Written By : M Samy

Do axolotls really need a chiller and cold water ?

Do axolotls really need a chiller and cold water ?

Axolotls need relatively cold water ranging from (60°F/15°C) to (64°F/18°C) but they will not stand water below 57°F/14°C and above 74°F/24°C for extended periods of time. In this case, a small chiller will be useful to gently keep the tank cool without stressing your axolotl by adding ice.

Do axolotls need hot or cold water?

What type of water do axolotls really need ? Axolotls are native to the high-altitude lakes around Mexico City, the canals of Xochimilco for example (5 feet deep on average), their only natural habitat currently being a water temperature ranging from 41°F/5°C in the winter to as high as 80°F/27°C in the warm season.

The bottom of Lake Xochimilco, where the wild axolotls live, may have slightly warmer temperatures, but these data show that wild axolotls are more resistant to low and high temperatures than those in captivity, which only feel really good when the water temperature is between (60°F/15°C) and (64°F/18°C).

Do axolotls need cold water and chiller

Can axolotls live in more than 64°F/18°C or in less than 60°F/16°C ?

So , How cold is too cold for an axolotl tank? Well, an axolotl will start to stress as soon as the water temperature drops below 57°F/14°C, if the water temperature does not return to its ideal temperature, between 60°F and 64°F, the axolotl will enter a state of pre-hibernation and will especially start to stop feeding.

When the water of the tank exceeds 64°F and becomes too hot for the axolotl, it will also quickly become agitated, go back and forth on the surface to breathe air because the level of oxygen dissolved in the water will drop.

Axolotls are more tolerant of cold water than warm water, they can stay alive even if the water temperature reaches 5°C/41°F but for a very short time and if the temperature does not increase, they will surely die of hypothermia.

What happens if my axolotl tank is too hot?

On the other hand, axolotls do not tolerate hot water, they can tolerate for a limited time a water temperature of 70°F/21°C, but if the water temperature goes above 74°C/23°C, the risk of thermal stress becomes very high, the axolotl will stop feeding, come up and stay on the surface and certainly get some stress related disease and probably die soon after.

What to do when this happens ?

Tubbing your axolotl with just enough water so that its legs can touch the bottom will help it regain its composure and enjoy cleaner, well oxygenated water while you replace enough water in the tank to lower the ammonia level without breaking the nitrogen cycle.

How do I know if my axolotl’s tank temperature is too high?

When your axolotls tank goes too hot for a while, you will quickly notice a change in your axolotl’s behavior because axolotls cannot regulate their own body temperature and depend exclusively on the temperature of the tank water.

Your axolotl will become much more active than usual and start to surface more often to breath ..

It will no longer go to the bottom of the tank and will prefer to sit on the plants and decorations.

As the water continues to get warmer, the axolotl will quickly stop eating and become subject to uncontrollable floating and will struggle to swim down to the bottom, which will quickly increase its stress level.

The ammonia level will dramatically increase in the water which will cause the breakdown of the nitrogen cycle, the proliferation of bad bacteria, algae and plankton in the water (green color) and the imminent death of the axolotl poisoned by ammonia which is very soluble in water and very toxic in solid state and especially in gaseous state, the skin burns and the quasi absence of oxygen in the water.

How do you chill an axolotl tank? 

The first thing to do to ensure a good and stable temperature for your axolotl is to install the tank far from heat sources and especially from the direct sunlight.

You can also install thermometers in different corners of the house to locate the corner that offers the best stability throughout the day and an average temperature closest to 60°F to 64°F.

My advice is to put the tank in the coldest room of the house and during the warm season, you can also move the tank and install it directly under your air conditioner.

How to quickly cool down an axolotl tank without a chiller?

Before applying any of these cooling methods to lower the tank temperature, please keep your aquarium thermometer in contact with the tank water to constantly monitor the temperature and avoid cooling the water too fast!

To keep your axolotl tank cool, you can also add some freshwater aquarium fans, which can sometimes lower the water temperature by almost 10 degrees on hot days.

It’s easier to keep bigger tanks cool 

Another way to ensure that the water in the tank stays cool and at its ideal temperature is to transfer your axolotl to a slightly larger aquarium.

The larger your axolotl’s tank is , the less quickly the water temperature will rise, so with a 40 or 50 gallon tank, your tank will probably remain bearable for your axolotl during the day and the water will cool down on its own during the night, so you don’t have to install a chiller.

Are Cold Packs and Frozen Bottles a good idea to cool down my tank ?

So , Can I put ice cubes in my axolotl tank? When you’re using ice to cool the water in the tank you risk causing thermal shock to your axolotl and quickly stressing it out because with this method you can’t control the temperature of the water which can quickly drop a lot of degrees which will surely upset your axolotl.

This method of cooling the water in the tank should only be temporary, such as during a very hot day compared to the seasonal average, like when there is a fire where you live and the local temperature quickly becomes unbearable.

You can also wet a beach towel, put it against the tank glass “from the outside of course” and install a ventilator just in front of the towel, the ventilator should not be noisy to not stress your axolotl.

Finally, it is easier to prevent the tank from getting hot than to cool it down. avoid leaving the door of the room open when it is hot outside and use LED lighting instead of turning on the room light, especially during summer time.

Avoid using heat producing appliances next to your axolotl’s tank, fridges, computers and televisions for example can give off a lot of heat when turned on.

When does the Chiller become a necessity?

Best Chiller for axolotl tank
Nova Tec Ice Probes Chiller for axolotls tank

Chillers are not absolutely necessary to cool down your axolotl tank but if you can buy a chiller, it remains a safe and definitive way to keep the tank water at a stable temperature.

This solution is recommended if your house is constantly heated and you can no longer cool the tank water with the usual methods.

What size chiller do I need for my axolotl tank ?

The chiller I recommend for your axolotl tank is Nova Tec Ice Probes which you can post directly on top of your Aqua-TECH filter, but if you want a specific chiller for your tank here is an overview of chiller sizes according to tank size.

For a 30 gallon tank, a Nano Chiller will be more than sufficient, for a 40 gallon tank, the chiller size should be at least 1/15, for a 50 gallon tank 1/13 and for a 130 gallon tank you will need a 1/10 chiller.

Can axolotls get temperature shock?

Axolotls are Poikilothermic animals that need a good water filtering system because they do not regulate their body temperature and are therefore very sensitive to sudden temperature changes and when the tank water exceeds 75°F/24°C, your axolotl will start to feel sick, become agitated and show signs of stress. 

Final Thoughts

It is best to keep your tank temperature stable to avoid over stressing your axolotl and causing other problems. Axolotls are very sensitive to heat and it is best to have a chiller if you feel you cannot guarantee relatively cool water for your axolotl especially in your absence.

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