How active should an axolotl be ?
Axolotls are most active at dusk and during the night and sleep most of the day in their favorite corners of the tank and the older an axolotl gets, the less active it will be. Poor water quality, high pH ( +6.7 ) , hot water (+64°F ) , broken nitrogen cycle, diseases , or an overly powerful filter can also make an axolotl overly active and restless even during the day.
Are you worried about your axolotl that seems too quiet or on the contrary, it suddenly becomes too agitated and you are probably wondering what would be the normal activity of an axolotl and why do they suddenly become more agitated or calmer?
You should know that axolotls are nocturnal animals and that a young axolotl is rather active at night and early in the morning, they spend most of the day hiding in their shelters and only show up to eat or change shelters.
Older axolotls , more than 2 years , may be more active during the day but not too much , because in , an axolotl that is shaking in its tank when it is usually calm could be due to stress or other reasons and that’s what we will check in this blogpost.
What level of activity should we expect with a normally acting axolotl?
You need to know the character of your axolotl to decide if there has been a change in its activity or not!
There are axolotls that are a little more active than average, but what we will be talking about in this article is abrupt changes in the activity and behavior of an axolotl.
The so-called Normal activity level of an axolotl is rather quiet and they rarely move during the day, but as soon as night falls, they become more active and you will hear them stirring the substrate and moving the rocks in the Tank; older axolotls, a bit old I mean, can be more active and curious even during the day and outside the feeding time.
So, if your axolotl behaves in this way, know that it is normal and there is nothing to worry about, if not I invite you to continue reading…
Axolotl Not Moving during the day:
Most axolotls, choose a corner of the tank and sleep all day in that corner without moving and this will surely intrigue a novice.
Axolotls often choose a quiet corner where there is a little shade and especially the water seems the calmest and does not have eddies caused by the filter … etc
Don’t worry if this is your lotl’s usual behavior, you should be concerned if after dusk your axolotl doesn’t wake up and stay still during the night.
My axolotl suddenly becomes too quiet even during the night?
When an axolotl becomes calmer than usual and starts to hide for a longer period of time in its shelter and does not move as before even during the dark hours, i.e. at night and in twilight
It could generally only be a drop in the temperature of the water in the Tank because of the arrival of winter for example, or you have just installed a Chiller and you may have set it up wrong …!!!!!
There could be another reason why your axolotl is getting quieter, maybe it’s sick !!!
You must try to find out if your Axie is not suffering from obstruction (intestinal occlusion), it makes them rather calm and even stop eating !
And finally, if you have just introduced another axolotl bigger than the one you already have , it will surely intimidate him and push him to stay hidden in his Shelter or in a dark corner of the tank !!
My Axolotls have become more agitated !
First of all, you have to make the difference between an axolotl that goes back and forth in the Tank just because it’s his character and he likes to walk around and inspect the decorations …etc.
Secondly, an axolotl that gets agitated at night, it’s a very normal situation, just wait until daybreak and only start to worry if your axie is still doing the hundred p)aces in the aquarium.
The most common cause for over-excitation of axolotls is the water that becomes dirty (toxic)
The first reflex you should have when you notice that your axolotl suddenly becomes more agitated is to take the API Aquarium Test Kit and check the levels of Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia ( may be you crashed your cycle by adding something you shouldn’t to the water !! , live fish not quarantined, a food or a decoration which changed the quality of the water, the ph … etc)).
Nitrites and Ammonia must be zero ( 00 ppm ) or around, while the level of Nitrates must in no case exceed 60 ppm.
If the levels of these elements is higher in the tank, you go:
- Start by changing at least 20% to 30% of the water in the Tank and do it at least once a week.
- Stop overfeeding your axolotls and pick up the rest of the food you give them if they don’t eat it after 20 minutes.
- Install a filter, or a more powerful one, think about chemical filters as well.
- If you have put substrate, remember to empty the aquarium and clean it ( the substrate ) at least once a month, no need to clean the decorations and stones, if not you will break the nitrogen cycle!
- Install your axolotls in a larger tank that contains more water, 40 Gallons minimum for an axolotl or a couple.
The rise in temperature will make the axolotls more excited
Your axolotl is a little more agitated than usual because maybe the water in the aquarium has become warmer!
