Can You Hold an Axolotl?

Axolotls are are actually very sensitive creatures and should always be treated delicately, here is some important information about whether you can hold or handle them and some cautions to take note of.

If they are kept on very dry land without being kept moist, they will quickly dehydrate within 1 hour or less, and the mucus coat on their bodies will also be affected in a negative way. That said, these creatures are quite fragile, and it is totally possible to break one of their legs or cause similar injuries when handling a struggling and nervous axolotl.

Image: Jeffrey Lagmay, ShutterstockYes, in case you did not know, axolotls do have gills, but they also have lungs to breathe with on dry land. The small capillaries on those branches, all those little feathers, work to exchange oxygen and gasses with the water around the axolotl. There is a lot of blood running through those branches, into which the oxygen gets diffused, and then carried to the organs and the other parts of the axolotls body.

What is cool about axolotls is that, unlike many fish who need to swim around to more or less pump oxygen through their gills, axolotls can simply stay in one spot and flap their branch-like gills to force oxygen into the capillaries. Keep in mind that when an axolotl is comfy and healthy, those gills should flap at a slow and consistent pace, or something may be wrong. It feels kind of like somebody lightly rubbing a piece of fine sandpaper on your fingers.

In other words, an axolotls limbs are not designed to support weight on dry land. On dry land, an axolotls legs are not strong enough to support its weight for very long or to walk any distance. However, when kept out of water for too long, especially when being handled by human hands, that mucus coating is going to get rubbed off and it will dry up too.

On one hand, the lack of a mucus coating then makes the axolotl susceptible to developing diseases and infections caused by various bacteria and viruses. The lack of slime coating causes bacteria and parasites to be able to penetrate the skin of the axolotl much easier. An axolotl on dry land, especially without that coating of slime, is going to suffer from extreme water evaporation.

When it comes to fish and similar creatures like this, stress can impact the immune system negatively, which can then lead to the development of disease and illness.

Do axolotls like to be held?

Axolotls are delicate animals that don’t like to be touched too often. They can be touched, but you should do so with a few things in mind. The first thing is to wash your hands before you touch them, and to touch them gently. You should not be forceful – instead, offer them your hand and let them touch it first.

Can you hold an axolotl out of water?

The answer is no, axolotls cannot live and walk on land. Axolotls are aquatic animals, and have adapted to live in the water. Thus, they can’t live outside water, and won’t survive on land for long. … Although axolotls are amphibians, they won’t survive out of water.

Do axolotls get attached to their owners?

Even though they are not attached to their owners, they are still interesting creatures that are worth your precious time. All in all, your Axolotl is not going to care about you in particular. They are going to be grateful, however, for the food you give them no matter who you are.

Do axolotls bite?

Yes, axolotls bite everything and anything that moves around in their vicinity, but their teeth are too small to cause much pain. Axolotls aren’t aggressive to humans; they are simply hunting for food or nipping out of self-defense.

Axolotls are large salamanders that come from the remnants of lakes Xochimilco and Chalco in Mexico City, Mexico. Axolotls live their entire lives in water, never emerging onto land. Axolotl care requirements are minimal, and provided temperature and water flow are well controlled, they are hardy, easy-to-care-for captives that breed readily in captivity. It is difficult to think of a more unusual display animal than the axolotl, and its bold and tame nature makes it an interactive pet.

Lighting is generally for our viewing pleasure and for the benefit of aquarium plants and salamander habitat supplies. Keep in mind that lighting fixtures often generate a lot of excess heat and this can be detrimental to axolotls.

If you must have an axolotl but you have temperature problems, consider buying an aquarium chiller for the warmer parts of the year. Good treat foods for axolotls include frozen shrimp from the supermarket (cooked), and lean pieces of beef and chicken. Young axolotls tend to nip at or bite off the legs and gills of their tankmates, so youngsters should only be kept together if fed well and given plenty of space.

Axolotls larger than 5 inches tend to be safer tankmates, and adults will rarely have any altercations.

They are known for being relatively delicate animals that should not be touched that much because they dont have the protective layer on their skin like fish do. This makes them more susceptible for various problems and even diseases if you touch them too much.

The number one thing you should always remember is to always wash your hands before you pet your axolotl. Youll find that some axolotls will crave your attention more than others, and will like it when you try to pet them.

And if you have dirty hands, you can easily transfer some bacteria over to their bodies, which can result in infections and various health problems. Being too aggressive right from the start will inevitably cause your axolotl to get scared of you, which is something that might not get repaired with time. This is due to the fact that axolotls dont have a protective layer over their skin, resulting in them being susceptible to diseases and various skin problems that might happen when you stroke them for too long .

Firstly, its because the gills are made from very delicate matter, and they can get destroyed if you touch them too strongly . And if you harm their gills, you might experience that your axolotl will get various health problems. And this is not good youre increasing the stress levels in your axolotl and putting them at risk for various diseases and health problems.

Those are relatively safe areas for touching axolotls, but dont overdo it. In any case, dont make sudden and quick movements, as the axolotl will get scared and will get stressed.

Axolotls (

Axolotls are large salamanders that come from the remnants of lakes Xochimilco and Chalco in Mexico City, Mexico. Axolotls live their entire lives in water, never emerging onto land. Axolotl care requirements are minimal, and provided temperature and water flow are well controlled, they are hardy, easy-to-care-for captives that breed readily in captivity. It is difficult to think of a more unusual display animal than the axolotl, and its bold and tame nature makes it an interactive pet.

