Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum)
Axolotls are a type of salamander that is native to Mexico. They spend all of their life in the water and never step out into the land. They do not require a lot of care to grow and develop; however, the living conditions must be right to keep them healthy. To be specific, you need to maintain the proper living condition for axolotls such as regulating the water temperature and water flow inside the tank.
If you are interested to buy baby axolotls for breeding, you can find them online through private breeders. You cannot buy them through reptile stores since they do not thrive well in most types of reptile-friendly temperatures. If you are interested in buying them, you can inquire with your local pet store owners or other hobbyists about getting a special order.
The average size of a full grown adult axolotl can get up to 10 inches in length. It is rare to find ones that grow up to 12 inches, but there are a few ones that do. Once the axolotl grows up to 8 inches, they are also considered sexually mature at this point. It will take about one full year for axolotls to grow to at least 6 inches, though.
Axolotl Life Span
The average life span for most living axolotls is 10 years. However, experts believe they are capable of living up to 20 years.
For an adult axolotl, you need to put 10 gallons of water into an aquarium tank. However, axolotls produce a lot of waste so it might be recommended you go up to 20 gallons. This will protect them from the waste materials they produce turning the water into something toxic. You should also put on a lid to the water tank to prevent them from jumping out of the tank.
Install a filter inside the tank so you can maintain the water quality inside the tank. Furthermore, you should regulate the water flow so as not to cause stress on the axolotls.
Axolotl Lighting and Temperature
The water temperature is one of the most important factors to consider when maintaining the living conditions of axolotls. Ideally, the water should be kept cool. When the water goes up to above 70-degrees Fahrenheit, they can be stressed out. The axolotls have low tolerance for heat.
Meanwhile, you should also regulate the lighting system installed in the water tank. Avoid using lighting fixtures that are too bright because this might cause the axolotls (especially the young ones) to hide under plants. Be very careful when adding light fixtures inside the tank, too, as it can cause the water temperature to rise.
Use appropriate substrate inside the tank. Remember: axolotls will feed on anything that is smaller than them! Hence, use large pebbles to adorn your aquarium with! Some breeders of axolotls completely forego substrate because axolotls can live without them – it is added purely for aesthetic enhancements.
When feeding axolotls, there are a few staple options such as bloodworms and nightcrawlers. You can also feed them lean cuts of chicken, beef, or frozen shrimp. However, you should never feed axolotls with live food because they can be infected with parasites or be the cause of disease transmission.
Axolotl Water and Quality
You can use tap water to fill the axolotl tanks, but make sure you treat it to get rid of chlorines and chloramines. You should also check the pH level of the water to make it ideal for breeding axolotls. When water is too acidic or too basic, it can be harsh on the axolotls too.
Axolotl Handling and Temperament
Axolotls do not have bones, instead they have cartilage. Therefore, they are very vulnerable and should be handled with care. You should not handle them with your bare hands – if you must take them out of the tank, use a net. If you are going to use a mesh net, make sure the material is extremely soft.