How Often Do Axolotls Eat?

Known as a “walking fish”, the Axolotl is a unique and fascinating creature of the underwater world. For new pet parents, one of the first considerations will be what to feed your salamander and how often it needs to be fed. Let’s look at what science says about the dietary requirements of the axolotl.

What Do Axolotls Eat?

These salamanders are quite pragmatic and as such are considered opportunistic feeders. They are carnivorous, so they opt for fish, insects, spiders, crustaceans, mollusks, smaller amphibians, and arthropods. In a worst-case scenario, they will eat each other if hungry enough.

When adopted and cared for in captivity, they can be fed a variety of foods including:

      • Blood worms
      • Brine shrimp
      • Earthworms
      • Fish flakes or pellets
      • Tubifex worms

as well as tiny strips of beef or liver and frozen fish. The most popular commercial choice may very well be blood worms as these are rich in nutrients including important vitamins as well as budget-friendly and easily found at pet shops or online from platforms such as Amazon. 

How Often Should My Axolotl Eat

How Often Should My Axolotl Eat?

Adult axolotls need to eat several two to three times weekly. On the days when they are not fed, they will be digesting and assimilate the nutrients from their food. Young axolotls need to be fed daily.

On some occasions, your pet may appear to be disinterested in eating. Take note if this happens during the daytime. If so, try feeding your axolotl at night when they tend to be more active.

How Much Should I Feed My Axolotl?

The amount of food you provide depends on the size and age of your pet. The water temperature in your pet’s tank may also influence quantity. 

Water temperature is crucial to feeding. If the water temperature is on the warm side, your pet will digest its food more quickly and want to eat more often.

With colder tank water temperatures, your pet will digest food more slowly. Colder temperatures may contribute to more uneaten food left by your salamander.

In some cases, if the water temperature falls to lower than 50°F, axolotls have been known to regurgitate their food and not digest it at all.

What’s the Best Way to feed My Axolotl?

The best way to feed your pet is to use a pair of tweezers or forceps and drop the food into the water near where your pet is resting.

What If My Axolotl Doesn’t Seem to be Hungry?

Try offering brine shrimp to your pet as it is very tasty and may tweak your salamander’s interest. If a pet refuses food for more than a week, something may be amiss.

What If My Axolotl Doesn’t Seem to be Hungry

In this care get to your vet. Even if axolotls exhibit a reduced appetite in cooler winter temperatures, this should not alter a well-established feeding schedule. 

 Not eating can be the result of another problem such as:

1.) Ammonia in tank water. Water filters should per checked periodically for performance. If you are not using a filtering system, change tank water daily.

2.) Environmental change such as moving the tank from one spot to another.

3.) Food pieces that are too large, too hard, or unappetizing can lead to food rejection.

4.) Illness

5.) Impaction. A common problem with axolotls, your pet will have swallowed something that is blocking the digestive process.

6.) Parasites. Vomiting food is a common symptom and requires veterinary attention.

7.) Tank water temperature (64° to 71° F is ideal). Lower temperatures can slow digestion, appetite, and elimination. High temperatures will stress your pet.

Does My Axolotl Need Dietary Supplements?

It certainly won’t hurt your pet if you include a multivitamin supplement in its diet so you’re sure your pet is receiving all the necessary nutrients for overall health and well-being.

What If My Axolotl Leaves the Food Uneaten?

Uneaten food left in a tank will negatively influence the cleanliness of your pet’s habitat. The tank must be kept clean to ensure your salamander’s health. Uneaten food needs to be removed from the tank to contribute to habitat cleanliness.

Do All Ages of Axolotls Eat the Same?

No, younger axolotls and babies need to be fed live foods until they reach at least an inch in length.

If you have a baby axolotl, acquire baby brine shrimp, micro worms, or daphnia to ensure proper diet and development. Consult your veterinarian about a specific menu for your pet.

What Shouldn’t I Feed My Axolotl?

It is highly recommended that you do not feed your salamander worms or fish that you have captured or caught yourself.

This is because worms found in your backyard or fish from a nearby body of water may carry parasites, bacteria, infections, or diseases that can harm your pet axolotl.

Is It Possible for Me to Overfeed My Axolotl?

Yes, it is possible to overfeed, and it is a common mistake. It’s important for you to have a trusted veterinarian that specializes in treating salamanders to aid you in establishing how much and how often you need to feed your axolotl.

Excessive feeding can cause problems for your pet, especially when feeding an adult axolotl daily or more than three times per week.

One reason that babies and young axolotls need to feed daily is that they eat a considerably smaller quantity of food.

As they age and consume more food in one sitting, their feeding requirements will diminish, so their menu and frequency of feeding will need to be modified to reflect this.

What Problems Does Overfeeding Cause an Axolotl? 

There are two principal problems that can arise for your pet due to overfeeding: food rejection and digestive issues.

1.) Food Rejection  

When your pet begins to reject or leave food uneaten, it will inevitably sink to the bottom of the tank. It can easily become lodged in the substrate lining the tank’s bottom.

Once trapped in the gravel, this leftover food will begin to decompose and rot. As it rots, bacteria take hold producing odors and clouding water that should otherwise be pristine.

Consequently, you will need to change the tank water more often. When axolotls reject the food, they are generally satiated.

2.) Digestive Issues

Digestive health issues are usually the result of an axolotl being incapable of digesting food. Overfeeding can lead to obesity or compaction, either of which in severe cases can prove to be fatal.

When feeding limit the amount of food served to how much they are able to eat in a period of approximately three minutes.

This will aid in preventing digestive overload. Your pet’s size will influence feeding time length as well. Smaller-sized axolotls and younger pets may require less time for their meal.

What If I Have More than One Axolotl to Feed?

When feeding more than one pet in the same tank, it’s vital that you observe who is eating so that you ensure each salamander gets its fair share.

It is more challenging to feed several axolotls in the same tank but monitoring food intake is necessary to ensure the overall health of each individual.

See also: Can Axolotls Live with Fish?

How Long Can an Axolotl Survive without Food?

A healthy adult can generally survive for two weeks without feeding, although some may manage three weeks to a month. Nonetheless, there is no justification for withholding food from your pet.

Ideally, your pet should have a feeding schedule that is respected. If you need to travel, entrust your pet to a trustworthy friend or family member and keep a feeding calendar to prevent mistakes.

Susan R Elliston

I have over 11 years of experience as a vet working with a wonderful variety of species of innocent and lovely animals. Whilst I still work two days a week for a local practice, I realized that I could help more people by sharing my knowledge and experience with my readers.

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