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Submitted on
January 9, 2011


25,596 (10 today)
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So your axolotl isnt looking too hot and you PANIC! well do not panic.

Here are a lists of problems and how to fix them.

If your axolotl's
     - cloaca is swollen (easier to tell that if its a girl)
     - his back legs wont stay on the ground
     - has trouble staying down on the bottom
     - looks fatter than normal
     - is standing kind of crooked

Congratulations, your axolotl is constipated.

    1. Get a container big enough for your axolotl to move around in.
    2. Fill with about 3-4 inches of water (yes it is very shallow, if its not enough make it so it covers your axolotl completely)
    3. put something under one corner so the container is slanted so one end is shallower than the other (This way if your lotl is floating really badly, he can touch the ground if he wants)
    4. Stick them in the fridge with a towel over them for 3 days. and DO NOT FEED THEM
    5. Do a 75% water change with distilled water NOT TAP.
    6. once your lotl is no longer floating and happily on the ground, let him warm up and then feed him (they will be hungry but dont feed them too much)

Very soon your axolotl will look like its bowls exploded all over the container or hell throw up if really backed up. i usually suck it up with a syringe or create a siphon with a little tube to clean out the poop and do a water change.

Why you do this: The cold temperature slows your axolotls metabolism to a near stop. thats why you dont feed them when they are really really cold because it can damage their system. Plus, the cold sort of numbs them, so going #2 isnt so painful. Remember, axolotls are ok until freezing, that really messes them up.



Well the next most common thing axolotls get is a fungal infection

If your axolotl:
     - Looks skinny
     - has a filmy cloudy slime covering their body
     - the top part of the tail that runs their back is missing
     - wont eat
     - looks uncomfortable


     - has white salty spots (ick)

BEFORE YOU START: axolotls are not fish, so they do not have scales and cant handle harsh chemicals most fish can.

Here is what you do:

     1. Get a container that your axolotl can move around in
     2. Give him a bath in some salty water for about 10 minutes once or twice a day (2-3 teaspoons per litre/two pints) In a separate container!

Just as a warning it will make you SOOOO sad :( they flip out so make sure they cant fall out and they gasp and they gulp air and their gills skrink because its not fun for them. but they'll be ok.

     3. put them back in clean water and put that container in the fridge.
     4. do this for 3 days, because they are cold do not feed them.
     5. if whatever they have doesnt go away, do it again after waiting 3 days.

Why you do this: The salt water kills the bacteria or fungus that is bothering your axolotl. the cold of the fridge will slow the fungus, but not ick, ick is much harder to treat. so if they have ick, just keep them isolated without being chilled.

Its also important that the salt water is chilled too because its already shocking to their system, they dont need a temperature shock as well.

Ick is more dangerous long term and it usually comes from bad water conditions, so keeps testing strips handy.

Fungus comes from the water being too hot, and that kills fast. Thats why they go in the fridge because it slows it down it clogs their pores (which they also breathe out of) and its very sad. i went camping for a week and the person watching chimi and chonga let the water get too warm and chonga was dead in a few days :( RIP



This is most likely caused but the nitrates being too high. Get a sponge filter with some nitrite absorbing salts and chill your axolotls.

    2. do 25%-35% water changes weekly with water that has been exposed 24-48 hours VERY IMPORTANT.

If that doesnt help, its probably because there isnt enough water per- lotl (min 5 gallons per lotl)

These are only the most common problems that i personally, and have helped others deal with. if your not sure dont hesitate to email me:  with your problem


age your water, this lets everything get out of the water that we add so we can drink it.

or you can buy distilled water and add a small amount of Holtrefeter's Solution… at the bottom of the page.

Dont add chemicals to your water.

Suck out any poo when they first go, this helps keep that crap from floating around

You can put live plants in, but axolotls sometimes eat them and they occasionally make the water turn green. not fun.

I know my tap water formula (i called my local water place and asked for a full test of it) because i know that is safe in low amounts, i add 2 gallons a week of untreated water to the 30 gallons my lotls are in.

