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Care Guides

How to Fix a Contaminated Aquarium

Last Updated: July 9, 2021


In the event your water becomes contaminated with chemicals (soap, perfumes, scent sprays, cleaning solutions, etc.), You must immediately remove your axolotl and any other living creatures from the contaminated water and place them in a separate container of clean, conditioned tap water.

Safely Moving Your Axolotl

While you go about decontaminating your habitat and making it safe for your axolotl to live in again, you have two main options to safely store your pet. The first option, which is the best, is to move your axolotl to another aquarium. If you have another tank that is already cycled and safe for axolotls, we recommend placing the axolotl from the contaminated tank there. However, we understand that many people only have a single aquarium.

Fridging Your Axolotl

The second option is to “fridge” your axolotl by placing it into a large container of water and letting it rest in a refrigerator until its aquarium is ready. Don’t worry! Axolotls like the cold. When done properly, your pet will be safe and comfortable, and can remain there for as long as you need. Read our guide titled How To Fridge Your Axolotl to learn how.

Cleaning Your Aquarium

Once you have safely stored your axolotl, thoroughly clean everything inside your aquarium with tap water. Be sure to rinse out the aquarium itself! Although we recommend avoiding the use of tap water when cleaning or maintaining your aquarium, a chemical contamination of any kind will have already killed the colony of beneficial bacteria in the water. The tank has crashed.

Once your aquarium is completely clean, it is time to fill it back up again and cycle it. If you need guidance on how to cycle your aquarium quickly, read our guide titled How to Cycle Your Aquarium.

Axolotl Planet is a brick-and-mortar store located in Dallas, TX. As the world’s largest breeder of this amazing species, our focus is to raise the healthiest, strongest, most beautiful axolotls for our customers both in-store and online!

Our long-term goal is to preserve and ultimately replenish the critically-endangered wild axolotl population to it's former glory.

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