Sick Axolotyl?

Anoushka77

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Hello everyone ,
Im completely new to this & a complete Luddite with technology , so pls be patient with me :)

two days ago my Leucistic Axie , Champ ..
-stopped eating .
-stopped moving Back legs , they are held upwards & towards body )
-Gills very red / slightly coiled forwards, flapping very frequently .

-behaviour has changed , wants to hide away ..(Moves away from me if I go to tank . Previously , very inquisitive & active )
-He is moving by pulling himself along with front legs only .
-All water parameters are fine ( triple checked )
- he did open his mouth very widely yesterday , I’ve never seen him to that before
-He has never refused food before .
(always has earthworms , I have offered pellets just in case , he shows no interest & moves away )

I just know he isn’t well , but I don’t know what’s wrong or what to do ?

no stools have been passed for a few days , as far as I can tell ,but as he isn’t eating, I’m not surprised .
I have made several water changes ( just in case ) water parameters all still good , filter all ok ..
does this sound like constipation or impaction ?
Any help/ advice gratefully received .
I’m so worried about my little friend ..

thank you xx
 

Calgarycoppers

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First get tubbed in clean cold dechlorinated water and do daily water changes

Hi can you give us some info please?

Temp
pH
High range pH
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate

Tank size
Substrate
what water conditioner you use.
 

Anoushka77

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Thank you for responding ..
I ordered a more accurate chemical water testing kit .. the results are :
PH 7.6
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrates 20
Nitrite 0



The ammonia is obviously high . this was displaying 0 previously, with a less accurate strip test .

it is a 20 Gallon tank .
Substrate is slate .
I use a dechlorinator ( Love Fish tap safe water treatment ) that was purchased from the same shop I bought the axolotyl , but I’m seeing that Prime is a good choice ( I’ve now ordered some )

excuse my ignorance , I’m still learning !

When you say get tubbed , you mean move him into a entirely separate container with fresh de chlorinated tap water ?
How do I then change his water , if he is in a tub ? ( wouldn’t this mean leaving him out of water, while I do this ? If so , I wasn’t aware it was safe to do that !
how & when do I then move him back to the tank ? In progressive water changes using the tub ( part fresh water ,with increasing tank water )

I’m so grateful for any advice , and I apologise .. I realise it must be fairly frustrating when this all seems so basic and obvious when you’re more knowledgeable & experienced ..! 🤦‍♀️

I have bought some Live Java Moss Balls ( in the hope it may help ammonia levels )
I have also bought some fish pie to try and tempt him & perhaps help if he’s
Constipated ..

Once again , thank you 😊
 

Calgarycoppers

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parameters seem fine other than ammonia that could be true or artifact.

Tubbing

I use 2 shoebox sized tubs so I can be thoroughly cleaning in between use.

I prep the clean the tub and transfer the axolotl into the clean the tub then wash the old tub with hot water and vinegar.
I would tub until there is no issues and you have him/her eating well. Dump the dirty tub water in the tank to keep feeding your cycle.

I don't know that dechlorinator - Some dechlorinators use aloe extracts to help with slime coat which is hugely irritating and sometimes toxic to axolotls. Prime is the gold standard dechlorinator.

Moss balls will not help with ammonia at all only a cycled filter does that.

Thank you for responding ..
I ordered a more accurate chemical water testing kit .. the results are :
PH 7.6
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrates 20
Nitrite 0



The ammonia is obviously high . this was displaying 0 previously, with a less accurate strip test .

it is a 20 Gallon tank .
Substrate is slate .
I use a dechlorinator ( Love Fish tap safe water treatment ) that was purchased from the same shop I bought the axolotyl , but I’m seeing that Prime is a good choice ( I’ve now ordered some )

excuse my ignorance , I’m still learning !

