Do Axolotls Need a Filter?

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One of the most pressing concerns for a new owner of an axolotl is whether or not to buy a filter for the axolotl aquarium. Do axolotls need a filter?

Yes, it’s advisable that axolotls should have filters in their tanks. While some owners choose to have aquarium set ups without filters for axolotls, it’s just not recommended as it entails a lot of work.

Also Read: Best Recommended Filters for Axolotl

In truth, axolotls will produce quite a lot of waste, which will make the water quality bad. And that can lead to stress for the axies, and later on, health problems. We can easily avoid that with having a filter in the tank.

If you decide to have a tank without a filter, you’ll have to make water changes almost on a daily basis. Should you get a tank with a filter, then you should get a filter with an adjustable flow rate. Axolotls can be sensible to stronger water currents, and they will encounter stress as they will not be able to move around. You should get a filter with an adjustable flow rate.

Best Filter for Axolotl

Depending on the size of your tank, it’s advisable to have a filter that will be able to clear all of the water in the tank, or even slightly more. Plus, the filter should be easy to use, and should have an adjustable flow rate.

We recommend the AquaClear Fish Tank filter for axolotls. The best thing about it is that it’s super easy to use, and it has a refiltration system that will let you use the adjustable rate, no matter the demands of the tank.

You get 5 size choices for the filter:

  • 20 – for 5 to 20 US gallons
  • 30 – for 10 to 30 US gallons
  • 50 – for 20 to 50 US gallons
  • 70 – for 40 to 70 US gallons
  • 110 – for 60 to 110 US gallons.

The filtration volume is up to seven times larger than of the filters of comparable sizes. There’s also the activated carbon filter and the BioMax filter for a better chemical and biological filtration. All in all, it’s possibly one of the best choices to make.

How to Often to Clean Axolotl Filter?

The frequency of cleaning your filter depends on various things. Firstly, it depends on how many animals you have in the tank, and also what or how many plants you have. Then, it depends on the type and size of the filter, and also the demand that it covers.

Some filters, especially the smaller filters, will get clogged up pretty quickly, especially if the load is huge. In that case, we recommend that you clean the filter two times a week, maybe even more. Of course, you’ll also need to change the filtration media, which you will have to do once the filter loses effectiveness. Usually, it’s after a few weeks or even months.

In other cases, the filters will need cleaning once a week, or at the very least, once every two weeks. Usually, the larger filters will not be that simple and quick to clean, although they will go longer without cleaning.

With the AquaClear filter we discussed above; the cleaning process is very easy. Just take off the filter, and clean it, it’s as straightforward as that. It only takes minutes to do it, and the filter will be almost back on full capacity.

How to Choose a Filter for Axolotls?

There are various things to keep in mind when choosing the filter for an axolotl tank.

Adjustable Flow Rate

Having a filter that has an adjustable flow rate valve is absolutely crucial for the axolotls. That’s because axolotls are not exactly fast swimmers, and they do prefer to move around the tank slowly rather than being carried away fast. They want to have control over how they move, and it’s how they have developed as a species.

An adjustable flow rate valve will help you control the flow of the water coming through the filter. And with the refiltration system that many filters offer, the effectiveness would stay practically the same, even if the flow rate is lower.

Good Size Filter to Overfilter the Water

It’s not a bad idea to get a filter that has a stronger cleaning capacity than the size of your filter. That’s because axolotls will naturally produce a lot of waste, which is made a lot worse if you decide to have plants in your tank.

So, for example, if you plan to have a 10-gallon tank, get a filter that will clean 15 or 20 gallons per water, which will make sure your water is clean at all times, even with the heavier loads.

The Filter Should Have Mechanical, Biological, and Chemical Filtration

Mechanical filtration media will get rid of the larger particles in the water. Then, the water will go through the biological filter, where certain chemicals will get removed, and beneficial bacteria will be produced. Lastly, there should also be a chemical filter, that will completely remove any unwanted chemicals, such as ammonia and nitrites.

Should You Use Two Filters in Axolotl Tank?

It might not be a bad idea to have two filters in your axolotl tank, just to make sure that the filtration is top-notch.

That’s because axolotls will produce a lot of waste, and it could not be handled effectively by just one filter. In those cases, having two filters would be a great idea, although another option is to buy a stronger filter that will clean more water.

But the danger of such filters is that they will suck in water more strongly, and will have stronger flow rates. If you do opt for a stronger filter or even two filters, make sure they have an adjustable flow rate.


Filtration is one of the most important aspects of setting up an axolotl tank. You should choose a quality filter that will be easy to set up and will get the job done. Above all, it will keep your axolotl happy and healthy for longer.

Updated: September 3, 2022

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