Stressed axolotl?

joxters

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Hello!

I am currently tubbing my axolotl while the tank gets cycled. Her gills seem to be rather limpy, though, so I’m worried for her—she seems pretty stressed. (Her tail tip is NOT curling, though.)

What I’ve been doing in regards to tub temperature, to make sure it’s perfect for her, is keeping the tub at the top of the tank. It’s not fully submerged, however it’s "acclimating," in a way. Could this be what’s worrying her?

Tub stats—
Age: 10-11 weeks
Temperature: 65°F
pH: 8.2
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 0ppm
Dechlorinater: Prime
Water change in tub: 2 times per day
How often she eats: once a day

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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joxters

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Okay, well, I posted this and now her gills seem pretty normal? Was she just being moody, or was she tired or something?
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AMurry24537

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I'm not sure that there's really much use in tubbing your axolotl inside the tank while it's cycling; you still need to do water changes for both, so as long as you do, say, a 40-50% water change twice a day and keep an eye on your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels, she should be fine.

In the first couple pictures, her gills do seem very curled forward; usually this indicates either high water flow or insufficient oxygen levels in the water. What are you using to filter and/or oxygenate-via-circulation the water in the tank and tub?
 

joxters

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I'm not sure that there's really much use in tubbing your axolotl inside the tank while it's cycling; you still need to do water changes for both, so as long as you do, say, a 40-50% water change twice a day and keep an eye on your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels, she should be fine.

In the first couple pictures, her gills do seem very curled forward; usually this indicates either high water flow or insufficient oxygen levels in the water. What are you using to filter and/or oxygenate-via-circulation the water in the tank and tub?
Thank you for the reply!

In the tank I have two sponge filters, then a mini filter in the tub! The mini filter is probably not enough, though, so I’ll check on the tank parameters and try to move her in again ASAP. I have an already-cycled large sponge filter in the tank, so ideally it shouldn’t be too much risk.

I took another picture just now—she seems pretty happy, and her gills haven’t curled since I posted the second post. I read online that sometimes axolotl gills curl in their sleep, but I don’t know if it’s true, so have you experienced that? Because admittedly, I’m pretty sure she was sleeping when I took the first post’s pictures.
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axie owner

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your ph is slightly to high. it should be from 7.4-7.6. but that is a fairly easy thing to fix.
 

joxters

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your ph is slightly to high. it should be from 7.4-7.6. but that is a fairly easy thing to fix.
Thank you for the reply as well! Do you have any recommendations/something that’s worked for you?

My tank is a 30-gallon. I’ve read online that driftwood helps, however you also need quite a bit of it, too. I can make room for it, but are there other options?
 

AMurry24537

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I personally have not noticed gill curling while asleep, but they definitely do change color. Mine is a golden albino and his gills vary from bright red when he's active to almost white when he's asleep.

As for the pH, I use SeaChem Stability (EDIT: I meant to say Neutral Regulator here, my stupid brain gets me sometimes, sorry!). It balances the pH to close to 7 and can be used with other SeaChem products to go even further. I had similar levels of pH, and it worked just fine with that. This product is also really nice because it detoxifies ammonia, gets rid of chlorine/chloramines, and precipitates heavy metals, so you don't need to use any other conditioner. The one tricky thing is that it comes as a powder and you have to make sure basically all of it is dissolved before you put it in, but it's not too bad if you have something to stir it.
 
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joxters

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I personally have not noticed gill curling while asleep, but they definitely do change color. Mine is a golden albino and his gills vary from bright red when he's active to almost white when he's asleep.

As for the pH, I use SeaChem Stability. It balances the pH to close to 7 and can be used with other SeaChem products to go even further. I had similar levels of pH, and it worked just fine with that. This product is also really nice because it detoxifies ammonia, gets rid of chlorine/chloramines, and precipitates heavy metals, so you don't need to use any other conditioner. The one tricky thing is that it comes as a powder and you have to make sure basically all of it is dissolved before you put it in, but it's not too bad if you have something to stir it.
Oh that’s perfect then, I have Stability! I’ve been shaking the bottle vigorously until it comes out as milk-colored, is that what you mean? Or am I doing the exact opposite of what’s necessary?
 

AMurry24537

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Oh that’s perfect then, I have Stability! I’ve been shaking the bottle vigorously until it comes out as milk-colored, is that what you mean? Or am I doing the exact opposite of what’s necessary?
Sorry, I must apologize, I think I've been reading too many threads with not enough sleep! I meant Neutral Regulator, not Stability, my bad. I'm going to fix the original in case someone gets confused
 
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    Hey guys, one of my axolotls has developed some fungus on one of her gills, I've started salt baths, but do salt baths need to be done in the fridge, some people said I should have her in the fridge permanently during the process, even when not in the salt bath, is this true? As some people said its unnecessary as long as the tank is below 20°c which it is. Also do I need to get them both out the tank and clean it out?
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    Does anyone know if aquacare general tonic is ok for axolotls as a treatment for bacterial or fungal infection?
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    Hi Lilith, you can check the medications page for a list of axolotl safe treatments. Although if the infection is mild, I would stick with fridge and salt baths!
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  • faebugz:
    I believe the fridge gets to about 54°, so if you can replicate that in the tank, it might be okay. I personally would fridge just to make catching them easier, and if the infection is something in the water column at all, it will hopefully die out while they're AWOL (I'm thinking like ich for fish, not sure if axies have an equivalent)
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    Ok, thank you!
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    My three inch axolotl was having trouble pooping up to a few days ago. I wasn't feeding her as often because I was scared I would just add to her constipation. I fridged her until she pooped (twice), and then began to feed her around 6 bloodworms every other day. she's been pooping everyday now, but she's at that age where you can see through her stomach and I always see poop ready to come out but has not yet passed. I don't think she's constipated anymore, but I'm not sure and i don't want to over or underfeed her... any advice?
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    Feed it chopped worms chitoos, its big enough and bloodworm is nutritionaly deficient.
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    Freeze dried , live or frozen bloodworm.
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    Oh ok thanks! I thought she might be ready for something more. do you have any advice about the apparent poop problem?
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    @Lilith, fridging is not required for fungus treatment. Read my thread on treatment.
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    Feed it more, six bloodworm isnt much, dont use freeze dried foods
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    Feed daily , remove uneaten food
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    Gotcha, Thank you!
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    Its probably not pooping because its hardly beign fed, it pooped in the fridge because the lower temp caused it to purge itself. If it stays constipated you can pm me
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