The ultimate guide to keeping an axolotl as a pet

An axolotl is an aquatic Mexican salamander that is closely related to the tiger salamander. In the aquarium, it never matures into its adult form, but remains in the larval stage. Axolotls are easy to care for and are a lot of fun to keep. With the right aquarium maintenance and care, they have a life expectancy of ten to fifteen years.

Creating the right conditions

Prepare his aquarium.

A 40-liter aquarium is suitable for keeping a single axolotl. However, when it comes to axolotl keeping, bigger is generally better. So choose the largest aquarium you have room for in your home. An 80L aquarium is a good size for an axolotl. Fill the tank completely with water, just like you would a fish. Tap water is good for this. You should always keep the tank closed with a lid, as axolotls sometimes jump out of their tanks.

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Install a filter.

You need a filter system to keep an axolotl. A canister external filter, which should be available at your local pet store, works best. Any filter you install should have a sprinkler or other regulator to control the water flow. Although axolotls need some water movement, too strong a current can cause them to stop feeding.

Provide the appropriate substrate.

Substrates are materials that are used to cover the aquarium floor. The bottom of an axolotl aquarium should be covered with rounded gravel 1-3 mm in diameter. Don’t use pebbles or sand. An axolotl could inadvertently ingest these substances.

Install the right lighting.

Just like fish, axolotls also need aquarium lighting. However, bright light can be stressful for an axolotl, so you should opt for a planted aquarium lighting system if you are installing any lighting at all. Axolotls don’t need a lot of light, so the lighting is primarily for you to see the animal. Limit the lighting time. Light can lead to excess heat that can harm your axolotl.

Keeping your axolotl healthy

Watch out for the right temperature.

You usually don’t need an aquarium heater to keep the water warm enough for an axolotl. The right water temperature for an axolotl is between 16°C and 21°C. This is generally room temperature, so aquarium heating should not be necessary. If you live in an area that can be very hot or cold, you should pay attention to the temperature of the room where the aquarium is located. Some months you may need to turn on an air conditioner or heater in the room.

Feed your axolotl appropriately.

You can buy him earthworms and frozen mosquito larvae at your local pet store. These should form the basis of your axolotl’s diet. You can also give him frozen dwarf shrimp and some chicken as treats. In general, you should avoid live food. Feed your axolotl every other day for half an hour. Feed your axolotl as much food as it can eat in half an hour.

Change the water regularly.

Once a week, remove 50 to 60 percent of the aquarium water and replace it with fresh water. If your tap water is of drinking water quality or you have a filter system, you can use it for the aquarium.

Ensuring the safety of your axolotl

Keep young and old axolotls separate.

When your axolotls give birth, you should take the hatchlings out of one tank with a net and place them in another. Larger axolotls may view the smaller ones as prey, so it is not safe to keep different sized axolotls in the same tank.

Do not place other animals in your axolotl aquarium.

Every axolotl should ideally have an aquarium of its own. However, axolotls that are roughly the same size and age occasionally get along well with one another. However, they will see fish and other marine life as prey and will eat them. In general, only axolotls should be kept in an axolotl aquarium.

Try not to touch the axolotl.

Axolotls are not people-friendly pets. They don’t need human contact to be happy – in fact, it only causes them stress. Therefore, only touch an axolotl in an emergency, e.g. to remove young animals from the aquarium. Axolotls can also bite easily if handled.


About the Author

Julia Taylor

Julia Taylor is Freevoucherhub Contributing Writer. She loves writing the latest tech gadgets, helping consumers weigh the pros and cons of new devices prior to purchase. She also writes news and trends, and feature stories about business. Her work has appeared on popular publications like Gizmodo, Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, and CNET.