Question: Urgent Axolotl Health Answers Needed!

Sky Diamond

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Okay I'm going to try and explain this the best I can so no one gets confused and so I can get the answers I need asap.

On Friday I bought my Axolotl, Alec, some neon tetras, they were fine when I seen them at the pet shop but once I got them home, I thought one or two could have white spot - its not the first time I've gotten tetras perfectly healthy at the shop and they're got white spot by the time I've gotten them home.

There wasn't anything I could do with them as I don't have any extra tanks, ect to setup for them, so I just put them in and hoped for the best and put a half dose of Melafish in the tank to maybe help with anything else they may have brought home with them. Alec ate them all within 48 hours and he ate the one with white spot first.

Yesterday I was looking at him and I thought I saw a little white bump on his toe, it wasn't pin head size, but it wasn't that much bigger either, and of course I'm thinking it's white spot, but today I can't see it there.
Any ideas on what it could be? He seems fine, if not a little slower but Alec's been to the point I think he was over active. He isn't rubbing against things, though since I've got him he likes to get himself caught between his plants and log.

I live near the Blue Mountains Australia and I live out of town. It is about to snow here, which means the power could be cut for a few hours to days - its also pretty windy here, so that raises the likeliness - and my parents are about to go into town to get everything we need, and if Alec has white spot I need to know what to treat it with. I cannot put him in the fridge, one because my parents would freak if I did, two, our fridge has a habit of freezing just water in 24 hours and three there's no room and would probably break under the weight of even a small tank.
I have heard of doing salt baths, though I don't know how to do them, but Alec hates being caught - he's a tank jumper - and I think that would stress us both out if I were to do that, but if it comes to that I'll try my best. What salt do I need and how do I make it, etc?

Here are my questions:

-- What can I treat white spot with?

-- Is Methylene blue safe for Axolotls? I've heard thought that it is in low doses but how low is low enough?

-- Is Tri-Solfa safe for Axolotls? I've used this on fish for serious cases of fungus and white spot and have cleaned it up in just a few hours.

-- If the power goes out, will this affect Alec if he has medication in with him? He currently has a dose of Melafish in his tank and it seems to make him very active and look to go to the top of the tank a bit, but I've heard that's normal.

-- How cold can his water go down to if the power goes out, before its dangerous for him? He's used to water around 14 to 19.

If anyone can help me within the next few hours, it would be highly appreciated.

I want the best for my little guy! He is my first Axolotl and I've only had him just under two weeks.
 

Chirple

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I'd first determine what's going on. Can you post pictures ? If you have a decent camera and have a "macro" mode, you should be able to get pretty good ones !

I'd first want to figure out if you have fungus or ich and treat from there.

Personally, while cruel, I would have euthanised the tetras rather than expose my axolotl to disease. Sad, but a lesson learned.

I wouldn't use the methylene blue until it's determined what's going on since it's a bit risky - like you said, it's toxic to them in larger doses.


Hopefully someone whose axolotl has had ich (if that's what it is) can help. I'd try searching the forums, too - I've heard people talk about it. It's hard, because a lot of the treatments recommended for fish would kill and axolotl.


As long as the water is not freezing, it is okay. :)

I don't know about the issues with Melafish and no power. I would not have used Melafish. I would remove your axolotl from the tank at this point and use fresh dechlorinated water in a small tub in the fridge - although the fact that he's having trouble digesting a large amount of food makes this a harder call. Fridging can prompt them to poop, but it might not be enough to get it all out of his system.

If your tank was never cycled, it might be the best route to take everything out, trash anything that can't be cleaned, and clean the rest with boiling water and 10:1 bleach, make sure it's rinsed well, and re-cycle while the little guy is hanging out in the fridge. :)
 

Sky Diamond

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I'd first determine what's going on. Can you post pictures ? If you have a decent camera and have a "macro" mode, you should be able to get pretty good ones !

I'd first want to figure out if you have fungus or ich and treat from there.

Personally, while cruel, I would have euthanised the tetras rather than expose my axolotl to disease. Sad, but a lesson learned.

I wouldn't use the methylene blue until it's determined what's going on since it's a bit risky - like you said, it's toxic to them in larger doses.


Hopefully someone whose axolotl has had ich (if that's what it is) can help. I'd try searching the forums, too - I've heard people talk about it. It's hard, because a lot of the treatments recommended for fish would kill and axolotl.


As long as the water is not freezing, it is okay. :)

I don't know about the issues with Melafish and no power. I would not have used Melafish. I would remove your axolotl from the tank at this point and use fresh dechlorinated water in a small tub in the fridge - although the fact that he's having trouble digesting a large amount of food makes this a harder call. Fridging can prompt them to poop, but it might not be enough to get it all out of his system.

