Axolotls are amazing amphibious salamander type creatures that are found in freshwater lakes and ponds in Mexico and they are best characterized by happy, young looking, smiling faces which makes them very attractive to keep as pets. They don’t grow past juvenile stage in terms of their facial features which is referred to as neoteny.
Axolotls are ancient creatures who were revered by the ancient Aztecs who ate them for the nutritional value and fave them the names “water dogs” and “Mexican walking fish”. They are now on the endangered species list, they are now readily kept as pets because of their low maintenance nature and attractive features.
One of the best things about axolotls and feeding is that they will only eat until they are full, they can have a very diet of earthworms another small fish and they will only need to be fed around 2 or 3 times a week.
Basic Axolotl Facts
Axolotls are relatively easy to care for, they cooler water temperatures from about 15 to 17 degrees underwater should not exceed 22 degrees.
The water does need to be circulated but not too aggressively as Axolotls will take oxygen from the air so good water filter is a must and the water levels in an axolotl tank should be at least 25 cm.
Axolotls Can Cannibalise Each Other
Axolotls can cannibalise each other if kept together and they will nip on each other’s gills especially as babies or if one is bigger than the other or if they get too hungry, so, if you want to keep two in the same tank, you need to ensure that they are roughly the same size.
I will live for 10 to 15 years if cared for properly, so if you get one of them as a pet make sure that they are in your long-term plans.
They can weigh as much as 10 pounds which is quite heavy for their size and they can grow to about 16 inches in length which is also large for an amphibian.
Axolotls were even loved by the ancient Aztecs who gave them their names as the “Mexican walking fish” or the “Water Dog”.
Axolotls And Feeding
When it comes to eating, Axolotls don’t actually chew their food they use suction instead and the gravel that they pick up from the bottom of their habitat is used to help break down the food in their stomaches and also for buoyancy purposes to allow them to float.
Since Axolotls are usually at the top of the food chain in their natural environment, they’re able to get a good variety of foods, helping to keep them healthy and full of nutrients.
If you can provide your Axolotl with a good few of their favourite foods in a diet with plenty of variety, this will lead a happy healthy pet for the long term.
Try to avoid feeding your axolotl the same things over and over again as this will lead to nutritional deficiencies and health problems.
How Often To Feed Adult Axolotls
Adult Axolotls will take anywhere for two to three days to fully digest there food and this is why an adult Axolotl should be fed three times a week for 1-hour at a time and when the hour passes you should quickly remove any leftover food and excrement from the tank.
Because they take 2 days to fully digest food, feeding them any more than that will lead to bloating and weight issues an in turn poor health.
Another way to feed your Axolotl is with the 2 minute rule. This states that you should only feed your Axolotl as much as they can eat in 2 minutes and then remove the food. Other people suggest 5 minutes but I have always found it perfect to let them eat for an hour and then remove any access food.
A good rule of thumb to ensure that your axolotl is being fed enough, is that their body is as wide as their head when they are at a healthy weight.
How Often Do Baby Axolotls Eat
Juvenile axolotl will need to be fed a bit more, between four and five times a week but they may eat less in each feeding. If they can eat two earth worms a day for the first two years of their lives, they should be good to move onto less frequent feeding patterns.
They will also eat more during their youth to fuel their growth into an adult.
The good thing about axolotls is that they will only eat until they are full so you can put in a bit of extra food and if they don’t eat it you, can quickly remove it after 1-hour to avoid overeating.
I find it is always best to allow them to eat their fill each time they are fed for 1 hour.
What Do Axolotls Eat
Axolotls are generally carnivores so they will thrive on a meat based diet. Another interesting fact about the axolotl is that they have a uniquely structure digestive system making them incapable of digesting vegetable matter although they can still tolerate some vegetables in very small doses.
Axolotls like a varied diet as we have mentioned, they are the top dogs and their natural environment eating plenty of worms and even small fish and these bottom feeders like to switch it up.
The axolotl can generally eat anything that is smaller than it, it has a set of rudimentary teeth that are just made for latching onto their prey but they won’t bite or tear their prey instead they will swallow it whole.
They have large heads for the very reason of being able to to swallow prey big enough to give them sufficient nutrients and calories to survive.
When they approach their prey all they have to do is open their mouths and this will create a suction effect of all the water around them and it will suck their food straight into their mouth once they are close enough to it and they will swallow it whole.
A List Of Foods That They Can Eat
- Live worms
- Blood worms
- Earth worms
- White worms
- Tubifex worms
- Brine shrimp
- Salmon pellets
- Fish pellets
- Daphnia (Crustacians)
- Prawn meat
- Ghost Shrimp
- Cherry shrimp
You can also feed your axolotl live feeder fish, but there is some risk that these fish will carry parasites and pass disease onto your axolotl so this is best to be avoided unless you want to separate those fish for a good few days before giving them to your pet.
Can I Feed My Axolotl Garden Worms
Garden worms are perfect for axolotls as they contain all the nutrients and vitamins that they need but again you need to be careful when introducing them from the garden that they don’t contain parasites which might lead to disease in your pet so it’s best to get them from the local pet store or order them online.
How Often Do Axolotls Poop
You should see whatever you feed your axolotl coming back out as one solid stool within a day or 2 of them eating.
They may even eat their own poop by accident but they will quickly spit it back out.
How Long Can An Axolotl Go Without Food
A healthy adult male Axolotl can go up to 3 weeks without food, but that is not a good idea is as they will become extremely unhealthy, pick up diseases and might even die.
Can An Axolotl Eat Maggots
Yes, your axolotl can eat maggots as they contain all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins that they need but they also contain a lot of fat so it’s best to keep their main diet to worms and fish pellets if you can.
Can Axolotls Eat Canned Tuna
Yes, tuna contains a lot of the proteins and healthy fats that your axolotl needs to stay healthy and as part of a varied and balanced diet then small chunks of tuna are perfectly safe to feed your axolotl.
Our Favourite Axolotl Foods On Amazon
Invert Aquatics fast sinking pellets for Axolotls
Since axolotls are usually bottom feeders, these soft pellets are perfect for feeding them, my pets can eat three to four of these in one sitting, one eats 3 and the other eats 4 along with a good dose of earth worms.
These are about the size of a bb and the axolotl might wait until they sink to the bottom before sucking them up.
They are also soft so if you have a particularly small axolotl, you can easily break them in half.
They have plenty of meaty goodness, with fish meal, salmon meal and shrimp meal included to give your pet the variety it needs.
Check out some reviews here:
Tetra Blood Worms Freeze Dried Treat
Tetra bloodworms for a special treat for your pet to include when you are feeding them they can suck these right off the bottom of your aquarium and there specially formulated to remove any parasites that may have been in the blood worms and they were alive making these perfectly safe for your axolotl.
Tetra or bestseller with plenty other products and they have thousands of positive reviews online.
Check them out here: