Still Can't Cure Gill Fungus

EasternRomioi3

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So my axolotl has had gill fungus on and off since late August. I've added some aquarium salts and other things on people's various recommendation but I can't seem to get rid of it. I noticed there is some slimy stuff floating in her tank, not much but enough that her water doesn't look crystal clear, which is usually almost always does. She ate breakfast today no problem and is still using the bathroom regularly. Water levels are good, I'm probably going to do a 20% water change when I'm done with this. I don't know what to do. Do you think it's time for a salt bath? That will fix it right? But will she get it again if I put her back in her tank?

My mom spoke to the new vet at her vet practice and he said doing more than 50% water changes is not good unless you have a major problem, because you want to save the bacteria to help eat up the ammonia, nitrites, etc, etc. So should I just do a little water change, try and get the slime out and then see how things go? Does anyone have any other recommendations? Any over the counter medications I could buy that work for axolotls. Everything I've looked at is for fish and I know not to trust that. I don't want to intentionally hurt or stress my axolotl out either but I'm at the point now where I'm considering a salt bath, considering a vet visit (30 minute drive in a tub, to a vet 18 miles north from here), or considering some over the counter medicines only at recommendations.

Her tank stats are...
20 gallon long, with about 18 gallons of water in.
Ammonia = 0, nitrites = 0, nitrates = 40-50ish.
Appetite good, bowel movements are regular.
Gill stalks have no shortened or fallen off but the filaments on some of her stalks have.
Some small patch of clear slimy stuff, what appears to be no different from her mucus membrane, is floating in her tank. Like I said, I removed most of it.
She is 2 years old and other than this, very healthy and very alert.
Water temp is currently at 61 degrees.

Please help. I'm running out of ideas and no one near me even knows what an axolotl is. 4 pet stores, 3 didn't even know what she was. The one did and said "oh, she'll morph into a salamander" and I go "she's 2 years old and fully aquatic, they do not morph, it's called neoteny." I don't want a salamander, I want my living axolotl to stay living.

If anyone needs anything, like photos or whatever, ask away.

*EDIT* I did a big water change and have photos to show. What is this sludge like stuff I'm pulling out of her tank? See it? The first photos of her enjoying her tub, her gills look clean, right? No fungus, no damage? Then a photo of her tank, before the water change, look at all that sludge. Then a close up of the filter. I pulled it out, wrung it out, rinsed it a little, then added it and the second one, they are both at opposite sides, so that will help with current and flow, right? Then the final photo is some of the sludge that I pulled out of her tank. My dad thinks it's just sand but why was there so much of it? I hadn't done a water change in 5 days so maybe it was just time. Her gills looked fine to me once I got her out and examined her. She swam right back into her tank and got some pellets that she ate without hesitation. Did I overreact again? Did I reset her tank cycle? She has like, I'd say 75% fresh water but I did NOT clean her filters. Just squeezed them out, wiped the sludge off them and put them right back into the water.
 

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Calgarycoppers

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The vet she spoke with is incorrect- the bacteria does not reside in the water column it is in your filters, on decor and substrate. I only do large water changes and never once crashed a cycle as the filters are completely stable and hold the cycle.

You did awesome. Lots of times bits of debris can get caught in their gill filaments and look like fungus.

I tend to flush with water when checking if anything is an issue.
 

EasternRomioi3

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As of this reply, her tank is crystal clear again, no sludge stuff floating around. There is some on her sand, by the filters, like the filters are pulling them in. Do you think that I just didn't pay attention enough and the filters reached their maximum and thus, the sludge from earlier just couldn't be gathered? As for the water changes, I thought the vet was wrong. The filters keep the things that eat ammonia and nitrites, not the water. So it's not fungus, it's just gooey stuff. My dad theorized she may have sucked in some sand and when she used the bathroom, that could have created the sludge. I usually feed her 'food to mouth', dropping pellets in or holding the worm out for her but sometimes she missed.

Either way, I did reposition things in her tank and she seems to like it.
 

Calgarycoppers

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I think it was just a build up and you are doing awesome.

I recommend minimum 1/3 water change unless you like to do bigger.

Keep it up!

As of this reply, her tank is crystal clear again, no sludge stuff floating around. There is some on her sand, by the filters, like the filters are pulling them in. Do you think that I just didn't pay attention enough and the filters reached their maximum and thus, the sludge from earlier just couldn't be gathered? As for the water changes, I thought the vet was wrong. The filters keep the things that eat ammonia and nitrites, not the water. So it's not fungus, it's just gooey stuff. My dad theorized she may have sucked in some sand and when she used the bathroom, that could have created the sludge. I usually feed her 'food to mouth', dropping pellets in or holding the worm out for her but sometimes she missed.

Either way, I did reposition things in her tank and she seems to like it.
 

EasternRomioi3

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Thank you. She appears to really like the new set up, I watched her on and off over the night, she's slithered her way across every new configuration she has. Nothing can pin her down and the spot she likes to sleep in, I made it deeper so she can really be a stealthy axolotl.
 
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