When the water temperature rises, the Oxygen level in the tank will automatically drop and your axolotls will have to swim and move to bring their gills into contact with as much water as possible to collect the maximum amount of oxygen from the water.
You will also notice your axolotls rising to the surface to breathe before plunging back to the bottom.
Take your thermometer and measure the water temperature, do it also at the bottom of the tank, because that’s where your axolotls should normally be most often.
Here are the normal temperatures and those that can agitate your axolotl
- The temperature limits not to be exceeded are 59° F to 73° F ( between 15 and 23 degrees Celsius).
- The ideal temperatures to calm your axolotl are from 60° F to 64° F (Between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius).
Your axolotl is getting restless because the water is too acidic !
Make sure that the PH of the tank water is about 7.5 , because the Axies like and remain rather calm in water a little basic, whereas an acid water has tendency to burn their skin and to make them more agitated, you can even see them jump out of water when that happens to them, and especially you will notice that their gills become bright red.
You must quickly get your axolotls out of the tank, start by changing at least 30% of the water in the tank and redo the tests, then determine what increases the acidity of your aquarium.
Use API pH UP Freshwater Aquarium Water pH Raising Solution to increase the Ph of the water if the water has become too acidic, go gradually.
If the water is too basic, the PH is too high, above 8 For example, this will not please your axolotl and you must gradually lower the PH by adding little by little drops of API Ph Down.
I advise you to have both bottles, so you will be able to adjust the PH level in your tank each time this happens.
Your axolotl is only active on the surface and does not sink to the bottom?
In this particular case, your axolotl is not panicking, but it probably has a belly full of gas because of stress or because it has badly digested its last meal (it happens to the youngest).
In fact in this case, your axolotl wants to go back to the bottom of the aquarium but can’t manage to dive.
Empty a little water so that the legs of your axolotls can touch one of the decorations so that it can land on it and calm down a little.
If not put some water in a tank and place your axolotl in it with its favorite shelter until it deflates a little and then put it back in its tank, you will see it will immediately reach the bottom and go to its shelter.
Is your axolotl suddenly agitated because of the female?
If you have a couple of axolotls or an ailment and several females, and your male axolotl gets agitated and goes from one female to the other, be aware that one of them has just released a smell in the water that invites the axolotl male to produce and release spermatophores so that it can split the eggs in its belly.
Read this to know more about axolotls breeding .
Prepare yourself in this case to see this female lay her eggs in the next 3 days at the latest.
If it is the female who seems hyper active, look at what she is doing, she is probably laying eggs and hanging them on plants.
My axolotl is not moving even when I touch it
There are cases where the axolotl can not take the shock of transport and the sudden change in water quality or temperature … etc
New owners may not be aware that the tank will need to be prepared days before the axolotl is brought in to allow time for the nitrogen cycle to complete.
A healthy nitrogen cycle means that you have established in the tank water a specific bacteria that break the ammonia down into nitrite, and then from nitrite into nitrate.
If the tank is not ready and you put in it an axolotl already weakened by the stress and the transport, and if after a while, more than 12 hours, you touch it and it does not respond and still does not move, you give it food and it does not care, you must absolutely put it in a small transparent container and look at it from below, under its belly if its heart is still beating, because it must probably be dead !!!
Axolotls become less active as they get older
If your young axolotl is very active, especially during the day, know that this is a normal behavior, because young axolotls are more active and they like to go around in their tank to watch their territory, to go back and forth to the surface of the tank to breathe fresh air and to go to land on all the scenery … etc
With time, the axolotl will become older and will love to choose a corner of the tank and stay there inactive except when you give him food.
To break this routine and make your axolotl more active , you can regularly change the layout of the tank, introduce other decorative elements to titillate the curiosity of your axolotl and make it more active.
The introduction of a new tank mate can also make your axolotl more active, I’m not talking about another axolotl but small fish and shrimp that he will feed on and hunt … etc.
The nature of the axolotl can affect its level of activity
Usually there are two different types of axolotls, those that like to go around and explore their tank and interact with what is going on outside the tank, and other axolotls that have a quieter character and temperament, they love to hide during the day in their shelters and rarely come out and like to wait until nightfall to go around their tank.
The axolotls can be very active during the day just because it is their character, but in the majority of the cases, there is surely a problem behind, always seek to know what makes your ” axie” nervous and solve this problem so that your animal can benefit fully from its tank, and life …