Axolotl Care: How to maintain an axolotl

Axolotl Care: How to maintain an axolotl

how to care for axolotl

Keeping an axolotl isn’t as straightforward as it might appear. Just like most fishes, axolotls are aquatic creatures that require exact water situations and correct care to reside a protracted life. If you aren’t prepared to make frequent water testing and adjustments, you possibly can cease right here. Axolotls are simply not for you.

But in case you are able to commit your time to be accountable homeowners in your axolotls, You might want to know precisely what to do and how one can do it.

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In this information, I’ll convey you thru each side that many miss when taking good care of their axolotl. After studying this information you’ll have every part it’s essential to maintain a wholesome axolotl. Let’s start.

Axolotl housing

What dimension tank ought to I exploit?

An grownup axolotl can develop between 15 cm to 45 cm (6–18 in) so it’s important to be sure there may be greater than sufficient area for them to swim round. A common rule of thumb is 10-gallon water tank however I’ll suggest a 20 gallon or extra for 1 axolotl to have adequate area. Tank you select must also come with a lid or cowl to keep away from axolotl from leaping out.

Here are 2 examples of aquarium tank for 1 axolotl:

  1. For juvenile axolotls which can be roughly about 4 to five inches lengthy, you will want at the very least a 20”L x 10”W x 16”H 10-gallon tank.
  2. For grownup axolotls which can be about 7 to 14 inches lengthy, you will want at the very least a 20 gallon 30″L x 12″W x 12″H water tank.

What if I’ve 2 axolotls?

For 2 to three axolotls you possibly can go for a 60-gallon breeder water tank. This will present ample hiding area for two axolotls and probably works as effectively for 3 axolotls. You may wish to take into account an 80-gallon tank for something greater than 3 axolotls as effectively.

So the rule of thumb for axolotls housing is each 1 grownup ought to have area of a 20-gallon water tank. This lets you create “hiding spots” for them to calm down and destress.

See extra choices for 20-gallon fish tank right here and 40-gallon fish tank right here.

What filter ought to I exploit?

Water filters assist drastically because it reduces the quantity and frequency of water adjustments it’s important to do. But utilizing the improper filter can create pointless stress in your axolotls. Axolotls don’t like sturdy water currents. They reside in calm water environments so you will need to recreate that habitat for them.

Here’s the more severe half…

Strong water currents are one of many primary trigger for bent or folded gills. It can also be a symptom of stress that may result in many issues later. That stated, we undoubtedly don’t need a filter that’s too weak as effectively. After all, filtration is to maintain your water clear and that’s extra necessary than having sturdy water circulation which could be mitigated inside just a few methods under. To management the water circulation and present, it’s crucial to know what sort of filter to make use of in your tank setup.

Here are 3 advisable filters and the place to get them:

Sponge filter

Sponge filters -
Sponge filters

Sponge filters are a very dependable approach to filter your tank with little finances. They come actually low cost from on-line shops however they nonetheless do a superb job of cleansing your tank. For larger tanks, you can too you 2 or extra sponge filters at every nook to take away any potential useless spots.


  • Less costly.
  • Low upkeep: straightforward to wash – simply squeeze and rinse it.
  • Does not trigger sturdy water currents.
  • Will not harm your axolotl gills because it makes use of a sponge for suction.
  • The sponge can be utilized to domesticate useful micro organism.
  • No drawback maintaining with organic filtration.


  • Requires air pump.
  • Poorer mechanical filtration: Not the very best at eradicating particles and dust.
  • Make extra noise as you want an air pump.
  • Poorer mechanical filtration – should clear poop your self.

Setting up a sponge filter


Step by step:

Video supply: Hmoob Thor

  1. Check to see if the carry tube is simply too excessive in your tank. Cut it to the required peak. Lift tube must be 2 to three inches under the water floor.
  2. Disconnect the pinnacle the “bullseye” of the sponge filter
  3. Optional: At the underside of the bullseye you can too connect your airstone utilizing one other shorter airline/tube.
  4. Attach the airline/tube by means of the carry tube into the bullseye of the sponge filter
  5. Connect the “bullseye” to the sponge filter
  6. Connect the opposite finish of the airline/tube to the test valve then to the air pump
  7. Submerge your sponge filter right into a nook of your fish tank
  8. Switch in your air pump
  9. You ought to see bubbles developing out of your sponge filter carry tube

You can buy a full set of each the air pump and sponge filter right here.

HOB or dangle on again filters

HOB or hang on back filters
HOB or dangle on again filters

Hang on again filters are good for smaller sized tanks and are actually handy to arrange. They do value greater than a sponge filter however it’s undoubtedly value it because it does a greater job with mechanical filtering.


  • Provide wonderful mechanical filtration – pull extra strong dust and particles out to enhance water readability
  • Easy altering of filters.
  • No spillage of water even when seal comes unfastened. Water stays in filter or tank.
  • No drawback maintaining with organic filtration
  • Most HOB carry out very effectively in all 3 filtrations: mechanical, chemical and organic filtration


  • Slightly dearer
  • Can be noisy
  • More costly to keep up: Required to purchase and alter filter cartridges inside each few weeks.
  • Stronger suction that has the potential to harm your axolotl. Can be mitigated utilizing an consumption sponge.
  • Strong water outflow on the floor. Can be mitigated utilizing a sponge, loofah or a rock to disperse the circulation of present.

