Included with every shipment will be an axolotl care and husbandry sheet. For your convenience, it can also be viewed through our website below:
- Axolotl, Facts, Husbandry, and Care Tips:
- Take Home Points:
- NO GRAVEL
COLD AND ROOM TEMPERATURE WATER ONLY
20 GALLON AQUARIUM PER 1 ADULT
NO OTHER SPECIES
9-12 INCH ADULT SIZE
- 1 adult axolotl benefits from at least 20 gallons of aquarium space, with ground space being more beneficial than height. For every additional adult, consider adding 10 gallons to tank size. Filtration is crucial and any added axolotls will increase the need for a more powerful filter.
- All tanks must be cycled prior to placing your new axolotl in its new home. Beneficial microbes must be established within your filter and tank for at least one month before the tank is considered ideal. There are many products and methods available that help to speed up or enhance this process, all of which have varying results. Regardless of method, all tanks should be tested with aquarium water testing kits for the presence of nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, and appropriate pH before allowing your new axolotl into its habitat.
- If your axolotl arrives prior to your cycled tank being ready, keep it in a small tub of treated water, preferably at least 0.5 to 1 gallon or more. Water should be changed everyday since there will probably not be a filter on this tub.
- Do not house males and females together without a divider, as over-breeding is likely to occur and can significantly shorten the female’s lifespan, and predispose them to health problems. If breeding is desired, do not use the same female more than twice in a year. Though sexual maturity can be reached as early as 8 months of age, it is not recommended to start breeding until 18 months of age.
- There will be times when you need to move your axolotl to a tub for any variety of reasons (breeding, cleaning, feeding, moving, etc). Even if for a short period, water should always be treated and kept within their appropriate temperature range (60-68 degrees Fahrenheit). Water depth should be at least twice the height of your axolotl in its natural laying standing position. As mentioned above, beyond 24 hours water will need to be changed to ensure cleanliness.
- Axolotls are bottom-dwellers known for trying to eat nearly anything smaller than its head. As a result, the safest aquariums should not include gravel, sand, or décor that fits this description. If snails are used for algal control, they should be large enough that your axolotl will not try and consume them. Juveniles (5” length or less) should be kept in bare-bottomed tanks only.
- Though axolotls are best kept as a species-only animal, feeder fish are acceptable to be kept in tank for short periods. Ghost shrimp and guppies are reasonable choices. If used, tanks should be inspected for dead feeders daily and removed quickly to avoid inappropriate changes to the tank’s micro-environment.
- The primary diet for an adult axolotl is earthworms of variable sizes. Nightcrawlers and Red Wigglers are the most nutritious options. Worms should be rinsed under water to remove dirt and stimulate movement prior to offering to your axolotl. Feeding is best done with a pair of long tongs directly, rather than allowing the worm to float or swim freely. This will also prevent substrate from being consumed. Treats are acceptable in small quantities, no more than once or twice a week. Great options are frozen blood worms and Repashy, both available at many locations.
- Axolotls should not be kept under any additional light to best mimic their natural environment. Hides should be kept in the tank to allow your axolotl the opportunity to conceal itself.
- There are many different types of filters of varying shape ands size. Depending on the size of your tank, a sponge, hang on or canister type filter may be appropriate. Filters that require the lowest flow and make the least noise will provide your axolotl with the least stressful environment.
- Axolotls can suffer from a variety of ailments, all of which manifest differently. Some of the first things you may notice if something is awry may include, extended unwillingness or inability to eat, frilled or absent gills, or overall color change to the body. Most ailments can be avoided entirely by maintaining as close to ideal husbandry as possible.
- Indian almond leaves release tannins, chemicals that help to prevent common diseases and provide overall health boost to your axolotl. (There is a small piece included with your axolotl in a separate bag).
- When faced with a sick axolotl, do not use medications or solutions designed for fish, as the dosages are often very different for amphibians. There are many sources, ourselves included, that are willing to help provide advice. However, if you feel that your axolotl is suffering from any condition beyond the scope of at-home care, there is no substitute for a veterinarian versed in amphibian medicine. Visit the webpage for the Association of Reptile & Amphibian Veterinarians to find one nearest your location.
- Under the right conditions, healthy and happy adults can live 10-15 years, with some reportedly living even longer. They should not be considered short-term commitments. With the right care and effort, axolotls can be very rewarding and fascinating pets to keep.
- Most important of all, have fun keeping and learning about your new axolotl!
If you have any further questions about axolotl care before or after your purchase, please do not hesitate to contact us.