White on Axolotl Gills

XxIcefire

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I noticed this white spot on one of my axolotl's gills this morning. It was not there yesterday. Xipe Totec is almost a year old and is living with another female. Their tank's parameters are ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 10-20, and temp 62 F. Quetzalcoatl, her tank mate, does not have anything on her gills. Their tank light is almost never on, I just used it to make sure the photos were well lit.
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EasternRomioi3

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@XxIcefire

First, I adore that name, Xipe Totec!

Second, I think that would be gill fungus. Now, before you panic, let me say a few things. Is this the first time you've encountered it and your axolotl doesn't have any of it on her? If the other one is spotless, I would honestly quarantine Xipe Totec for a bit. Have you tubbed your axolotls before? Do you have a safe place to do or even a spare tank to use?

Third, I have learned there is a tier list of what to do with this. Tier 1, non-invasive, meaning, wait and see. Tier 2, minimally invasive, quarantine or treat the water with them inside the tank. Then tier 3, invasive, and sadly, quite painful, the dreaded salt bath. I have heard and read a bit on the salt bath and everyone says it'll kill the fungus but it also hurts quite a lot.

@Calgarycoppers has a recipe for a mixture they use. It contains some salts within it that are like a preventative thing. They help. I am not sure about the specifics but if they reply, they can explain the solution better. All I know is how to mix it and that it helps.

Oh and fourth, final point. How is your axolotl acting? Are they bright, alert, and responsive? Still eating? Still going to the bathroom regularly? Not floating? If Xipe Totec is still eating, still coming up to the surface if you wiggle your fingers near the tank (showing alertness), then your axolotl is pretty good. My little girl has fought off 3 patches of gill fungus and has regenerated her missing filaments already and only once did we get close to a salt bath. Keep an eye on Xipe Totec and your other axolotl. You want to watch to see if they're scratching at their gills. I've seen mine do it with her hind legs, like a dog, but some people say they may use their front, 4 fingered paws. If you see that, you have an irritated axolotl. Eventually the gill fungus will fall off, either on its own, or the axolotl will remove it themselves. Don't try to remove it yourself, that hurts, a lot.

Sadly, I do not know how to cure gill fungus, and am currently dealing with a third patch on my girl's gills but she is behaving, eating, very alert, not swimming around aggressively, not scratching at her gills, so I am trying to treat it with simple things in the water. Nothing extreme.
 

XxIcefire

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@XxIcefire

First, I adore that name, Xipe Totec!

Second, I think that would be gill fungus. Now, before you panic, let me say a few things. Is this the first time you've encountered it and your axolotl doesn't have any of it on her? If the other one is spotless, I would honestly quarantine Xipe Totec for a bit. Have you tubbed your axolotls before? Do you have a safe place to do or even a spare tank to use?

Third, I have learned there is a tier list of what to do with this. Tier 1, non-invasive, meaning, wait and see. Tier 2, minimally invasive, quarantine or treat the water with them inside the tank. Then tier 3, invasive, and sadly, quite painful, the dreaded salt bath. I have heard and read a bit on the salt bath and everyone says it'll kill the fungus but it also hurts quite a lot.

@Calgarycoppers has a recipe for a mixture they use. It contains some salts within it that are like a preventative thing. They help. I am not sure about the specifics but if they reply, they can explain the solution better. All I know is how to mix it and that it helps.

Oh and fourth, final point. How is your axolotl acting? Are they bright, alert, and responsive? Still eating? Still going to the bathroom regularly? Not floating? If Xipe Totec is still eating, still coming up to the surface if you wiggle your fingers near the tank (showing alertness), then your axolotl is pretty good. My little girl has fought off 3 patches of gill fungus and has regenerated her missing filaments already and only once did we get close to a salt bath. Keep an eye on Xipe Totec and your other axolotl. You want to watch to see if they're scratching at their gills. I've seen mine do it with her hind legs, like a dog, but some people say they may use their front, 4 fingered paws. If you see that, you have an irritated axolotl. Eventually the gill fungus will fall off, either on its own, or the axolotl will remove it themselves. Don't try to remove it yourself, that hurts, a lot.

Sadly, I do not know how to cure gill fungus, and am currently dealing with a third patch on my girl's gills but she is behaving, eating, very alert, not swimming around aggressively, not scratching at her gills, so I am trying to treat it with simple things in the water. Nothing extreme.

Thank you for the advice. Yes, this is the first time I've had a fungus problem and none of my others have it. I used to tub her when she was younger, so I am very familiar with the tubbing process and will start quarantining her tonight. Xipe is very alert and won't stop begging as she can be quite the pig sometimes. I've not seen her scratch at her gills, but I will keep an eye out.
 

EasternRomioi3

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Yeah, keep an eye on her and watch Quetzalcoatl, make sure she doesn't get it. Is she also a dark skinned axolotl? Makes seeing the fungus a lot easier. My girl is so pink and pale that it's hard to tell sometimes.

