Do Axolotls Need Light?

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When setting up an axolotl tank, we often encounter the question of lighting; do axolotls need light?

The answer is that axolotls don’t need a lot of light for their aquarium. They need dim light, as they don’t have eyelids and can be highly sensitive to higher light outputs. Stronger light sources are not for them, and they can cause a great deal of stress on your axolotl.

But what to do then, if they don’t like to have a lot of light in their tank? The best solution would be to have natural light, although that’s not viable for everyone.

Their eyes have adapted to low-light conditions, as they live in areas where the light levels are quite low, and usually, the plants on the water surface cover the water and the light is low. We can try to replicate those conditions in our tanks as much as possible.

But how to do that? We’ll go over this question in this article; we’ll also take a look at some of the best lighting systems for axolotl tanks, and everything about lighting up the aquarium. Let’s get started.

Axolotl Tank Placement

One of the best solutions for axolotl tank lighting is to place the tank into an appropriate spot within your household. Placement is essential, as it enables the natural light to come in, and you can avoid spending your hard-earned dollars.

The axolotl tank should be placed in an indirect sunlight. In this way, they will get more than enough sunlight needed to survive and strive. It will encourage the sort of conditions that an axolotl needs.

You should avoid putting the tank into direct sunlight, though. This will cause the axolotl a lot of stress, which can lead to diseases and various health problems. Also, direct sunlight will heat up the water in the tank, which can also cause stress. Additionally, it promotes the growth of algae, causing you to clean the tank much more often.

So indirect sunlight is possibly the best solution for an axolotl tank, but what if you have plants in the tank? Plants will need light, so you’ll have to ensure they get it. With indirect sunlight, the light the plants will get is just not enough.

Best Dimmable LED Light for Axolotl Tank

That’s why we have to make sure they get enough light. We can do that easily with a dimmable LED lighting system. But which one to choose?

We have gathered some of the best dimmable LED lights for your axolotl tank. Here they are.

1. Phlizon LED Light

One of the best lighting systems for your axolotl tank is the Phlizon LED light. It features amazing decorative options, with lights ranging from red, blue, to purple, green, and white.

This light is essential if you have plants in your axolotl tank, as it will encourage them to build a defense mechanism more effectively.

But the most important feature is arguably the double dimmer model. With it, you’ll be able to decrease the light output from this system, enabling the plants and axolotls to adjust to the light faster, and of course, it will enable you to keep axolotls.

You can enable this dimmer function at day and during the night, and it can be adjusted via knobs. There are two separate channels for dimming the light, and you can use them in combination or separately, depending on your needs.


2. BeamsWork DA FSPEC LED Light

The BeamsWork LED lighting system is another great option for axolotl tank owners. It comes in different sizes: 20”, 24”, 30”, 36”, 48”, and 72”.

So there’s a lot of variety, and you have to choose the size so that it fits at the top of your tank. As it is placed conveniently at the top, the control of the lighting system is incredibly easy.

It has 40 LED lights of 0.5W output. The lights come in all different colors: white, blue, red, and green. But that’s completely adjustable; you can control almost everything about this lighting system.

There’s also a timer that lets you instruct the lighting system when to work, and when not to. That’s useful during the day, when there’s natural light coming into the tank.

Of course, there’s also a way to control the light output of the lighting system. At the start, the lights will seem bright, but you can control it easily. It has two modes of operation: the day and night mode, letting you choose between the two light outputs easily.

For axolotls, it’s recommended to have the night cycle on, as the light levels will be significantly lower and bearable for the axolotl in your tank.


3. Coodia Aquarium Hood Lighting

I recommend this lighting system if you’re looking for something simple yet effective. To start with, there are five different sizes to pick from. You’ll have to measure your tank first before you make your choice, as you’ll want the lighting system to fit on top of the aquarium.

But don’t worry, even if you miss your measurements for a couple of inches, there’s also an extendable bracket to fit the light easier.

The strength of this light is certainly in its energy efficiency. It has a dedicated power supply which will make sure that the device will be as economical as possible.

But more importantly, there’s various modes to choose from. For axolotl tank owners, it’s essential that there’s the dimmable mode, enabling you to have a lower light output that will still be enough for the plants in the tank.

It also has a remote control system (2.4G), letting you control everything remotely. You don’t even need to point at the system, and you can control it through a wall.

I recommend this device for everyone looking for simplicity – it’s easy to install, and there’s many control options to make it viable.


How to Set up Aquarium Lights for Axolotls?

The first thing you need to make sure you buy the right lighting system. It should have the dimmable light, so that the axolotls don’t get overwhelmed.

Then, make sure the lights don’t produce too much heat. That can have bad consequences for an axolotl aquarium; it can heat up the water significantly, and even out of the ideal ranges. You’ll have to keep an eye on the temperatures of the water. So buy the lights that don’t produce too much heat.

A good idea is to also not run the lights constantly. Not only will this save you money on the electricity, but it will also make sure that the water doesn’t heat up too much. During the day, the lighting is not required, for example, and you can keep it on for 6-8 hours daily, which is more than enough for the plants.


Axolotls prefer dimmer light conditions. That can be easily achieved with indirect sunlight. But if you have plants, this light is not enough. In those cases, you’ll need to purchase a lighting system with a dimmable mode.

What this mode does is reduce the light coming from the lighting system, and still enable that the plants get enough light. At the same time, your axolotls will live in the aquarium comfortably.

Updated: September 1, 2022

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