Written By : M Samy

Best Water Filtering System For Axolotls

Best water filters and filtering system for axolotls 

Axolotls are very sensitive to the quality of their tank water, that’s why it’s important to choose the best filter to keep the level of toxic nitrogen and ammonia as low as possible in the water, so here are the best water filters for axolotls tank.

Types of axolotl tank water filters : 

1- Mechanical filtration : like filter pads or sponge ones like traditional filters that pass the water from the tank through filters that will simply capture the thin particles, bacteria, algae … present in the water to keep it clean.

2- Biological Filtration : like beneficial bacteria or even aquatic live plants, you will simply install in the tank of your axolotl supports and shelters on which these bacteria will live and proliferate, such as BIO RINGS, lava rocks …etc

3- Chemical Filters : This type of filtration consists in installing activated carbon in the axolotl’s tank in order to capture impurities, bad bacteria and thus ensure the cleanliness of the water in the tank, but as far as axolotls are concerned, this is not enough.

best water filters for axolotls tank

What are the qualities of a good water filter for axolotls?

Axolotls produce a lot of waste and the levels of the deadly ammonia can quickly become concentrated in the water making it toxic to the axolotls who usually use their gills to breathe.

But the problem is that axolotls usually need calm water without too many eddies and currents, which makes the choice of their water filter very tricky.

Some filters also emit a lot of sound and create a lot of vibration in the water, which could stress your axolotl and cause stress-related illness.

What is the best solution to filter axolotl tank water without stressing them?

The best way to keep your axolotl’s water clean , especially when you’re housing many axolotls together, is to use a combination of filters, i.e. use a mechanical filter, not too powerful to capture large waste, depending on the size of the tank and also use biological and chemical filters to help the mechanical filter get rid of microscopic waste, bad bacteria, fine particles and micro plankton that can grow in the axolotl’s tank.

Which filter to use for your axolotl tank ?

To better filter the water in the tank of your axolotls, you should first choose a large tank, and then use a combination of live freshwater plants, why not some shrimp and a filter, I would recommend two of the best filters for your axolotl tank.

1- Fast growing freshwater live plants and crustaceans to help filter the tank water:

Before you buy a filter for your axolotl tank, you must first install freshwater plants in the tank, they are essential to help filter and consume the fine particles that can escape mechanical and chemical filtration.

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Don’t forget that these plants will also :

  • Produce oxygen in the water
  • Serve as hiding places for your axolotl
  • Serve as a promontory for your axolotl to rest on without hurting its legs
  • Serve as a place for eggs if you have a female
  • To feed on certain contaminants and to lower the CO2 level in the water

It is therefore necessary to make a combination of filters to ensure that the water remains clean as long as possible and to ensure the stability of the Nitrogen cycle , not to mention the aesthetic side that these plants will provide to your tank.

Small shrimps are also excellent tank cleaners, think of adding some small ones in the tank of your axolotl, it will hunt them from time to time but they will also help to rid the water of the remains of the food of your axolotl and also give more beauty to the tank.

Here are some plants that will help filter the water in your axolotl tank:

  • Java Moss
  • Anacharis or Brazilian elodea, Egeria
  • Java Fern
  • Pathos plant ( you can grow it outside the tank , put the leaves in the tank and  stick their roots into the Hang-on-back filter , this plant will get its food and water from there )
  • Aquarium Lilies
  • Hornwort for bigger tanks
  • Anubias Nana
  • Vallisneria as a background plant
  • Salvinia Natans ( this one prevents algae in the tank )
  • Marimo Moss Balls for your shrimp .

2- The two best filters for axolotl tank :


No, I don’t recommend them, here’s why : 

For beginner axolotl owners, many recommend “Sponge filters” but this kind of filters although they provide both mechanical and biological filtration.

These kind of filters are too big and occupy a lot of space in the tank, and if you have a big tank, you will have to install at least two filters, add to this, Sponge filters, do not retain fine particles and you have to continuously change or clean the filters.

Finally, these cheap filters are ugly and your axolotl tank will lose its initial purpose after the well being of your axolotls and which the visual beauty of the aquarium, and this is the last thing you want, your axolotl tank must remain beautiful to see, is not it!


Definitely ” YES ” , here’s Why :

This AquaClear filter is by far the best filter for your axolotl tank because it is adjustable, so you can adjust the flow of water and limit the current in the tank.

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But also, these filters are accessible from outside the water and you can easily clean or change them.

And most importantly, you can add in the media compartment to combine between three-stage filtration: mechanical, chemical and biological, with the sponge, biological filters like Bio Ring or even lava rocks or activated carbon filter to capture and neutralize fine particles and bad bacteria and remove them from the tank water.

This filter is also not too expensive and does not require much maintenance, and you will have peace of mind once installed.

And if you combine this filter with some axolotl tank live plants and some goats, your tank will stay clean and most importantly this filter is not completely submerged in the water and you can also hide it with live plants.

I strongly recommended Hang-On-Back filter because it is adjustable and can be adapted to the size of your aquarium and the character of your axolotl, if it likes too much tranquility or on the contrary if it loves a little bit agitated water.

You can choose the one that suits the size of your tank, you can choose from 5 to 110 gallons.

This filter remains the best even if it is a little more expensive than Sponge filters, you will certainly not regret buying it.


Defiantly ” YES ” , here’s why :

The advantage of this filter is that it is very quiet and more powerful than the HOB filters I mentioned before.

External Canister filters , ( less than $40 ) are recommended for large tanks and especially if your axolotl is very shy and too sensitive to current, water vibrations and sound.

best water filter for axolotls
Canister filter fluval 07

This filter is also adjustable, has a customizable media (bio media) and a slow flow with spray bar that helps with promoting water movement and water oxygenation, it is also recommended if you install your aquarium in your bedroom, you will hardly hear it.

The only drawback is that it is a bit expensive , the best one Fluval 07 costs $185 and a bit more difficult to clean than HOB filter but its not a big deal , this one is the best even with that price .

Other filters I don’t recommend!

There are other filter systems for aquariums that are not suitable for axolotls, personally I cannot recommend UV filters or under-gravel filters because I simply do not recommend gravel as the original substrate for your axolotl.

I have only recommended filters that are safe for axolotls and that are especially adapted to this fragile animal and its habits and that all axolotl lovers have tested without encountering any problems.

Let’s wrap this up

To make sure that your axolotl is always in a clean, calm and oxygenated tank, there is no better combination of live freshwater plants and an external filter such as the Hang-On-Back filter or Canister filter, and if you add a few shrimps to the tank after quarantining them, your axolotl will live in very clean water without too much effort or continuous or daily cleaning.

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M Samy pet blogger and author at famillypet

About Author

Hey! 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