White fungus?

ShaneZampire

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I am totally new to aquariums and axolotls so I have a few questions. A summery of how I got here tonight.

Toward the end of February, my 12 year old son bought an aquarium and everything he thought he would need. March 1st he bought 2 axolotls at Repticon and added them. We added live bacteria, and all that. First and second week our ammonia was up to about .5 for a couple days then dropped off as our nitrites went up to about 3.0 to 5.0 for a few days. Then the nitrites dropped off and nitrates went up a little. We have lots of plants. We do 20% - 25% water changes anywhere from 2 a day to once every 2 - 3 days right now.

Everything has seemed to be going perfect till the past 4-5 days. The black one looks to have just lost most the gills on one side and the white one had white on the tips of one that now has jumped to 2 and maybe 3. We started salt baths 3 days ago and they may be getting better? We have been using a cotton swab gently removing what it will allow us to in the salt baths.

My questions are...
Is this the common fungus that axolotls get?
Is the fungus in the aquarium now?
Can we add anything to aquarium to rid it of it?
Do I need to fridge them?

Are we even doing everything right? His set up is listed below..

20 Gallon Long with about a 5 gallon aquaponic to help remove ammonia, nitrates and help with good bacteria
Slate tile bottom
Canister filter with foam, ceramic, and filter floss
2 bio foam filters
HOB filter
All low flow as to not make currents
Ammonia seems to stay below .25 at all times
Nitrites usually below 1.0 but has jumped up to 3.0 last few days (been using Prime till it drops back safer)
Nitrates usually stay between 20 - 40
GH 150
KH 20 (think its low)
PH 6.5 - 6.8
Water temperature stays between 66F - 70F (it did get about 72 during a couple hot days recently)
Diet - worms, sinking pellets, an occasional fish or shrimp

He has about 8 janitors (ghost shrimp) and we keep about 3 small minnows in there


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Chinadog

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Hi, welcome to the site! At last a question with good info to go on!
These kinds of fungal outbreaks are common with Axolotls, especially in newish tanks. The set up itself looks good to me, but I think it's the remaining Ammonia and Nitrite that are causing the problem. From what I gather adding things like prime probably help, but the tank still needs to cycle and it's not quite there yet. Axolotls are messy and produce a lot of waste, they also produce Ammonia from their gills, so they are especially taxing on a new system. You are getting a nitrite reading, so it's on the cycle is on it's way, I'd say just keep on monitoring the parameters and keeping the levels as low as possible with the water changes without actually removing them completely or obviously the cycle will crash. One idea could be to remove the Axolotls and keep them in a tub/tank with bottled or dechlorinated tap water that you change daily while the tank finishes cycling? The minnows are a bit tougher than Axolotls, so they will provide the Ammonia needed for the filter while the Axies are away.
 

ShaneZampire

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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! Today it appears the black one has a small white spot on the opposite side. (He once had very large fluffy feathers) and lost 90% on one side. The white one has more white today on another one too. So its still spreading. We have been doing two 25% water changes a day for last 3 days. Also each axolotl has been getting two 10 minute salt baths daily. 3 tsp aquarium salt per liter. Always fresh solution. We also have bought son a fridge for his room and have been keeping 2 water bottles in tank in rotation so temp never gets over 70F for sure now. Usually stays about 66F

If its steady spreading after several days of doing all this...

what else can we do? What can we add to tank to kill this fungus?
 
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