Axolotls are as carnivorous as it gets. Their digestive system is developed in such a way that it can only derive nutritional value from meat-based foods.
They have no interest in eating aquatic plants whatsoever. Moreover, they should not be fed with any fruits, vegetables or algae.
These are common questions among axolotl keepers. Should I feed my axolotl some vegetables? Is my axolotl going to clear the algae from my aquarium? These are reasonable questions because there are lots of vitamins in these plant-based foods.
What many people don’t know is that the most essential vitamins can be found in the carnivore diet as well. It’s just that herbivores extract them from plants while carnivores extract them from meats. Although axolotls are not going to eat your aquatic plants, they might still uproot them or sit on them.
Can You Keep Axolotls in Planted Tank?
There is a wide range of plants you simply can’t keep in an axolotl aquarium. You can try but they won’t last for long for sure. A funny habit of theirs is to just sit on aquatic plants until they break. If the plant doesn’t have strong enough roots, on the other hand, then it will be uprooted by the salamander.
After all, your axolotl has to entertain himself somehow, right? He can’t just sit in the tank doing nothing all the time. These behaviors of theirs also make axolotls fun to watch.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t keep an axolotl in a well-planted aquarium. It just means that you need to choose those plants wisely. Setting up an aquarium with lots of greenery can make it much more decorative.
Not to mention that plants are natural filters that provide the water with lots of oxygen, keeping it fresh.
Plants You Can Keep in Axolotl Tank
We can recommend you some particularly strong plants that surely won’t get uprooted by your axolotl. These are mostly tropical plants that can endure the temperature your salamander lives in. We are talking about the Anubias, Java Fern, Water Lettuce, Amazon Frogbits and the Elodea.
This gives you plenty of options when it comes to decorating your aquarium with plants. You can mix them together and end up with an aquarium that has plenty of wonderful greenery in it. No matter how much your axolotl tries and how long it sits on them, these are going to stand strong.
They are also easy to maintain, as they don’t require much light or any particular attention. All you need to do is plant them in the substrate and they will grow. Also, keep the water as clean as possible and these aquatic plants are going to make it even cleaner in return.
Will Axolotls Eat Duckweed?
One thing that is well-known about axolotls is that they are notorious eaters. They are willing to eat all varieties of meat-based food. What is most important for them is protein and sometimes fat. They love to eat so much that sometimes eat things that are not even considered as food.
If you would put a rock in front of them that is somewhat similar to something edible, they are going to eat that as well. They don’t really have a good sense about what they should eat and what they shouldn’t. Now the thing with duckweed is that axolotls definitely don’t know what that is.
It is one of those plants that aquarium owners like to put in their tank for decoration. It turns out that this plant contains a lot of protein, which is actually good for these salamanders. You can definitely keep duckweed in your home aquarium but don’t be surprised if your axolotl eventually eats it.
This floating plant can provide your pet with plenty of nutrition and it is rich in vitamins too. If you want to surprise your axolotl with a treat, then planting some duckweed in the tank is actually a pretty good idea.
Should You Keep Plants in Axolotl Tank?
We would definitely recommend you to keep some plants in your axolotl tank. With aquatic plants, it is much easier to keep the water clean. Plants are basically natural filters that freshen up the water, providing it with oxygen.
When it comes to decoration, it is always a delight to look at the greenery in the aquarium. You could keep your axolotl with a few rocks, some substrate and a filter in the tank for sure. In that case, you would need to change the filter media more often.
Not to mention that your axolotl would be bored most of the time. Watching axolotls interact with their environment can be a lot of fun. Even if you just watch them while they destroy plants around them, it will put a smile on your face.
Although they tend to sit on plants or uproot them, you can choose the ones we mention above. Planting some Java Fern, Water Lettuce, Elodea, Anubias or Amazon Frogbits will surely help. No matter how much your pet sits on them, he can’t really do any harm to these plants.
We can conclude that axolotls are strictly carnivores and they are not going to eat your plants. There are a few non-foods, veggie pellets and plants that they would eat but not many. Also, they usually don’t do it intentionally, they just don’t know what it is exactly.
One of the plants they would eat is duckweed because it floats around them. Fortunately, this is one of those plants that provide them with plenty of nutrition even though they are carnivores. They can do great damage to plants, but not if you choose the right ones.
Either way, we strongly recommend you to use plants in your aquarium. That greenery is surely going to spice up the tank and make it look much better. They also come with the benefit of being natural filters, which will make your filter media last longer.