nitrites. Keep adding ammonia. The nitrite levels will spike for a while and then they too will start to go down as they convert to nitrates. These you get rid of by doing water changes, which you should be doing anyway throughout the process. Once all of these are at low levels, your aquarium is ready. It takes about a month, maybe two (mine took a month and a half). Be sure to add ammonia until the day of or the day before you add your axolotl.
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