Written By : M Samy

What do axolotls eat and What to buy?

What do axolotls eat ?

Axolotls eat worms, sinking pellets, insects, small soft-shelled crustaceans like brine and ghost shrimp, small freshwater fish like Guppies, Minnows or Endlers and can even prey on other weak or smaller axolotls.

Let’s see all this in a little more detail because their food will also vary according to their age and their health condition especially when they live in a fish tank.

We’re gonna also see what axolotls eat as pets, providing examples of what axolotls can also eat in their natural environment that you can provide for your own axolotls such as insects and worms.

What to feed axolotls (the short answer)

Stage of LifeAxolotl SizeAxolotls AgeRecommended Food for axolotls meals per day or weekPortion Size (grams)
Axolotl Larvae2-3 inches2-4 weeksNewly hatched brine shrimp (BBS) or Artemia, microworms and Small Daphnia.2-3 times per day 1-2 grams
Juvenile axolotls4-6 inches2-6 monthsSmall daphnia, bloodworms, or brine shrimp, Some underwater bugs ( freshwater tadpoles ), Mosquito larvae, White worms, California blackworms1-2 times per day2-5 grams
Subadult axolotls6-9 inches6-12 monthsEarthworms, red wigglers, adult brine shrimp, or small sinking pellets.3-4 times a week5-10 grams
Adult axolotls9+ inches1 year or olderAdult axolotls can eat larger earthworms, Waxworms, Butterworms, nightcrawlers, sinking pellets, or small feeder freshwater fish, raw liver or heart meat, freshwater bugs, small soft-shelled snails, crickets, pillbugs, shrimp2-3 times a week10-20 grams
Table summarizing what an axolotl can eat according to its age, size and life stage.
what do axolotls eat ?
axolotl eating earthworm

1. What do Axolotls eat on the day they hatch?

The Yolk sac :

This Yolk will feed them during the first 48 hours of their life. after exhaustion of their yolk sac, and while waiting to be able to attack small larvae, the 0.5 inches axolotls can also eat algae, waste, and remains of trout and salmon that the current will carry towards them.

What do axolotl larvae eat after they have exhausted their yolk sac and during their first month?

But from the third day of their hatching, the 1-inch axolotl larvae or baby axolotls will start to hunt if they are in their natural environment or will be fed with fresh water insects that they can swallow, the most commonly used are the Artemia (  newly hatched brine shrimp ), Nauplias, Small Daphnia ( don’t take them from nature, they could carry diseases ), microworms as a supplement (only live food).

The axolotl breeders know well that the baby axolotls eat only live insects, only the food in movement interests them because the insects trigger their voracious hunting instinct.

It is, therefore, necessary to breed Artemia, for example, in order to supply them with live prey at least three to four times a day during their first month of existence.

2. Newborn axolotl diet

After about 3 weeks, the axolotls’ eggs will hatch and dozens of newborn axolotls will be hungry after they have quickly emptied their food supply in their yolk bag.

They are then exclusively fed once or twice a day with live food until they are about one inch old.

Among the things that the baby axolotls eat are :

  • Microworms
  • (BBS) Baby brine shrimp or Artemia.
  • Small Daphnia ( the best choice )

You can then from the second week of their life make a collection in water areas of :

  • Some underwater bugs ( freshwater tadpoles )
  • Mosquito larvae
  • White worms
  • California blackworms (Lumbriculus varigatus)

You can then after their front legs start to grow, give them frozen bloodworms from time to time and only move on to pellets and live whole bloodworms once your axolotls are big enough to swallow them (at least 3 inches).

Axolotls can have Sinking Pellets?

This is the time to start feeding your little Axolotls with mud worms, which should now reach a little more than one inch, the front legs will start to emerge as well.

You can also start to introduce small pellets to your small axolotls, these pellets are usually rich and complete and it’s made of fish, ghost shrimp, natural fibers, and vitamin supplements.

The best Sinking pellets For axolotls

Hikari sinking pellets for axolotls
Best sinking pellets for axolotls

To feed your axolotl, I recommend ” Hikari pellets ” ( > 47% protein and <10% fat / )

These Hikari pellets do not hurt the axolotl and can be part of your axolotl’s diet. They are soft ( no risk of abscess ) and they do not stain the water, give the formula “Carnivore”, for Axolotls of any size and “Massivore”, for Axolotls over 10 inches

These pellets are easy to divide into smaller pieces so that your axolotl can easily swallow them.

good Alternative and safe Axolotls pellet brands :

You can also use Aqueon Shrimp Pellets Fish Food, try to crumble them into small balls that will not exceed 1 mm so that the small axolotls can swallow them easily.

