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White Lumps

Shizeric

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Doesn't fridging generally reduce the animals appetite?


How can it be reduced from nothing?

I would think a return to fresh, clean water would be accompanied by an appetite as well.

I know there are going to be several sides of discussion on what is best...but I see it this way:

Your axolotl had sores but was behaving normally...then when the salt solution was added..the axolotl lost color, lost appetite, and began floating.

In my mind, this would be an opportunity to try other solution because as you said the Axolotl does not seem to be doing well.
 

bayhicoach

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I think the addition of an irritant (the salt) could cause an Axolotl to display behaviors indicating stress.
What research indicates is that for Axolotls, salt is NOT an irritant, it makes the water closer to its natural composition. Many animals are able to transition between various types of water conditions. That doesn't mean that they are being housed appropriately even when we believe that we are successfully maintaining them in those varied conditions. Like I stated, I believe that we don't know enough about the true water parameters to make conclusions about why I'm (or you're) being successful doing what you are doing and why someone else is not. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, even adding pH and water hardness tests don't tell the whole story. I'm sure that's why some people struggle with their animals and others seem to have it easy - the basic conditions of the water out of my (your) tap are more suitable to the animals than they are for someone else.
 

dragonlady

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Just to throw my two cents in here - I have been told by a breeder to use salt in my tanks as well as that is what this breeder does. I have had no ill-effects at all as the salt solution is not even high enough to be considered brackish conditions.

Ich is absolutely horrible to get rid of with axolotls because you are so limited in how you can treat them. It is not going to clear in a few days. I feel that the reason for the decreased appetite is more ich related than salt related as this is what happens when ich attacks fish.

Fridging does seem to be a logical decision as it could help de-stress the axolotl but would the lower temps prolong the necessary treatment for ich? I helped someone else a while back with their axolotl ich issue (the only other case I have ever heard of personally), they chose to fridge and use a medication (axolotl safe) instead of the salt solution. They ended up keeping their axolotl fridged for well over a month. The axolotl did recover.

Ich is such a rarity in axolotls, I apologize for not having better information here.
 

oceanblue

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I'm sorry to hear things are not going well. I'm first going to be a bit defensive of adding salt. The basis of the recommendation is that it reduces the difference between the axolotls blood composition and the water and allows the animal to maintain its body chemistry more easily. You can have too much, but 1.5g per litre is well below blood level which is roughly equivalent to 8g per litre and the osmotic pressure of blood is higher, almost 9g per litre.

Higher levels have been tolerated experimentally by healthy axolotls, but they showed accumulation of urea and increased electrolytes abstract reference:

Adaptation of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) to a hyperosmotic medium
M.P. Ireland and I.M. Simons
Department of Zoology, University College of Wales. Aberystwyth, Wales, U.K.

Abstract

1. 1. Adaptation of the axolotl to a 30% sea water medium for 5 and 35 days resulted in an increase in blood electrolytes and urea.2. 2. After both periods of sea water adaptation the blood osmotic concentration did not exceed that of the external environment and the major ions contributing to the ionic concentration were Na and Cl.
3. 3. After 5 days in 30% sea water there was a reduction in water uptake and urine flow.
4. 4. A reduction in the size of the cells of the pars intermedia of the pituitary occurred after both periods of sea water adaptation.
5. 5. The results are compared with the aquatic anuran Xenopus laevis subjected to similar stimuli.

30% seawater is about 10.5g per litre. There is a wide margin here.

The human analogy works here. If I get fresh water in my eyes it stings a bit. Sea water is a lot worse but the 9g per litre contact lens solution is fine.


The white spot organism by contrast cannot reproduce in over 1g per litre salt. I think you should maintain the salt level even if you fridge, I did with an injured axolotl.

Despite this if things are not going well fridging is an option. It reduces appetite, the gills are often white when in the fridge, but an axolotl can do a long time in the fridge and it often aids recovery.

It could be a different disease. Tetrahymena Corlissi sometimes called guppy killer disease can affect amphibians and is systemic as well as causing surface white spots. It is fairly salt tolerant and I am not aware of an effective treatment. Again fridging may help. It is generally a fairly warm water parasite and in the fridge the axolotls immunity may get on top of it.

Dealing with the query how I manage my tanks. I generally do a 1% daily water change with the home made salt mix. If I am away and on my return the water level is down I top up with plain water and then go back to 1% changes. My tanks are a bit unusual, nearly solid elodea and watercress with a muddy bottom and no filter. I never clean the base and merely scrape the front face occasionally to try and see the axolotls a bit better! The plants mop up ammonia and nitrite and nitrate are almost always nil. I occasionally use an iron based fertiliser if the watercress looks yellow and stops growing.

