Axolotls are adorable salamanders found in a variety of colors, including black, grey, green, and white. These magnificent amphibians have become a highly sought for exotic pet these days. The very reason that they are easy to maintain pets makes them an ideal pet for those interested in keeping exotic pets.
Though they are low maintenance pets, they do have requirements of their own. They need a considerably large aquarium compared to their size with a lot of natural rocks, aquatic plants, and aquarium sand. Most importantly, Axolotls need an ambient temperature of around 21 degrees Celsius to thrive.
A black axolotl may cost you anywhere between $20 and $35, which isn’t much for an exotic pet, isn’t it? But that’s not it. You will have to spend money on an aquarium with a capacity of around 70-liter, a good water filter, food, and many more.
In this article, we will discuss everything starting from where to get the Black Axolotl from, how much it would cost, feeding them, and what you should be aware of as an axolotl pet owner.
Let’s get going.
How much does a black axolotl cost?
As said earlier, though axolotls are exotic pets, they don’t cost much, which is why they are of high demand in the exotic pet industry. Among the axolotls of various colors, the black axolotls are common, and hence they are the cheapest of all.
You can get a juvenile black axolotl for $20 and an adult for $35. The best thing about pet axolotls is that they have a faster reproductive cycle than other amphibians. This means that once you have an axolotl pair, you will soon have more axolotls in your aquarium.
You can also check out cute and funny pet axolotl names.
Well, an axolotl isn’t expensive, but the accessories that are needed to provide them with a suitable habitat can cost you more. For instance, you would need a 60cm long tank to house a single black axolotl and around 90cm long tank to house a pair.
Unlike the pet fishes, axolotls cannot survive in smaller tanks. If you house your axolotl in a small tank, it will eventually have a swim bladder that is developed to one side, which can be life-threatening to them.
Another costly item is the water filter that has to be installed in the tank. Axolotls excrete more waste than fishes, and you will have to install an efficient water filter. A good water filter will ensure that you won’t have to spend time cleaning the tank, and it will also keep the fungal growth at bay.
One way to go about this is to buy the accessories along with the axolotls as a combo from the pet store. Else you can choose to buy these individually and assemble it later. You need to see all these as a one-time expenditure for your exotic pet.
Taking care of your black axolotl
Irrespective of their color, all axolotls need special care, though they are low maintenance pets.
Being a black axolotl owner, you need to keep a close watch on the
Let’s have a look at each of these in-depth.
As said earlier, axolotls, in general, need a spacious living environment. The general rule of thumb is that a single axolotl needs a 60m long tank with 20 gallons of water.
Axolotls are active amphibians, and they like to roam around in their immediate environment freely. The axolotls must have enough space in the aquarium to swim freely. If the tank isn’t adequately large, they will start developing problems in their swimming bladder, which can eventually turn out to be life-threatening.
Axolotls aren’t social animals. It doesn’t really matter to them whether they have a companion or not. If you were to bring a pair of axolotls’ home, make sure that the tank is adequately large because they are sometimes known to show cannibalistic nature.
Another important thing to be noted is that the tanks have to be properly closed with a lid. Axolotls are commonly found to jump out of open tanks. Being amphibians, they can survive outside water for some time, but they won’t survive the fall.
Axolotls have a soft and delicate body, so you should also be careful while you handle them.
Axolotls need a mix of bright and dark areas in their habitat. It is important that you place natural stones and aquatic plants in the aquarium. By doing so, if the axolotl wants to rest, they can comfortably slither between the rocks.
Though Axolotls are excellent swimmers, sometimes they crawl on the surface. They can’t comfortably crawl on glass surfaces nor plain grass. These two substrates cannot generate enough grip for the axolotls to crawl. The best substrate for an axolotl is aquarium gravel!
If the axolotl is not capable of moving around as they please, they will become stressed, which can eventually lead to many medical conditions.
Another essential thing to keep in mind is that the gravel that you use as a substrate shouldn’t be too fine. If the gravel is fine, the axolotl may swallow it along with their food, which can be fatal.
Make sure that you use large gravels as substrates. Not just the gravel, you should avoid anything too small because axolotls tend to swallow the substrates at times!
Not just the axolotls, for all animals, the best place for them to be is in their natural habitat. When you bring home any pet, you need to make sure that you try and replicate its natural habitat in the best way possible.
When it comes to axolotls, the most important thing for them is the water in which they live. The water has to be pure, with optimum pH levels and proper temperature.
You cannot simply fill the tank with tap water and expect your axolotl to live healthy in it. It is best to fill the aquarium with bottled water. Bottled water is purified hence safer than tap water. If you were to use tap water, make sure that you de-chlorinate the water and remove the ammonia content (If any) from the water.
Use a litmus paper to check the pH level of water. Ensure that the pH levels stay between remains between 6.5 and 7.5 (neutral).
Make sure that you install a good water purifier in the tank. You need to make sure that you install a purifier with a low filtration rate else, the current will be too strong in the tank for the axolotl to swim.
Also, ensure that the filter intake is not placed in a position that can potentially be harmful to the axolotl. There have been cases where the axolotls have been seriously injured after being trapped in filter intakes.
The ambient water temperature for an axolotl is 21 degrees Celsius. Axolotls can manage a slight variation from this range, but any drastic change in temperature can adversely affect its metabolism and bodily functions, and you don’t want that to happen.
Make sure that you keep the tank in a cool corner of your house where there is adequate light too.
When the water temperature is low, you can see that the axolotl eats less and appears tired and lethargic. But when the water temperature increases, it can even cause sudden deaths.
Axolotls are omnivorous amphibians. In their natural habitat, they are found to eat snails, worms, crustaceans, and small fishes.
You can choose to feed them any of these! If you were to feed your axolotls fish, make sure that fish is small enough for the axolotl to eat.
You can choose to leave the small fishes inside the tank. Axolotls prefer hunting their food when they are hungry.
Some additional information about black axolotl’s
How often should I clean my axolotl tank?
Well, it entirely depends on whether you have installed a water filter or not. Axolotls produce a lot of waste than fishes, so it is imperative that the water is cleaned regularly. The excreta of the axolotl is found to be rich in ammonia. Too much ammonia in the water can be fatal to your axolotl.
If you have installed a water purifier, the rule of thumb is to remove 30% of the water in the tank weekly. Remove 30% of the water and refill it. Similarly, if you haven’t installed a water purifier, you would have to clean is daily. You would have to remove and refill 30% of the water every day.
This is why it is advised that you spend some money on a good water purifier!
Do black axolotls need a companion?
Not really, axolotls are solitary amphibians, and they don’t need a companion. Well, as said earlier, axolotls are found to show cannibalistic behavior. This can especially be seen in the case of juvenile axolotls.
If you were to bring a pair of juvenile, make sure that you keep them in separate tanks until they are big enough.
Can black axolotls live with others?
No, axolotls do not play well with others. Axolotls will attack and hunt down anything smaller than them. Similarly, axolotls are also prone to be attacked by other creatures. You should keep them alone.
Is it legal to keep a black axolotl?
Axolotls are endangered amphibians. Before you decide to get them, make sure that you speak with a representative from the concerned authority.
Where can I get a black axolotl?
Getting hands-on an axolotl isn’t that difficult. But make sure that you get one from an authorized breeder or a registered exotic pet dealer. Please do not resort to buying these animals from the black market or the internet.