Possible Parasite on Gill

JengaStacks

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Hi! I'm new to the forum. I have a leucistic axolotl named Mushu. He's actually 2 years old though he's still small maybe 5 in long. Ashamedly, I'm just now learning how to be a good axolotl owner and have recently revamped his care regimen. It's only the second week so far, but he already looks better.

However, I'm still worried about something on one his gills. It's his top right one. There's a weird bright red loop hanging off it. The pictures are a bit grainy, but it does form a loop. I'm not sure when it first appeared, but it was sometime during the later half of last year. At first, I thought it was a part of his gill that somehow separated, and I hoped it would heal up. I haven't noticed worms in the tank or in his waste. Also, I did not add anything to the tank before I noticed other than some new fake plants (the soft silky kind), his normal shrimp pellets, and maybe the tiles... but I tried my best to wash and disinfect those properly.

Since this is a long term problem and I recently changed a bunch of things for the better, I can't really say what the tank parameters were like, but it probably wasn't great. I had no fan and water changes were very irregular. Also, I was feeding him mostly shrimp pellets. I can say that his tank is a 10 gallon, has a sponge filter, and a tile bottom. It was originally sand, but I realized he was too small and got worried about it and switched over to tile awhile ago.

A quick overview of the changes I made: added a fan to keep the tank at 63-67F, expanded his diet (added frozen bloodworms and earthworms) and I now use a food dish and hand feed him, and regular weekly water changes (for the past month or so). Also, he has ghost shrimp buddies now for him to chase. He's gotten one them I think! Again most of these changes (except regular water changes) I started a week ago and plan to continue from now on.

Should I be concerned about the weird red loop on his gill? Is there anything I can do?
Also, any additional advice for bringing Mushu back to full health is very welcome! His gills are so small compared to other pictures I've been seeing.
 

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Krispy

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I've been thinking about this post, is the "parasite" still there? It could be an enlarged gill filament, it's not uncommon and usually looks like an out-of-place blood vessel. If that is the case, your axie is in no danger.
 

JengaStacks

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Yes, it is still there. That would be great news! Is there any way I can find out for sure? And will it ever correct itself?
 
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