10 reasons why your axolotl won’t eat
The main reasons why an axolotl will stop feeding are either an inadequate food , a change of tank, a tank water that is too turbulent , hot or too polluted , stress because of an aggressive tank mate , an intestinal obstruction and finally the arrival of winter .
You should always consult a veterinarian if you suspect that your axolotl is sick , I will give some advice here but the last word would be that of your veterinarian.
1 – A new habitat
This is the N° Onereason of the 10 reasons why your axolotl won’t eat . Some axolotls refuse to feed, sometimes throughout the first week when they change location.
If you have just bought your axolotl, give it a little time to get used to its new environment, to its new tank companion perhaps, come back to see the breeder and ask him for advice and ask if he has not noticed that this axolotl has stopped eating long before he sells it to you, in this case, it would be one of the other reasons that will follow.
2 – The arrival of winter
Your axolotl will now just lengthen the time between one meal and another.
If your axolotl is an adult, it could be that during the winter, when temperatures drop and you have not heated the room or exposed your axolotl’s tank, which could be understandable, then the metabolism of your axolotl will slow down and the number of meals per week will also decrease.
3 – Water that is too hot
Contrary to the previous reason, if the water temperature of your axolotl rises and remains for several days above 22°C, your axolotl usually acting normally ( normal activity ) will surely stress and may refuse to feed; therefore check the water temperature and make sure it remains between 16°C and 18°C, it should not exceed 23°C especially for a long time !
4 – Tank water too degraded and of poor quality
Your Axie may be refusing to eat because of the quality of his water, which may have deteriorated. Your filter may be too dirty or it may not work without your attention, which could cause water quality to deteriorate, too high a level of nitrite, nitrate and ammonia will make the water unbearable for your axolotl.
The ideal levels are :
- Ammonia should be at 0 ppm
- Nitrite should be maintained below 0.75 ppm
- Acceptable Nitrates Level : from 20 to 60 ppm are acceptable .
5 – A food not to his taste!
Your axolotl doesn’t want to eat any more because of the bad quality of the food you give it . badly preserved worms or spoiled pellets ,
It could also be the size of the food which could be too large for your axolotl to swallow !
See my other article on how to feed your axolotl for more info on this topic
6 – A too aggressive Tank companion
You may not have paid attention but your axolotl refuses to eat because it is being attacked by its tank mate, so check if it is not injured, which would be a sign that it is being attacked by his tank mate and he prefers to stay in his shelter instead of exposing himself to danger and get a limb or a piece of gill.
7- An intestinal occlusion
Your axolotl may not eat because of constipation, which can occur in young axolotls, when they are not yet used to pellets, and have not yet developed an adequate intestinal flora. A visit to the veterinarian will solve this problem with a treatment based on kerosene oil.
8- A cycle of Nitrogen not complete !
You may have been in too much of a hurry to bring your axolotls back when your aquarium has not yet completed its nitrogen cycle !
The water may be saturated with nitrates and the axolotl can’t eat anymore and it could also be that he vomits his food when he forces himself to swallow some.
Test the water in the tank and make sure it has completed its nitrogen cycle.
9- Your Axolotl has swallowed a gravel
He won’t eat If your Axolotl swallowed a gravel that got stuck in her intestine, there is not much to do, some recommend putting it in the refrigerator, he may vomit and reject it! others say it is good to give him (make him drink) a little beaver oil! ! but personally, I just advise you to lower the water temperature to just over 14 °C to slow down the bacterial activity in his intestine and avoid the production of Gas that would make your axolotl float and stress him even more !!
If this has already happened, reduce the water level so that your axolotl can rest on at least one of the decors.
10- A filter that is too powerful
Your axolotl refuses to eat because the water is too turbulent and causes stress. The tank of your axolotl needs a powerful filter, but you may be using the wrong model, it may create a strong current in the water and it is not ideal for an axolotl that hates swirling and loves calm water.
I advise you to install a sponge filter for the tank of your axolotl, they are powerful without creating too much eddies or currents in the tank.
Finally , I hope I have covered all the possible reasons why your axolotl may refuse food and in some cases regurgitate it.
If you know of other reasons, please share them with other axolotl lovers by leaving a comment.