I am sorry adding salt has not helped and think fridging may be wise. It may be best to keep the salt level the same even if you do fridge.
 

mkw

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I helped someone else a while back with their axolotl ich issue (the only other case I have ever heard of personally), they chose to fridge and use a medication (axolotl safe) instead of the salt solution. They ended up keeping their axolotl fridged for well over a month. The axolotl did recover.

Do you happen to know the name of the safe medication? I realise that the treatment is a slow process i am just worried about the loss of appetite thats all.

Thanks for everyones help!
 

dragonlady

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Do you happen to know the name of the safe medication? I realise that the treatment is a slow process i am just worried about the loss of appetite thats all.

Thanks for everyones help!

The medication she used was Maracyn and she kept hers fridged. With the loss of appetite, I would recommend fridging as axolotls can go much longer without food at these low temps. I would still try to offer yours food on a semi-daily basis, but of course, don't be shocked if not eaten. If giving a live worm, I would leave it in overnight but ultimately that is up to you.

This is not to dispute the salt advice as I am a strong advocate of salt, but since you have not seen results, it may be time to attempt another route. I wish you the very best, and please keep us posted.
 

Shizeric

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And if you put it in a smaller container in the fridge...I would recommend live bloodworms...Axolotls seem to really like live bloodworms...they will make a mess but fridging requires daily water changes, so just do it before a water change.
 

oceanblue

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I think people are saying yes, fridge. When I fridged mine I left a small earthworm in with the axolotl. They do not seem to drown in cold water and every few days it was needed replacing as it had "disappeared."

If you do fridge in this case you should move the axolotl to a new container and water on a daily basis rather than just change the water. Clean out the container thoroughly to get rid of the sticky dropped off phase of white spot. Daily tank changes alone will eventually cure white spot. This involves more handling than usual for an axolotl but these are exceptional circumstances. Two containers in the fridge, one for the axolotl and one cleaned up and cooling down for tomorrow would be ideal.

My understanding is Maracyn is erythromycin. It does not kill the white spot organism but helps clean up the secondary infections which go with it. I don't think you can get it in the UK, antibiotics here require a prescription, so you would have to go to a vet.

If you feel a medication is necessary then methylene blue is axolotl safe and has fairly strong anti white spot activity. It ruins plants, poisons filters, and stains everything in sight but in a fridge container this does not matter. It is also UK available.
 

mkw

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Thanks for everyones help. I'm going to give fridging a go and hopefully this will help things and maybe get an appetite back! I'll keep you posted.
 

mkw

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She has been in the fridge since yesterday afternoon. She was very active at first, swimming all over the place and seemed fine. Checked on her this morning and she was floating on her side and kept spinning onto her back. She doesn't seem to be swimming around as much and is still not eating anything. I have taken more water out of the tub she is in so it just covers her back but she is still falling upside down and doesn't seem to be able to turn herself back round very easily. Also when she is on her back, her mouth seems to be open a lot more than normal. Anyone any ideas????? I'll put a photo up too.
 
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mkw

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After everyones help and advice it seems the problem was too much for my little lotl and she died earlier today :(

Thanks to everyone for their help.
 

dragonlady

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I am so, so sorry for your loss. Ich is very aggressive but I know you were trying your very best (she does too). It is very obvious you care deeply and will make an excellent keeper should you find the strength to try again. If you decide not to, it's understandable, but the world of caudata will have had a loss as well.

Should you decide to try again, please make sure to wait to allow time for this horrible, unforgiving disease to expire in your tank. If it doesn't have a live host, it cannot survive.

I wish you all the best...Shannon
 

XeryusTC

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I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Especially seeing how much you've tried to keep her alive. My condolenses.
 

oceanblue

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I'm also very sorry for your loss. Don't rush into getting a replacement. The period you need to leave a tank empty to make sure the parasite starves varies with temperature. If you want to re-stock this tank in less than six weeks you could put a heater in to speed the metabolism and death of the parasites.
 

mkw

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Thanks for the comments.

I do still want to keep axolotls and i'm in no rush until i know i've cleared the tank thoroughly. Would I be best emptying the tank, cleaning everything and starting the cycling process from scratch?
 

dragonlady

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I would suggest to heat the animal free tank as Oceanblue stated rather than crash your cycle. If you have an aquarium heater or can borrow one, heat the tank to 92 degrees F/ approx. 34 degrees C and leave for 24 hours. This will destroy the parasite as they cannot survive the temp. Then cool your tank back down to normal...This will not affect your cycle nor will it harm any live plants you may have.

To all who have axolotls, never ever heat your tank in this manner with axolotls present nor return them until you have the tank back to the proper recommended temperature.

If you or anyone needs further information or has other questions regarding this procedure, please feel free to pm me.
 
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