You can try Dried brine shrimp as well to feed your axolotl.

Try Salmon Pellet as well, here are the ones I recommend :

Soft Moist Sinking Pellets for Axolotls made with Shrimp, Snails & Tropical Fish.

How to train your pet axolotl to eat pellets?

Now that we have seen what axolotl eat, it is time to learn how to properly feed your axolotl.

If you plan to feed your axolotl with Hikari Sinking carnivore pellets or Rangen salmon pellets, for example, be aware that at the beginning, it will not know that it is food!

Axolotls do not automatically eat what will fall to the bottom of the tank, so you must shake in front of their mouth with Aquarium tweezers, for example, any dead food you want to give them. Hand-feeding them first !!

When you shake the pellet in front of your axolotl’s mouth, it will release an odor into the water and this will encourage it to swallow it.

Slowly, your axolotl will get used to these Hikari pellets and you will only drop them down in front of him so that he will suck them up and eat them.

You will follow the same method for any other dead food, like fish flesh…etc

Axolotls are very fast and your fish will probably end up catching the pellets before they reach the tank bottom when you release them one by one right in front of his nose.

3. What do juvenile axolotls eat?

Earthworms for axolotls
Earthworms for axolotls

You will continue to feed them until they reach 2 Inches (4 to 5 cm) and then you will start feeding them small-sized pellets ( or just cut the pellet onto small pieces ) small pieces of freshwater fish such as trout and perch (fresh or frozen), be careful to remove the bones.

Make sure you give them bigger and bigger worms each time they grow up so they can attack them and swallow them.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: Please better avoid buying earthworms and nightcrawlers from fishing stores cuz they are often kept in soil that poisons the Axolotls.

Do the same for the size of the pellets you give to your axolotls :

  • For pet axolotls of less than 3 Inches (7 cm): give pellets of less than 1.5 mm in diameter and if you can’t find any, crumble the biggest ones. 
  • Axolotls of less than 6 Inches (15 cm): give pellets of size M of 3 mm
  • Adult Axolotls over 8 Inches (18 cm): give XL size pellets over 4 mm in diameter

4. What do adult axolotls eat?

Adult axolotls can be fed all types of glass, insects, and fish pellets described in this article. Here are the details of what an axolotl that has passed 8 months of age can eat, in addition to the food that is designed specifically for juvenile axolotls.

What worms do axolotls eat?

Nightcrawler worms to feed my axolotl?

Yes, absolutely, you can give your axolotls nightcrawlers instead of red wigglers (Eisenia Fotida).

I advise you even if you have a small garden in your backyard, to turn the soil, enrich it with a little compost and release these nightcrawlers in order to create your own culture and worm farm and not buy any more.

If you want to buy these worms, originally intended for fishing but which can be given as food for axolotls, here are bags of 650 nightcrawlers on Amazon.

If you see some digestive issues in your axolotl, switch to Hikari or  Rangen soft-moist salmon pellets.

There are other worms you can give your axolotl but they are not as nutritious as earthworms or nightcrawlers, I’m talking about Waxworms and Butterworms.

How many worms should my Pet axolotl get?

Again, the number of worms you should give your axolotl will depend on many things :

  • The size of your axolotl, its age, and its weight 
  • The type of worms you feed your axolotl and their size
  • Your axolotls’ feeding habits and their health condition.

To give you an idea of how many worms to give to your pet axolotl, I will just give you some examples so that you can adjust them to your own axolotl :

  • Juvenile axolotls less than a year old may eat a large worm ( 3 to 4 inches) like red wrigglers ( very nutritious ) every other day or a mid-size worm ( 2 inches ) every day.
  • You can replace the red wiggler with two mid-sized earthworms as they are less nutritious than red wigglers.
  • Axolotls over one and a half to two years old (more than 8/9 inch) can eat a large, good-sized worm every other day or just twice a week with a snack or two to three pellets if they show signs of hunger.
  • Finally, with adult axolotls, you can apply ” the 3-minute rule ” and give your axolotl enough worms ( food )  to eat in three minutes.

How to feed blood worms, micro-worms, and blackworms to your axolotls?