Setting up a “Hang on again” HOB filter


  • 1 dangle on again filter
  • Media pack (1 pack ought to include dangle on again filter) – It consists of:
  • Sponge. Takes care the mechanical a part of filtration by absorbing dust and particles
  • Carbon packet. Takes care of chemical filtration. It will get rids of impurities
  • Biomax balls packet. Takes care of organic filtration. Allows useful micro organism to develop.

Step by step:

Video supply: Taylor Nicole Dean

  1. Rinse your media ranging from the sponge
  2. Open up the HOB filter and take away the media basket.
  3. Attach your sponge on the most backside of the media basket
  4. Rinse your carbon packet. You ought to hear effervescent sounds from the carbon pack
  5. Add it on prime of your sponge within the media basket
  6. Open up the bio balls and lay them on the filter media bag (Net)
  7. Add in on prime of your carbon pack within the media basket
  8. Attach media basket into HOB filter.
  9. Attach U formed tubing on the left facet of the filter
  10. Attach filter nozzle onto the U formed tube.
  11. Hang the filter behind your tank. Use stability piece that may alter the place of your filter
  12. Switch on the filter. You could hear it making a loud noise as a result of there isn’t any water inside it.
  13. Use your turkey baster to gather a few of your tank water and put it into the filter.
Popular decisions for dangle on again filters: 

#1 Aqua clear HOB filter – Strong water circulation from filters can irritate axolotls and provides them extra stress. Water circulation from Aqua Clear HOB filter is fixed and could be stored minimal.

#2 Fluval HOB filter – Fluval is one other widespread model of HOB filters for axolotls. Similar to Aqua clear, Fluval water circulation could be adjusted and stored minimal to make sure a relaxed and serene atmosphere for axolotls.

Canister filter

canister or external filter example
Canister filter instance

The canister filter is mostly used for bigger tanks as their setup permits higher water circulation and water circulation. Canister filters are usually put under the tank with consumption and outtake tubes on every finish of the tank creating higher water circulation and filtration.

Unlike most HOB filters the place the consumption and outtake of water are shut to one another, this leaves a whole lot of useless spots the place water might not be correctly filtered.


  • Most manufacturers are comparatively quiet
  • The filter is positioned outdoors the tank so lesser components of the filter are seen inside the tank
  • Excellent water circulation for filtration from the perimeters – Cover extra areas. No useless spots
  • Larger capability for organic filtering – Media trays could be modified to facilitate extra biofiltration or add in chemical filtration
  • Canister filter carry out very effectively in all 3 filtrations: mechanical, chemical and organic filtration
  • Can use it with UV gentle sterilizer


  • Water outflow could be sturdy. Can be diminished with a twig bar
  • If seal comes unfastened, be ready for water spillage everywhere in the ground
  • Can be costly

Setting up a canister filter

Step 1: Open up the seal and ensure filter media are in proper order. If not in the best order, change it to the next order:

Note that some canister filters have areas on the backside. You can refill area with ceramic rings on the backside earlier than your including your mechanical filtration.

At the underside, essentially the most half must be your sponges for mechanical filtration as water will are available in from the underside. Make certain the coarse sponge is on the backside stage adopted by medium than the superb one on the prime.

canister filter foams

Second stage media could be carbon for chemical filtration however that is elective.

The topmost stage ought to all the time be your organic filtration. This is the place you place in your bio balls in media luggage.

filtration media order

The right order to set filter media in canister or exterior filters

Step 2: Slot within the filter media trays. Most canister filter works the identical.

Step 3: Depending on the model, some have already got the seal arrange, some don’t. If it’s not you’ll have to set it up.

Step 4: Attach the valve on to the duvet. Similarly, completely different manufacturers may go in a different way.

Step 5: Cut your air tube your most popular size.

Step 6: Connect one finish of the air tube to consumption internet hosting and the opposite to cease valve that claims “IN”.

Step 7: Hang it over the perimeters of your tank.

Step 8: Connect one finish of the opposite air tube to output internet hosting and the opposite finish to cease valve that claims “OUT”. Output internet hosting may also be linked to a twig bar for higher circulation for the axolotl.

Step 9: Hang it on the opposite facet of your tank.

Step 10: For the brand new tank you possibly can prime your new batch of water through the use of a pump on the canister filter.

Popular exterior filter decisions

Here are just a few widespread decisions of exterior canister filters which can be used my many axolotl homeowners.

Water situations

What are the perfect water situations?

Water situations are vital to the effectively being of your axolotl. If they’re uncovered to elevated toxicity, they fall sick simply and will even result in dying. So having correct biking of your aquarium and water adjustments are so necessary.

The query I get rather a lot is “Can I exploit faucet water”?

Yes. You undoubtedly can. Since Axolotl is freshwater creatures faucet water is appropriate so long as it’s drinkable to you. However, it’s not that easy in terms of the kind of water used.

There are many components on water high quality and situations which can be typically uncared for by many house owners. Remember that axolotls are nonetheless aquatic animals, they spend more often than not in water. So ensuring water is effectively taken care of will decide their survival.

One of those components is the chlorine/chloramine ranges within the water.

Should you dechlorinate your water?

The reply is: Yes it’s best to. Especially in case you are biking your water. I’ll most undoubtedly get the water examined for chlorine and chloramine. Then deal with it with de-chlorinator to take away traces of chlorine and chloramine altogether.

Dechlorinator like prime additionally helps take away many different traces of steel that may be present in water as they journey by means of pipes. 

Get prime conditioner in your aquarium from Amazon right here. prime dechlorinator

Alternatively, you can too go away the water within the open for twenty-four hours for the chlorine to dissipate however not chloramine. It may take rather a lot longer for chloramine to naturally dissipate into the air. So it’s nonetheless greatest to only use a dechlorinator.

