PLEASE HELP ME axolotl seems so sick:( I don’t know what to do

Axolotlnewbie

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***I have never had an axolotl, never wanted one (now I love him more than anything very awesome creature) but now my mom has it and doesn’t care to do the research so now I’m left to keep him healthy and happy. I would NEVER buy or accept an animal without doing extensive research so please don’t get mad at me for not knowing anything I’m just trying to keep him alive.****

my mom recently (month ago) received an axolotl as a gift from her brother in law that owns a fish store, he set up a huge tank with beach sand substrate and he seemed to be happy walking around, eating normally (axolotl food we got with him), loved to watch TV with us.

Then all the sudden he started hiding in his cave but floating at the top of it which was off as days have progressed he’s gone from okay to the point that I can’t look at his tank without crying. He won’t eat he’s floating on his head or on his back and sometimes wedges himself in between the filter and the glass.

I did a 50% water change cause my mom told me she had not once done one since getting him and from having beta fish I have the siphon so I did it and treated the water with the axolotl/freshwater conditioner we got with him but he still is floating on His back. it looks as if he has a lump in his side after learning more about them I’m afraid he ate too much gravel (even though it’s the finest we could get) and it’s stuck :(
7A101D1D-5CBB-4609-BB5A-0CF85C5D7E06.jpeg
CE8998B1-8BF6-490A-B446-9FB9259925B3.jpeg

I never wanted him but now I love him and want to do anything to keep him safe even if it means coming home every week to do water changes for him. I’ve attached multiple photos of him and his tank please help me I love him so much seeing his happy little face used to make my day💔
697BEAF6-833B-4E85-BCC2-2E98845E2F2B.jpeg
 

Axolotlnewbie

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No I haven’t but that’s what I’ve been reading I’m going to do it tonight, how do I get him out of his tank? I have no idea how to handle an axolotl can I just pick him up ? He’s not every responsive or motile so I could just gently pick him out but will I hurt him?
 

MermaidMommy

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You should wear surgical gloves (nothing with powder or chemicals) and gently nudge or scoop him into whatever container you will be be keeping him in. Make sure to dechlorinate the water.
 

Ludghens

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First of all, if they float unwillingly it may have swallowed too much air and will usually go away by itself. How long has he been floating? If its been more than two days, you could try fridging. Here's a guide on it:
Axolotl Fridging Guide

That way you can also keep a close eye on his behaviour. Objects for him to "hold on to" as she floats help them not stress so much. Has he been eating regularly? You could make sure he has a regular and proper feeding schedule as well, if he doesn't want to eat its likely he ate substrate in which fridging may help.


In case of his substrate, I personally dont use sand, I use some sort of garden rocks that are big so even if my axie tries to eat them, she can't fit those in her mouth.
That is as much as I know, I hope it helps and he gets better soon.
 

Ludghens

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No I haven’t but that’s what I’ve been reading I’m going to do it tonight, how do I get him out of his tank? I have no idea how to handle an axolotl can I just pick him up ? He’s not every responsive or motile so I could just gently pick him out but will I hurt him?
You can pick them, just don't use any force. It's pretty much letting them rest on your hand. If they try to wiggle out just keep your other hand near so he doesn't fall or get hurt.
 

Axolotlnewbie

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First of all, if they float unwillingly it may have swallowed too much air and will usually go away by itself. How long has he been floating? If its been more than two days, you could try fridging. Here's a guide on it:
Axolotl Fridging Guide

That way you can also keep a close eye on his behaviour. Objects for him to "hold on to" as she floats help them not stress so much. Has he been eating regularly? You could make sure he has a regular and proper feeding schedule as well, if he doesn't want to eat its likely he ate substrate in which fridging may help.


In case of his substrate, I personally dont use sand, I use some sort of garden rocks that are big so even if my axie tries to eat them, she can't fit those in her mouth.
That is as much as I know, I hope it helps and he gets better soon.
Thank you
First of all, if they float unwillingly it may have swallowed too much air and will usually go away by itself. How long has he been floating? If its been more than two days, you could try fridging. Here's a guide on it:
Axolotl Fridging Guide

That way you can also keep a close eye on his behaviour. Objects for him to "hold on to" as she floats help them not stress so much. Has he been eating regularly? You could make sure he has a regular and proper feeding schedule as well, if he doesn't want to eat its likely he ate substrate in which fridging may help.