You can either give Blackworms whole for young axolotls or cut them into small pieces for safety reasons.

See also  how to put an axolotl in a new tank ?

Micro-worms are the favorite food for baby axolotls. You can take a small handful with a toothpick and serve them outside the tank, just in a small container filled with tank water.

Bloodworms are not that nutritious but you can add them to your axolotl’s diet. Just take a small number of bloodworms and serve it in a container out of the tank, count two to three minutes after your baby’s axolotl has started to eat, then put it back in the tank.

Should I give my axolotls worms from the garden?

You can harvest earthworms in your garden or just by the river. Just make sure that you collect them in a secluded area, away from farms and livestock facilities to avoid bringing back worms that have residual pesticides or other chemicals in their bodies.

Also, consider taking some soil from the same spot and bringing it back with you so that you can keep them alive for several days or even make a small culture of worms. You can keep them in a cool place.

Before feeding them to your axolotl, you will thoroughly wash them to remove all the dirt.

Axolotls Can be fed fish

Pet axolotls can have quarantined fish, can also have raw and boneless fish meat and cut into small pieces that they can swallow, such as salmon and carp, but axolotls also eat small live freshwater fish such as guppies, zebrafish, and endlers.

You will find below the types of fish that can be part of your axolotl diet and can be given to your axolotl as live food.

This is the most natural diet and is ideal when you give your axolotl natural prey, whether it is small fish or any other insect or freshwater larva, let’s talk about these small fish:

Just introduce small freshwater fish (very important) in the aquarium, and the Axolotls will sooner or later eat.

This may sound cruel, but it is a kind of return to nature, where Axolotls hunt for food when they are hungry.

Note in passing that it is an excellent solution for food in your absence, at the time of the departures on vacations for example.

However, you must make sure that they have a constant supply of food.

To do this, you will certainly have to start a small breeding of these small freshwater fish in another aquarium.

Another solution is to buy them from fish breeders, they are usually healthy and cheap.

Finally, and only if you have no other solution, you can of course buy them in a pet store, this is the most expensive solution.

In any case, make them observe a quarantine, that is to say, isolate the fish in another tank before putting them in contact with your Axolotls to avoid diseases spreading.

It is important to select fish that are suitable for the conditions of axolotl tanks, those that can be swallowed by your axolotl.

Freshwater fish that pet axolotls can eat :

  • The Guppy 
  • The Endler
  • The Zebra Fish
  • The Cardinal Fish 
  • The Tanichthys Albonube (white cloud mountain fish)
  • Mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis)

It is a practical solution also if you are going to be away for a while, your Axolotls will hunt these small fishes to eat them in your absence.

Axolotls can eat freshwater fish meat

trout meat for axolotls

Buy freshwater fish fillets, cut them into small pieces, make sure to remove any bones, and freeze them. You can then simply take them from the freezer and defrost them to give them to your Axolotls, just as if they were sinking pellets.

Axolotls also eat raw red meat

If your axolotl has just been treated for a disease or has lost a limb and you want to speed up its regeneration, you can give it small pieces of raw liver, lamb heart, raw beef meat ( without fat ), or poultry heart, even muscle meat or river mussels. Avoid fat.

Slice pieces of raw meat in the shape of worms to facilitate their ingestion by your axolotl.

You should also know that axolotl babies love mosquito larvae and when they grow up, axolotls will never miss nibbling a fly that would fall in their tank.

Freshwater mussel meat is good for axolotls:

Freshwater mussel meat can be given to axolotls provided that the first shell is removed because it is indigestible.

Just make sure the mussels are fresh and safe to eat, you could even freeze them and take them out of the freezer a few hours before giving them to your axolotl.

What insects do axolotls eat?

Axolotls eat all types of soft-shelled insects and flies (bugs) and their larvae too, like Maggots and mosquito larvae.

Your pet axolotl can have as a treat, crickets, Sowbugs, and Roaches but also freshwater bugs like leeches, Daphnia, Grammarus, and Asillus aquaticus.

Freshwater bugs to feed your pet axolotl

You can also make some freshwater insects live with your axolotl, and make them reproduce so that you don’t buy any more. I recommend two species as live food for your axolotl, they are Grammarus and Asellus aquaticus.

Don’t put more than 20 at a time in the tank, your axolotl will quickly understand that it is eaten and it will quickly chase them.

