People are now going miles away from the expected. In the pet world, people are known to keep dogs, kitten, and birds as pets. Nowadays people are breaking this norm. Animals like axolotls are now being adopted as pets. Axolotl as pets – this might be a new term for many.
Do you know that an axolotl is a special type of fish often known as walking fish? This is due to the fact that it spends a good part of its life in water.
In this article, we are going to learn more about this special, cheap to maintain and inexpensive pet. If you are an axolotl fish lover, we are going to give you all the basics concerning how you can raise and care for the axolotl.
Also, if you are a sucker fish and other fish fans, consider our in-depth post on Caring, Naming and knowing more about sucker fish.
Axolotls are a type of salamanders that have their origin from Mexico, Lake of Mexico. Therefore, they are special salamanders that live in water nearly its entire life. Axolotls are antisocial animals that don’t interact with other animals. In fact, they feed on those animals that are smaller than them in size. For this reason, when kept as pets, they should not be housed with other smaller animals.
About their appearance, axolotls have a range of colors but the most common ones are black, green, gold, and white (albinos). Their physical appearance resembles a tadpole. Male axolotls tend to have a smaller head than the female axolotl.
Axolotls have a long lifespan of ten to fifteen years when reared in favorable conditions. You should be able to enable them to reach this lifespan considering that their maintenance needs are very cheap.
AXOLOTL CARE AND HOUSING
As established earlier, axolotl animal is very cheap to maintain and care for. Provided they have a large aquarium with very clean water and well-regulated temperature; I don’t see why you would find it troublesome to keep an axolotl. With a very conducive environment, you will be amazed at how fast your pet breeds.
An axolotl can grow to be larger than a salamander and therefore should be provided with a large aquarium, probably 15-20 gallon. The tank should not be necessarily filled with water, but the water should be deeper than the height of the axolotl. The temperatures of the water should be cool, 14-20 degrees Celsius and the tank should be placed away from direct sunlight. Unlike other reptiles, axolotl doesn’t need special lighting.
In case you have gravel at the bottom of the tank, make sure that it is hard enough that the axolotl cannot ingest it when feeding which could cause digestion problems.
Also, it is not recommendable to keep young axolotls in the same tank since they can be cannibalistic. However, adult axolotls can be housed together but with close monitoring.
Frequently change the water for a clean environment for the axolotl. If you consider filtering the water rather than changing the water, do it quite gently and ensure that the filter does not come into contact with the axolotl’s gills. If you use filtering, make sure to change the water at least twice a week. When changing the water, do not drain the entire tank and as it will lead to a complete change of the water environment which is not favorable for the axolotl.
Tap water should be used and chlorine removed and make sure that the water pH is neutral.
AXOLOTL TEMPERAMENT AND BEHAVIOR
Axolotls are very calm animals who spend all their life in water. They have very delicate and permeable bodies that will not thrive out of the water. Even if they make good pet animals, they are not social animals. Rather, they should be considered as display animals which should be handled rarely unless it’s very necessary. As much as they are tame they can be aggressive when the aquarium is overcrowded. Therefore ensure that the tank provides the axolotl with as much space as possible.
While in the wild, axolotl feed in insects, crustaceans, small fish and worms. As a pet, you can your axolotl with small beef cubes and liver, tubifex worms, brine shrimps, earthworms but be careful since the earthworms might contain parasites and other fish feeds. You can purchase some of these feeds from amazon.com. Some of the feeds in Amazon include;
Soft, moist sinking pellets for axolotls. Axolotl’s pellets are high sinking pellets with the nutrient composition of 42% proteins, and 20% oil. You can find the package in four different sizes. These pellets are always available and can always be a good option in seasons like winter when there are no regular foods like worms and insects.
It is good to note that the axolotls react differently when fed with these pellets. Some might consume them faster but some can reject them for the first few times. Also, these pellets should be fed occasionally and not on a daily basis as this could lead to your axolotl gaining a lot of weight due to the large protein content. Pellets should act as supplements. Worms, insects, and slugs are the regular axolotl’s food.
You can find the pellets in three different sizes, small, medium and large. Small pellets, 4-5cm in size are for young axolotls which are just learning to sniff or consuming them for the first time. As for medium and large, you can feed them to adult axolotls which are already accustomed to consuming the pellets.
Zeigler pellets for shrimps and Axolotls. This is an artificial axolotl’s feed that has a composition of a highly balanced nutritional formulation with a high concentration of marine and plant proteins. It is formulated to meet all the diet needs for your axolotl. The special ingredients comprising it plays a major role in female axolotl development. Apart from the proteins, this feed contains vitamins and minerals vital in the axolotl’s health.
There is no reason for not purchasing an axolotl for axolotl lovers. To make it easy for you, it is good I mention that axolotls are rarely found in reptile stores due to their incompatible with other reptiles temperature. Rather, look for them from private breeders whom you can find online.