Are Axolotls Good Pets? Should You Get One?

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These fully aquatic salamanders are also called Mexican Walking Fish and they are widely popular right now in the pet market.

Axolotls indeed walk on the sandy bottom, which is why they need aquariums that are rather wide.

They rarely wander to the upper layers of the tank, except if that’s the only place where they can find food.

People absolutely love them because of their constant smile and other unusual features. They are also easy to take care of and very peaceful creatures.

Axolotls are carnivores so they are willing to go after their live food and consume it, but otherwise they are not aggressive at all.

In this article, we are going to explain all the reasons why you need to get an Axolotl for your home aquarium.

1. Axolotls are Cute

People love to keep Axolotls at home because of their great smile. There are also lots of colors to choose from when it comes to these cute salamanders. You can have an Axolotl that flourishes in your favorite color. Albino ones are also very popular for their unique red and white color combination.

Albinos are surprisingly common when it comes to these creatures. If you want to buy a non-albino one, then it usually costs more. Other popular varieties are the mottled brown, the melanoid, the golden and the leucistic one that is white with red gills and has black eyes.

If you are looking for something special, then take a look at GFP Axolotls. With their modified DNA, they glow under blacklight.

2. Axolotls Don’t Need a Huge Tank

A wide, 20-gallong tank is going to feel more than comfortable for a single Axolotl. It has to be wide because these salamanders are bottom dwellers. They are not interested in the upper layers of the tank. It is enough for them to spend their time walking on the soft sandy substrate.

If you want to keep two Axolotls, then you are going to need to buy a 40-gallon tank. Many owners would suggest a 10-gallon aquarium for one salamander. However, if you really want your pet to thrive, then you should double up that size.

A bigger tank also means that you won’t need to perform water changes as frequently.

3. Axolotls Don’t Need a Heater

Axolotls need to be kept in cold water in a home aquarium. Their preferred temperature is somewhere between 61 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering this, you might even need to buy a cooler if your aquarium water is not cold enough.

If you don’t want to buy one and there are no cold spots in your house, then we would recommend you to keep your Axolotl in the basement.

4. Axolotls are Easy to Feed

Axolotl is the type of creature that is going to eat literally anything edible he can find. It does not have to be edible either, which is why you need to avoid using big grained substrate. Since they are carnivores, you need to feed them meat-based foods.

They need protein in order to thrive. Sinking pellets made for carnivores are perfect for them. Shrimp, bloodworms and earthworms are also very good for them. There are pellets specifically made for Axolotls as well that you can buy in most pet shops.

You can feed it with your hand because even if it bites you, it will feel like touching sandpaper and won’t do any damage to your skin.

5. Axolotls Live for Years

Their extraordinary regenerative abilities might suggest that Axolotls are immortal. Although they can regenerate lost organs effortlessly, they are still aging and will eventually die. Their natural lifespan is around 15 years.

If you keep them healthy at home and meet all their needs, they have the chance to live as long as 20 years. Living in captivity is much safer for them. Out in the wild, there are many stress factors and other creatures that can be dangerous to them.

In a home aquarium, on the other hand, they can live comfortably and without any threat lurking in their environment.

6. Axolotls are Peaceful

Even though Axolotls are predators, they might only seem aggressive when they try to catch their food. But they do this out of necessity and otherwise they are rather peaceful. When they are doing their thing, they are typically just walking around in the bottom of the aquarium, exploring.

If you keep two of them in the same tank, there are going to be little to no territorial disputes. Given, of course, that you have bought a big enough fish tank.

7. Axolotls are Easy to Care For

It is much cleaner to keep an Axolotl than to keep any fish species at home. If you buy a big enough tank, you won’t need to change the tank water as often. The waste they produce comes out in a big piece that can be removed immediately.

By doing so, you can make the water fresh and clean without doing anything fancy. It is going to be even better if you remove the leftover food from the tank. These are the two main factors that would otherwise contribute to water contamination.

It is much easier to maintain a clean environment when you have an Axolotl.

8. Axolotls Don’t Stink

Axolotls are underwater creatures and it’s not recommended to take them out of the water for more than a couple of minutes. Even when you take them out of the tank, they don’t stink at all. Stinking characterizes many other pets that people can keep at home.

If you don’t like stinky pets such as rats, hamsters or tortoises, then you should probably get an Axolotl. Contamination is not an issue either, since the waste they produce comes out in one big piece. Then, you can simply remove it from the tank and thus keep the water clean.

9. Axolotls are Easy to Breed

Whenever you want to breed an Axolotl, you only need to simulate seasonal change for them. This can be done by cooling the water down a bit. In their natural habitat, their breeding season is during early spring and late winter.

During these seasons, the water gets a bit colder than the usual. During this period, the male starts to lay down “packets” that the female will later pick up and fertilize herself with them. They don’t need to contact each other for breeding.

10. Axolotls can Survive Without Food for Weeks

Are you about to go on a vacation and leave your Axolotl at home? There is nothing to worry about, as your little pet is going to be fine for a couple of weeks. In fact, if you don’t want to make your Axolotl stressed, then you should feed it within 3-4 days.

But if you have to, you can leave for a couple of weeks without doing much damage. In fact, a great solution is to leave a group of live feeder fish in the aquarium. Whenever your Axolotl gets hungry, he can hunt them down one by one and get its daily dose of protein.

Live feeder fish generate a lot of waste but you can leave the filter on and the water isn’t going to get as contaminated.

Conclusion

These were only a few reasons why we would recommend you to buy an Axolotl for your home aquarium. After all, who wouldn’t want such an unusual looking pet that is easy to take care of? You are going to be proud to show off this pet to your friends who will be amazed by its interesting behaviors.

It’s easy to feed them, to set up the tank for them and to breed them as well. If you feel like breeding them, there are many colors to choose from. Although Axolotls are mostly solitary animals, you can either keep two of them in a bigger tank or many of them in separate tanks.

When it comes to safety, they are not poisonous at all and their bite doesn’t hurt either.

Updated: November 4, 2020

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