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White marks on Typhlonectes bodies.

Sebby

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Hi, i have some Typhlonectes natans that have come out with white marks that look like fungus in small areas on their bodies, however biopsies have come back negative on this or bacteria.

They had just been moved from a tank with a low PH (around 6.5, KH;3.) to a higher PH (7.5, KH 15). In the tank they were moved to, 2 other animals have been living for sometime with no problems. These two have not shown any symptoms.

Although the new tank has better water quality (no NH3 or NO2) it appears the move has caused the problem, possibly the low PH was stopping the problem materialising (if it IS a bacteria or fungal infection?)
If anyone has any ideas on this i would be very grateful (so would my guys) :confused:.
Thanks
Sebastian
 

herpvet

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Hi Sebastian,

I must admit to only theoretical knowledge of caecilian medicine, but as far as I know there are nematodes reported to cause these kind of lesions in caecilians, although Saprolegnia is reported much more commonly I think.

When you say biospy, do you mean surgical with histopathology? That should have given some clue as to cause. What did the report/vet say was likely?

The stress of the move, even to better conditions, may have brought something out, or the resident animals may be carrying bugs that their immune system keeps under control, but which the new animals have less immunity to.

Best wishes,

Bruce.
 

Jennewt

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I'm curious about what accounts for the difference in water hardness and pH between the two tanks. Do you use a different source of water? I'm wondering if maybe the softer more-acidic water is closer to what these animals would have in nature.
 

Sebby

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Hi, thanks for the response,

The caecilians were moved from a tank with limited filtration (this tank frequently had a NH3 and NO2 reading) which large water changes using R/O, this has a small amount of tap added to help stabilise it. The filter was very small and I believe the low (and possibly unstable) PH/KH and large water changes may have hampered its function.

The new tank uses London tap water (which has a PH of around 8) and a functioning filter, and the original inhabitants had had been in there for some time and shown no signs of any health issues. I have known people who have kept and bred them in similar setups with no obvious problems.

The affected animals are active and feeding well, and it looked yesterday that the marks may be fading. There is also anecdotal evidence that the affected animals may have had similar marks on their bodies while in the old tank, but not as many or as obvious as now.

The biopsy looked for both fungal and bacterial infections but nothing was cultured, I have also read about possible nematodes but my vets didn’t mention finding anything when examining the animal. I will contact them today to see if a further check is worth doing.

I have been treating the tank with Melafix by API, starting on a low dose and now on the recommended for the tank, this hasn’t been used on caecilians as far as I know but according to Dr. David Ford it has been used on other amphibians.
Although Melafix is mainly against bacterial problems I initially used it as a safe guard against further secondary infections, and may try Primafix their fungal remedy if any thing points this way.

Sorry for the long answer, I hope it helps and I would appreciate any further thoughts on the problem.

Sebastian
 

Jennewt

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Thanks for the follow-up. Interesting, but I don't have anything to suggest. Keep us posted.
 

ajc

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How big are these marks? White, pinhead sized? If so, they are calcium deposits. These animals need water with very low hardness. Reduce the hardness and they will go away after a few sheds. Long term hard water is bad for their health, just as it would be to keep softwater fish such as discus or cardinal tetras in hard water.
Alternatively, it could be whitespot (Ichthyophthirius), especially in a new tank. I've had T. natans infected with Ichthyophthirius. It didn't harm them and resolved itself eventually - I wouldn't risk any chemical treatments, apart from keeping the (soft) water quality as high as you can - lots and lots of plants helps (I use Java moss and Java fern, tank is stuffed full of it).
Did I mention they need soft water? ;-)
 

Sebby

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Hi AJC,
I’ve checked with my vets and the problem isn’t a parasite or calcium deposit as they checked for parasites and the deposits would have shown up quite easily (apparently).


I would have been surprised if it had been calcium due to the speed of “infection” and also the fact that the animals had possibly shown signs when in a low PH and very low KH tank.

I won’t see the animals for a couple of days but will update you as soon as I do, but please post any more thoughts.
Also, if you have any more info on Ichthyophthirius infecting caecilians it would be of interest. I’ve read they can infect tadpoles, but it didn’t mention treatment and I’m surprised no treatment is needed.:happy:


Sebastian
 

ajc

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I'd be amazed if you found a UK vet who knows anything about Caecilians. Many vets are quite happy to b*llsh*t and take the fee though.
 

caparu

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I have bred this species in hard water. In fact, the Rio Cauca's water averages about pH 7.5 and hardness of about 20DH. T. compressicauda definitely requires soft acidic water but I don't believe natans does. That's my personal opinion anyway.

