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How to care for an injured axolotl? Answered

I have an axolotl (Milton) in a community tank with some gold fish, and a Gourami. They all lived happily in my 75 gallon tank for several months. Today I get home after work to find my Gourami nipping at Milton's gills. It must have been happening all day because his gills are much less fluffy than they were before. I instantly removed him from the tank and put him in my 15 gallon tank upstairs with a few goldfish. He keeps going up for air and is currently perched lazily on some plants in the newly filled tank upstairs. Without most of his gills, is he going to suffocate? What special care will he need to insure he survives? 

Please help! I am really worried about him.    

PS: I would post pictures but he has moved while I was writing this and is now hiding in his cave.


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5 years ago

Well I'm by no means a Fish Expert, but here's my thoughts...

If the Gourami is picking away at his Gills, He's either Hungry, Horny or Pissed off. I would start by feeding them a bit more just in case.

As far as your axolotl,

As long as the Tank is oxygenated by a bubbler or a waterfall Best thing you could do is keep the Water moving. Do you have an additional bubbler or a way to more more water past him?


Answer 5 years ago

They won't handle that sort of stress when injured.
Removal of the fish, good care and time will fix it.
Fish is simply nothing you should have in the same tank with them, it is a desaster waiting to happen :(


5 years ago

Axolotls cannot be housed with any other animals, other than other axolotls.

If you house axies with other creatures, one creature will get injured or eaten.

Housing fish with axolotls is a common mistake; the fish nibble at your
axolotl's gills, probably thinking they are bloodworms, or the fish get

The gills should regrow in a couple of weeks as they are a salamander species.

But you should do regular salt baths to help the healing process.
A good place to get more detailed info would be here:


Or to seek more specialsed advice in a dedicated forum like http://www.caudata.org/

You biggest problem right now is oxygen as without the gills working properly the poor thing is required to use the undersized lungs, so make it easy to reach the water surface with a resting place close enough to the surface.