Baby Axolotls are fantastic pets that provide a lot to their keepers. What distinguishes these cute amphibians? Let’s see what happens!
To suit their needs, baby axolotls require a properly designed housing. Because axolotls are very sensitive to environmental changes, environmental stability is critical. Care for a young axolotl includes considerations such as diet, lighting, water temperature, water condition, habitat design, and overall health.
Axolotls are one-of-a-kind and stunning creatures. They are available in a variety of hues. After 2-3 weeks of gestation, baby axolotls hatch from soft eggs. They are totally aquatic neotenic amphibians that do not naturally undergo entire metamorphosis.
Once a day, baby axolotls should be fed live, size-appropriate food. Due of weak eyesight, keepers must feed the animals directly with tongs.
All axolotls are particularly sensitive to environmental changes. They are only suggested for serious keepers since they demand special water conditions and temperatures that must remain constant at all times. Levels of biological filter byproducts, pH, and water hardness must be monitored and maintained to a certain standard.
While axolotls dislike bright illumination, it is equally critical to maintain an environment that is appropriate for the axolotl’s age and development. To protect the animal’s health, the tank should be kept clean at all times.
Plants, substrate, hiding spots, and water flow are just a few of the variables to consider while designing a habitat for a baby axolotl. Axolotl infant care also necessitates periodic tank cleaning and water changes.
Baby axolotls should be housed separately since they can become hostile toward one another and cause serious injury.
Where Do Baby Axolotls Originate?
Axolotl babies are born from slime-covered eggs laid by a female 12-72 hours after being impregnated by a male. The male and female engage in a mating ritual that, if successful, results in indirect fertilisation. The eggs hatch 15 to 21 days after they are placed. An axolotl will frequently lay her eggs on a plant or a rock. In a single breeding cycle, up to 1000 eggs can be laid.
Axolotls are amphibians, not fish, despite having gills. Nonetheless, axolotls do not go through the metamorphic alterations that most salamander relatives experience. Axolotls are also completely aquatic, unlike most other amphibians. Axolotls are neotenic salamanders that do not develop into mature salamanders due to a lack of iodine and genetic variables.
They are the only neotenic salamanders with the ability to mature, but this ability is only unlocked when an axolotl is injected with iodine in captivity. The salamander that results from this metamorphosis is similar to a Tiger Salamander, but it is regarded to be its own species due to several distinct morphological features.
Axolotls have genetic differences that determine their skin and eye hues. The various genetic categories that govern pigmentation are known as morphs, and there are five major varieties. (Wild, Leucistic/Pink, White Albino, Golden, Melanoid) Beyond the ones listed, there are nearly unlimited DNA combinations, and more are being discovered all the time.
A gene that causes affected axolotls to glow is one of these combinations. There is also a wide range in pattern and colour expression among the same species of axolotl. No two axolotls are alike; even those with the same pigmentation have differences in their eye colour and body form. It’s extremely fascinating that each and every axolotl is unique.
Most captive axolotls live for about 10 years, although it’s not rare to encounter a well-kept axolotl that’s been around for 15 years. Some keepers claim to have had axolotls that lived for up to 20 years!
The Best Way to Feed Baby Axolotls
Feeding a baby axolotl requires providing a variety of live food until it reaches adulthood. Although frozen foods and pellets are available, feeding live food when the animal is still a juvenile is the safest and healthiest alternative. For the first day or so after hatching, a baby axolotl will feed on the yolk of its egg. Then, once a day, live food should be supplied to adequately stimulate the eating impulse and nurture the hatchling axolotl.
Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and small red worms are suitable starting points for feeding a baby axolotl because they are small and easy for a young axolotl to swallow.
Wild caught worms and insects should not be served since they may have parasites or be contaminated with pesticides. Feeder fish and giant earthworms are not advised since they can disrupt the axolotl’s environment and digestive system.
When the axolotl reaches maturity, it can begin sampling frozen copies of foods it already enjoys and progress to larger live offers.
Pellets should be small, sinking, premium meat-only pellets. Pellet food should only be given as a treat if given at all, as it is high in fat and protein. Some axolotls will not eat non-moving food. Human food, including meat items such as sausages or chicken, should never be given to an axolotl. Processed foods can cause severe illness in the animal.
Because they can’t see well, captive axolotls must be fed directly to them. Keepers can complete this duty by holding tongs or a pipette immediately in front of their faces. When the baby axolotl detects movement in front of its mouth, it will drink the offering. Axolotls eat with little teeth, but because they are suction feeders, the chewing process on large items is more grinding than biting. To ensure that the animal does not experience discomfort while swallowing or digesting the meal, every food must be correctly sized for the animal’s mouth.
