Setting up your aquarium
Axolotls can be great fun to keep, but they do have a few important requirements. Here are the basic needs for your axolotl:
An axolotl requires at least 40L of water.
Filtration must be gentle.
Lighting is not required, and can be stressful if intense.
Heaters are not necessary.
Substrate is strongly discouraged, as gravel or sand can cause intestinal damage.
Some suitable hides or caves are recommended.
Avoid adding any sharp or rough objects to the tank.
Axolotls should be kept in a tank without any other fish.
Preparing to introduce your axolotl
After setting up the aquarium, the filter needs to go through a process known as
the ‘NITROGEN CYCLE’ . Specific stages in this process can cause harm to the
axolotl –the ammonia and nitrite can burn their skin and gills
if they get to dangerous levels. There are ways to combat this, but it is best to
complete this cycle with some goldfish. Once the cycle is completed (typically around
4-6weeks) bring the goldfish back and put the axolotl in the cycled aquarium.
You can check our website for more detailed information on the nitrogen cycle.
If possible, we suggest you bring a water sample to the store every week or so for free testing during this cycle and we will be happy to guide you through this process to ensure the axolotl is introduced safely.
Caring for your axolotl
Once the axolotl is in the aquarium, give them some time to explore their new home. Wait about an hour and give them some food. Feed your axolotl about once every 2 days during summer and once every 3 during winter.
The axolotls we sell have been raised on carnivore tablets and will feed like most fish. You can also use fresh foods such as earthworms, whitebait, liver, lean heart, strips of squid, or prawn tails. Avoid live feeder fish as they can pick at the gills of the axolotls which can be fatal.
A regular water change routine will keep your axolotl healthy. Normally 10 – 30% weekly or fortnightly is enough. Always use a water conditioner.
Over time we can test your water and let you know if the routine needs adjusting.
While axolotls are a cold-water animal, they do not require temperatures as low as internet forums suggest.
Our axolotls are bred and raised in Australia and can tolerate local conditions. We find they are comfortable at up to around 26C°. At temperatures above 26C°, you may need to use a fan on the surface of the water to provide evaporative cooling. A chiller is not needed unless that aquarium in a particularly hot environment. Air-conditioned rooms are also good. Do not place the aquarium in direct sunlight.
We generally have axolotls available in chocolate, olive, leucistic & gold.