Can axolotls eat crickets?

crickets to feed an axolotl
Crickets as treats for axolotls

Despite what some axolotl owners think, axolotls love to eat crickets, they are available and rich in nutrients.

Their shell is not as hard as you think, your axolotl can digest it easily, just do not give him too much at a time and too often! just one cricket per week, maybe two for bigger axolotls only as treats

You can drop live crickets or even frozen ones into the tank and once your axolotl understands that they are food, he will become very fond of them and will love to have them as treats or to supplement his pellets.

Sowbugs (pillbugs) as a treat for pet axolotl?

can axolotls be given pill bugs as food ?

Yes, if your axolotl is not juvenile anymore and it has passed the 7 In because pillbugs have a shell even if it is not too hard, it can create an intestinal blockage for a young axolotl.

You can avoid this problem by picking up baby pillbugs, you will easily recognize them because their shell is often lighter than the adults.

Just avoid collecting them from under-treated wood, try to find them in natural wood to avoid poisoning your axolotl or polluting the aquarium water!

Finally, I advise you to give them to your axolotl just as treats, one adult pillbug (black) or two small specimens (almost transparent and smaller) per week.

Are Roaches Ok for a pet axolotl?

roaches as food for an axolotl

Yes, Axolotls can eat Roaches or Cockroaches but not all of them, only soft-bodied ones, those with a soft shell (thin).

You should always collect them far from polluted places, and choose the small specimens whose carapace is almost transparent, and clearer I mean, do not take the adults with the hard and black carapace.

Roaches that you can give to your axolotl are Pycnoscelus surinamensis, Panchlora Nivea, Paratemnopteryx couloniana, white Dubia roaches, and Blatta lateralis, they may seem to have a hard exoskeleton but don’t worry if your axolotl has more than 7 In as long as you give only one per week just as a treat!

Can Axolotls Eat slugs?

Slugs as food for axolotls ?

No; It is better to avoid giving slugs for your axolotl if you have something else to feed it, the reason is if they are not cooked, they can be carriers of a very dangerous parasite for axolotls, the rat lungworm.

We can eat slugs because we make them fast before for several days, then wash them well, and especially we cook them to kill all the parasites that slugs may be carrying in them!

On the other hand, it is better to give raw meat to your axolotl, and collecting slugs just in front of your door is very risky because they are surely carrying pesticides and other pollutants without forgetting those parasites and bacteria which can be deadly for small animals, especially axolotls.

So don’t give slugs to your axolotl, it’s safer that way!

How many times a day should I feed my Axolotl?

The rule when you feed an Axolotl is to feed it until it regurgitates and can’t take it anymore! never leave it hungry ! and never leave food in the water once it is no longer hungry, you will also risk polluting the water in the Tank.

The meals of the Axolotls are more and more spaced in time as these animals get older:

  • Axolotls of less than 2 inches/5 cm will be fed at least once a day. 
  • Axolotl of less than 5inch / 10 to 15 cm must eat 3 to 4 times a week or once every 2 days.
  • An Axolotl of more than 6 inches/15 cm can be fed 2 to 3 times a week, even only once for individuals of more than 7 Inches / 20 cm.

Can I change my axolotl diet?

First of all, know that you can train and accustom your axolotl to eat anything you want. All you have to do is to shake the food in front of his nose with tweezers, if not drop it right in front of his nose, you can let him get hungrier so that he accepts a new diet.

That’s why I recommend you always start feeding your axolotl with live or natural axolotl food like Nightcrawler worms or earthworms, red wigglers, pieces of meat of freshwater fish, or even small fish and freshwater bugs (after quarantine!) ….

Then move on to, or to add Hikari pellets to your axolotls’ meals if you want to vary it, you will find everything in detail in this guide on how to feed an axolotl from its birth until it becomes an adult, more than 10 years for some axolotls …. Let’s dive in…

What should be the nutritional value of an axolotls’ meal

Here is a table that summarizes the nutritional values ​​of the types of food that are generally given to axolotls.

FoodProtein(% Dry Weight)Fat(% Dry Weight)Calcium(% Dry Weight)Phosphorus(% Dry Weight)Ca/P
Black Worms47200.110.850.12
Earthworms 6217.71.720.91.91
Mosquito larvae4210.81.070.73
Tubifex worms4615010.740.25
Daphnia 556.
Raw Beef heart77200.030.930.03

As you can see, the beef heart is the richest in proteins and phosphorus, but also in fat! 

See also  Are axolotls endangered and why are they still?

Don’t get soaked, you should give some to your axolotl only very rarely if it is wounded for example or it seems a little thin because the beef heart would be long (7 days) to digest by your axolotl and could even cause a digestive problem to juvenile axolotls.

The Ca/p Ratio when feeding a pet axolotl

The Calcium/Phosphorus ratio is very important and must at least be above 1 (>1), in this case, it is well known that the axolotl’s food does not lack phosphorus, and if this ratio is less than 1, it will in fact be necessary to try to add a supplement in order to balance it. Earthworms are the best choice in this table, followed by bloodworms.

Do Axolotls need vitamins or mineral supplements?

Axolotls that are usually fed nightcrawler worms or earthworms will never have a vitamin or mineral deficiency because these worms are very rich in these nutrients.

Nevertheless, axolotl food containing supplements of vitamins and minerals can be useful for an old axolotl, an axolotl in convalescence or to save it from anorexia.

So an axolotl that eats one nightcrawler worm per week does not need any vitamin or mineral supplement, however, if you feed your axolotl poorly, with poor quality pellets or your axolotl seems limp and lacks activity, especially at night and if it is still young, you should either:

  • Change his pellets by Hikari carnivore
  • Teach and encourage him to eat live worms (preferably nightcrawlers)
  • Give him vitamin and mineral supplements

And occasional treats like small pieces of freshwater fish like trout and why not some live food that he will hunt in his tank like small fish or even water bugs or ghost shrimp.

What vitamin supplements for my axolotl?

vitamines for axolotls ?

In case of extreme necessity, like for old axolotls or when you want to save an anorexic axolotl or your axolotl is sick or in convalescence and can’t eat nightcrawlers even when you cut them in small pieces, you can, in this case, consider giving a vitamin and mineral supplement to your axolotl, here is how.

You can give in this case JBL Complete Food for Axolotl Beads, NovoLotl, this product made by Germans have a high vitamin and protein content and is only recommended for axolotls that have between 10 and 18 cm, while JBL NovoLotl XL is for animals with a body length of 18cm and over, for old axolotls that can’t catch and eat nightcrawlers anymore…

Sorry, I think this food is only available in Europe.

What alternative for axolotl supplements?

If your axolotl needs to regain strength or weight quickly, you can feed it with pieces of nightcrawler worms and small pieces of beef heart and it will regain its strength quickly.

Prohibited foods for axolotls

There are foods that can harm your axolotl if he eats them, here are the foods to avoid giving him at all costs:

1-Everything that has a hard Shell :

Most crustaceans or mollusks, like Krill, are not recommended foods for your Axolotl.

With such a hard outer shell and carapace meeting your Axolotl’s teeth, chances are that something will end up coming out whole, rather than being fully digested, which can injure your Axolotl’s intestines.

Mealworms Can be dangerous to the axolotl:

mealworms for axolotls?

For example, mealworms are often seen being fed to other exotic animals, but they should not be fed to your Axolotl.

Mealworms contain chitin, which is actually very difficult for an Axolotl’s stomach to process and digest.

This chitin is actually what makes up that hard exoskeleton, making things difficult for your Axolotl’s stomach.

2- Preserved or Processed Meats:

I think this one should speak for itself. Especially considering the effects that these foods have on humans even in small amounts.

Any food that has gone through processing is loaded with chemicals, additives, and preservatives that can lead to some pretty serious health implications for your Axolotl, the risk of poisoning is very high with these foods and processed meats, so avoid giving them to your axolotl (avoid all cooked foods especially cooked meats).

3- Precautions to take when feeding your axolotl with freshwater fish:

First of all, you have to vary your axolotl diet and not just throw small fish in the tank and say that it is OK!

I know there are some Axolotl owners who disagree with the inclusion of this one, but there are many valid reasons why you should stay away from feeder fish when you’re lazy !!.

So if you are considering keeping your Axolotl with other animals such as fish, think again.

If the fish you put in the Axolotl’s aquarium is intended to be feeder fish, you should be aware that they can transfer diseases and parasites before and when eaten.

If you really want to feed live fish to your Axolotl, make sure you have quarantined the fish for at least 30 days.

Also, be aware that prolonged exposure and inclusion of these foods in your Axolotl diet can also lead to the development of a vitamin B deficiency.

