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Why Do Axolotl Gills Turn White? (Vet Answer)

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Why Do Axolotl Gills Turn White?
Why Do Axolotl Gills Turn White

Axolotls are sensitive pets with a unique way of expressing their pain. They float and gulp air when there is a low concentration of oxygen in the water, for example.

Every activity and action of axolotl needs to be examined. So, Why Do Axolotl Gills Turn White?

It is the responsibility of axolotl owners to recognize warning signs and take action to keep their pets healthy and happy.

It is difficult to fully recover from a problem or sickness once it has gotten severe. As a result, pet parents need to know about their pets’ health and diet.

The purpose of this article is to educate readers about the causes of axolotl gill color change.

The article will also instruct readers on how to deal with axolotls whose gills turn white. So, scroll down to the bottom of the article to learn about other issues that axolotls confront.

Why Do Axolotl Gills Turn White?

Gills turning white in axolotls aren’t a major deal until they’re injured or sick. Because it has insufficient blood flow to its extremities and organs, the gills of a lethargic axolotl are white.

As a result, when an axolotl is resting at the bottom, its gills turn white and return to normal after some physical activity.

When an axolotl’s gills are injured, the fungus begins to grow on the wound, turning it white.

Axolotl gills turn white due to poor water quality and an increase in ammonia and nitrate levels. Stress makes axolotls drowsy, which causes their gills to turn white.

Also read: Full Requirements & Water Conditions for Axolotl in Captivity

Inactive or Sleeping

Axolotl gills turn white due to a lack of physical activity or when they are sleeping. Physical exercise raises blood pressure and boosts blood flow to the gills, making them brighter and more active.

When Axolotls rest for a long time, they lose their natural body pigmentation, and their color becomes whiter and lighter.

It is vital to compel your axolotl to undertake physical exercise if you observe such indicators in your axolotl.

To attract the interest of the axolotl, you might place some preferred foods. This will increase the heartbeat and flow of blood to the gills.

Poor Water Conditions

Many axolotl health issues are caused by poor water conditions. Axolotls become stressed when ammonia and nitrate levels rise, and their gills turn pale.

The gills of axolotls turn white when the water in the aquarium is either cold or too hot.

Due to the stress induced by the bad water conditions, Axolotl begins to float and refuses to feed.

It is vital to monitor and adjust the water parameters in this situation. Change the water as needed and keep the temperature cool.

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Fungal Growth

Axolotl gills become white due to fungus growth. Fungus is a white cotton-like growth that appears white when it grows on gills.

The flow of blood to a wound or injury is slowed by fungal and bacterial proliferation.

You can use the salt bath approach to get rid of fungi on your axolotl’s body if you notice fungal growths.

The antioxidants, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory qualities of Indian almond leaves make them a preferable choice. Antifungal medications can also be used after consulting with a veterinarian.

Also read: Axolotl Fungus Treatment


The gills of an injured axolotl may turn white due to blood loss. Axolotls become anemic as a result of blood loss, which reduces blood supply to the gills and other organs.

When an axolotl is injured, the pain causes it to become stressed. As a result, the axolotl feels lethargic, and the gills of the axolotl turn white.

To find any signs of injury, you must closely check your axolotl’s body. Because blood can be lost from the gills as a result of damage, make sure to inspect the gills as well.

Consult a veterinarian to address the underlying issue and determine whether or not your axolotl is anemic.

What Should You Do When Axolotl Gills Turn White?

You must check the water parameters and make any necessary adjustments if any deviations are discovered. If your axolotl is lethargic, feed him to get him alert and moving.

After some movement, the color of their gills will grow paler.

Look for fungal growths on their bodies and gills that are white. To get rid of the fungus, you can take a salt bath, a tea bath, or other anti-fungal remedies.

You should check their physique for any wounds and contact a veterinarian to handle the situation.

Axolotl Gills Turn White
Axolotl gills turn white

Axolotl Gills and Its Problems Related

Axolotl gills not fluffy:

Axolotl gills are non-feathery and non-fluffy due to health issues and bad water conditions.

Gills become non-fluffy as a result of bacterial and fungal diseases. The fluffiness of gills is also affected by low dissolved oxygen levels.

Also read: Why Are My Axolotl Gills Not Fluffy?

Axolotl Gills Shrinking:

Axolotls’ gills require a steady supply of oxygen to keep their feathery structure.

The gills get shrink when the oxygen level in the tank is high. There are other reasons as well, depending on how much shrinkage is.

Black Axolotl Turning White

Axolotls normally move to the bottom of the tank, and when the sand is white, they seem white for a short time. However, if their gills turn white, it could be an indication of fungal growth.

Also read: Why Do Axolotls Change Color?

Axolotl Gills Turning Black:

The color of axolotl gills changes based on the water conditions and the color of their habitat or substrate. Pigmentation in axolotls can occur as they mature due to genetic mutations.

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Why do axolotl gills change color?

The function of axolotl gills is to absorb the oxygen from water. The color of their gills changes when they are unable to take enough oxygen from the water. Bacterial and fungal infections can also change the color of the gills.

How do you treat gill fungus axolotl?

Indian almond leaves have antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties; therefore, they can be used to treat axolotl gill fungus. Fungus development can also be removed using the salt bath technique. Gill fungus can be treated with antifungal medications prescribed by a veterinarian.

Why are my axolotls’ gills not red?

When the gills of an axolotl do not become red, it implies that there is enough oxygen in the water. It means the axolotls are stress-free and the water quality is good. Axolotl gills turn red due to ammonia burn when there is a lot of ammonia in the water.

Why is my axolotl white?

Axolotl color is determined by the color of the substrate in the tank. When the substrate is white, the axolotl appears brighter, and when it is black, the axolotl appears darker. However, fungal development on the axolotl’s body causes it to turn white. In such a case, it is critical to seek medical advice from a veterinarian.


Lack of physical activity, fungal infection, poor water quality, and any underlying ailment cause axolotl gills to turn white.

Axolotl health concerns are caused by chemical changes in the water. Because they make an axolotl feel stressed and drowsy.

To figure out what’s causing the problem, look at the indications and the water parameters.

Maintain a low ammonia level and a cooler water temperature. Take your axolotl to the vet to have its body examined and the problem treated.

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