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Axolotol help

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I am babysitting a friend's axolotol and I have no idea about these things. Anyway i have the tank that he has been in and he's all set up again but he's just not happy.

He seems to be floating tail up and can't seem to stay down. Is that a normal behaviour? I rang my friend and she said he has done that before but not as bad as this. Could he have air trapped inside as he keeps gulping air. Do they have swim bladders the same as other fish?

Thanks for any advice

Jenny

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Does he have any fungus forming anywhere?

When I worked in a shop we got a bad lot with fungus on furry gills.

Everytime I have seen this the Axel conked it within 2 weeks..but hey that could just be bad luck with bad order.

Also they do not like heated tanks. maybe try to hand feed some blood worm.

I'm no expert with these guys and personally dont like em but hope this helps even a little. Roo is google like source of knowledge with these guys as he had some the size of small cats..lol

matt

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Try this site, Jenny. I've only looked over the introduction and can not guarantee it has the information you need, but links in the text direct you to sites on specific topics.

My axolotls began to float not long before they died. I was told the temperature got too high for them in summer.

Good luck with yours.

http://www.axolotl.org/

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O thanks Matt throw me in to the deep end lol

Ya thats right axles like cool water so no heater needed

And axles have bad eye sight so they need a fine gravel

Passing large pebbles can be a problem

I would add a small amount of ebson salts to the water

that my help

And there dirty things so weekly water changers are good

I fed mine pellets and they did ok on them

Roo

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Thanks for the help guys

There is not fungus on him, so that's good.

I had a quick read through that site and it maybe that he as swallowed to much air and needs to burp or needs to take a dump.

He doesn't have a heater and no gravel. His tank's a bit small but she planning to upgrade him when he goes back home. I'd put him in a bigger tank but I have her other fish in them.

She gave me the pellets he's been eating and showed me how to feed him but I might try him with some bloodworm tomorrow if he is a bit more settled. I have covered his tank over in case he's a bit stressed with the new surroundings, they are a bit brighter than he's old place.

Hopefully all goes well.

Thanks again

Jenny

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Jenny, how's your axolotl doing?

I had a chance to read through that site I suggested yesterday.

http://www.axolotl.org/

There's not a lot of help there, but here's a quote of the relevant bit:

"Often, some stress will lead to a small bacterial infection in the gut. This would lead to a gas build up, and the floating. It is possible that the axolotl swallowed a large amount of air into its digestive system too. Warm temperatures (over 20 °C / 68 °F) don't help. Anything over 25 °C / 77 °F is far too warm for axolotls - just in case you didn't know.

As to how to solve the problem, axolotls find it stressful when they can't touch the bottom. I suggest you lower the water level so that the axolotl is touching the bottom, but still submerged. The fact that it can touch the bottom should help to relieve the stress and hence help it to recover. If you keep it at temperatures over 20 °C / 68 °F it will probably make it harder for the axolotl's gut to keep up with any bacterial activity, so try and keep it cooler. As long as it eats, that's a good sign. Sometimes it is possible to massage the animal's abdomen to help it pass the gas, but it's hard to do without hurting and/or stressing the animal. It's safer to do what I've suggested and let the animal pass the gas on its own.

The other possibility is that the axolotl swallowed some gravel.

Usually axolotls will pass gravel without problems. To be sure of this, put the axolotl on its own in a bare bottomed tank for a week or two. However, occasionally gravel can get lodged in the gut and the animal doesn't pass it as soon as it should. In this case, there's not a lot you can do. Isolate it as before in a bare bottomed tank. It may be a good idea to keep it in water that is in the early teens Celsius / late 50s early 60s F. This will help reduce bacterial activity so there will be minimal gas build up beyond the blockage (otherwise the axolotl will float and they tend not to like that - it just stresses them further). To reduce the stress from floating, it's helpful to reduce the level of water so that the axolotl, although floating, can touch the bottom, so it won't struggle and stress itself unnecessarily. Usually the blockage will clear itself after a week or two. If it doesn't start to pass the gravel after 2 weeks, the only other idea I have heard of is in Peter W. Scott's book "Axolotls". He suggests that one attempts to force-feed the axolotl with the blockage some mineral oil (I think by that he means castor oil, the kind they give to people). In my own opinion though, that could do a lot more harm than good because axolotls are very soft bodied animals and you could easily crush its jaw or other parts of its body by trying to force feed it. Well fed axolotls can usually go without eating for up to 3 weeks and suffer no long term effects, provided the water temperature isn't over 60F.

Is the axolotl still trying to eat? If it is, that's a good sign. It may do some good to feed it a little to see if this helps clear the blockage."

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Thanks Dragon

He's sitting on the bottom now. I covered him over and he went into the darkest corner and this morning he's sitting on the bottom without any problems. He worked out yesterday that he could put his tail under the sponge filter and he could stay down. It may have been stress from being moved or air build up that he let go of last night. I'm just glad he's ok, I would hate to lose him before he goes back to his owner.

Jenny

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