There is just enough chlorine and fluoride in it to help keep harmful bacteria low without bothering or harming my axolotls.

ONLY DO THIS THOUGH IF YOUR VERY CONFIDENT ABOUT IT! if your not sure, call your water place, and you can ask me if this is a good idea or not.

If you have any questions dont hesitate to email me:

Keep your lotls healthy!
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jupiter1996 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have an axolotl and the very tip of his tail has gone clear and I'm not 100% but he seems a little paler than usual, what should I do? I think it is down to the filter being to strong for the space he's in and another is on the way. Is it normal? I'd say he's only around 8cm long so he's not very old. I'm new to having an axolotl or any sort of aquatic pet, thanks for your help
Jazz80085 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014
i need help!!!
we have worms! not me, but my beautiful babies! so i feed them garden worms (this is what has been recommended to me, according to other people i have been told it is not the best option?)
I wash the worms thoroughly, then hand feed them. If they decide they are not hungry, then i put the worms back in the garden.
lately i have noticed that there are tiny tiny, white worms floating around the tank. im concerned due the amount  of white worms there and the fact that they kinda creep me out. I have talked with a 'so called' expert. They advised me to leave the tank. the axolotls will sort it out. or i could set up another tank and BLEACH the one they are in (this sounds like a death sentance to me). im not content on this report.
should i be freaking out?
Ash2396 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
I had two female Axolotls but one recently died, leaving the other one on it own. Meme now wont eat and hasn't done for around two weeks. she doesn't look and thinner, but she seems to be less sociable and doesn't beg for attention like she usually does. Today I noticed this clear slimy goo coming from her cloaca, but have no idea what it is. Does anyone know why she isn't eating, or what is wrong with her? (She's not constipated, or hasn't swallowed any gravel) please help!!

sherrisaxolotls Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013
I have two axolotls and i just got back from vacation. I'm pretty sure they have a fungal issue. The water became too warm at one point. They wont eat. They look like the are trying to scratch their gills with their back legs and moving around alot like they cant sit still which is unsual behavoir for them. I read the insturctions for the fungus but have a few questions about them. Can I use regular table salt to make the salt water bath? and do they acually have to be in the fridge for the full three days? and while this is happining, do i have to do a complete water change on their tank water? Please help and please hurry... they may have been sick for the whole week I was gone and this is the first time they have been sick...
axosally Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
Axolotl HELP! There is this weird clear bubble looking thing with red veins sticking out of my Axos butt. Her poop is having a hard time getting past it but it came out. The bubble sack looking thing is stuck she is trying to pop it or get it out by extending her tail upwards, sliding it on the sand and trying to shake it out. I tried searching online and I found nothing Does anyone know what this could be? FYI I have one axolotl not sure if it is male or female but her name is SALLY.
axyaddict Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013
Hi I just wanted to say that I was very reluctant to use the "fridge" method on my axy but her stomach was bloated so thought it must be constipation. I put her in there at about 9:30 at night and when I checked on her the following morning, around 9:00am there were 2 stones in sitting in the container. Blockage removed! I'm so happy that it worked! Thank you so much for your advice!
preschoolaxolotl Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
My Axolotl has lost most of the inside of her tail and two feet. I have been away for a couple of days and come back to a very sick looking axolotl. Can you help??
LottieLover Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
my axolotl, Lottie, as been gaining lots of weight and her gills and face have gone grey, her gills are also really small. she's also a lot hungrier than usual, I tried putting her in the fridge but it hasn't made any difference. I was wondering if it could possibly just be old age. She is almost 13 and our other axolotl, who we bought with her died a few months ago. Any suggestions to make her feel better or hang on longer?
lissigibson29 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
Hi there my axolotps mouth has eroded there are bits of skin hanging from her mouth now her skin is coming off her little fingers she has dark red veins on her fingers an tail now she isn't eating help please I thinks might die
lissigibson29 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
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