Axolotls are a unique pet, but are relatively easy to care for. They are highly recommended for beginner pet owners as they require little interaction and don’t even need to be fed that often. But what is the axolotl diet and how to feed axolotl food.
They are a type of salamander but they stay aquatic animals their entire life unlike other salamanders. They need to be kept in a water tank, at the right temperatures but don’t grow too large so they don’t require a huge tank.
They are originally found in a lake in Mexico and were considered an endangered species but since being bred in captivity their population has grown significantly. They are interesting pet to have and are able to grow entire limbs back and because of this they are an extremely researched species.
They grow to between 6 and 18 inches long but rarely get bigger than 12 inches. They can be a variety of colours black, grey, golden, white and albino. They are considered to be an underdeveloped species which means they always look and behave as a juvenile.
The Mudkip and Wooper Pokémon’s are based off of the Axolotl. They live to between 10 and 20 years but can live to more than 20 years with the proper care and nutrition.
They aren’t social creatures, and so they live well without a companion. In fact, if they are kept with other fish or axolotl’s they could bite off their limps and hurt them so it is best to keep them in a completely separate tank.
If you do choose to keep with the other fish or axoltls then you need to ensure their tank is big enough and they are always well fed. They are more show pets, and shouldn’t be handled unless absolutely necessary. They are known to be tame in the wild and are very easy pets to have in captivity.
If you find that your axolotl stops eating or is not eating like it should then check out this helpful guide that I wrote.
What should be included in a Axolotl diet:
Axolotls should be fed a variety of foods. They are known to like brine shrimps, strips of beef or liver, earthworms or bloodworms. They are naturally more carnivorous, so it is best to feed them mostly meat in the form of insects, small fish like shrimp and occasionally chicken or beef, and they aren’t fussy eaters.
If the prey is smaller than their mouths you can almost guarantee they will eat it. They will eat both dead and alive food, but it is best to feed them live worms. You can also feed them pellets. They don’t need to eat very often and take about 2 days to digest their axolotl food.
How to feed baby Axolotl food
Baby Axolotls will only eat live axolotl food until they are about 2 cm’s/1 inch big. Their instincts haven’t kicked in yet so they won’t even be able to recognise dead or frozen axolotl food or pellets. Specifically the best meals to feed them are baby brine shrimp, microworms and daphnia.
The prey will have to be much smaller in size, and only once they are older can they begin to eat bigger prey such as crickets. They will need to eat more frequently than adult axolotls.
How to feed adult Axolotls
Adult axolotls on average only need to eat every 2-3 days as it takes them some time to digest axolotl food. Their instincts and sense of smell will have developed by now and they will eat live, frozen or dead prey.
They should eat a staple of salmon pellets, microworms, brine shrimp and nightcrawlers. Nightcrawlers are considered one of the best insects to feed them, however you should always thoroughly clean them to ensure they are free of any soil or dirt on them. Occasionally you should feed them insects such as crickets, or mealworms.
It is highly recommended that you purchase these rather than feed wild insects to your axolotl as wild insects may carry parasites and pesticides which could harm your little friend.
The temperature of their water does play a role in how often you feed your little friend too. They need to eat less in colder tempurates so if you live in temperatures colder than 10 degrees Celsius/50 degrees Fahrenheit then they should be eating even less than two to three times a week.
Which insects should you feed your Axolotls
Axolotls can eat a variety of insects. They thrive off of nightcrawlers, and these are easy to find at your pet store. Other incredible live foods to feed them are daphnia, white worms, mosquitoes, grindal worms and maggots. They can also occasionally eat crickets.
Where to get insects for your Axolotls
It is best to get the insects you’ll be feeding your axolotl at your local pet store. Insects you have caught could be carrying parasites or be covered in pesticides which could make your little friend sick. You can purchase your insects in bulk which makes it more convenient for you. They are easy to find, and affordable. Insects such as crickets, mosquitoes and various worms are really accessible and great to feed your axolotl.
Where to get prey for your axolotls
You can feed your axolotl a variety of small prey such as prawns, brine shrimp and even chicken and beef. You can get chicken, beef and prawns at any grocery store obviously, and the live brine shrimp and prawns from your local pet store.
How to keep and store insects for your Axolotls
When storing insects you have bought for your axolotl, it is highly recommended that you keep them in a sturdy plastic container. Other things to keep in mind would be to perhaps get a coloured plastic container so that your guests won’t be able to see into it.
Some insects may also smell and make a noise so it is best to store them out of sight where they won’t bother you or your guests who may be afraid of bugs.
They should also be kept out of reach from your other pets or children as it would be a nightmare if your insects container accidentally got knocked over or opened and they all escaped in your house. You can also purchase a ‘critter keeper’ which is a smaller container that you use to transfer the insects to your Axolotls tank.
How to keep and store live food such as shrimp:
Keep these in water in the fridge. Check the water every morning and if they water isn’t clear then don’t feed them to your little friend. You should be rinsing the water 2-3 times a day as well to ensure they are kept clean. The water should also be dechlorinated.
Which fruits and vegetables can you feed to your Axolotls?
Axolotls are carnivorous, so fruits and vegetables won’t have much nutritious support for them. They won’t eat fruits and vegetables and shouldn’t be fed them either. They would rather eat live prey that is smaller than their mouths. They can also eat dead or frozen insects or meat, and will eat pellets as well. Avoid feeding your Axolotl fruits and vegetables all together.
What else can you feed to your Axolotl?
