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What Are Some Basic Things I Should Know Before Buying An Axolotl

What should you know about keeping a pet axolotl?

The axolotl is a type of aquatic salamander that looks somewhat like a cross between a fish and a lizard. They have superior regenerative qualities, even in comparison to other lizards. Compared to other reptiles the axolotl are not generally prone to hiding or lying still for long periods of time, so they are watchable and fascinating to observe.Fun fact, axolotls are neotenic, which means that they don’t generally undergo the distinct metamorphosis from larvae to adult.The basic kit to care for them is not too dissimilar to the one required for fish. You need a glass tank, with a suitable secure lid since axolotl are no strangers to climbing. The water temperature should be between 16 to 18 degrees celsius (around 60 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit) - high temperatures can cause stress and may lead to death.The axolotls tank shouldn’t be directly exposed to bright or intense light, for a long time periods. Make sure that the light is turned off for sufficient periods of time during the hours of darkness.You have to provide a substrate for the base of the tank, such as large fish tank pebbles. Ensure that you don’t use sand or small stones, as axolotl may ingest these inadvertently.Finally, as with all aquatic creatures, water quality and filtration are incredibly important. Clean the tank regularly and supply it with a water filter.There is big significant difference in what a wild and a domestic axolotls eat. The later former eats a wide range of foodstuff such as fish, crustaceans, worms and other reptiles. The domestic, when kept in a tank, they can eat brine shrimp, tubifex worm, bloodworm and other. These are suitable meals that can all be bought easily from most pet stores in frozen packages then be stored at home and administered as appropriate.

Advice on an Axolotl..?

I love axolotls, and we have heaps at my pet shop, so hopefully you can put this information to good use!

We feed ours a wide variety of frozen foods, as you do, but also lots of live substitutions. Crickets, roaches, mealworms, and fish are all popular with our critters, and we feed them via tweezers so the fish don't have a chance to escape and pick at them, or to let the hapless bugs drown and pollute the water. The mealworms are ideal because you can keep them in the fridge for LONG periods of time and feed them basic things like eggshell and carrots for a really healthy gutload. Furthermore, you can set up your own breeding colony easily and have a constant live food supply. You could probably do the same with a small bowl and some guppies if you had the dedication. Using tweezers to feed them also makes life SO much easier, and let's up keep them in tanks so full of plants they're nearly impossible to find if you didn't know their habits.

There are also some premade axolotl food pellets you can buy, but I've never tried them, and never found a need to do such a thing. You can always see about importing something like that, but I'd stick with what's working. If you're worried about nutrition, my advice is feed live foods, and GUTLOAD like you mean it (feed fish food, oats and carrot to crickets) for the best results. Best wishes for you and Dappy!

Is it normal for my axolotls to be swimming around?

That behavior is when a Water Dragon (axolotl) is frightened. The best thing you can do from allowing your Water Dragon to injure itself is to turn off all lights or you can put 1 or 2 ice cube to tank to lower the tank temperature. Cautionary note please do not continue to use ice cubes or ice bottles in your tank because your Water Dragon can not handle the ups and downs in temperature. If you do; your Water Dragon will die.

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Philip Vena
Founder of

We Protect Axolotls
4531 Cornell Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515-2609 USA
(Near West Side of Chicago)
Phone: 1-630-390-7070
Axolotl Forum:

PLEASE HELP! I think my axolotl was attacked by tank mate?

I think Luna has bitten the end of Padfoot's tail off and I was looking on the internet for advice and I saw this picture of this axolotl whose foot had been shredded to the bone by it's tank mate and it said the limb was amputated and grew back and it looks like Luna has done the same thing to Padfoot on two of his legs but I'm not really sure and don't know what to do. I tried to buy a tank divider but the pet shop didn't have any so I brought one of those little floating tank things that fish have babies but I can't leave him in there for long because it's too small for him but I can't leave him with Luna 'cause he's weak and not eating so he's gotten really skinny (you can kinda see his bones under his skin) and small so she'll attack him. Also on the top of his tail is folded over I'm really worried about him and you can't take fish to the vets and that'll probably just stress him out anyway.

How do I convince my mum to let me own an Axolotl?

First let me say this: Why would you want to? You didn't address that.Second: I spent lots of time at my uncle's pet shop as a child. I hated the exotic animals. Most were rescues, and they were a pain in the butt to take care of. They all had special diets, and you had to be careful in the handling of them. Chinchillas were the worst. They stank, they bit, and taking care of them and nursing them back to health was horrible.Most of them again were rescued. Usually from someone that “really really really wanted” them, but realized how difficult they were to take care of.So first make sure you truly want one. Take the time to learn all you can about the animals, both the good and the bad.Any animal is a long term commitment, but exotic animals are more so. After you have done all the research, and taken a long time to decide; then have an intelligent conversation with your mother. Truly listen to her and her objections. And remember that if you get one, it is YOUR responsibility to take care of it. As a mom, I took care of lots of animals that my sons swore they would take care of. Your mom may figure that this will be the end result.