Written By : M Samy

6 key tips when choosing an axolotl

6 Tips when Choosing an Axolotl

When choosing an axolotl, look for signs of good health such as a muscular body and tail, healthy and fluffy gills, a skin free of blemishes and bumps and uniform in texture and color, as well as a strong body, free of amputations and wounds.

1- Pick the breeder before choosing the axolotl 

The first choice you must make when picking an axolotl is to get it either from a reputable licensed breeder or from an exotic pet store that has its axolotls delivered by a breeder who has carefully chosen the axolotls he allows to breed, axolotls that have no predisposition to disease or malformations.

If you buy your axolotls on the Internet, you may miss a lot of things concerning the health of the axolotl and the quality of its genes, which may lead to many diseases in the future and even the early death of your axolotls.

Make sure you also find out about their refund policy and ask for as much information and advice as possible about axolotls and their needs and especially a phone number to call at least during the first month in case you have any doubts about how to properly care for your axolotls, a passionate breeder will not refuse you that!

tips when choosing an axolotl

 2- Choosing a healthy axolotl

The health of axolotls has almost nothing to do with their morph, color or type and that’s why you should rather focus on how to pick a healthy axolotl, right after you have chosen which color and breed you like.

Here is what a healthy axolotl looks like and how to find the best axolotl among all its relatives:

Pick an axolotl with a good shape:

You are going to pick axolotls that are neither too thin, nor too fat, with round belly, their belly should not be too big than their head, a too big belly can be a sign of disease or fluid retention.

A healthy axolotl is one that does not have visible ribs on its sides, a malnourished axolotl probably has a weakened immune system and may not be able to withstand a change of tank or a new diet. 

Choose an axolotl that has a muscular body and is not overweight, its tail should be strong, muscular and complete and should not be curled at the end.

Avoid axolotls that are missing a leg and especially if its back legs have a red color (deadly inflammation, sign of red leg syndrome), axolotls often walk on the bottom of the tank, it must use its four legs to move and this is what you should look for in an axolotl.

Choose an axolotl that has no wounds:

You will look carefully to detect individuals that have no lesions, no wounds and especially no amputated limbs or bumps on the skin and head.

Choosing an axolotl with healthy gills :

You will then check its gills, a healthy axolotl will surely have a beautiful fluffy, full branched gills, they shouldn’t be curled towards his head, they should move freely and gracefully in the water.

Avoid axolotls with curled or damaged gills, gills with white stuff on them and pale gills as well as infected gills (red gills).

Choose axolotls with healthy skin:

You should look for an axolotl that has an evenly textured skin, consistent color and no discoloration in some spots.

If you notice (loss of color and paleness) yellowish, white patches or reddish spots, it may be due to an infection that, even if already treated, you do not yet have the knowledge to deal with if your axolotl is going to catch this infection again without confirming that it has already put its immune system to the test, predisposing it to other diseases.

The axolotl’s skin should not be covered even partially with mucus and should not have bumps, signs of subcutaneous cysts, sores, scratches and most importantly it shouldn’t shed! 

3- Avoid choosing juvenile axolotls 

Avoid choosing juvenile axolotls , preferably , pick axolotls that are more than one year old and whose size is about 6 inches.

Young axolotls may not have yet got rid of their cannibalistic stage and are more difficult to feed and may fall ill more easily.

On top of that, older axolotls that have already been sexed may show a calmer character and a better resistance to stress.

In my opinion, a one and a half year old axolotl would be an excellent choice.

4- Avoid females especially if you are a beginner

First of all you should avoid choosing two adult axolotls of different genders. Also avoid females, especially adults, as they may already be full of eggs and even unfertilized they may cause him a health problem.

Axolotls do not suffer from loneliness, but if you have to choose two individuals, opt for two male axolotls, it is a sure way to avoid many problems in the future.

5- Choose an axolotl with good behavior:

You should choose an axolotl that does not show any signs of stress, an axolotl that swims quietly and gently, rather calm, that does not go back and forth to the surface, an axolotl that does not stay too much on the surface.

Choose an axolotl that reacts when it sees you, an axolotl that is curious, that shows interest in your movements and that can even follow your finger if you make it move on the glass of the tank.

Axolotls are nocturnal, but an axolotl that stays hidden all the time may have a health problem or is suffering from stress due to a matte tank, so avoid this kind of specimen.

6- Choose axolotls according to your resources 

Axolotls will not cost you too much, but the more axolotls you buy, the more space, means, time and knowledge they will require to take good care of them.

You have to buy and prepare the tank and start the cycling process at least two weeks before you go to bring your axolotls, learn a little bit more about axolotls, their diseases, what they should eat…

If you want my advice, I advise you to prepare a tank of at least 40 gallons which would be good for an axolotl with possible tank mates, preferably a breeder long enough for you to install hides, live plants and other decorative elements.

You should also prepare their food and a kind of first aid kit, which will contain syringes, betadine, methylene blue, Indian almond leaves, organic black tea leaves and some aquarium salt …

Also prepare one or two containers for tubbings , an aquarium thermometer , freshwater testing kit and the phone number of the veterinarian specialized in amphibians or even just in exotic animals …

What should I know before buying an axolotl?

Axolotls are beginner friendly pets, they just need you to prepare a good cycled tank, adequate food, worms and pellets, learn how to maintain your tank, detect the symptoms of diseases before they become serious and finally be ready to support the eternal smile of your axolotls.

Final Thoughts

It’ very important to know how to choose a healthy axolotl with good genes and behavior, but you have to know that you will have to learn how to take good care of your axolotls and that you will eventually have to face situations and eventual diseases, which you can surely avoid if you pay attention to the quality of the water, the maintenance of the tank , the equipment, the changes in the habits of your axolotls and the quality of the food that you give them

So learn everything about axolotls before you go to get one and you will find all the knowledge you need on this blog (section/axolotls) 

M Samy pet blogger and author at famillypet

About Author

Hey! Salim Makhloufi (alias M. Samy) here , Welcome to my Blog I'm an animal lover, especially pets and Really concerned about their well being ; I've been around and caring for all my life and Now ; a full-time Pet blogger at your service . My motto here at Famillypet is: "Pets First" ... Read More