Ambystoma mexicanum, known as Mexican walking fish or Mexican salamander are one of natures curiosities and can be a great pet to keep. Here is how to keep an Axolotl in the best health.

Axolotl Care Guide

ALWAYS DECHLORINATE. Axolotls are very susceptible to chlorine and other municipal water treatments. A good quality water conditioner, such as ones designed for axolotls must be used.

SAND OR PEBBLES is best for an axolotl aquarium as they can accidentally ingest gravel (which can be fatal). If using pebbles, go for pebbles bigger than their head.

AVOID BRIGHT LIGHTING. Axolotls do not like bright light, and so dim lighting, no lighting or plenty of coverage should be used.

AVOID ENTANGLEMENT. Ornaments, plants, and algae that may get stuck in their exposed gill filaments should be avoided.

LIVE FOOD. Bloodworm, earthworms, chopped mussels, prawns and other frozen foods can be fed. Axolotls can also be fed pellets specially formulated for their diet.

ENSURE A CLEAN AQUARIUM. Because Axolotls have a carnivorous based diet, they will produce quite a bit of mess. This is why water changes (10 – 20% weekly) is a must, and any substrate will need cleaning.

GOOD FILTRATION BUT NOT STRONG WATER FLOW. Axolotls do not like strong water flows and may become stressed if flow is too high.

KEEP ALONE. It’s recommended to keep axolotls by themselves, and to only keep one or two of a similar size per aquarium.

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  • Origin- Lake Xochimilco (reduced), lake Chalco(extinct) and other surrounding water bodies (Mexico) - Critically endangered in the wild due to habitat loss and invasive species.
  • Care Level - Medium
  • Tank Capacity - 80 litres for one Axolotl, 150 litres for two (Adults).
  • Temperament - Docile, best kept in one species only.
  • Diet - Carnivorous
  • Lifespan - 10 - 15 years
  • Size - up to 20-30cm
  • pH - 6 – 8
  • kH - 6 – 18
  • gH - 6 – 18
  • Temperature - 15 – 20c
  • Flow - low to medium

Interesting facts

  • Axolotls are famous for their ability to regenerate limbs and organs, even their heart or brain! They have the largest genome ever sequenced in the animal kingdom, 10x larger than that of a human!
  • Axolotls exhibits neoteny (normal metamorphosis does not occur and instead the larval form of the animal is maintained) and so both the gills and fins are retained into adulthood. In rare cases axolotls can spontaneously metamorphosise!
  • Although rare, some Axolotls have measured up to 40cm!
  • Hatchlings and juvenile axolotls can be cannibalistic, so it is imperative to provide enough food and to not overcrowd them. Adults will also predate on eggs, hatchlings and young.
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