Illness/Sickness: Recently purchased Axolotls floating

LM901

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2 days ago I bought 2 axolotls, a leucistic and wild type and paired them in a tank with enough water and space for them both. I also ensured that they're on sand and not gravel.
This is the first time ever having an axolotl so I'm not entirely sure of what's normal behaviour and what's not

Recently both the Leucistic and Wild type have been floating to the surface of the water and will bob up and down. They're also trying to get out of the water by franticallly trying to swim up the glass. They are able to reach the bottom of the tank easily and will occasionally rest there until they start to float back up again and try to jump out.

We've tried everything and checked the water levels. In the beginning we thought it was the water temperature (as it was really warm when we first got them) and managed to bring it down to a cooler temperature (still not sure of how to maintain a constant temperature, we've tried using fans but I know too much movement on the water is something they don't like.)
The water is at 17 degrees

The only thing left I can think is the water quality as I've noticed that as it's gotten cloudier (from leftover food and such) and have continued to float at water level.
We have a filter which is supposed to do a good job of cleaning the tank and managing ammonia levels.

What could it be that's causing them to try to jump and float at the water level?

We've also considered that it might be stress due to being In a new environment and such but it's been on and off for the past 2 days.
 

Canecorsonewt

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Be sure your aquarium is cycled, if not replace 20% of water intill it is cycled.
 

LM901

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Would it be safe for the Axolotls to remain in the uncycled tank until it's cycled? If not, where would a safe place be for them until the tank is cycled completely as I'm worried that the ammonia buildup and lack of a cycled tank will cause them to die due to exposure

We did a 70/80% water change today in a panic, would that have benefited in anyway?
 

Eternie

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Never leave an axolotl in an uncycled tank, it is too risky. Instead, go out and buy a tubwith a lid,and put holes in the lid, keep it in there until the cycle is complete. I dont know how fishless cycling works though. You MUST DO 100%WATER CHANGES EVERYDAY while its in the tub!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Good Luck
 

LM901

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We have them in tubs for now until the tank is cycled, the wild type isn't fond of being in it though, hopefully he'll adjust.
So, complete water changes everyday whilst they're in the tub?
I also wanted to mention that the wild type seemed completely fine in the uncycled tank and acted normal, until I noticed he wasn't eating. So I just decided to take him out anyway.
 

Eternie

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Yes water changes everyday, this is so that there is no ammonia build up, because these creatures are very sensitive to ammonia. He should adjust soon,he just needs to get used to it.
 

LM901

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Just an update -
Both axolotls seem fine and happy in the tub they're in and are eating as they should.
We just have to wait for the tank to cycle completely.
Also, is there any possibility that the substrate in their tank could be holding in any waste or leftover food that the filter can't get to? If so, should i remove the sand and keep it bare?
 

Eternie

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Its a possibility, you can keep it bare,it is easier to clean things up that way, but as they become adults, they stress because they wont be able to grip the bottom as easily if there were sand. My suggestion is to get a turkey baster (which you should have one for them anyways) and sift through the sand a little bit to remove poop and food. You need to remove that stuff anyways when they are back in. You remove food 30 minutes to an hour after feeding them.
 

debadog

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I don't know if Eternie has properly explained what the issue is here.

Your tank needs to be cycled but this is not a case of just letting the water sit there. With your axolotls removed, you will need to add a source of ammonia to start the cycle, and monitor the cycles progress using a water testing kit such as the API test kit (not strips). Cycling is relatively tricky to get your head around so you will need to read up until you understand what is happening and why. Water quality issues might arise in the future and you will need to be prepared and knowledgable to tackle it. The filter only does mechanical filtering, ammonia and nitrite will need to be removed by bacteria that you'll grow while your tank cycles, and then we do weekly water changes to remove the remaining nitrate.

You can do a 100% water change in the tank and then put your axolotls back in and do a cycle with them in it, but most people consider this a bit cruel. You would also need to do large water changes daily in the tank until the cycle is complete.

Fishless cycling takes 6-8 weeks so your axolotls will be a bit miserable in small tubs for that long, please buy some big tubs for them if you haven't already.

Finally, you must never leave food in the tank with them to rot as it contaminates the water. I don't know what you're feeding them but pellets etc. need to be removed 30-60 mins after being put in the tank if they are uneaten. When they are big enough you will need to start feeding them worms as a staple diet, which require no clean up (they'll gobble them down right away!)

Good luck.
 