If your tank was never cycled, it might be the best route to take everything out, trash anything that can't be cleaned, and clean the rest with boiling water and 10:1 bleach, make sure it's rinsed well, and re-cycle while the little guy is hanging out in the fridge. :)
I'm not too sure about the photos. I have a Nikon camera, but I've never heard it have macro. I do have some photos of the side of his body where there are spots he's had since I've gotten him, that look just like the one on his toe. I wouldn't be able to get a photo of his toe because it can't be seen by the human eye unless its at an angle. He's a white albino so that doesn't help matters.

How can you tell if its breeding season? I was wondering if that had anything to do with the thing on his toe. When I got him his some of his toes were a light grey black - which I know is a sign of being sexually mature - and within the last few days I've noticed how they all have turned pitch black.

Yes I'll never be buying fish for him again. They were $20 just for the nine of them and I thought they would at least live a week.

My tank was cycled for about three to four weeks before I got him, but the water had to be cleaned out almost fully because a plant died in the tank made a huge mess, that was about a week before I got him but the filter was pretty dirty and there were still other plants in the tank plus I left the rock alone.

I can't put him in the fridge though. Our fridge is old and won't take the weight of a tank he would need and it has a habit of freezing things just over night, plus my parents would freak if I did that. There is no room in the fridge anyway. It's only small.
Can I somehow make my tank freeze instead? It's currently 2 degrees Celsius here and his tank has a heater in it to keep it from freezing. His water is 14.6 right now.
 

Sky Diamond

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Here is the photo of his body. I'm still trying to get the one of his toe. It's almost invisible to my eye and camera. He may have had this one the whole time since I've gotten him it's so hard to see.

 

Sky Diamond

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This is the best photo I could get. As I said it's hard to see so I circled it. It's not fluffy or anything like that. It's just like the dots on his side as shown above.

 

Chirple

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It doesn't *seem* like a fungus.

I've never had an issue with ich, so I really hope someone who has comes along so they can take a look at the pictures. The "spots" look very uniform, and I'm wondering if maybe it's a natural colouring (or if ich just likes to stick to raised parts, I don't know).

The toes, I would guess it's just normal growing up - they tend to darken over time. Mine started out with just the tips very light and now his whole palms look like he stepped in ink. :D

I would get rid of that gravel ASAP ! He will inhale it while eating, or just nosing around - and this can be hard for them to pass, harder than the fish - and it's possible he's got some in there already. :( Sometimes, they cannot pass it at all leading to surgery or death.

You don't want to actually freeze them, more like 40F. You wouldn't need to put a whole tank in, just a small tupperware with clean, dechlorinated water. Maybe you could test it out ? See if it would freeze the water in the tupperware ?

He looks pretty skinny too, so I'd really try to find a source of earthworms or carnivore pellets. :)
 

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He doesn't seem to be rubbing against anything like he's annoyed or zipping around the tank. It's just that one white spot on his toe I'm wondering about. He is web-footed on the left side so it may have something to do with that.
I have heard and seen many axolotls with spots on their sides and I think I heard it's apart of their sensory system, but just wanted to be sure.

Yes that's what his feet looks like - spots of ink just on the toes. I think its cute.

I saw that tonight, he went after a baby snail but seem to have spate it all out. I need some kind of rock in there as I have found the junk in the water seems to stir up and mess up the tank making it cloudy. I was thinking about black aquarium sand, but I don't know how to wash it and how it would go while I'm cleaning the tank and the stones themselves I can only find at garden shops and I'm not sure if they are okay for aquariums.

Well his tank is currently 57F/14C I think if I were to take out his heater it could get around that. Oh I've seen a hold 5 litres of water freeze in our fridge over night. It's unpredictable. Sometimes it doesn't keep things cold at all and everything goes off and then it can freeze everything. It's very annoying. I don't even put my cups in the fridge anymore 'cause they freeze and crack.

Well we can't currently find any earthworms either because of the cold or because our chickens and ducks have eaten them all. Twice now we've tried finding some as I know he'd love them. I do have some axolotl pellets he didn't even look at those. He doesn't mind bloodworms but loves the kidney we gave him the other day. He isn't too bad really. He couldn't move the other day he was so full from eating the fish. He was the healthiest of the two in the pet shop. The other one had a wavy tail and was very skinny, though being male they normally aren't that fat so I've been told. How can you tell if they are at a good weight?
 

Sky Diamond

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Well I've found another spot on the bottom side of the same foot with the bump. I'm wondering if this is normal for Alec. He is web-footed on his left side.

 
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