SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Caring for axolotls

A misunderstood and relatively uncommon pet in New Zealand, axolotls are not something we see very often at the SPCA.

Also known as the Mexican Walking Fish, axolotls aren’t actually fish at all! They are a neotenic salamander and belong to the amphibian family.

You can’t handle axolotls as they are very delicate and easily injured. They’re not a ‘low maintenance’ pet either – they need a quiet home that will give them the space and attention they require. Axolotls can also live as long as 15 years old, so they are a long term commitment.

Tips on caring for axolotls:

You must only use big rocks or decorations for the bottom of their tank, or sand. Anything smaller than the axolotls’ head and they will try to eat it. It is good to use decorations such as plants or caves in their tanks as they love to hide. Make sure to keep the tank out of direct sunlight. Axolotls can be up to 30cm in length so you need a tank large enough to allow for them to grow. Axolotls are carnivores and love earthworms. Axolotls cannot be housed with any other fish so it is always best to get them in pairs to keep each other company. If an Axolotl loses a limb it can regenerate!

For more information on caring for Axolotls see the Reptiles Magazine website.

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