However, a huge warning, don't get any of that over the counter anti-fungal stuff they sell at pet stores. From what everyone tells me, they're for fish, are not tested with axolotls and thus, may have chemicals our axolotls cannot tolerate. I heard someone say like aloe is toxic to axolotls and some things contain it.

If you go to feed Xipe Totec and they're not begging for food, then you may have to step in. If I may, what type of filter are you using and how do you keep your nitrates down so low? I can never get them below 40. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Do you have a lot of real plants in there?
 

XxIcefire

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Yeah, keep an eye on her and watch Quetzalcoatl, make sure she doesn't get it. Is she also a dark skinned axolotl? Makes seeing the fungus a lot easier. My girl is so pink and pale that it's hard to tell sometimes.

However, a huge warning, don't get any of that over the counter anti-fungal stuff they sell at pet stores. From what everyone tells me, they're for fish, are not tested with axolotls and thus, may have chemicals our axolotls cannot tolerate. I heard someone say like aloe is toxic to axolotls and some things contain it.

If you go to feed Xipe Totec and they're not begging for food, then you may have to step in. If I may, what type of filter are you using and how do you keep your nitrates down so low? I can never get them below 40. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Do you have a lot of real plants in there?
Quetzalcoatl is a blue gilled lucy, so I'm keeping a keen eye on her to spot any fungus. Yeah, I've also heard that those kinds of things aren't good; amphibians are really sensitive due to them breathing through their skin.

I changed their substrate a couple of weeks ago and the tank only finished cycling a week or two ago, which is why the nitrates are so low. I have an Aquaclear 30 with layers of foam, biomax, seachem purgien, and crush coral. They do stay under 40 because my tanks have a bunch of java ferns, moss balls, anubias, and some other plants I can't remember the name of. I also have some pothos with its roots in the tank and that has considerably lowered my nitrate levels.
 

EasternRomioi3

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Oh ok, I was about to demand you tell me how you deal with the nitrates. I can't get my girl's nitrates below like 40 now that her tank is fully cycled again. I even have two filters going, sponge ones.

When you so pothos? What is that? Is that short for some plants name?

Also, my axolotl's gill fungus fell off sometime today and her new gill filaments are already below the spot of fungus so it is really a day to day thing. If it becomes a repeat event, may want to consider a salt bath. I don't recommend it because I have yet to be forced to do it for my axolotl, so I don't recommend that which I have not tested. You'll have to seek a wiser and more experienced opinion on that.
 

XxIcefire

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Oh ok, I was about to demand you tell me how you deal with the nitrates. I can't get my girl's nitrates below like 40 now that her tank is fully cycled again. I even have two filters going, sponge ones.

When you so pothos? What is that? Is that short for some plants name?

Also, my axolotl's gill fungus fell off sometime today and her new gill filaments are already below the spot of fungus so it is really a day to day thing. If it becomes a repeat event, may want to consider a salt bath. I don't recommend it because I have yet to be forced to do it for my axolotl, so I don't recommend that which I have not tested. You'll have to seek a wiser and more experienced opinion on that.
Pothos is a house plant. It grows like a vine and you can submerge the roots in your tank. The pothos uses the nitrates to grow and it works really well. If you look up pothos for aquariums there's quite a bit on it.

I'm glad to hear your axies doing well!
 

EasternRomioi3

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Thank you, I will have to look into those plants. I appreciate it. Do they require a lot of light at all? My axolotl has no sunlight at all touching her tank.

And thank you, I am worried about my axolotl but I think she's doing ok.

Be careful, don't stress too much, but remain vigilant. When the little patch of fungus does fall off, sometimes it leaves the gill stalk without any filaments where it was, sometimes it leaves little weakened ones, but eventually they just kinda sprout more filaments and their gill stalk gets swollen and poofy again, it just takes time.
 

XxIcefire

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Thank you, I will have to look into those plants. I appreciate it. Do they require a lot of light at all? My axolotl has no sunlight at all touching her tank.

And thank you, I am worried about my axolotl but I think she's doing ok.

Be careful, don't stress too much, but remain vigilant. When the little patch of fungus does fall off, sometimes it leaves the gill stalk without any filaments where it was, sometimes it leaves little weakened ones, but eventually they just kinda sprout more filaments and their gill stalk gets swollen and poofy again, it just takes time.
Pothos does really well in low-light. My tanks are also out of the sunlight. If they start to look brown, you can always put them in a glass of water and put them somewhere with more light for a couple of days. I haven't needed to do this, but it works if need be.

Thank you again for all the help!
 
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    That´s the most accurate. Depends on the size of the tub etc. - you just want to make sure the water is always clean
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    When little axolotls are tubbed is it common for them to get a little more spunky then usual? Water temps around 64-65 F and has been changed today with prime added
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    Uh. That depends on your definition of "spunky"?
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    I have not heard of that before.
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