If you do not increase your Axolotl vitamin B level, it can lead to other problems such as anemia.

4- Can axolotls eat fruit?

Never give fruits or veggies to your axolotl and never forget that if your axolotl is hungry, it will eat anything that falls into its tank.

Avoid dropping crumbs from what you eat in its tank and don’t even think about giving him pieces of pizza, fruit, or vegetables, because you will cause him digestive problems if he eats them and may also create bloating which will stress him if he is forced to float and this will trigger other more serious diseases.

So stick to his usual food, axolotls are strict carnivores and insectivorous, don’t forget that.

5- Don’t give Pinky mice to your axolotl

Axolotls should never eat small mammals, they do not eat them in their natural habitat and their organism is not adapted to this kind of food.

First, it’s a fatty food, and it will surely cause intestinal blockage because it will not be able to digest bones easily, without the other risks like parasites and possible diseases in this newborn mice, and this food has almost no benefit for your axolotl, feed him nightcrawlers or the other options I mentioned before if you want to give proteins to your axolotl

Can pet axolotls have Tubifex worms?

Axolotls can only have Freeze dried Tubifex worm cubes but not as a staple food. Even though they are not nutritionally balanced for axolotls, Tubifex is a high-protein freshwater fish food, but if these worms are not frozen, they can carry parasites, diseases, and bad bacteria that can harm your pet axolotl. I advise you to not feed them to your axolotl.

Can axolotls have wax worms?

Since wax worms are too fatty and not nourishing, they are not a good staple food for axolotls. You can give them as treats only for axolotls that need to fatten up and mix them with bloodworms for juvenile axolotls that need to gain weight quickly.

Some axolotls fed exclusively with wax worms have experienced blockages, instead give earthworms, nightcrawlers, or red wrigglers to your axolotls.

How long does it take an axolotl to digest its food?

Axolotls digest their food slowly, 2 to 3 days, depending on the quality of the food and the temperature of the water, the warmer the water in the tank, the faster the digestion, but if the temperature drops below 10°C / 50°F, the axolotl will regurgitate its food because its digestive system will not work.

Your axolotl will be fed 3 times a week when it’s hot and only twice a week in winter, I’m talking about an adult axolotl in good health of course.

Precautions to take when giving pellets to your Pet axolotl:

Start by choosing the right size of pellets (Hikari Massivore are for big axolotls ), those that your axolotl will be able to swallow easily, otherwise, crush the ones you have if they are too large than his mouth!

Clear the substrate of all the small stones that your axolotl can suck by mistake while trying to swallow its pellets.

How many pellets should I give my axolotl?

Now that you know roughly what to feed your axolotl, let’s see how much food to give your axolotl.

Axolotls should eat until they are not hungry anymore! , usually, a medium-sized axolotl is full after less than 3 minutes of feeding, you will notice that its belly is about the same width as your axolotl’s head.

There is no set number of pellets that axolotls must have, the number of pellets will depend on :

  • The size of your pet axolotl
  • The feeding schedule
  • The temperature of the water
  • Whether your axolotl has eaten anything else or exclusively fed pellets, which of course I do not recommend.

You only have to watch your axolotl and stop giving him pellets when he shows he is not hungry anymore, he will stop throwing himself on the pellets before they reach the bottom of the tank or as soon as they land!

Drop the pellets in the water one by one and your axolotl will ignore them or take a long time to swallow them when he starts to feel not really hungry anymore. 

Just make sure you feed your axolotl until it refuses to eat (until it is no longer hungry), and remove the rest of the food after 15 to 20 minutes if it does not eat it to avoid overfeeding him, otherwise, it will end up ignoring its food altogether because of this!

Keep this in mind when feeding your axolotls:

  • Adult axolotls can be fed once every two days, give him pellets until he doesn’t want them anymore!
  • Some adult axolotls can swallow a dozen pellets, so count how many your axolotl has eaten and next time, remove two pellets from the count.
  • Collect all the pellets that your axolotl has not swallowed within 15 mn of their introduction into the tank to avoid ammonia buildup in the tank water.

How often should my pet axolotl be fed?

For a middle-aged axolotl, you can feed it once every two days, and only once every 3 days for an older axolotl.

Baby axolotls need to eat almost every day since they are still growing.

Most axolotls can get by with one or two nightcrawlers every two or three days, but if your axolotl is eating more than that, try to slow down the feeding period to avoid overfeeding him and the problems that will follow.

