Oh My GOSH I'm Dumb

TopsyTurvey

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Alrighty y'all, feel free to share in my stupidity because this week has been a roller coaster and I'm so relieved that it's all over -hopefully-.

I'm very new to fish keeping; I've had guppies for about 2-3 Months, mystery snails for a month and an Axie for almost a week. I'm am by no means experienced in any way, I've read a lot online but when it comes to irl I'm pretty lost, and sometimes don't even realize the basics.

The filter from the very start of my fish keeping experience (ie 3 months ago) is the one I decided to put in my axie tank as I wanted to give her tank a good head start at cycling. I've not touched and/or looked at that filter since I got it other than cleaning the outside every once in a while.

I've been having a lot of issues keeping my tank afloat since I got her and have made my fair share of good old rookie mistakes. The first day I had her she was good, the second day she was fine as well but the third day I added sand to her tank but for some godforsaken reason I thought that because it was aquarium sand it didn't need to be washed. Ooooh boy was I wrong. That day she was getting stressed and I'd heard of sand irritating their gills and so at 3am I decided to do a huge water change and wash all the sand.

Next day she seemed better, her gills were quietening down but something was still off. I've been struggling to figure out what it was, and I don't currently have a water testing kit and have just been relying on decent sized water changes every 3ish days to keep her happy so I was always convinced it was the water but I just couldn't figure out what could possibly of been so wrong. I finally found the problem -I think-.

Today she was still stressed so I decided to do another big water change as it'd already been two days since the last anyway and clean literally anything and everything I could think of. I spend ages sifting through her sad with a small fish net as I don't have a gravel cleaner and washing the walls and eventually outside of the filter with a sponge. Out of pure curiosity I decided to turn it upside down to see the bottom and there was just disgusting beige slime everywhere, you couldn't even see the black sponge underneath. So after a nice old wash and replacement and such it's looking a lot better and I'm hoping to god she starts doing better soon. c':
 

KumquatSquats

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Please get a water test kit soon, if cash is short the test strips will be better than nothing even if they aren't super accurate. Your frequent water changes likely are preventing the tank from fully cycling and you just cant know if conditions are safe or not in this situation.

That orange slime builds up in the filter, i find that HOB filters need to be wiped out about once a month (as in take out media & keep that media wet while you get all that **** out).
 

landonewts

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I would suggest trying a Prime ammonia test kit. It tests for free ammonia as well as total ammonia. I too am just starting out with axolotls and after carefully cycling my tank and performing daily partial water changes and tests with an API test kit, I was still getting horrible ammonia readings. Ammonia was in the .5-1ppm range, Ph wasn’t great, but nitrites and nitrates were ok. I was tearing my hair out.

I’m still researching, but my research so far shows me that FREE ammonia is the type that is toxic to axolotls, so I got the Prime test kit. It shows levels of NH3 and NH4 separately, and also has a reference test you can do to make sure the kit is working correctly. I now see that my free ammonia levels are fine. Still use the API kit for other water quality factors, but the Prime kit is reportedly most accurate for relevant ammonia levels.

(Another fun fact: Some water conditioners, including the one made by Prime, can give falsely elevated ammonia levels too, so That is another factor to be aware of.)
 
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    as long as its not freezing they should ship fine. I usually ship mine in 2 days priorities like axolotl. insulation and some cold pack. Is this morphed or still a larvae?
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