Apart from chlorine/chloramine ranges, you will want very best water situations that aren’t too acidic or alkaline. So essentially the most very best PH ranges are:

  • PH ranges: 6.5 to eight (acceptable whereas biking your aquarium)
  • PH ranges: 7.4 to 7.6 (very best quantity for a totally cycled aquarium)

You can even wish to be sure on the finish of the cycle Ammonia, Nitrate is zero and Nitrite ranges are little to none.

aquarium cycle
How ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are fashioned

Among these 3 ranges, Ammonia is essentially the most poisonous. High quantities of it within the water can probably kill your axolotl. Ammonia is produced from the waste of your axolotls. Higher temperatures and PH ranges additionally enhance the toxicity. So all the time maintain your ammonia ranges in test.

Similarly, Nitrite or NO2 is produced from ammonia whereas Nitrate or NO3 is produced from Nitrite. Both on excessive ranges are additionally poisonous to the axolotl.

To make it straightforward, listed below are very best water chemistry ranges it’s essential to obtain after biking

  • Acceptable PH ranges: 6.5 to round 8.0
  • Ideal PH ranges: 7.4 to 7.6
  • Ammonia Levels: 0ppm (Anything over 1ppm can kill your axolotl)
  • Nitrite stage: 0ppm (Same as ammonia, 1ppm or extra is lethal)
  • Nitrate ranges: 2ppm to 40ppm (something larger is poisonous. 20% water adjustments to cease this stage rising to poisonous ranges)

It is essential to vary your water each week for a cycled tank. This is to ensure Nitrite build-up is on the manageable scale. We need low ranges of nitrate to create wholesome micro organism. This course of is often known as aquarium biking.

Learn how one can check your water chemistry right here.

Water hardness

This is one different factor that almost all axolotl guides don’t cowl. Axolotls choose barely more durable water which can also be good for them because it incorporates a better content material of dissolved salt.

If water is simply too tender, it often means represents larger acidity ranges whereas more durable water creates a extra alkaline and stability stage.

What is hardness necessary for?

Hard water incorporates calcium, dissolved salt which is important for a lot of issues – They embody coronary heart perform, kidney perform, nerve perform and so on.

It can also be necessary for a breeding atmosphere reminiscent of the event of eggs, hatching of eggs and so on.

If water is simply too tender, it might lead to non permanent anemia in your axolotls. The signs embody pale pigmentation of their pores and skin and even discoloration of their gills. This is just not life-threatening however it’s a sign to vary your water.

Now, right here’s the catch.

Most faucet water that’s drinkable are sometimes barely more durable. Most cities ought to present more durable water however it’s nonetheless higher to test along with your native authorities or check them by yourself.

We don’t need water that’s too tender or it’ll lead to unhealthy axolotl in the long run as a result of lack of calcium and salt minerals.

If you might be actually critical about giving your pet axolotl the right water to reside in, you may make your water more durable however by including sure minerals.

Before something although.

You should check your water hardness first. If faucet water you utilize is already onerous, making even more durable won’t be useful in your axolotls however hurt them as a substitute.

Steps to check water hardness:

My private favourite GH (common hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) check equipment is liquid check equipment – particularly the API GH & KH check equipment from Amazon. They are essentially the most correct in comparison with check strips. Preparation:

  • Prepare 2 flat-based vials
  • GH check equipment resolution is teal coloured labeled bottle
  • KH check equipment resolution is gentle blue (turquoise) labeled bottle

So let’s start with GH check:

The goal for GH check is to report the variety of drops earlier than the colour of your water within the vial flip from orange to inexperienced.

Step 1: Fill your vials along with your faucet or tank water (relying on what you might be testing on) to the 5ml marking with a turkey baster.

Step 2: Add 1 drop of GH resolution into the vial. Cap the vial and shake it.

Step 3: After shaking, water ought to flip orange in coloration. Record down or bear in mind the variety of drops.

Step 4: Open the vial, add one other drop of GH resolution and shake it once more. Step 5: Check the colour of the vial over a white background to higher see the colour. Then report down or bear in mind the variety of drops you added thus far. In this case, it’s your 2nd drop.

Step 6: Rinse and repeat till your water flip inexperienced and test to see what number of drops earlier than your watercolor turned from orange to inexperienced. If it’s in your 2nd drop the place the water flip inexperienced, your water common hardness, GH, is 2.

Moving on to the KH check:

The goal for KH check is comparable. You should report the variety of drops earlier than the colour of the water in your vial flip from blue to yellow.

Step 1: Fill your vials along with your faucet or tank water (relying on what you might be testing on) to the 5ml marking with a turkey baster.

Step 2: Add one drop of KH resolution into the vial and shake it.

Step 3: After shaking, put it in entrance of white background to see if it turns coloration. Color ought to flip blue. Record or bear in mind the variety of drops you added thus far.

Step 4: Take the identical step, add one other drop, cap it and shake vial.

Step 5: See if coloration turns from blue to yellow.

Step 6: Rinse and repeat till your coloration of vial turns yellow. Your Carbonate hardness or KH is the overall variety of drops added into vial earlier than it’s coloration to show from blue to yellow. So if it took 3 drops, your KH is 3.

Water temperature

The very best temperature for axolotl is between about 16 °C and 18 °C (60-64 °F). Anything extra kills them, something much less slows them down. To check temperatures, I discover that the two following aquarium thermometers are nonetheless the very best for taking water temperatures.

