Illness/Sickness: Please help me save my axolotl!! (Fungal infection?) :(

Netyro

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Hello everyone,

A bit of background info: I bought my axolotl (lovingly named him the Doctor) around 3 weeks ago at my local reptile/amphibian store. I would like to state that I had done a fair amount of research before purchasing the animal and was completely sure that I wanted one. I had his aquarium set up with sand substrate, a hide, and a bigger fake plant to break the current apart until I got an internal filter and give him shade for the rare times I turn on the LED lights.

About 2 weeks ago I had the problem that my poor guy was constipated, probably due to ingesting sand since he was being kept in a bare bottom tank. Also, I realized that the sand was more coarse than adequate. I fridged him and let him pass the food, he seemed to get better. As a precautionary measure I bought a small food bowl where I could put the food in so he wouldn't ingest the substrate (my mistake, I should've just thrown it all away).

The day before yesterday I woke up and saw that he had a bit of white fuzz, I left for school, when I got back it had gotten a bit worse but not too bad. Yesterday I woke up and to my horror the front of his face was covered in it. I removed him, fridged him, and have been doing salt baths as per the instructions on this website. Two a day for 10-15min and back in the fridge, repeated today. He hasn't shown much improvement. He's also lost weight over the past week, significantly over these past couple days and as you can imagine his apetite has dwindled.
I was cleaning out his tank and getting rid of the substrate and saw that I had made a terrible mistake of leaving some bloodworms in a corner behind one of the plants, which were rotten and covered in white fuzz which I guess is fungi.
I was checking the water parameters and they were fine, I am an experienced koi pond owner and know all too well the dangers of nitrites (.25) , nitrates (0) , and ammonia 0). The ph was at 7.2 or so.
It kills me to know that all this may be happening due to my arrogance about the filter (current), substrate (not fine enough) and my failure to notice the bloodworms being left in the tank (Im guessing they got swept out of the bowl when he ate), and now he is suffering from this horrible infection.
I need help and guidance as to what to do please, I really dont want my little guy to pass away.
Thank you all for reading and please help.
 

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Se

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Hi there. Sorry to hear that your axie is sick. I'm far from an expert, but I just figured while you waited for people who know more about it to reply, I'd make sure you saw the health page on axolotls of this site? Axolotls - Health & Diseases It has some good information on fungal infections.

Also, you might want to check and list here your tank (and fridge water) temperatures? I know you've done a lot of research but I didn't see that listed as one of your parameters and I've seen people here ask about that when trying to help.
 

Charlotl

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If you are concerned about his weight don't fridge him but keep up the salt baths. The increase in temperature should help his appetite while the continued salt baths will hopefully clear up the fungus soon.
 

LSuzuki

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Do you have a qualified amphibian vet near you? If you do, and can afford the visit, I think a trip to the vet is in order.

Usually, fungus will pop up where there is an injury. That it is popping up elsewhere is not a good sign.

If you don't have or can't afford a vet, check out the antibiotics and treatments on the link Se posted. Many of those are available at your local fish store, and if not, can be ordered on-line.
 

Netyro

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Hello everyone,
I dont see any signs of improvements but also don't see him getting worse. Regarding temps: when he was in my room temps varied between 50-65, with mostly being around 60. I'm northern Florida. Fridge is around 50 degrees.
I did read that fridging him was not a good idea when worried about his weight, but wanted to get him out of his tank while I thoroughly cleaned it and got right of the sand and any other leftover food that might have been left.
I put his tank back together again, transferred him back in, and gave him 2 salt baths.
I had already left the link provided and it is actually why I signed up to this website to ask for info, as I am not sure if his infection right now is fungal, bacterial, or maybe just his slime layer shedding and what I should do in regards to treatment: one of described medicines in the link above, tea baths (which I've been reading on), or continue with salt baths.
I did contact my vet but he wasn't available until next week.. I might take him to the vets at the University of Florida.
No worries in regards to temp, I've been keeping an eye on that and was already planning to build him a chiller in the next couple weeks (Electrical Engineering student).
Thank you all for your advice,
David
 

NaterPotater

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I'm actually not sure if Pimafix works, but it's an option. It's basically tea tree leaf extract in a liquid bottle. I tried it when my tank got a fungal infection. The one who was injured died, so the Pimafix (combined with salt baths and isolation) did not work well enough, but my other axolotl that was in the tank never got sick. So at least that's something. He's perfectly fine, and it was over a month ago, so the Pimafix might have helped eradicate the fungus from the tank. Sorry I can't give you anything definitive though.
 