In case of his substrate, I personally dont use sand, I use some sort of garden rocks that are big so even if my axie tries to eat them, she can't fit those in her mouth.
That is as much as I know, I hope it helps and he gets better soon.
thank you so so much I’m going to try fridging cause he hasn’t eaten in a while so I think he ate substrate I think I will also be switching him to no substrate just incase cause he really does like eating the sand so I’ll just take it out completely
 

Axolotlnewbie

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You should wear surgical gloves (nothing with powder or chemicals) and gently nudge or scoop him into whatever container you will be be keeping him in. Make sure to dechlorinate the water.
Okay will do also I set my wine fridge to 10° is that good ?
 

Ludghens

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I will guess you mean 10°C, if you can get it to 8°C it'll be great (but make sure its no lower than 5°C)

From the guide I quote:
"To ensure the fridge space allocated for the axolotl is set within the desired temperature range (i.e. not too cold!) it is advisable to test what the water temperature will be before putting the axolotl in there. This can be done by placing a thermometer in a glass of water and situating the glass where the axolotl will be positioned in the fridge."

This can help you make sure the temperature is steady.
 

Axolotlnewbie

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Yup I can get it to 8 easy I have a tub in there with a thermometer in now but since it’s a wine fridge I can regulate temperature much more precisely than in the normal fridge :)
 

Axolotlnewbie

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***I have never had an axolotl, never wanted one (now I love him more than anything very awesome creature) but now my mom has it and doesn’t care to do the research so now I’m left to keep him healthy and happy. I would NEVER buy or accept an animal without doing extensive research so please don’t get mad at me for not knowing anything I’m just trying to keep him alive.****

my mom recently (month ago) received an axolotl as a gift from her brother in law that owns a fish store, he set up a huge tank with beach sand substrate and he seemed to be happy walking around, eating normally (axolotl food we got with him), loved to watch TV with us.

Then all the sudden he started hiding in his cave but floating at the top of it which was off as days have progressed he’s gone from okay to the point that I can’t look at his tank without crying. He won’t eat he’s floating on his head or on his back and sometimes wedges himself in between the filter and the glass.

I did a 50% water change cause my mom told me she had not once done one since getting him and from having beta fish I have the siphon so I did it and treated the water with the axolotl/freshwater conditioner we got with him but he still is floating on His back. it looks as if he has a lump in his side after learning more about them I’m afraid he ate too much gravel (even though it’s the finest we could get) and it’s stuck :(
View attachment 84565View attachment 84566
I never wanted him but now I love him and want to do anything to keep him safe even if it means coming home every week to do water changes for him. I’ve attached multiple photos of him and his tank please help me I love him so much seeing his happy little face used to make my day💔View attachment 84567
okay so I put him in the fridge I can see where the stones are, poorguy I feel so awful for him :(B16C770E-1703-4C72-BFC1-4A0A3B4D397A.jpeg
 

MermaidMommy

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Make sure to take out the gravel from his tank now. Better no substrate than the wrong kind.
 

Axolotlnewbie

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***I have never had an axolotl, never wanted one (now I love him more than anything very awesome creature) but now my mom has it and doesn’t care to do the research so now I’m left to keep him healthy and happy. I would NEVER buy or accept an animal without doing extensive research so please don’t get mad at me for not knowing anything I’m just trying to keep him alive.****

my mom recently (month ago) received an axolotl as a gift from her brother in law that owns a fish store, he set up a huge tank with beach sand substrate and he seemed to be happy walking around, eating normally (axolotl food we got with him), loved to watch TV with us.

Then all the sudden he started hiding in his cave but floating at the top of it which was off as days have progressed he’s gone from okay to the point that I can’t look at his tank without crying. He won’t eat he’s floating on his head or on his back and sometimes wedges himself in between the filter and the glass.

I did a 50% water change cause my mom told me she had not once done one since getting him and from having beta fish I have the siphon so I did it and treated the water with the axolotl/freshwater conditioner we got with him but he still is floating on His back. it looks as if he has a lump in his side after learning more about them I’m afraid he ate too much gravel (even though it’s the finest we could get) and it’s stuck :(
View attachment 84565View attachment 84566
I never wanted him but now I love him and want to do anything to keep him safe even if it means coming home every week to do water changes for him. I’ve attached multiple photos of him and his tank please help me I love him so much seeing his happy little face used to make my day💔View attachment 84567
first morning after fridging and he looks a bit stressed out (black speckled on his body )BUT he pooped and is walking upright again and he just ate some blood worms:) got my mom a water testing kit and did a test the water was so bad literally don’t know how he’s still alive now I did more than half water change and pH was still 8.3 and the NO3-, NO2-, and ammonia levels were pretty high considering the water changeyesterday. So happy I decided to come see my parents or no one would have done anything and he would have died :(
 

Ludghens

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It would be better to do a whole water change, maybe checking the filters and their state would be a wise thing to do. Plants can help keep the water in the right conditions as well, though I've been told axies sometimes bite those (not harmful or anything, just to be noted).
I'm so glad fridging helped him! Hope everything keeps going well.
 