See also  13 Best Axolotl Tank Mates

On the other hand, an axolotl that is really hungry will start nipping at its tankmates and this is a sign that you need to shorten the time between meals or increase the amount of food you give your axolotls.

how many times to feed your axolotl according to its size

  • Juvenile axolotls or those under 5 In, can eat more, than twice a day
  • Pet axolotls that are between 5 In and 10 In, eat once a day or every other day
  • Axolotls over 9 In, may only eat two or three times a month, or even once every 15 days but they must eat until they are not hungry anymore.

Try to vary your axolotls’ diet and give them at least once a week an earthworm or bloodworm. Axolotls eat less when the water in the tank is cold, digestion is more difficult in these conditions.

How do I know when my axolotl is full?

To know when to stop giving food to your axolotl, you just have to count about 15 minutes after he stopped eating.

When it comes to worms, know that a hungry axolotl will quickly rush to the worm as soon as you introduce it in the tank and if you let half of the worm in the water, wave it around a bit and your axolotl seems not interested or hesitant, give it one or two pellets and stop feeding it because it is probably no longer hungry.

You will then pick up the leftover food that he didn’t eat to avoid increasing the Ammonia level in the tank and risk causing the Nitrogen Cycle to crash.

Frozen bloodworms cubes to feed axolotls?

frozen bloodworms cubes for axolotls

Axolotls are cold-blooded carnivores that love above all nightcrawlers, a kind of large earthworms, nightcrawlers (cut into small pieces) with mealworms are also recommended for picky axolotls but especially to help anorexic axolotls regain weight and start eating again.

Your axolotl will also love to have small pieces of freshwater fish, chicken, and even beef heart meat from time to time.

For the store-bought axolotl food and treats, they love the frozen bloodworms cubes, and frozen shrimp, but I have to tell you that this kind of frozen products may arrive ‘unfrozen” and it’s risky to feed them to your axolotls in this case, that’s why I advise you to always feed your axolotls fresh and alive worms.

Can Axolotls eat Dog Food?

Axolotls cannot eat dog or puppy food because dogs are omnivores and axolotls are strict carnivores.

Dog food contains many ingredients that axolotls should not have such as grains, seeds (fillers), fruits, and vegetables, not to mention additives (flavor enhancers, synthetic nutrients) and preservatives that will surely harm your axolotl’s skin because they dilute in the tank water and will quickly disrupt the nitrogen cycle.

Can Axolotls Eat Cat Food?

Absolutely not! Cat food is not healthy for axolotls, it’s the same as dog food because it also contains fillers and additives… and your axolotl will probably not digest cat food well and will probably not get healthy nutrients from this kind of food.

If you don’t have anything left to give your axolotl, just go outside and find a flower skin or some greenery (authorized places without pesticides and wash them well afterward!) and you can easily bring back some earthworms or even some insects with soft shells that he can swallow (read the article).

Can Axolotls eat Fish Food?

In case of extreme necessity, axolotls must have only meat-based fish pellets and I do not advise you to give them to him because you just have to go in your fridge and cut some small dices of chicken breast or salmon and it will be a meal much more holy than this fish food.

Can Axolotls eat Leeches?

can axolotls have leeches ?

In fact, leeches are very nutritious because they contain a lot of protein and almost no fat, which makes them ideal for feeding an adult axolotl.

Add to that, in their natural environment at the Xochimilco lake in Mexico, 6 species of leeches have been identified, which assures us that they are surely part of the wild axolotl menu.

You will just have to collect them in a place where the water is not polluted, put them in clean water for a few hours, or more than a day to get rid of possible parasites, and try to give one to your axolotl while watching closely to make sure that it did not cause any digestive problem.

Also, make sure to give him a leech that he can swallow to avoid choking!

Can Axolotls Eat ants?

No. Axolotls should not eat ants because they will release chemicals (their defense system) that can harm your axolotl and on the other hand, they can injure it in the mouth or use their mandibles to cling to its digestive tract which could be fatal, not to mention that some ants have a very hard shell that your axolotl will probably not be able to digest and this will end up creating a blockage in its intestines

Can Axolotls eat Maggots?

can axolotls have maggots in their diet ?

Maggots are too fatty and you should only give them to an adult axolotl as a treat once every two weeks. If your axolotl seems to be losing weight quickly, give it nightcrawlers instead.

