For many new axolotl owners comes the question of diet – what will the axolotl eat, and can I feed the fish food. This question arises due to these owners already having a fish tank with other fish. Therefore, buying the same foods for axolotls and your fish can save you money and the time for picking the food. But can axolotls eat fish food?
Yes, axolotls can eat fish food, but only the food you will feed to your carnivorous fish. Axolotls are purely carnivorous animals as well, so they won’t like any plant-based foods or flakes. They will eat meat-based fish pellets or just about anything you feed to your carnivorous fish – live foods, frozen foods, or pellets.
There are some things that you should avoid, though, and we’ll go more into detail in this article.
Food the Axolotls Can Eat
Let’s take a look at what axolotls will eat.
Axolotls will love to eat live insects, especially the ones that are easily available in your local pet store, or you can come up with your own solutions with live insects. Perhaps you can collect the live insects from nature, or you can start to harvest your own little pool of live insects that you’ll feed to axolotls.
Crickets, worms, daphnia, and anything that’s not too big for their mouths and that doesn’t have too strong of a shell. Be careful, though, if you’re collecting these live insects on your own you might want to make sure that they are not toxic or anything.
Frozen foods are perhaps one of the most popular ways of feeding axolotls; it can be a very tasty treat for them, or you can have the frozen foods as the staple of their diets. When it comes to frozen foods, there’s usually plenty of choice, and it can be bought in your local pet store as well.
Here, bloodworms are a very popular choice for axolotls. Most likely, these will be available in your vicinity, but you can always order them from Amazon. Bloodworms are packed with proteins and beneficial ingredients that help improve the health of an axolotl, and will enable the young axolotls to grow.
Another good choice is tubifex, or sludge worms, which also come readily available in many pet shops around the world. The best thing about it is that you can feed it to both your axolotl and your fish.
Your axolotl will love brine shrimp. It’s one of the tastiest foods for fish and axolotls, and they are full of beneficial fatty acids and lipids, as well as protein. Just like other foods, these should probably be readily available near you, or you can order it online.
A good idea is also to hatch the brine shrimp at home and culture them on your own; it would take some time to establish an effective system, but it can save you a lot of resources on the long-term. They are also a favorite food of some of the fish.
Earthworms are also a popular choice among axolotl owners, however, there is some debate when it comes to this type of food. Some people swear by frozen earthworms, arguing that this type of food is the most beneficial for baby axolotls, as they contain a better array of nutrients and is easier to feed.
Other people argue that frozen earthworms are not the best for axolotls as they get cold and mushy, and the axolotl might not like that. However, it comes down to your personal preference and you should certainly try feeding both frozen earthworms as well as the live ones.
In any case, earthworms present one of the best choices for feeding axolotls because they taste great and contain essential nutrients such as protein nutrients, as well as some beneficial fats.
What to Feed Axolotls when Out of Food?
At one point in time, you might experience a food crisis, a time when you’ll have no foods to feed your axolotls. Or, you haven’t been to the pet store in a while and the foods are running out, and the store is closed for the next couple of days. What to do then?
Well, it turns out that there are still plenty of options, ones that might require some more effort from your part. You can buy these foods in most grocery stores or supermarkets, so there is no excuse for feeding them these foods. These are the best foods to feed to your axolotls when you run out of other foods:
- Raw or cooked chicken meat.
- Raw salmon.
- Beef heart.
- Raw or cooked beef.
As you can see, it’s better to buy quality foods that might cost a bit more, but it will have tremendous effects on your axolotl’s health. Note that you can feed them these foods always as a treat or a side dish.
What to Avoid Feeding to Axolotls?
There are some things to avoid from feeding to your axolotls:
- Processed meats. These include foods such as salami, and this should be self-explanatory. These meats and foods go through a long process where they get loaded with preservatives and other chemicals that can harm your axolotls.
- Feeder fish. Plenty axolotl owners still swear by this method, but we can tell you to avoid it, because the feeder fish can actually hurt your axolotl. That’s because feeder fish can contain diseases or parasites that can easily be transferred to your axolotl.
- Bugs with hard exoskeleton. This one is also pretty obvious, and it’s clear that hard shells can cause axolotls digestive problems. Some axolotls will likely not even eat these.
- Algae wafers. Not the best food for axolotls considering they are carnivorous animals.
- Axolotls will likely not eat bread, and it can also cause digestive problems.
To conclude, axolotls can eat fish foods, but only certain types of fish food. Herbivorous types such as flakes should be avoided, and axolotls will prefer meat-based foods instead.