LM901

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I decided that I'll keep the axolotls out of the tank until everything's cycled as I do think that would be quite cruel for them, especially after seeing how stressed the leucistic was.
I've boughta test kit (not strips) to monitor its progress and I'll see how it goes. I also have a source of ammonia and I understand that a certain bacteria has to grow through cycling to manage it
Hopefully, if I'm doing everything right and as people have said then I should end up with a cycled tank within a few weeks.

I'm also looking into buying a bigger tub for them and I'm doing larger water changes then I have been.
Thank you for your help!
 
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    I've seen a lot of people say different things about it in articles, and I don't know if feeding them frozen bloodworm cubes is good for my axolotl. Can someone help?
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    Bloodworms are not a great sole diet for small axolotl or bigger ones, though many people do use them exclusively. Your better off using eartworms which are considered a complete diet
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    I just noticed two of the ghost shrimp in my axie tank have horsehair worms. I removed them immediately. Can these worms affect the axolotl and what would be the treatment?
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    Hello guys! I was wondering about nitrates in an axolotl tank. If there are 0 nitrates, will that harm the axolotl?
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    0 nitrates doesn't sound dangerous, but it does sound very unlikely if the tank is fully cycled. Are you positive you're performing the test correctly? If you're using the API one, that is by far the trickiest test to do right. If the reading is correct, I would guess that either your tank is not cycled, you just did like a 100% water change, or that you have plants sucking up the nitrates, but even those shouldn't leave you with 0.
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    0 is fine unless the tank isn't cycled. Most tanks definitely won't run at 0, but I've had fast growing emergent plants drop nutrients so low that other plants like floaters were choked out and began dying so it isn't impossible. Some less sensitive kits may read 0 but they are just not precise enough to give an accurate low level reading too.
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    Hey Yall my Axolotl has this like tail thats like a dent on the top, I was told it was meant stress but idk whats stressing out my Axolotl. The plants recently gotten moved since they were falling apart but like she's been eating/pooping fine and the temp and water tests are good for the Axolotl. So I don't really know whats causing her to be stress. Does anyone know anything?
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    Post a picture of the dent (in the "Sick Axolotl" thread) please
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    Hey guys! I’m having an issue with my filter and was hoping for some suggestions. I use an aqua clear 20-50 gallon filter for my 20 gallon axolotl tank. It has worked great since I got it back in December! Recently though, I’ve noticed the flow of the water has turned into more of an intense trickle than a constant flow (if that makes any sense?) I thought it may be something was stuck in the filter or maybe the sponge needed to be swished around in tank water, so I did both of these and it still trickles. It’s a very strong trickle, so the tank is still getting good filtration. It is just so loud and I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else and if there’s a way to fix it?
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  • CrazyForLotls:
    Hello all. My male axolotl's cloaca hasn't been looking quite right for 13 days. When I first noticed it, I immediately checked the temperature of his tank and it was around 70-71. Way too warm for him, so I took him out and have had him tubbed in the basement ever since. The temperature of his water is now 64-65. The issue seems to be that one 'half' of his cloaca is flared out and has white fuzzy stuff on it. It almost looks like a bunch of little white spikes of hair. Only one half is this way. Sometimes said half is flared out almost all the way, and other times it's almost completely back inside of him. I had him in tea baths overnight for probably five days, and then a solid 24 hours of mild tea for around three days. I don't remember exactly, my apologies.
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  • CrazyForLotls:
    Since it was looking better (not flared out so I couldn't tell if it was still fuzzy) I put him back in plain, dechlorinated water. He gets daily water changes, always dechlorinated. The tea I used was plain black tea. The brand was Lipton and it came in a large box, purchased from the grocery store. Does anybody know what this could be? I found a couple old threads with a similar issue, but nobody ever replied to them. I can post a thread if you'd like some pictures, but they aren't very good. My camera was having trouble focusing and my axolotl kept moving.
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  • Nexbane:
    @Audrey22, A salt bath *might* be a good idea, but I have never heard of them used for anything but axolotls. I would think as simplistic of a setup as possible would be best. Are you a member of the newts & salamanders group on facebook? You might have better luck getting more information quickly there! lots of the same members as here.
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    Ok ill on Facebook too. Thanks. I've heard tea or salt and also neosporin. Do axolots breathe and absorb through their skin like sallies? Thats what I'm afraid of. Because I don't want them to absorb salt if that will hurt them. Anyways, I'll look at Facebook too
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    Audrey22: Ok ill on Facebook too. Thanks. I've heard tea or salt and also neosporin. Do axolots breathe... +2
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