Maggots can be given to young growing axolotls always in moderation and not as a staple food! they are too fatty and low in protein.

Can Axolotls eat Chocolate?

Axolotls should never eat anything other than meat and chocolate or any other sweets will only disrupt their digestive system, and create gas in their stomach which will cause them to float on the surface of the water, they will then become stressed and prone to all other axolotl diseases.

The chocolate once in contact with the tank water will quickly disrupt the nitrogen cycle and will also promote the growth of microscopic algae and bad bacteria in the tank, which your axolotl will certainly not like!

Can Axolotls eat Grubs ( June bug larvae )?

Grubs can transmit harmful germs to axolotls, they have very powerful mandibles that can injure your axolotl, and their heads are certainly not digestible by axolotls because they are hard, not to mention the amount of fat that grubs contain which could quickly make your axolotl obese.

If you have an anorexic axolotl that seems to like them, make sure you only pick up the small specimens and remove the redhead and black tail from the grubs before giving it to your axolotl (but this is just a temporary solution!).

Can Axolotls eat Krill?

Yes, axolotls can eat Krill just as a treat once every 10 days provided you buy frozen krill (no frozen dried krill!), only frozen fresh krill, you then remove the shell, cut it into small pieces that your axolotl can swallow, and give it as a supplement very rich in fat and nutrients, ideal for an axolotl who must regain weight for example.

What do axolotls eat in the wild?

In the wild, axolotls eat almost everything that passes in front of them and can fit in their mouth; small fish, flies, frog eggs, freshwater water bugs and those that fall in the water, back swimmers, water boatmen, dragonfly larvae, grasshoppers, worms, cane fly larvae, Ghost shrimp and even other axolotls. 

Do Pet axolotls eat Repashy Grub Pie?

Dried and grinded insects to feed axolotls

Axolotls can eat Repashy gel food, this one is provided in powder form, is made from dried and ground insects, the axolotls must of course prefer insects to bigger animal meat because insects are part of their natural diet.

Once cooled, this food can be kept for more than two weeks in the refrigerator and your axolotl can be fed as a main diet or as a supplement to replace worms when you can’t find earthworms or nightcrawlers in the stores.

How to prepare Repashy Grub Pie Gel food for Axolotls?

You will boil some water and mix one part of this Repashy powder with 2 measures of water, just add a few drops if you think it’s too dry! ( you will find in the box a measuring cup or use a tablespoon )  Mix well and let this mixture solidify (or gel up) to become a jelly.

You will either pour it before molds in the form of pellets that your axolotl can swallow or mold it in the form of worms, otherwise, you will just cut it into small pieces when it becomes gelatinous, a jelly usually after half an hour.

How to make Repashy Gel food for axolotls?

Once it becomes a gel, you will cut it into small pieces, which your axolotl can swallow and you will drop them right in front of your axolotl’s nose.

This food smells like meat and your axolotl will soon understand that it is his meal and he will swallow them.

make Repashy jelly worms for axolotls

To make Repashy gel food in the form of worms, fill a large syringe, remove the needle and pour the mixture by moving your hand to creating a kind of Spaghetti that you will cut as worms once solidified.

Just shake with tweezers in front of your axolotl’s nose so that it attacks it and eats it as it would a real earthworm.

You can of course create all kinds of freshwater gelatin insects using Repashy and silicone worms & insect molds so that your axolotl doesn’t get bored with the same food form.

Can I replace earthworms with Repashy pie to feed my axolotl?

Repashy Gel food can replace pellets, beef heart meat, eggs, and any other protein except earthworms or nightcrawlers which have a greater benefit for axolotls especially if your axolotl is still eating them alive!

But when you have no choice, Repashy Grub pie can serve as essential food for your axolotl, you can also mix it with Hikari pellets.

Final Thoughts

If you still confused what to feed your axolotl, go get some earthworms or nightcrawlers or just buy some Hikari pellets to start with, the time you adjust your axolotl’s diet and needs to his or her specific age and condition.

If you have access to a freshwater stream that is not polluted, know that you can always bring treats to your axolotls, such as small fish, fry, insect larvae, tadpoles, worms, small shrimp, and other small freshwater crustaceans.

If not the food for axolotls is available in pet stores, especially earthworms and pellets, if not I put a link to Amazon at the top if you want to order the pellets I recommended.

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

Leave a Comment