Axolotl Availability

Axolotls are often available from private breeders, often via the Internet. Axolotls are not commonly available in reptile stores or at reptile shows, owing to their incompatibility with most reptile-friendly temperatures. Some suppliers may be able to special order them for you, but generally the best sources for healthy axolotls are other hobbyists.

Axolotl Size

Most axolotls reach about 10 inches total length (from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail). A few will pass 12 inches, but this is rare. I have personally seen and photographed a 17-inch axolotl that had to be seen to be believed, but such monsters are highly unusual. Axolotls reach sexual maturity when they reach about 8 inches. This can be in as few as six months, but generally it takes about a year of good care to reach this size.

Axolotl Life Span

Axolotls have been known to live past 20 years, but it is unusual to find an individual older than 10 years.

Axolotl Housing

A common 10-gallon reptile aquarium can accommodate a single adult axolotl, but due to the large amount of waste produced by these messy creatures, a 20-gallon aquarium is a safer choice. Axolotls do not emerge from the water, so a land area would go unused. Fill the aquarium to the depth of your choice, but it will be easier to maintain good water parameters when the aquarium is filled, as you would for aquarium fish. A lid or aquarium hood should be kept in place at all times because axolotls have been known to jump out of their aquariums.A filter will help maintain safe water parameters. The best choice is an external canister filter, such as the Zoo Med Turtle Clean Canister Filter, but ensure the water outlet to the aquarium is fitted with a spray bar or other flow-spreading outlet. This is necessary because axolotls do not tolerate distinct water flow like fish. Axolotls that live in a noticeable water flow for a few months will go off food and develop stress-related diseases. Lack of appetite and forward-curled gills are usually a sign of stress from too much water flow.

Axolotl Lighting and Temperature

Like the vast majority of amphibians, axolotls do not require lighting, and indeed, new axolotls may be shy if kept under bright lighting, though they will become accustomed to it if provided with some hiding places (the usual aquarium “furniture” such as caves, wood, plants, etc.). Lighting is generally for our viewing pleasure and for the benefit of aquarium plants and salamander habitat supplies. Choose a plant-friendly bulb, such as those sold for freshwater aquarium fish. Keep in mind that lighting fixtures often generate a lot of excess heat and this can be detrimental to axolotls.Temperatures up to the low 70s Fahrenheit are tolerated well by axolotls. An ideal temperature range is the low to mid 60s. Temperatures above 74 degrees will invariably lead to heat stress, loss of appetite and death. If you cannot provide year-round temperatures below this limit, axolotls are not the ideal pet for your circumstances. If you must have an axolotl but you have temperature problems, consider buying an aquarium chiller for the warmer parts of the year.

Axolotl Substrate

The ideal substrate for axolotls is aquarium-safe sand like Aqua Terra’s Aquarium & Terrarium Sand. Axolotls have a bad habit of ingesting gravel and mouth-sized objects if they are available. This can lead to gut impactions and the death of the axolotl. If you wish to use gravel, consider large pebbles instead, such as Exo Terra’s Large Natural Turtle Pebbles. Anything the size of an axolotl’s head or smaller can and will be consumed!Salamander substrate is not essential – for Axolotls. Many keepers use no substrate at all – but it is certainly more pleasing to the eye in a display aquarium if a substrate is used, and it will also help to keep water parameters stable by providing surface area for beneficial bacteria.

Axolotl Food

Good staple foods for axolotls include live reptile food such as nightcrawlers (large earthworms) and store bought frozen bloodworm cubes. Good treat foods for axolotls include frozen shrimp from the supermarket (cooked), and lean pieces of beef and chicken. Avoid live food such as feeder fish because of the risk of parasite and disease transmission – axolotls are vulnerable to many fish diseases and parasites. Pinkie mice and other fatty foods are best used only as a rare treat for axolotls and preferably not at all.As is the case with most salamanders, axolotls have no need of vitamin/mineral supplementation, and indeed it would be hard to deliver this to an aquatic animal. In my experience, axolotls fed solely on nightcrawlers will never develop any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

Axolotl Water and Quality

Tap water is fine for axolotls, provided it is pretreated with aquarium water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines. Axolotls are far more forgiving than aquarium fish when it comes to water quality, but a good filter and regular water changes should be employed nonetheless. If you’ve ever kept aquarium fish, follow a similar routine.Ideally, a new aquarium and filter should be allowed to cycle for several weeks prior to the introduction of axolotls to let the water conditions settle and filter bacteria develop. Be sure to keep an eye on water parameters using the water test kits sold at aquarium stores.

Don’t Stroke Your Axolotl

Another important thing to know is that axolotls are delicate animals. They don’t like to be stroked for longer periods like cats, for example.As a result, they might freak out when you try to hold them for longer or try to pet them. This results in stress and anxiety of your axolotl.Remember to always be gentle with your approach. Being too aggressive right from the start will inevitably cause your axolotl to get scared of you, which is something that might not get repaired with time.And don’t stroke it for longer periods, either.Remember that axolotls are delicate animals, and delicate animals need delicate treatment. Be gentle with your approach and try to hold it gently, but not for too long.

How to Touch Your Axolotl?

If your axolotl is new, then it is still getting used to your and their tank. In that case, you should begin touching them very slowly.If it doesn’t want to touch you on its own,In any case, don’t make sudden and quick movements, as the axolotl will get scared and will get stressed. They might run away and try to hide quickly. So you should try to be slow and delicate with your movement, and don’t scare them too much.If your axolotl is not used to touching, go slow. Offer them your hand yourself and don’t force anything.