It is also critical that food provided in a pipette, such as brine shrimp, does not enter the axolotl’s gills while it feeds. This damage can be avoided by feeding with caution and avoiding oversaturating the area around the axolotl with food. When feeding an axolotl, you must be patient.
Axolotl Baby Habitat Requirements
A baby axolotl’s habitat should be appropriate in size and provide security for the vulnerable young animal. Axolotls should be kept in separate enclosures to prevent them from becoming upset and attacking one another. Baby axolotls have a feeding reflex that causes them to pick up anything that moves close to their mouth.
Because of their weak eyesight and eating urge, young axolotls may turn cannibalistic if confined together. It’s not uncommon to observe juveniles with lost limbs or gills as a result of them sharing a habitat and getting into a territorial tangle. Even while axolotls can renew their limbs, tails, skin, and organs, it takes time!
When feasible, keep a baby axolotl in a glass tank. An adult axolotl requires a tank of at least 75 litres (20 gallons), but a newborn axolotl can live in a tank of 35 litres. When practical, larger tank sizes are recommended to aid in waste product diffusion. A larger environment also allows the species to expand, improves their quality of life, and gives them additional places to explore.
Some will argue that housing mature axolotls together is acceptable if the tank is large enough, but this is still not recommended. If a pair of axolotls is to be bred, they should only be kept together long enough for the male to fertilise the female. Adult axolotls will consume their own eggs, thus eggs should be kept away from the female once laid. Axolotls are most secure in their own environment.
The substrate in the habitat must not provide a risk to the animal while it is eating. In the habitat, there should be safe plants and places for the axolotl to hide. In an axolotl, consuming tiny stones can lead to significant and even lethal problems. Sand is harmful to juvenile axolotls because they can consume huge amounts of sand when their feeding drive is active.
Axolotls produce a lot of waste at this stage because they feed every day, therefore the tank must be easy to clean. Many baby axolotl caretakers choose not to use any substrate at all to reduce the work of frequent cleanings and water changes. Even though there is no substrate in these tanks, they should still have weighted plants and hiding spots for the axolotl. The bottom of a substrate-free tank should always have some form of roughness to let the axolotl to wander around without slipping.
Water flow is an important aspect of keeping aquatic salamanders that is frequently disregarded. These amphibians reside in pools with little or no running water in the wild. Stationary water is where these species feel most at ease, but this is not always available when these pets are kept in captivity. Filters, vacuums, and bubblers interrupt the tank’s current, therefore a flow bar should be placed instead.
A flow bar not only permits a running filter to keep the tank clean, but it also distributes the water throughout the tank and diffuses it off the glass. This creates a barely perceptible current in the axolotl’s habitat. When the water flow in their habitat is too high, a baby axolotl will display signs of stress. This features gills that face forward, a curled tail, and skin issues. An axolotl can die if the water flow is not adjusted in time.
The most significant visual component of your axolotl environment is plants and hides. It can be tough to strike a balance between what looks beautiful in a tank and what is best for an axolotl, but that is part of the fun of owning these critters. Keeping plants in a typical baby axolotl tank can be difficult due to the dark, chilly, and substrate-free circumstances.
There are only a few plants that can flourish without a lot of light and substrate; I’ve listed them and their characteristics below.
Plants that do well with baby axolotls in the absence of light and substrate:
- Anubias are tough aquatic plants that can be fastened to other tank fixtures.
- Water lettuce is a plant that floats on the surface of the water and has aquatic roots. It can extend across the tank’s top, providing shade and hiding places for the axolotl.
- Moss balls are self-contained and do not require any additional substrate. They help filter the water in the habitat and offer a delightful, fuzzy touch to the bottom of a newborn axolotl’s environment.
Axolotl babies should be able to hide in complete darkness. In their axolotl homes, some keepers build miniature cave structures out of wood and rocks. Axolotl tank decorations should be both safe and functional for the creature. Formations should be strong and immobile, with no gaps where the monster can get stuck. Plastic tank decorations with sharp edges, as well as rocks with sharp edges, are not advised.
Axolotl habitats necessitate frequent upkeep, thus decorations and hides should be easy to clean. Because axolotls like to burrow, offering plants and hiding spots on the tank’s bottom can give them with a lot of comfort. Plants near the tank’s apex, such as water lettuce, can have their root systems selected to serve as hiding places for axolotls. The more hiding places there are for a baby axolotl, the better.