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You should be proud of your perseverance and quick thinking, your axolotl is very, very lucky to have you!!! Post here is you have any more issues or questions, I got tons of help here as a first timer and would love to return the favor! 🙂
 

Axolotlnewbie

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It would be better to do a whole water change, maybe checking the filters and their state would be a wise thing to do. Plants can help keep the water in the right conditions as well, though I've been told axies sometimes bite those (not harmful or anything, just to be noted).
I'm so glad fridging helped him! Hope everything keeps going well.
Yea I’m going to keep doing water changes till the levels are a safe for him to be back in but it’s a crazy how much the fridging helped he is back to his bright green colour and is very interested in the worms I give him thank you for your help I honestly don’t think he would have survived the weekend if I didn’t do all this DE422F24-8F3A-432F-9E3E-6C1BDC470134.jpeg63B1BBDF-ED03-4084-BD29-74FACAC0C086.jpeg
 

Axolotlnewbie

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You should be proud of your perseverance and quick thinking, your axolotl is very, very lucky to have you!!! Post here is you have any more issues or questions, I got tons of help here as a first timer and would love to return the favor! 🙂
thank you so much! He’s doing so much better and is happy and eating worms in his fridge container:) but I still cannot get my tank pH lower than 8 I’ve done 3 water changes and it won’t go down everything else seems to be levelling out except the pH. Any suggestions on how to lower that?
 

AlexisJG

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***I have never had an axolotl, never wanted one (now I love him more than anything very awesome creature) but now my mom has it and doesn’t care to do the research so now I’m left to keep him healthy and happy. I would NEVER buy or accept an animal without doing extensive research so please don’t get mad at me for not knowing anything I’m just trying to keep him alive.****

my mom recently (month ago) received an axolotl as a gift from her brother in law that owns a fish store, he set up a huge tank with beach sand substrate and he seemed to be happy walking around, eating normally (axolotl food we got with him), loved to watch TV with us.

Then all the sudden he started hiding in his cave but floating at the top of it which was off as days have progressed he’s gone from okay to the point that I can’t look at his tank without crying. He won’t eat he’s floating on his head or on his back and sometimes wedges himself in between the filter and the glass.

I did a 50% water change cause my mom told me she had not once done one since getting him and from having beta fish I have the siphon so I did it and treated the water with the axolotl/freshwater conditioner we got with him but he still is floating on His back. it looks as if he has a lump in his side after learning more about them I’m afraid he ate too much gravel (even though it’s the finest we could get) and it’s stuck :(
View attachment 84565View attachment 84566
I never wanted him but now I love him and want to do anything to keep him safe even if it means coming home every week to do water changes for him. I’ve attached multiple photos of him and his tank please help me I love him so much seeing his happy little face used to make my day💔View attachment 84567
Hi! I would 100% recommend a water testing kit, I believe most people and myself use the API freshwater master kit it’s around $25 I believe but we’ll worth it! I would check his bowels for the substrate to make sure that is not your issue, if it is I would immediately remove the substrate but do NOT clean the tank as this will ruin its cycle. They also are very sensitive to light, I only turn my light on if I really need to or photos/videos they recommend not having a light on any more than 4 hours maximum per day. I would read into tubbing and consider that! I hope the best for your baby♥
 
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thank you so much! He’s doing so much better and is happy and eating worms in his fridge container:) but I still cannot get my tank pH lower than 8 I’ve done 3 water changes and it won’t go down everything else seems to be levelling out except the pH. Any suggestions on how to lower that?
From what I know, 8 is still technically okay for axolotls, though the ideal range is 7.4-7.6. The best way in my opinion to help any water parameter issues is use live plants! You also can use driftwood, peat moss, or almond leaves, but those can color the water, and I wouldn’t use for such a minor issue. If you don’t have live plants, consider adding some, or if you do, add some more! Hope this helps!
 
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