Tadpoles, also called pollywogs, are larva-type animals that many axolotl owners want to feed to their axies. They are the larval stage of the amphibians, meaning that tadpoles are live animals that you can feed to axolotls.
So yes, you can feed them to axolotls, although there are some important things you need to consider. It’s true that axolotls will normally hunt tadpoles in the wild and they will eat them if they become available to them.
However, it’s important to make completely sure that the tadpoles you feed to your axolotl are completely vetted and don’t carry any potential diseases or parasites. So if you’re buying tadpoles for your axies, make sure they are free of any parasites that can cause serious problems and diseases to your axolotls.
Also, tadpoles might not be the best type of food for axolotls in terms of nutrients they provide. As such, they don’t really have the most nutrients that are beneficial to axolotls, so they have a very limited value when it comes to that.
Considering all that, you can definitely consider tadpoles as a source of food for axies, provided that you keep an eye out on a couple of things which we’ll discuss in this article.
Tadpoles Can Carry Parasites
This is a very important thing to consider. If you buy tadpoles from a fish store or if you catch them yourself, then it’s important to know that you’re running a risk with that. The risk is that the tadpoles you get might have certain parasites that carry diseases, which can carry over to your axolotl, unfortunately.
If you catch tadpoles yourself, then there’s an even bigger risk of that. Some sellers do vet their tadpoles and make sure they don’t have parasites. So if you’re really looking to buy them from a seller, then you need to make sure they don’t have parasites, or else you’re risking the life of your axolotl.
Tadpoles Don’t Have Nutrients
Another thing to keep in mind that tadpoles don’t have all the nutrients that are beneficial for axies, so they are not the best type of food for them. While they will eat them and it’s a decent food nonetheless, it’s not the best food in terms of nutrients.
They have protein, although not that much, which is not great if you’re looking to grow your axolotls or if you’re looking to make them healthier. So if you want to provide all the nutrients for your axolotls, you might want to consider other foods in addition to tadpoles.
So that is not the best if you’re looking to feed tadpoles to baby axolotls, too. But you can still feed them and have good results with it.
Tadpoles Contain Thyroxine
Now, here’s the big thing about tadpoles – they contain thyroxine. This chemical is especially present with tadpoles that are just about to morph. So this chemical is present when morphing is done, and it’s quite common, too.
The bad thing here is that this chemical gets transferred to your axolotl, giving them a larger chance of morphing, too.
So if you’re willing to feed tadpoles to your axies, always make sure you buy younger tadpoles that don’t contain thyroxine or have very low amounts of thyroxine. You can be sure of this when you buy younger tadpoles that have not grown that much and are not close to morphing yet.
Importantly, don’t feed them tadpoles that have already grown and are older than 6 weeks. If they have already grown legs and have become larger, then make sure you don’t feed them tadpoles at all. This is a good sign that tadpoles have already started morphing, so you don’t want to feed those to your axolotls.
How Often To Feed Tadpoles to Axolotls?
When we’re talking about frequency, you need to consider a couple of things. First, you need to consider other foods that you are currently feeding to them. If you already have a full schedule, then you shouldn’t just add tadpoles to the menu. Instead, you can replace a meal or two in the week with tadpoles.
But tadpoles can be fed to axolotls almost every day. Because they don’t have that many nutrients, they are not heavy for them and will not cause digestion problems. As long as you consider what we’ve mentioned above, you can feed them every day.
Actually, they will help your axolotls stay in shape, as they will chase the tadpoles around the tank. It will also provide them with a fun activity, so it’s a good way to boost their health in that way and relieve stress. Again, you must consider the things we’ve mentioned above and minimize the health risks for your axolotls.
Can Axolotls Eat Frog Eggs?
Yes, axolotls will also eat frog eggs, and it’s a decent type of food to feed to axies because the eggs have quite a high number of nutrients that are great for your axolotls. But there’s one thing to keep in mind: axolotls will not eat food that stays in place, which is what eggs will do.
Instead, make sure the water is moving and that the eggs you’re looking to feed to your axolotl are moving. You will have to move the eggs around and perhaps agitate the water a bit to achieve this. But nonetheless, frog eggs can be a decent type of food to feed to your axolotls.
Axolotls will happily eat tadpoles. If they find them in nature, they will hunt them down and eat them. But the problem when you try to feed them in your tank comes when these tadpoles have various parasites. These can cause various health problems and provide risks to your axolotl.
You need to make sure the tadpoles you feed to axies are small and young, and they are free of parasites. Only that way you’ll keep your axolotls safe and you’ll prevent them from getting the chemical that may cause them to morph from tadpoles.