Axolotls 101

introduction of axolotls for aquarium hobbyists

Axolotls make great pets!  We think of them as water “puppies.” 

They are also widely used in the scientific community who are intrigued by axolotl’s ability to regenerate.

Axolotls can live for as long as 15 years and reach lengths up to 18 inches, although 9-14" is more common.  Sexual maturity is reached sometime between month 12 and 18.

They are relatively easy to keep with minimal care and maintenance once set up properly.


Axolotls can develop a range of socialized behaviors and respond to feeding cues.  They spend most of their time on the bottom but can come to the surface and take in some air, become buoyant and float, probably to gain access to feeds.


Axolotls have been found in only two lakes near Mexico City, Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco. Lake Chalco no longer exists, having been drained. Lake Xochimilco has also been largely drained.  Both “lakes” were shallow, with slow moving water and swamp like properties.

Wild axolotls may be extinct.  A survey conducted in 2018 found no wild axolotls but 2 were found later in a residual canal.  These freshwater animals prefer water temperatures between 60 and 75, ideally 68F.  Use a small,  low voltage,  fan to provide a gentle flow of air over the water for houses at 75F.  This airflow will cause enough evaporative cooling to maintain the optimal temperature for your axolotl.

Water should be changed weekly, excrement removed daily.

We recommend a minimum tank size of 20 gallons or 40 gallons for axolotls over 12 inches.

They enjoy scenery and structure in their environment so add plastic plants, pots and caves to hide in.

Substrates and any objects smaller than about 3 mm should be avoided. Axolotls will ingest almost  anything they can fit into their mouths and a common cause of death is digestive tract obstructions.

Take care not to crowd axolotls together in your aquarium.  Tankmate limbs are fair game although a lost limb will regenerate in a few weeks.


Axolotls were the apex predator in the ecosystem and are considered carnivores.  Axolotls' natural diet incudes small salamanders, bugs, crustaceans and mollusks. 

We designed SA’s Axolotl Diet to replicate the macro and micronutrients found in their natural habit. You can find the feeding guide here. Our Axolotl diet contains the right ratio of fats and proteins and is enriched with a wide range of fatty acids, carotenoids, minerals, amino acids, elements to form the perfect diet.

Axolotls prefer our feed over many other live and dry alternatives that we have tested.

Our Collection

There are three significant collections of axolotls in the world.  Harvard and the University of Kentucky each have sustaining stocks used for scientific research.  Sustainable Aquatics Inc has the largest collection devoted to breeding axolotls for the aquarium hobbyist and eventually repopulation of wild stocks.

Scientific Class

Ambystoma mexicanum. 

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