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    ?? I’m new owner to the type of fish
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  • Lanalotl:
    Hi I recently rescued a lotl (i did weeks of research before rescuing) Hes mabey 5 or 6 years of age..the previous owner could not remember the exact age of him. I got him from her as he was or had been picked on by his tank mate another lotl who was bough with him from every younger age, I noticed one of his gills, a middle one at the end had split in two? And is slightly more floppy? He also appears or mabey I'm just over worried to mabey have lost some feathers, is that normal to lose some?...all levels in the tank are fine, but wondered if theres and advice anyone could give me as an experienced owner to a new one.
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  • Axolotl Queen:
    @Lanalotl Sounds like the gills may have been nipped by the tank mate. If he is in his own tank and the parameters etc are all good, then he should grow them back and they should go back to full health and strength. However, depending on how old the injury is they may not fully grow back if they have been constantly nipped at.
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  • Smknmom421:
    Can anyone tell me why this is happening? We just did a water change and after freaking out and whipping around the tank, an hour later they look like this. It won't let me send a pic. The edges of their gills are white and it looks like they have skin shedding off
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  • Murk:
    That sounds like severe skin damage. If you post a thread on the forum, you can attach pictures.
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  • Murk:
    It sounds like something went wrong with the water change, so this could be very dangerous. Did you use a dechlorinator? Could it be there are traces of chlorine or soap in the water? (Or for example, in the bucket you used?)
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  • Murk:
    Normally, I would recommend taking them out of the tank asap and putting them in a tub with fresh water, but if there's something wrong with your tap water or dechlorinator, that might not help either. Do you have acces to bottled water or rain water?
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  • Sal22:
    I think my axie is dying, he’s never had any issues before, I’ve had him 3 years, today I noticed some fluffy looking stuff coming from his genital area so I took him out of his tank and did a full tank clean to make sure the water wasn’t infected as I thought it was fungus and then I noticed he had a cut on his belly which was only small about 5 hours ago and now it’s spread to all of his belly, what do I do I’m freaking out
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  • Sal22:
    Update about my axie, unfortunately he has died over night, he looked as if he was bruised allover his belly, his mucus layer had also started to come off.
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    Anyone here from DMV?
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    hi.....
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    Hi, so I have 2 male axolotls and about an hour ago they were both perfectly fine and now only one of them has his tail curling up and his gills are slightly curled?? But other than that they’re both acting normally
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  • Murk:
    Could be he's just excited, spooked or temporarily stressed, which could pass in a few hours. It could also be an indicator of other problems. Do you have any recent water parameters?
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    Help! I got my first axolotl two days ago and they have stopped eating. They ate a few frozen blood worms the first day and haven’t eaten or been interested in food since. I feed them frozen blood worms and the tank is around 64 degrees. I do have a filter that moves sometimes and I noticed them swimming up to it, I have a new filter and a fan coming today or tomorrow. I leave the worms in the tank or a little bit before taking them out so I don’t know if they ate when I wasn’t looking. I know it takes a while for them to digest. Does anyone have any tips or knowledge they can share? The pet store I bought them from didn’t have gravel or sand in the tank so I’m not sure if theres an issue or if I’m just impatient. Thank you!
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu, how big they are? also for substrate, i would not do gravel at all I would either do sand or none at all!
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    Thank you so much for the information and advice! They are eating again, they ate a lot today. I think it might have been stress from the move or digesting old food, I also noticed they ate some of the food left in the tank (I removed the rest). I’m going to keep the tank bare bottom.
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu,your so welcome im glad to be of help! and I'm glad that they are eating as well!
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    HalfDrunkToast: @MuggleMiChu,your so welcome im glad to be of help! and I'm glad that they are eating as well! +1
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