Digital thermometer

digital thermometer for aquarium

I discover that digital thermometer is essentially the most correct. But it’s up for debate as I’ve just a few friends who beg to vary. But one factor is for certain is that digital thermometer is simple to learn and intensely handy to arrange.

To set it up. Simply connect the suction cup behind the digital thermometer on the entrance of your tank that’s comfy for you. Then submerge the probe, “barely pointy finish” or the “sensor” into your tank.

You can set the probe in direction of the again of the tank and block it along with your rock or decor to keep up your aquarium design.

Get your digital thermometer right here at Amazon.

Floating thermometer

floating thermometer for aquarium

The traditional thermometer the place you totally submerge into your fish tank. They are actually low cost however correct. To set it up merely connect it into the water on the entrance of your tank to take a look at it’s studying.

Check out floating thermometer value right here at Amazon.

Thermometer accuracy

accuracy vs precision

Most thermometers are very exact of their readings however typically they won’t be as correct. Here is what I imply: To see how far off their readings could be, use the ice cup technique to tune your thermometer accuracy:

Ice cup tuning technique:

Step 1: Fill a cup with ice cubes and water.

ice cubes

Step 2: Stir the ice for a couple of minute.

Step 3: Insert probe or thermometer finish into the water. Avoid touching ice or cup.

place thermometer into ice

Step 4: Hold it there for a couple of minute

Step 5: Check the readings. It must be 0C or 32F.

check temperature

Step 6: if studying is larger like 35F, then the correlation issue is off by 3F. So if you take the temperature of your precise tank, all the time minus 3F away out of your studying.

Keeping your temperature in test

Methods to keep up the temperature in the summertime:

During the summer season, the encircling temperature typically trigger the general tank temperature to rise. This is unquestionably a killer for axolotls. Know that warmth rises from the underside of your tank as much as the floor of your tank by means of evaporation. So what we would like is to have the ability to disperse this warmth or intentionally decreasing the temperature by means of varied means. Let’s take a look at them one after the other from the most affordable strategies to the most costly ones:

#1 Ice bottle technique

frozen water bottle

This technique is completely free. Just refill your unused plastic water bottles, chuck them into the freezer and voilà – a frozen bottle that may successfully take your temperature down by 1 to 2 levels.

How to do it –

Step 1: Fill your bottle with faucet water. Do dechlorinate the water within the bottle in case of leaking.

Step 2: Put it within the freezer. Pro tip: don’t fill your water to the brim or your bottle will go out of form as water expands when it freezes. This enlargement may break your bottle inflicting leakage when it melts.

Step 3: Take it out of the freezer and let it float on the water floor. Pro tip: Tie to shut to your Hang on again filter or canister filter outtake in case you are utilizing these. This helps the chilly water to flow into all through the tank quicker.

Step 4: Take one other standby bottle, rinse and repeat the steps above.

Disadvantages of utilizing this technique:

  • It can get actually troublesome as it’s essential to all the time swap bottles. A 2L bottle roughly lasts for less than about 3 to 4 hours on a warmer day. You have to all the time maintain altering your bottles out and in of the freezer at the very least throughout the daytime.
  • Bottle leaks as it’s overfilled earlier than freeze additionally does occur. Leaking faucet water into your cycled tank could change your chemistry ranges. So watch out. Use chlorinated water for freezing as a substitute.
  • Lastly, the temperature will fluctuate inflicting inconsistency with the ice bottle technique. This may stress out your axolotl.

Some will use ice cubes as a substitute of ice bottle. This may go however they soften actually quick so you will want a whole lot of ice cubes to maintain on changing them. Putting an excessive amount of ice cubes are additionally not advisable as a sudden change in temperature will shock your axolotl.

#2 Changing your lid

screen lid

Change your lid to a display lid like the instance above.

It can value between 20 to 30 {dollars}. See display lid choices right here.

Screen lids facilitate evaporation to decrease temperatures. It can probably cut back your tank’s temperature by at the very least 2 to three levels. This technique is superb when paired with an aquarium fan which you will notice within the subsequent part.

#3 Using a fan technique
cooling fan for aquarium
Cooling fan for aquarium

Any fan will do the job. Even your personal standing fan you may have in your room. Or shopping for an aquarium fan that value between 20 to 30 {dollars} will do the trick. Find and examine the aquarium followers from Amazon right here.

The approach to do it –

Attach your aquarium fan to your lid and face it in direction of the floor of the water or in case you are utilizing any of your personal standing followers, pc fan simply be sure to face it in direction of the floor of your water.

The cause why we do that’s as a result of scorching air within the tank rises and chilly air sinks so by going through your fan to the floor, it helps to disperse warmth and facilitate faster evaporation therefore leading to a decreasing the temperature by 1 to 2 levels.

Note that whether or not this technique works additionally takes into consideration your room temperature. If it’s actually very popular, turning on the fan in all probability won’t be as efficient. To guarantee it really works you’ll have to be sure general temperature is just not too scorching.

This brings us to the following technique –

#4 Reduce the general room temperature technique

Nothing goes to work in case your tank is sitting close to the window with the daylight coming in. Try transferring your tank to an enclosed space with lesser publicity to daylight. One room, for instance, it could possibly be your basement.

The different means is to put in air-con or get a conveyable aircon. It may value fairly a bit but when this makes each you and your axolotl blissful, I’ll say it’s a reasonably good long-term funding.

#5 Using a chiller

aquarium chiller

This continues to be by far essentially the most constant technique. Totally value it if you happen to if are planning for long run. Here are some chillers which can be value your time.