When you say get tubbed , you mean move him into a entirely separate container with fresh de chlorinated tap water ?
How do I then change his water , if he is in a tub ? ( wouldn’t this mean leaving him out of water, while I do this ? If so , I wasn’t aware it was safe to do that !
how & when do I then move him back to the tank ? In progressive water changes using the tub ( part fresh water ,with increasing tank water )

I’m so grateful for any advice , and I apologise .. I realise it must be fairly frustrating when this all seems so basic and obvious when you’re more knowledgeable & experienced ..! 🤦‍♀️

I have bought some Live Java Moss Balls ( in the hope it may help ammonia levels )
I have also bought some fish pie to try and tempt him & perhaps help if he’s
Constipated ..

Once again , thank you 😊
 

Anoushka77

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Thank you so much for this info - really helpful .
I’ll keep him in tub , until signs of improvement .
He already seems more alert & he’s not flapping his gills as frequently .
Hopefully he will begin to eat .

when he is ready to transfer back to tank, how do I do this ?
Can he go straight in , or do I gradually reintroduce tank water into tub , then put him in ?

thank you
 

EasternRomioi3

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@Anoushka77

Whenever I have had to tub my girl, it's when I do a big water change and I need to take stuff out of her tank to really clean it. So I usually put her in a tub with fresh water from the water change, usually 2 gallons. Then I add the remaining water to her tank, so like if I'm doing a 10 gallon water change, I get my 10 gallons, put 2 in her tub, siphon 10 out of her tank, add the 8, then check temperature. Once the temperatures are even enough, I gently add her first, usually just a quick hand, scoop, right into the water. Then slowly pour the water she was relaxing in, back into the tank, you have added 10 new fresh gallons.

You'll little buddy sounds like something really terrified him. The only time I've seen my axolotl throw her gills forward and puff up is when my mom's stupid cat fell into the tank while I was feeding my axolotl. She immediately got defensive. Where is your axolotl? Like, what room, is there anything that could have terrified him?

And I just want to say two things that have really helped me out, 1, if you find info that is easy to digest, write it down! I keep a notepad in my axolotl's box. In her box is her food, her test kit, chemicals to help with water quality (rarely used), and the notepad. I actually have this second piece of advice written down, and it is, are you familiar with the aquarium tank cycle? I'm just going to say it here in an easy format, if you already know it, sorry to make you read this, if it helps, I am glad I sent it rather than waiting for you to respond.

1 - introduce axolotl to tank, axolotl produces ammonia. 2 sponge filter slowly converts the ammonia into nitrites. 3 filter slowly converts nitrites to nitrates. 4 - nitrates cannot be converted, time for a water change. I've seen people say they crashed their cycle and it takes a month to redo it, or 2 weeks, yadda yadda, in my experience, it takes a month.

I hope this helps!
 

Calgarycoppers

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Tub him until hes seems better plus 2-3 days.

When doing daily water changes the temp difference from room temp to cold doesn't harm them and actually stimulates them to poop. This is how I manage my mildly constipated lotls is just a cold water change

While tubbed make sure you are dumping the dirty water in your tank to "feed" your cycle its very important.

Before you put him back in make sure to test your tank
Any Ammonia and or Nitrite keep him tubbed - these 2 are toxic at any level and can cause burns and illness
Nitrate 5-20 is okay 40 plus do a 50 to 75% water depending on results
pH ideally 7.2-7.6 for axolotls

When everything is A OK - he can go directly back in - again a temperature difference does not harm them.

Mine actually love the fresh cold environment.

Good Luck!!
Keep us posted


Thank you so much for this info - really helpful .
I’ll keep him in tub , until signs of improvement .
He already seems more alert & he’s not flapping his gills as frequently .
Hopefully he will begin to eat .

when he is ready to transfer back to tank, how do I do this ?
Can he go straight in , or do I gradually reintroduce tank water into tub , then put him in ?

thank you
 

Anoushka77

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Thank you so much !

this advice & information is invaluable !

I noticed that he had pooped this morning , before his water change .

since then he appears more lively & is now using his back legs again .

i will keep you posted ,
So grateful for your responses ..

thanks both
 

EasternRomioi3

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Aw, that's good to hear. Please try to get some photos and share your little guy.
 
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