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What you need for your Axolotl

Fish Tank

The bigger the better?

Size: 20 Gallons for the first axolotl and 10 gallons each additional axolotl. Axolotls are predators and will eat or attempt to eat their tank mates. Look for a longer tank instead of a higher one. This is the piece most likely to be found used. You will notice that tanks get pretty big, the reason for this from a hobbyist perspective is the larger the tank the harder is is to change water  parameters, which means a more stable tank.  


What's under the hood. 

No one is going to visit your house and say, "Hey tell me more about your canister filter." The truth is the right filtration system for your needs is the difference between enjoying your tank and wishing you had never heard of aquariums


HOB filter: This means "hang on the back." Advantages is that it is less expensive and it is easier to give the charcoal the occasional rinse. The Disadvantage is that it tends to have less filtration power and the biological media isn't as efficient. 


Canister Filter: Advantages: Quieter and more efficient. Most also have flow control so you can create that smooth, pondlike condition usually loved so well.  

Both? I have both on my kid's tanks because that way I KNOW there's a filter even if I'm not in there every day checking on it.


In either case make sure you have twice the power than the gallons of your tank. Your Axolotl is going to poop. A LOT. 

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Test Kit

API Freshwater test kit. 

Your neighborhood pet store probably tests water for free. However, it is more convenient to have the test kit on hand. The API Freshwater test kit is a common language among aquarists so if you ask questions online you can answer them. 



I thought that since axolotls live in Mexico that they would prefer tropical weather. The truth is they prefer to be cold. 65 degrees is a good temp 70 is too hot and 72 will be fatal, 

The fish tank will always try to be the same temperature as it is in the room it is kept. So, if you keep your bedroom at 65 degrees half the battle is already won. Axolotls prefer the dark, so if you are keeping their lighting low then the heat from the lights will be negligible. Here are three ways people use to try to cool their tanks:

1) Frozen water bottles. You place the frozen water bottle entirely in the tank, when the contents of the bottle melts, you take the whole water bottle out of the tank. This is great if your small tank dips a few degrees high for a few weeks in the summer. Not stable, but cheap and it does work in a pinch. 

 2) An aquarium fan. Great solution if you need to drop the temperature of the tank. For some the noise is an issue, for others it is a white noise maker that lulls them to sleep. The good thing to know if that the fan works through what is called "evaporative cooling," which means you will need to top off your tank more often as it is running. The less humid your climate, the more effective the fan will be and the more you will have to refill the water. Having an air bubbler will also make this more efficient as it breaks down the surface tension. 

3) An aquarium chiller. You will pay around $250 for a chiller. The advantages are that it is reliable, silent, and precise. the disadvantage is the price tag. 

Remember you need to prime your water, so no throwing a tray of ice cubes into the tank. 

...and everything else.

     Your axolotl will need a hide. A place to sleep. When you get a baby most aquarium hides will do. As they get older, they won't fit in them anymore. Clay pots, Pvc pipes, carefully stacked rocks are all options. Remember, your axolotl doesn't have eyelids, and needs to go someplace dark to chill. 


     Speaking of someplace dark, it is easy to over-purchase in the lighting department. A clip-on light will work fine. You will want something for taking pictures, showing friends, and checking your axolotl's health. 

      An air pump and bubbler are cheap ways to provide your axolotl with entertainment and break up the surface tension in the tank. You don't want to create too much of a current in the tank, so keep the bubbler on the opposite side of your filter's intake and keep it small so the axolotl can choose when they want to interact with it.  

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