Setting up a chiller:

Step 1: Layout all of the components that include your chiller

Step 2: Attach the half-inch tubing to the powerhead or pump and safe it with a hose clamp to forestall leaking.

hose clamps
Example of a hose clamp

Step 3: Attach U tube from the set up equipment to the opposite finish of the half inch tubing and safe it with one other hose clamp.

Step 4: Place the facility hear or filter pump into the again of your tank.

Step 5: Connect the longer tubing to the U tube.

Step 6: Connect the opposite finish of the longer tubing to the consumption outlet.

Step 7: Rinse and repeat for the opposite facet.

Step 8: Switch in your chiller and alter to the right temperature you need.

Step 9: Lastly, take the measurement of your thermometer to ensure it’s the proper temperature.

You can even try quite a lot of aquarium chillers for various tank sizes right here.

Methods to keep up the temperature throughout winter:

Axolotls are a lot simpler to take care of within the winter in comparison with the summer season. After all, they attempt in water temperatures of 16 °C to 18 °C which is extra on the cooler facet. As temperature fall, they are going to nonetheless do superb however their metabolism could decelerate inflicting them to eat lesser or transfer lesser.

You ought to solely fear if temperatures are going under unfavorable however that can even imply you may be freezing as effectively since your aquarium is in your house. As lengthy as your tank doesn’t freeze, they are going to be superb. If your room has a heater, simply flip it up again to the standard hotter temperature, your axolotls will do exactly superb.

But for no matter cause, your home is getting actually chilly on a regular basis. You will want a heater in your tank to stabilize the temperature.

aquarium heater

Here is how one can arrange a heater:

Step 1: Submerge the heater into the tank. Good to put it proper on the backside or close to the filter outlet. Make certain the tank meets the heater minimal water stage requirement.

Step 2: For new tank: earlier than switching it on let it keep submerged within the tank for a few hours for it to tune to the present chilly water temperature. This is to control the thermostat in order that it doesn’t warmth up too rapidly.

Step 3: Set the required temperature of your heater. Let say 18°C.

Step 4: Once the water temperature drops under that, it’ll activate. The orange gentle shall be a sign that your heater has began.

How to decide on the best heater:

The common rule of thumb: 4w per gallon or 1w per liter. For instance, a 10-gallon tank, you should utilize a heater that’s 50w.

Remember when utilizing heaters in your axolotl tanks. Always test the temperature. Accidentally turning up your heater when there isn’t any want too will certainly kill your axolotl. Get your aquarium heater right here.

That is all for temperature. But what comes subsequent can also be critically as necessary.

So maintain studying…


The very best temperature for axolotl is between about 16 °C and 18 °C (60-64 °F). Anything extra kills them, something much less slows them down.

To check temperatures, I discover that the two following aquarium thermometers are nonetheless the very best for taking water temperatures.


Plants present many useful benefits to your aquarium: Some of those contains oxygen and hiding areas in your axolotls, imitate pure habitat and supply aesthetic pleasure to you.

The greatest profit although is that it helps maintain your water chemistry extra balanced and removes ammonia. Plants are the very best organic filtration in your tank so they’re one thing that I extremely suggest to have in your aquarium.

But know that not all crops are appropriate for axolotls. Axies doesn’t like shiny lights whereas crops require gentle to photosynthesize and develop. So we are going to want to ensure we use hardy crops that don’t require a lot gentle to develop.

Here is a listing of appropriate crops that greatest match an axolotl housing:

Java Moss

java moss used for aquascaping

This plant is sort of a weed within the grass. Once it’s in your tank, they develop quicker than your lady scout cookies disappear. Especially underneath good lighting and water, they develop so quick that frequent trimming is required.

Now, they could develop slower in an axolotl tank contemplating the low gentle situations. But they nonetheless typically develop effectively to a degree that you’ll want to trim components of them.

To develop them merely tie them down beneath your substrate, anchor them to your rocks or driftwood with black cotton thread and they’ll begin to develop like weeds.

Get reside java moss pad from Amazon right here.

Java Fern

java fern used for aquascaping

Java fern is among the hardest crops on the planet! They are axolotl pleasant primarily as a result of they will develop wherever even underneath decrease lighting situations. Once planted, actually not a lot upkeep is required.

Similar to java moss, these ferns could be anchored on rocks, driftwood or be planted right into a substrate and their roots will develop.

To get java ferns, try these sellers at Amazon.


Anubias for aquascaping

The subsequent powerful plant in line is Anubias. Anubias household are crops which can be so hardy they will stand up to any situations. Axolotls are additionally identified to take nips at these crops.

There is a big controversy on whether or not it’s secure for axolotls to ingest crops. But I what I can confirm is that I’ve 2 axolotls in a tank stuffed with Anubias for years. They are completely superb. That must be ok proof that Anubias are completely secure for axolotls.

To plant them tie them right down to wooden, rocks, branches with black cotton thread and they’ll begin to develop their roots across the floor.

Get prepared Anubias plant stalk right here at inexpensive value.


hornwort for aquascaping

I typically discover hornwort to be like an ammonia and nitrates sponge. Try utilizing them and you’ll perceive what I imply. Hornwort is nice organic filters that thrive in low to medium gentle environments making them good for axolotls.

The draw back to hornwort is that they typically should be left to drift on the floor, planting them will kill them inflicting them to rot.

Get life Hornwort plant that may be planted straight in your aquarium right here.