Below is a list of all of the different meats and prey that you can feed to your Axolotl. Giving it a varied axolotl diet will not only mean your Axolotl stays healthy but it will be happy as well! There are also some foods which you should not feed to your Axolotl.
Can Axolotl eat crickets?
Yes, you can feed your axolotl crickets as an occasional treat. They are great sources of nutrients but other insects are best used as staple foods for your axolotl to eat.
Can axolotl eat waxworms?
No, don’t feed your axolotl waxworms. Your axolotl will struggle to digest them, and it can cause a blockage within their digestive tract which can lead to disease or death.
Can axolotl eat bloodworms?
Frozen or live bloodworms are one of the most common meals axolotl owners feed their babies. There is some debate about whether or not it holds any nutritional value for adult axolotls so it is rather recommended to avoid feeding your little friend bloodworms for now and stick to the staples like brine shrimp.
Can Axolotl eat shrimp?
Yes axolotls can eat shrimp, and they should be one of the staple foods your axolotl eats. You can purchase live shrimp from your local pet store or you can find them frozen at your grocery store.
Can Axolotl eat cat food?
Yes they can eat cat food although there are plenty of other options for them to rather eat. Cat food has got great nutrients in for them to benefit from, but it shouldn’t be kept as staple food.
Can Axolotl eat liver?
Yes, it is one of the recommended foods to feed your axolotl. It shouldn’t be a staple meal though, but it is full of nutrients for your axolotl to thrive on. They can eat this raw, and it should be cut up into easy to eat strips for them. It should also only be fed to adults.
Can Axolotl eat chicken?
Yes, you can feed your axolotl raw or cooked chicken. It should be kept as a treat, and cut up into small pieces so your axolotl can eat it easily. It is a great source of protein but not a natural source of food for them so it is best to keep it as a treat.
Can Axolotl eat beef?
Yes raw beef strips are okay to feed to your little friend. Remove all the fat from the beef, and cut it into thin strips so they can easily eat it. It should also only be fed to adults. It should be kept as an occasional treat instead of a regular meal.
Can Axolotls eat feeder fish?
It is best not to feed axolotl’s live feeder fish as they could be carrying parasites.
Can Axolotl’s eat fruits and vegetables?
They are carnivorous creatures – so fruits and vegetables provide no nutrients to axolotls. They will either ignore it in their tanks or it won’t benefit them. There are of course some poisonous fruits and vegetables so it is best to avoid feeding it to them altogether.
Can Axolotl eat mice?
No, they shouldn’t be fed mice. It is not a natural food for them to eat, it will be too big for them and it is too fatty. It can be given – chopped up – as a very occasional treat but it should not be given regularly at all.
Can Axolotls eat fish flakes?
No Axolotl’s shouldn’t eat fish flakes. It is not formulated for them, and does not contain nutrients for meat eating fish. Axolotl’s will more than likely ignore fish flakes which will land up clouding up their tanks.
Can axolotls eat earthworms?
Yes axolotls can eat earthworms and they really do love them. It should not be fed as their main food. However earthworms make a really nice treat to feed to your axolotl.
Can axolotls eat ham and bacon?
Yes you can feed small amounts of ham to your Axolotl. However save this for a very rare treat as ham and bacon have very high levels of salt. Too much salt can be bad for your axolotl. As much as your Axolotl will love ham and bacon try not to feed it too much.
Can axolotls eat eggs?
Yes your Axolotl can eat eggs however it should only be fed as rare treat. Make sure that you cut the cooked egg up into small and manageable sized pieces or your Axolotl will struggle to eat it. No more than once a week is enough.
Can axolotl eat prawns?
Yes Axolotl can definitely eat prawns. Just like shrimp prawn should make up a staple of an axolotl diet. The prawns can be cooked or raw but need to be cut up into smaller pieces if they are too large. Your Axolotl will live eating prawns.
Axolotls are great pets to have and are recommended to beginner pet owners. They require little work, and aren’t social creatures so they are best kept alone.
They are easy to maintain, and are easy to feed. Adult axolotls don’t need to eat as regularly as babies, and it takes them on average two days to digest their food. If their environment is colder they will need to eat even more infrequently.
They live to between 10 and 20 years old with proper care and nutrition. They are carnivorous so they require insects and other meat to thrive. They can eat pellets and cat food. Prey should be smaller than their mouths when they are fed to them.
Baby axolotls will only eat live prey, and they need to be fed prey smaller than their mouths so brine shrimp and daphnia are great to feed to babies.
It is easy to get and store insects and other prey, and you can conveniently purchase these in bulk so you don’t need to go to the pet store often. Cannibalism can occur among your axolotls which is why it is recommended that you keep them in separate tanks. This is especially true when keeping baby axolotls with adult axolotls so it is best to keep them apart.
When purchasing an axolotl, ensure that it is from a reputable place and consult with an exotic vet. Do not purchase them off the internet or from other black market sources.
They are excellent pets to own, and are very cute. They keep their juvenile looks and behaviour. Before purchasing one it is best to check that they are legal in your country or state, as it is illegal to own them in some states in the USA. It is also always best to check with your vet the best tips and advice on how to care from your new little friend.
For more guides and tips to help care for your little axolotl check out this link which will take you to all the ones that I have written.
My name is Andy Baines and I am the owner and writer here at Super Crazy Pets.
For the last 20 years I have been the carer/parent of many exotic pets, from reptiles to amphibians I have cared for and looked after them all.
I created this website to share my knowledge of looking after pets with other fellow owners.
My works and articles have been shared on many online publications including The Spruce Pets.
You can read more about my story by visiting the about me page.