There really is no trick to “teaching” an axolotl to eat out of your hand. Remember, that cute little guy sitting at the bottom of your tank is a predator by nature. If you hold food in front of his mouth and he’s hungry, he will go for it.
Don’t worry about being bitten. Axolotls only have stubby little bumps for “teeth.” They can grip, but they can’t bite and they certainly can’t break human skin. At most, you’ll be startled and feel a little pressure.
If your pet seems reluctant to take what you’re holding out, wiggling it a little as if the food were bait. The motion will activate the axolotl’s hunting instinct. If you want your pet to consistently take food from your hand, offer it at the same time every day.
It’s perfectly easy to just drop food in the aquarium and let the axolotl eat on its own, but then it will become accustomed to doing so and be less likely to eat from your hand.
Because axolotls are both intelligent and observant, they will quickly become accustomed to scheduled feedings by hand and even look forward to it.
Don’t be surprised if your pet stands up on its hind legs as you approach the tank in anticipation of the hand-fed meal – or even “bangs” on the glass with its paw to tell you to hurry up!
Remember to always wash and thoroughly rinse your hands before interacting with your axolotl in this fashion. The primary rule of good care for these aquatic pets is to maintain optimum water quality at all times.
Any residue on your hands can change the chemical composition of the water and prove potentially toxic to the axolotl.
Obviously, you will also want to wash your hands after they’ve been in the tank as well, since properly cycled aquarium water does contain bacteria.