Rocks are typically not obligatory in an axolotl tank. In my opinion, they’re principally only for aesthetic function solely. Though some could argue that rocks do present some hardness to the water. But pure rocks typically carry different contaminants that may wreck your water chemistry and PH. So if you happen to have no idea what you might be doing. Don’t use rocks.

But if you happen to gonna insist on utilizing pure rocks for adornment or hiding spots then be sure you check them completely for carbonate minerals.

Here is how one can get them examined:

Method 1: Knife technique (Faster approach to check)

Step 1: Pick up just a few rocks you like.

Step 2: Using a metal knife with the hardness of seven, scratch it throughout the rocks you picked.

Step 3: See if you happen to go away any markings. If the rock can’t be scratched, you that rock is more durable and is secure in your aquarium. If your knife leaves a scratch mark, the rock is softer than the knife and you will want additional testing utilizing muriatic acid within the subsequent technique to find out whether it is secure.

Method 2: Using Muriatic acid (Safest technique – proceed from knife technique)

Step 1: Prepare small quantities of muriatic acids. They could be discovered generally in etching options for cement flooring.

Step 2: Pick the rocks you wished to check from different outdoor or use the rock from technique 1 and pour a few of these acids over them.

Step 3: Rocks that aren’t secure in your tank will produce a fizzing response and little bubbles forming on prime.

Step 4: Rinse off the acid on “secure” rocks that don’t have any response and take a more in-depth look to see if there are any tiny shiny particles inside. These shiny particles are the presence of steel that may disrupt your water chemistry. So take away them too.

Sanitizing your rocks:

Step 1: Scrub off the rock completely

Step 2: Place rock right into a pot and begin boiling it for just a few hours. You will have to be monitoring the rocks for any oil produced as it will probably trigger explosions. If you see oily floor forming that these rocks can’t be utilized in your aquarium.

Step 3: Rinse it after underneath faucet water

Step 4: Submerge it in one other pot with chilly faucet water and detoxify it with prime. Keep it submerged for twenty-four hours at the very least.

After seeing all these steps, if you happen to discover it a trouble to wash and check them, you can too get PH impartial rocks from Amazon right here.

So, are you continue to planning on utilizing rocks? Instead of rocks alternate options like wooden can even look nice in your aquascape.


There are solely 2 varieties of wooden advisable for axolotl tanks. You can use both driftwood or mopani wooden

driftwood in aquarium
Driftwood being utilized in aquarium

Pros of utilizing wooden:

  • They look gorgeous. Make your aquascape full.
  • Provides a extra pure habitat that appears gorgeous
  • Used as anchors in your pants
  • Create shade to behave as hiding areas for axolotl

Cons of utilizing wooden:

  • Tannins are produced if you submerge them into your aquarium. Tannins don’t harm your axolotls in any means. But it’ll flip your water coloration yellowish and typically murky.
  • To keep away from your tank turning yellow, we are going to undergo a course of to treatment your wooden.

Here are 2 strategies which can be generally used for curing aquarium wooden.

Method 1: Soaking technique

Step 1: Submerge your wooden totally right into a pot of water

Step 2: You will discover your water turning coloration. Change your water as soon as it turns into yellowish.

Step 3: Keep it soaked for every week or extra. Change your water in between this era when vital

Method 2: Boiling technique (Fastest means)

Step 1: Fill water into your pot with wooden inside

Step 2: Place your water over warmth and look forward to the water to boil

Step 3: Change the water each time it turns very yellowish or brown

Step 4: Boil it for at the very least 6 to 9 hours or extra relying on the scale

To get driftwood, you possibly can decide them up alongside riverbanks or seashores and lakes. Alternatively, you can too get pure driftwood from Amazon.

Note that each wooden that’s picked up from outdoors or from shops ought to all the time be cured to guard in opposition to decay earlier than submerging them into your aquarium.

Now that you’ve got seen the preparation required for wooden and rocks, what do you assume?

We can even use different decorations as hideouts for an axolotl. Let’s check out what they’re.

Decoration and hideouts

Certain props or buildings can be utilized in your tank as ornament or anchors for crops to develop on. But the primary causes for utilizing them are to behave as hideouts in your axolotls. Hideouts maintain the sunshine out, permit them to really feel secure and within the course of decreasing their stress ranges.

Choosing a hideout

When it comes to selecting a hideout be careful the next:

  • Make certain hideout doesn’t have any sharp edges that will reduce your axolotl
  • Make certain it’s large enough in your axolotl to swim out and in.

Here are some nice instance hideouts from a few of our fellow axolotl homeowners:

PVC pipe

pvc pipe hidehout

Shop for PVC pipes right here

Mini rock cave

mini rock cave

Shop for aquarium cave hideout right here.

Terracotta Pots

terracotta pot for aquarium

Shop for terracotta pot hideouts right here.

Plants, wooden, rocks, and hideouts are all important components of constructing a comfortable residence in your axolotls. In the following part, we cowl the substrate which is one other necessary issue for the effectively being of your axolotls.


Substrate is the floor that’s used on the backside of the aquarium. For the housing of most aquatic creatures, substrate reminiscent of gravel or pebbles are generally used. But all of those should be averted for axolotls always.

Why is that so?

Because axolotls eat by sucking the meals that’s in entrance of their face. Pebbles or gravels are often smaller than it’s head, so it typically will get sucked into its mouth together with its meals – leading to potential choking, indigestions, and even result in impaction and dying.

The resolution?

