Axolotl Care: The Basics

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How to House a Pet Axolotl

Three Parts:

Axolotls, a fully aquatic amphibian, can be difficult to care for. But, if one takes the time in preparation beforehand, they can be a unique and intriguing pet.


Gathering Supplies

  1. Purchase an aquarium.
    • Ideal aquarium size is a minimum 20 gallons for one and an additional 10 gallons for each additional Axolotl. Floor space is more important that height.
    • Lids are a must-have, as axolotl are known to jump out of their tanks.
    • A light is not needed, as axolotls are nocturnal. Bright lights or heat lamps can stress them out.
  2. Locate a filtration system for your tank.
    • Technically, a filter is not required in an axolotl tank. However, as axolotls produce large amounts of waste and ammonia, the water needs to be changed quite frequently (which can be stressful to sensitive axolotls).
    • As for filter options, owners can choose between under-the-gravel, internal power, external power, and canister types. Canister types are the best, but most expensive. The best option for a new owner is probably the exterior power, or "fish-tank filter.
    • Axolotls are sensitive to water flow, and are stressed by excess water-flow. If you can't get a spray bar, block the water flow with plants or other decorations.
  3. Decide on a type of bottom substrate for your axolotl.
    • Though some owners leave the bottom of their axolotl tanks bare to make cleaning easier, axolotls find it difficult to grip the glass bottom. This can stress out the axolotls.
    • Axolotls have a nasty habit of swallowing gravel. This causes them to choke and die. If you must go with gravel, select rocks larger than their heads.
    • Another popular option is fine sand. The sand can pass through their digestive tracks safely, and still allows them to grip.
  4. Pick out some decorations.
    • Be sure to provide axolotls with hiding spots, such as flower pots or caves. Axolotls can be extremely shy, and stress easily., especially in new environments.
    • Provide a few soft and smooth plants for the axolotls to rest on.

Setting Up the Tank

  1. Cycle your new aquariumbeforeobtaining your axolotl(s).
    • Cycling is the act of preparing the water and the different bacteria levels for the upcoming residents. Be prepared to spend the time to prepare the ecosystem for your axolotls). It can take one to six weeks (depending on your method), but properly cycling the aquarium is vital in order to ensure your axolotls' health.
    • For small, one to two axolotl aquariums, simply fill the tank with de-chlorinated water and let it sit for one to two weeks. It's best to acquire ammonia, pH, nitrite, and nitrate test kits to test the levels as you go. This ensure the healthiest environment possible for your axolotl.
    • For large aquarium with many axolotls and/or other animals, be sure to slowly add in the animals, (a few every 2 or 3 weeks) to allow the tank build up the proper levels for the increasing number of residents.
  2. Place the decorations that you have gathered.As for the arrangement of the decorations, most of it is up to you.
    • Placing plants under the filter can help to diminish the water-current. However, they will gather algae quicker.
    • Keep in mind that axolotls spend most of their time resting on the bottom of their tank.
    • Be sure the set-up provides plenty of easily accessible places for your axolotl to hide from you and any unwanted light.

Introducing the Axolotl to Its New Environment

  1. Transport the axolotl to your house in a small container filled with water from its former tank.
  2. Float the container in your tank.
  3. Add water from your tank slowly, until it is roughly 25% old, 75% new.Take your time with this step, as it gives your axolotl time to adjust to the new temperature and bacteria levels.
  4. Slowly tip the container into your tank.
  5. Give your new axolotl some space at first.
    • Leave the lights off.
    • Don't try to interact with your axolotl for a bit, however tempting.
    • Keep an eye on your new pet to make sure they stay healthy.
  6. Enjoy the experience of being an axolotl owner!

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can I keep a suckerfish in the tank to help with algae?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, I wouldn't recommend it. The suckerfish might injure the axolotl, or the axolotl might prey on the suckerfish.
  • Question
    Would it be better to have the tank on the ground or on a table?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    it would be better if it was on a table. Dirt and other things are more likely to get in the tank and hurt the fish.
  • Question
    How do I know what gender they are when they are fully grown?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Males have a longer face and tail.
  • Question
    Is it easier to take care of a male, or female axolotl?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It's the same either way. The female and the male need the same amount of care.
  • Question
    Can I have a dog and axolotl at the same time?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, as long as the dog does not stress the axolotl (bump the glass, reach the axolotl through the top etc.).
  • Question
    Should I put pebbles in the tank or not?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can put pebbles in the the tank if you want, but just make sure they are clean and larger than your axolotls' head, because they have a nasty habit of swallowing anything they can fit in their mouths, sometimes leading to choking, which can lead to death.
  • Question
    Do axolots like air stones in their tanks?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    They don't like to- much movement in the water, so I would say no to an air stone.
  • Question
    I live in the Philippines. Do you think it would be too hot at an average of 82 degrees Fahrenheit?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, that's too hot. You're going to need an aquarium chiller. That is much too hot for an Axolotl.
  • Question
    How can you interact with the axolotl while it is inside the tank?
    Kori Bustard
    Community Answer
    You can put your hand in the tank and let the axolotl explore your fingers. Make sure you wash your hands before and after you put your hands in the tank. Don't grab the axolotl or try to take them out of the water.
  • Question
    Does filter noise bother axolotls?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    I am not sure if acolotls mind the noise of filters, but you would be able to buy a silent filter at your local pet shop.
Ask a Question
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  • Try out different arrangements to see what your axolotls prefer.
  • Consider getting a bubbler, which many axolotls enjoy.
  • Be sure to treat your water with a dechlorinator. Tap water often has dangerous chlorine levels.
  • Keep an eye on temperature. Axolotls prefer temperatures 55-70°F (13-21℃); never above 72℉ (22℃)
  • Make sure the axolotl has more than a 20 gallon tank, as full grown axolotls need space.


  • Steer away from tank-mates, aside from other axolotls.
  • Axolotls are a critically endangered species. Do your part to make sure they do not disappear forever.
  • Neveruse any chemicals when cleaning your tanks. Axolotls have very sensitive skin.

Video: How to Care for Axolotls!

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Date: 12.12.2018, 20:03 / Views: 64453