Baby Axolotl Lighting, Temperature, and Water Quality
If lighting is available, it should be dim, and there should always be dark spots for the axolotl to hide. Axolotls have no eyelids and are extremely light sensitive. Baby axolotls do not require a separate light source and can survive with only indirect room lighting. Axolotl habitats should be kept away from windows and direct sunlight because they can stress them out and cause health problems. Black lights are also not advised because they are still bright and contain a lot of UV radiation.
Baby axolotls enjoy tanks that are cool, between 60 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Most tanks will not require a heater or aquarium chiller, but due to axolotls’ sensitive nature, great care should be made to ensure temperature does not fluctuate. If you reside in an area that is particularly hot or cold, you may need to take extra steps to keep the water at a consistent temperature.
Long-term exposure to frigid temperatures slows the metabolism and growth of axolotls, eventually killing them. Heat stress can occur in the axolotl as a result of prolonged or sudden exposure to heated temperatures, causing health problems and possibly death.
Keep many thermometers in the tank to guarantee that the reading is always accurate and that your axolotls are not susceptible to temperature changes.
The quality of the water has a direct impact on the health of an axolotl. To avoid health difficulties in the axolotl, ammonia and other chemical byproducts of the life cycle should be screened for and kept at safe levels. Nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia are all components of your tank’s biological filtration cycle, but excessive concentrations of these compounds can be hazardous to the animal’s health if not regulated.
Keeping axolotls necessitates checking the water for these byproducts on a regular basis and taking steps to reduce the quantities when necessary. A water change is often enough to solve high levels of ammonia or nitrates, but the residual water must sometimes be treated as well. Water test kits and water treatment items for the home are available online and in pet stores.
Check that any water treatment products you buy are safe for axolotls, as most are designed for use in fish tanks and may not satisfy the requirements required for use in amphibian habitats.
Maintaining water quality in an axolotl habitat requires keeping pH levels in balance. pH is a measure of acidity that ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, a pH of 0 is acidic, and a pH of 14 is basic/alkaline. The pH of an axolotl environment should be between 7.4 and 7.6. For brief periods of time, a broader range of 6.5-8.0 is fine, but it is not ideal for the newborn axolotl. The pH level of an aquarium is connected to the presence of harmful ammonia. The higher the pH of the solution, or the more basic it is, the higher the deadly ammonia levels. This is not to say that having a low pH is acceptable, as this generates a separate set of problems.
The degree of hardness in the water is related to pH and must be examined as well. The pH of hard water is basic/alkaline, whereas the pH of soft water is acidic. Water hardness is a measurement of dissolved salts in water that varies depending on location.
Supplements can always be used to regulate the degree of hardness. If the water lacks the necessary hardness levels, a combination of specific salts is usually added. The most prevalent salt mixture is known as Holtfreter’s Solution, and it was established by a biologist who identified the benefits of the mixture on frogs.
Baby axolotls are excellent pets. Baby axolotls are classified as larvae and are born from slime-covered eggs laid by a mother after 2-3 weeks of gestation. At any given time, up to 1000 eggs can be laid. Axolotls are amphibians, not fish, despite the fact that they are completely aquatic. Axolotls are also distinct from other amphibians since they are neotenic salamanders. Axolotls are neotenic, which means they cannot naturally convert into mature salamanders without scientific assistance. Most pet axolotls live for about 10 years, but it’s not uncommon to encounter a captive axolotl that has been around for 15 years or more. Axolotls can regrow bodily parts like as arms, tails, skin, and organs.
Feeding a baby axolotl necessitates providing live food on a daily basis. Frozen food and pellets are choices for older axolotls, but feeding newborns fresh food is the safest and healthiest option. For the first day or so after hatching, a baby axolotl will feed on the yolk of its egg. Then, using tongs or a pipette, place a small offering in front of the axolotl. In the early stages, live food is essential to effectively activate the feeding impulse and nourish the hatchling axolotl. Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and small red worms are popular choices since they are the right size for infant axolotls to eat. Pellets should be given as treats only if at all.
An axolotl should be housed in a glass tank at least 20 gallons in size, with a newborn axolotl requiring only 10 gallons. Axolotls should be housed in separate enclosures to avoid stress and fighting among themselves. While feeding, the substrate in the environment must be safe for the animal. Many axolotl keepers choose not to use any substrate in their tanks to make the labour of periodic cleanings and water changes easier. Hides and cave formations should be fashioned of materials that are both safe and easy to clean. To reduce stress on the axolotl, water flow should be kept to a minimum. Axolotls require little lighting and should always have access to dark, quiet areas to hide. Because of the sensitivity of axolotls, it is critical to keep water temperature, quality, and hardness at regular levels.