Use both of the two substrates as a substitute:

  • Bare backside – No substrate
  • Fine sand substrate

Bare backside tank – No substrate

Many homeowners choose naked backside tanks to have a neater time cleansing up. Whether is it for routine cleansing or cleansing up after feeding, naked backside tank solely requires a vacuum to suck up all of the leftovers.

So allow us to see the professionals and cons of a naked backside tank


  • Easy time cleansing
  • Will by no means trigger impaction
  • Feeding pellets or bloodworms could get actually messy. For a naked backside tank, you’ll have no issues choosing up leftover meals.


  • No grip for axolotls to stroll on – May create stress for axolotls
  • Can’t do planting or maintain ornamental hideouts in place. – ornament may get moved round a lot

Do you assume naked backside tank is good?

Let’s take a look at sand substrate earlier than making a choice.

Sand substrate tank

sand substrate aquarium

Sand are nice alternate options to gravel or pebbles. They are superb therefore even when it goes into an axolotl’s mouth, it will get handed out simply.

The better part?

Sand is ok in order that they don’t entice any leftovers, not like pebbles, gravel or stones the place meals or waste typically will get caught in between them. Sand can also be stated to assist axolotl transfer round simpler on the backside therefore it alleviates stress.

This level, nonetheless, is commonly argued as we are going to by no means actually understand how they really feel about sand. One factor is for certain. Sand undoubtedly imitate a pure habitat in your axolotls.


  • Aesthetically extra lovely. Sand displays gentle making aquascape seems to be alive
  • Better floor to domesticate useful micro organism
  • Creates a extra pure habitat for axolotl
  • Provides higher grip for axolotl to stroll on – This helps with stress
  • Sand holds hideouts like mini caves, PVC pipings, and crops in place.
  • Less leftover or meals caught in sand in comparison with gravel and pebbles
  • Very superb and doesn’t lead to impactions.


  • Definitely more durable to wash in comparison with a naked backside tank
  • Pellets and meals which can be semi-dissolved may get blended with sand. As they accumulate, your water chemistry could be screwed

So, what sort of sand must be used?

We wish to use solely superb sand that’s lower than 1mm in dimension. So listed below are some examples:

Play sand for youngsters

Non-toxic kids play sand with little to no clay content material inside is the awfully low cost and greatest sort of sand for axolotls. They are very superb and doesn’t clump collectively within the water.

But in case you are getting play sand be sure they don’t comprise clay inside or it’ll make your water murky leading to cleansing troubles.

The draw back to play sand is that they’re silica primarily based. Meaning that they are going to trigger algae to construct up within the water. High algae can also imply extra cleansing and can even lead to enhance toxicity to your axolotl. But if you happen to observe correct biking and weekly change of water, this really advantages your ecosystem.

Pool filter sand

Pool filter sand is one other nice different sand that’s low cost and axolotl pleasant. They are superb and are straightforward to handle. Some issues with pool filter sand embody:

  • Play sand is white in coloration which could be blinding to have a look at in a well-lit aquarium.
  • They are additionally silica base so it might trigger algae to construct up which is dangerous if you happen to don’t observe biking procedures and water altering continuously.

But if these above should not an issue for you, go forward with pool filter sand.

Take word that low cost play sand and pool filter sand from low-quality sellers could comprise magnetite, a type of iron ore. Iron may cause well being issues to amphibians like your axolotl.

Detect them through the use of a magnet to run by means of the sand and ensure nothing will get hooked up to the magnet. Otherwise, it means iron content material is current inside the sand. So solely purchase from locations you belief.

Here are some pool filter and play sand from Amazon which can be axolotl pleasant

Lastly, now we have sand that’s made particularly for aquariums. They are:

Specialty aquarium sand

They are non-toxic and a few doesn’t trigger algae to construct up. Specialty sand is available in many alternative variations and most of them are inexpensive as effectively. So relying in your desire you possibly can go for the next varieties which can be axolotl pleasant:

Point to notice: no matter which sand you utilize, all the time rinse them by means of water a number of instances to scrub them by means of every other impurities.

Axolotl weight loss plan and feeding frequency

Axolotl are carnivores that eats any residing, transferring organism that’s smaller than their mouth. In the wild they go for reside bugs, worms and smaller fishes.

Domesticated ones on the hand could be fed with frozen meals. But reside meals will nonetheless present each juvenile and grownup axolotls the best vitamins to develop. Here are some examples of meals which can be completely secure in your axolotls:

For reside meals


For frozen meals

frozen bloodworms


pallet food

Among all meals, reside meals incorporates essentially the most vitamins however they could be a trouble to arrange or domesticate your personal.

So try our Axolotl gourmand information in case you are to study some tips about how one can put together and feed them.

Feeding frequency

There is de facto no onerous and quick rule for feeding because it relies on their dimension as effectively. Here are some fast ideas:

  1. The common rule of thumb is to feed them adequately and take a look at their abdomen.
  2. As it will get inflated, report down the quantity of meals you may have fed them with.
  3. When they’re full they have a tendency to cease consuming or could spit out meals. When that occurs don’t panic. It is regular.
  4. Make certain abdomen doesn’t get larger than their heads.
  5. If it takes 1 full earthworm to get there then you possibly can feed them 1 earthworm in all probability a few times each 2 days. (Remember to chop your earthworms into smaller items)

To discover out extra in depth particulars about feeding and their frequency try our Axolotl Gourmet Guide feeding frequency part.

Axolotl tank mates

If you may have seen my different information on tank mates, you’ll know that I strongly suggest not sharing any tank for my axolotls.

I simply can’t emphasize sufficient how lethal it will probably turn into even amongst axolotls themselves.

