Do Axolotls Need an Air Pump?

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Air pumps are often purchased by aquarium owners to improve the quality of the water in their tank and to improve oxygenation of the water.

This is fairly popular for some fish breeds that tend to consume a lot of oxygen and where it is not available otherwise. However, do axolotls need an air pump?

No, axolotls will not require you to purchase an air pump, or an air bubbler. That’s because the filter itself will be a good enough source of oxygen for your tank, and it should provide enough oxygen for your axolotls.

This means that you’ll need a decent filter, or a good one. This is important for keeping your water clean and making sure that axolotls don’t get in touch with harmful particles such as ammonia and other particles.

An air bubbler or an air pump would thus not be very beneficial for axolotls. They might sometimes come to the surface to get some oxygen, which is normal. However, if you see them gasping for air often, then it might make sense to consider an air pump. But that only happens rarely.

Read on if you want to know more about axolotls and air bubblers, and when you should consider buying one for your axie tank.

How Oxygen Gets into the Water?

The first thing you need to understand is how exactly the oxygen will enter into the water naturally?

It will happen through surface agitation, which is when oxygen molecules from the air are dissolved into the water.

This is a completely natural process that happens through the basic chemistry processes that happen where there is sea, lakes, or any other types of water.

How much oxygen gets into the water will depend on several factors. It depends on how clean the water is, how much oxygen there already is in the air and in the water, and other factors that determine this.

In an aquarium, this process will also happen naturally. For an axolotl tank, this process, along with the filter oxygenation, will be enough for your axolotl. But then again, observe the behavior of your axolotl often.

If you see signs that they’re gasping for air, then you might want to consider an air pump or bubbler, which will produce more oxygen for the water.

Do Axolotls Come to Surface for Air?

Yes, you will often see axolotls come to the surface, gasp for some air, and then swim back into the water.

It’s a perfectly normal behavior that will happen even if the oxygen levels are optimal. This is how axolotls behave – it’s just a part of their natural behavior.

You should not be surprised if you see this happening in your tank.

However, you should observe if there’s something unusual happening when they come for air. If they are increasingly gasping for air, even when they are in the water, then this is an indicator that something might be wrong.

If they are gasping for air at the surface, then you definitely need to increase the amount of oxygen that’s in the water.

And the best way to do that is to consider buying an air bubbler or an air pump. But again, this does not happen very often, but if it does, know that you can help your axolotl live better.

Can Air Bubbles Stress Your Axolotl?

One of the worrying things when you buy an air pump is the air bubbles and the stream water or air that the pump will have. If the air pump makes a strong water flow, then you should avoid it altogether.

Instead, take a look at some pumps that have an option to adjust the water flow. It might mean that the water pump will be more expensive to get this feature but if your axolotl is gasping for air constantly, it might be worth it.

Excess water flow will stress out your axolotl. It can happen whether that flow is coming from your bubbler, or even from your filter.

That’s why it’s often recommended to buy devices that have an adjustable flow rate. It will prevent your axolotl from getting overly stressed if this happens in your tank.

Benefits of Using Air Bubbler in Axolotl Tank

Using an air bubbler in an axolotl tank does have some benefits, despite its drawbacks.

A good air bubbler will increase oxygen exchange in the tank, meaning that there will be more oxygen available for your axolotl. This can help them if they’re struggling to get enough oxygen in your tank already.

Secondly, an air bubbler will help with water evaporation, which will cool down the water. This is especially helpful during summer days when you need to try and keep the temperature down as much as possible if it’s hot outside.

Do Axolotls Need a Filter?

Absolutely, axolotls will need a filter. And a good one, too, especially if you tend to keep several axolotls or if you keep them in a larger tank where there are other fish or plants in the tank.

The important thing that a good filter will do is remove all the residual waste in the tank, and remove also other waste that can cause several harmful chemicals to form.

And a good filter should also provide enough oxygen for your axolotls in the tank. This means that you might not even need an air bubbler for your axolotl to survive comfortably.

As we’ve already mentioned, you should get a filter with an adjustable flow rate. This prevents them from getting carried away by the filter, which will cause a great deal of stress.

This means you will need a high-quality filter, which can save you the cost of buying an air pump or air bubbler.


To conclude, you will probably not need an air pump or an air bubbler for your axie tank. That’s because the filter should produce enough oxygen already.

However, if you do see your axolotl gasping for air frequently, then you should consider an air bubbler with an adjustable flow rate.

Updated: September 1, 2022

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