Did I mention hard water? :smile:
 

nate

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On the subject of pH, I'd have to agree with Caparu. I've kept and bred natans in very hard water (even at pH 7.9-8.0) for years. They do not need soft water.
 

Sebby

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Dear all,
just a quick update.

I fed the tank loads yesterday(earthworms) and although i didn't see any come out and eat, the food had all gone by this morning .

Today i had a look through the tank and found 5 out of 6 animals, (there's a hiding place at the back:eek:), three animals had marks on them, but all appeared faded compared to last time i saw them.

Thanks for all the input, I'll let you know anymore results.

Sebastian
 

Sebby

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So far I have had difficulty seeing all the animals at the same time which makes it difficult to compare them properly. (There is a small gap in the rock work at the back of the tank which I will be dismantling soon, I have waited until now as I didn't want to cause undue stress.)

Two were active yesterday, the marks on one appeared the same as before, slightly faded but still visible, the other animal appear much better. There were still marks but there were less of them and the ones visible were less obvious. Both animals were feeding very well.

I had run a course of Pimafix by API, not too sure if either this or the Melafix made any great difference but they may have kept background levels of infection down, so would use them again.

Thanks for the input
 

Sebby

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Just a further update on these animals, the two females which had the most pronounced marks are now almost "healed", that is the marks have faded and have either gone or are hardly visible.
These two always fed very well and have grown in the time they have been "under observation."

There are 6 in the group but only one other animal (a male) had any marks, these never got very pronounced and faded quite quickly, no other animal became infected.

I am still no further on with knowing the cause of these marks but thank everyone who corresponded. After further reading the same possible causes are mentioned on other sites, but I haven't yet seen a definitive answer, possibly because the marks are caused by more than one thing?

Some people have had results from lowering the pH or treating for fungus, I kept the pH high (around 8) and did treat with a fungicide (Pimafix). The other possible cause is a parasite, although nothing was found on a biopsy (nor any fungal or bacteria cause) this does seem a common possible reason for the marks.

If it was a parasite it may explain why the marks have faded, as the parasite has lived out its life stage and may need another species host to carry on, this would mean they may have recovered what ever treatment I had done, as long as I didn't kill them myself !

If anyone has had any animals die from these marks it would be good to hear of your experiences, and if anyone in the UK has a similar problem please let me know, it would be very good to try swabs/biopsies again, and look specifically for either calcium deposits or parasites.
:happy:
 
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  • the:
    she should be ok as axolotls can regenerate limbs, the only this i would say is to mabey feed the male more as this type of behavuor is uslay down to hunger.
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    hey, anyone know how long bloodworms can stay in an axolotl tank before they begin to rot and cause an ammonia spike?
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    I think it is always best to get them out asap but probably two days or so.
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    its around 3 small pieces in the tank. Since i've just moved homes, my axolotl is still at my old house. Yesterday i fed him bloodworms and he missed a few. I couldnt get them out without a turkey baster and decided to let them sit because i was gonna move him to the house tomorrow. But now its late and I dont have a car and my dad wont drive me. Will he be fine?
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    I would think so i would just try to get them out tomorrow
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    yeah, im heading over tomorrow morning to move him to this house and feed him. Thanks for the help!
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    So my axolotl tank cycle just crashed and while i was in the middle of a water change my bucket overflowed and spilled water all of the ground in my brand new home. This is going super well 👍
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    ooff
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    good luck recycling the tank!
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    do the classifieds still exist?
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    nevermind! off my game tonight
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    Im so frustrated right now. My axolotl WONT eat and my tank still isnt looking too good. Some extra stress i needed.
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    Sorry to hear that Shane. Did you post about it?
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    No, I havent. Im not really sure why he wont eat. Hes in a 1 gallon tub and still a juvenile. When i offer food he swims away from it. Does he need some extra time? or is this something I should be worried about.
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    Hello everyone! I’m new in this world and i need some advices please! I have 2 axolotl babies and currently the water from the tank is from bottled water ( all parameters are good) but i want to change 50% of the water with city tap water. My question is how to change it? Do i need to get axis out, do the change, add the prime, wait (how much?) until its dechlorinated or i can add the tap water directly into the tank with axis in it, and add the prime conditioner? Thank you!!
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    1. You dont need to take them out of the tank to change the water as long as you pour it in slow as to not rattle them around too much
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    2. add the prime to your tap water, for most conditioners the consensus is 5 minutes of waiting time
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    3.After 5 minutes it should be safe to add
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    Thank you so much !!
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    I private messaged you a bit clearer instructions just in case
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    Where can I get blackworms?
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    Ebay or Eastern Aquatics
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