So NO sharing of the tank with different freshwater creatures Period!

Why is that this so necessary?

Just take a look at a few of the penalties and you’ll know why:

After taking a look at these photographs, are you continue to planning on sharing tank?

Even sharing tanking between 2 or extra axolotls may cause bites. This is very frequent when they’re youthful since its their pure intuition.

As they develop into maturity biting will turn into much less frequent.

Find out extra details about tank sharing, with our Axolotls tank buddies information right here.

Otherwise, let’s go into the subject of breeding.

Axolotl breeding

Axolotl breeding could be enjoyable and attention-grabbing. To maintain this endangered species going, it’s good to strive mating 2 axolotls to create an ample line of child axolotls.

In this chapter, I’ll run you thru every part it’s essential to know to make sure success in mating and breeding your axolotls.

Here is an outline:

  • How to inform the gender of your axolotl?
  • What is the best age for mating?
  • Breeding season
  • Breeding strategies

How to inform the distinction in axolotl’s gender?

Method 1

The easiest approach to inform between a feminine and male axolotl is by trying on the dimension or form of their our bodies. The feminine has a rounder and plumper physique whereas the male has an extended physique and tail than the feminine.

Method 2

By far essentially the most dependable technique to inform the distinction between a female and male axolotl is by taking a look at their cloaca. It is the portion underneath its tail the place he poops. Male cloaca shall be enlarged like a bump in the entire space of this cloaca.

male cloaca

The feminine, then again, could have a small bump too however it’s by no means swelling in the complete space.

female cloaca

Images from:

This technique can solely be used for axolotl who’s about 9 months to a 12 months outdated at the very least. Any youthful axolotls won’t have any swelling at their cloaca space so be aware of that.

What is the best age and time for mating?

Axolotl can get sexually matured at about 5 months outdated to as outdated as 2 or 3 years. It could be very depending on their maintenance and the temperature of the water.

You shouldn’t begin mating them when they’re too younger. You need them to at the very least be 18 months of age.


Because it may be tremendously anxious for his or her our bodies to provide start when they’re nonetheless younger.

This can take a toll on their our bodies therefore affecting their lifespan and probably shorten it.

Especially for the feminine axolotls, you need them to succeed in their most dimension earlier than beginning to breed. Their most dimension is mostly higher than 30 cm or 12 inches.

So be affected person, allow them to totally mature first earlier than setting them up for breeding. While they develop, it’s best to maintain them separated till they’re of the best age. Then put them into the identical tank if you assume they’re prepared.

Breeding seasons

There are many alternative opinions on breeding seasons. Most guides will let you know it’s between December to June. For others, both in the midst of February or June to September.

So which do I observe?

Well, the reality is axolotls can breed anytime. Studies by Rufus R. Humphrey of Indiana University Axolotl Colony discovered that growing gentle intervals can facilitate mating habits.

By shortening gentle intervals adopted by growing their period appear to assist axolotls simulate a season change therefore triggering courtship.

Another approach to do it’s by making a sudden change in temperature.

From the creator of the guide “axolotls”, Peter W. Scott talked about that you would be able to really facilitate mating by pairing your axolotls at temperatures between 20 to 22 °C or 68 to 71 °F, adopted by transferring them into one other tank that’s 5 °C decrease or a temperature of between 12 – 14 °C (54 – 57 °F).

This technique makes use of temperature shock to set off courtship habits is alleged to have a excessive success fee.

The mating course of

The male will swim across the tank laying their spermatophores. These Spermatophores are literally packets of sperm that shall be laid everywhere in the backside of the tank.

Note that spermatophores won’t follow the naked glass of your aquarium so it’s good when you’ve got some type of substrate.

What occurs after is attention-grabbing…

The male will provoke the mating ritual by “dancing” round to draw the feminine. If the feminine is attracted she is going to observe him as he leads her across the tank. The male will nudge the feminine’s vent as he shall be lead the feminine to the spermatophore laid by the male beforehand. She will then decide up the sperm cap into her cloaca.

Fertilisation will start and can begin laying eggs inside just a few hours to some days time.

She will lay eggs within the leaves of crops, round rocks or different ornamental objects within the tank. So you will need to have crops, hideouts areas for them to put their eggs.

During this mating session, a couple of hundred to over a thousand eggs shall be laid.

After laying eggs, it’s best to take away the feminine from the male after laying eggs to allow them to recuperate.

Egg hatching course of

Eggs often take 2 to three weeks to hatch. It is alleged that eggs hooked up to crops are higher for growing due to the circulation of water across the egg.

If eggs are in well-aerated water, most of them ought to hatch. Using an air pump or airstone will definitely be useful however be sure it doesn’t trigger sturdy water currents.

Lastly, the temperature of the water must be at 20°C or 68°F to be optimum for eggs to hatch.

You can discover out extra particulars about eggs and breeding in our complete breeding information right here.  


Didn’t count on it to be so troublesome isn’t it?

Yes, taking good care of pets is rarely straightforward. Especially for an unique endangered one like Mexican strolling fish.

These 9 factors are essentially the most important in terms of the survivability of your pet. But what you see right here is just the tip of an iceberg. There are many extra intricate steps to take to create a whole ecosystem and housing in your axolotl to make sure it lives to the fullest.

If you want extra assist, run by means of our different in-depth axolotl guides right here the place we contact on completely different matters from axolotl sicknesses to their weight loss plan.

If not, tell us within the feedback under what are different survival ideas your have in your axolotl. If we miss something tell us and we are going to add them in!


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