Do Axolotls Eat Their Eggs and Babies?

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Axolotls are notorious eaters. They are willing to eat anything you put in front of them. In addition, axolotls are also carnivores. Since they don’t really care, they are definitely going to eat their eggs and fry. After all, there is plenty of protein in those, right?

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Axolotl Fun Facts

Because of this habit of theirs, breeding them is not as straightforward as you might initially thought. However, it is not that difficult either. All you need to do is monitor them more often when the breeding season is approaching.

If you are patient enough, you are surely going to be able to save a few axolotl fry. Then, all you need to do is to feed them properly in a separate aquarium. Taking care of them until they become adults is going to be as straightforward as it gets.

What to do With Axolotls Eggs?

If your intention is to get rid of those axolotl babies, then by all means leave the eggs in the aquarium. They are going to disappear before you know it. Your salamander is eventually going to be hungry enough to eat them all. It’s as easy as that.

However, if you are one of those axolotl keepers who want to breed them, you need to somehow separate those eggs. Either set up a barrier in the aquarium or set up a separate one. If you leave them in the tank, then the adults are inevitably going to eat them.

They are indeed not the best parents. To be more precise, they care more about their food than their fry.

Can Adult and Baby Axolotls Live Together?

As we mentioned, axolotl adults don’t really care about their babies. If you leave them together in the same tank, they are going to eat them. There is really no solution to this problem, unless you figure out a way to separate them from the adults in the same tank.

The simplest option is to catch them in the process of laying eggs, then collect them and put them in a separate aquarium. Nothing bad can happen to them as long as they are away from their parents. Keeping juveniles together can be also quite risky.

If some of the juveniles are bigger than the others, there is always a chance that they are going to eat the smaller fry. You can only keep the axolotl fry together if they are approximately the same size. Keep in mind that if they are hungry, they are going to eat literally anything that fits in their mouth.

Should You Move Adult Axolotls After Laying Eggs?

As we said, adult axolotls are not reliable at all when it comes to defending their eggs. They are so careless that they are eventually going to consider those eggs as delicious food. This is why separating them is the only option for axolotl breeders.

Whether you take the eggs out and leave the adults in or the other way around, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you need to separate them. After all, eggs are fragile so if you are worried about moving them around, then moving the adults instead is probably a better idea.

How Can You Remove Eggs from Axolotls Tank?

Taking the adult axolotls out of the tank is easy. You just grab them gently one-by-one and then take them to the other aquarium. Obviously, the other tank also has to be properly set up. Your axolotl adults need to have enough space and the temperature has to be set properly as well.

However, if your goal is to remove the eggs instead, then it’s not that difficult either. You can do it by hand but only if you feel confident about it. A better way is to get a small cup and gently roll those eggs in. Then you can easily carry them around without cracking any of them.

Once the other tank is set up, you can gently put the eggs in. From then on, all you need to do is to wait until they hatch. But how long does it actually take?

How Long it Takes for Axolotls Eggs to Hatch?

One of the benefits of separating the eggs from the adult axolotls is that you can make them hatch sooner. By increasing the water temperature to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, those eggs are going to hatch within 14 days. The recommended water temp for axolotls is 50 to 70 Fahrenheit.

If you would keep the temperature somewhere around 65 Fahrenheit, the eggs would hatch only after 20 days. The fact that you can extend or shorten this period can actually help a lot. If you got all the foods and feel like you are ready to take care of the fry, you can accelerate it.

However, if you feel like you need more time to secure some food or some accessory for the tank, just lower the temperature. Once they are out, you can start feeding them some live micro worms.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, yes, your axolotls are going to eat their eggs and babies if you are not careful. This might seem like bad news for breeders but if we take a look at the entire picture, it is still not that hard. Breeding axolotls is as straightforward as it gets from the point when you have separated the adults from the fry.

You only need to feed the fry properly and maybe put them in a bigger tank for more space is needed. After all, they constantly grow and demand more space. Axolotls are mostly loners who like to establish and defend their own territory.

In this article, we have talked about how these salamanders treat their babies. It is not pretty, but at least the axolotl fry don’t need the help of their parents either. They can thrive alone in a separate tank, only requiring decent conditions and regular feeding.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how breeding works with axolotls and how you can easily do it yourself at home.

Updated: October 21, 2020

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