Axolotl are the newest trend in exotic pet keeping and for good reason, just look at the above ones cute little smiley face!
The Axolotl or as it is sometimes known the “Mexican walking fish” is actually not a fish but an amphibian that is closely related to the salamander. Many people will have never seen one before but anyone that has owned one will tell you they are a real blast to look after.
Unfortunately just like any other pet they can get sick though. One of the biggest symptoms that we see is an Axolotl that is not eating. Obviously for the owner this can be very upsetting to see, so in this guide I am going to tell you some of the reasons why your Axolotl is not eating. You can then make some checks to try and resolve the situation.
Reasons why an Axolotl is not eating.
There are several different reasons why your Axolotl is not eating so I will list them below with how you can fix it.
Too much ammonia, nitrate and nitrites in the water.
This is by far the most common reason for an Axolotl not eating and one that is fairly easy to solve. It is something that does need resolving very quickly as to much build up of any of them can be deadly to your Axolotl very quickly.
Try to keep the levels at:
- Ammonia 0 ppm
- Nitrites 0 ppm
- Nitrates 20-40 ppm
Too much of these three chemicals in the water can cause your Axolotl to be stressed and this is a leading cause Axolotl not eating their foods.
Make sure to regularly check the water quality of the water in your Axolotl tank and look for 0 ppm for all three substances.
One of the best ways to keep build up of these chemicals is to have a larger tank with a filter installed. Also substrate can make a huge impact on ammonia build up as it is the Axolotls poop that creates the ammonia. By not having substrate or using sand the poop will be easy to clean out and keep on top of
The temperature of the water in your Axolotl tank can cause stress to your Axolotl as well, this in turn will make it stop eating and again can eventually be deadly.
You need to make sure that your tank water is kept at a steady 60-64° F (16-18° C). This may mean installing a chiller if you live in a hot and humid area. High temperatures is a killer in Axolotl and will certainly be a reason for it stopping eating.
It is not uncommon for Axolotl to slow down their eating patterns when it starts to get towards winter. When the weather cools off The Axolotls metabolism can slow down so they need to eat far less frequently. You should find that as long as the water quality is good that your Axolotls eating habits will return.
Sometimes you will notice your Axolotl floating on the water surface which can often panic new owners. More often than not this is just your Axolotl floating around and exploring. However if this happens with an Axolotl that is not eating it can be a sign that your Axolotl is constipated or suffering from gas.
If this happens keep a close eye on them for a day or so and if it continues look into fridge freezer your Axolotl. This Link will take you to a handy guide that I found online.
Axolotl are complex little pets and not for the faint hearted. They can suffer from issues and need the water temperature and quality to be optimum at all times to stop them from suffering. An Axolotl that will not eat can be a common problem but it generally one that is easy to treat. If you would like to read about what you can and cannot feed to your axolotl this helpful guide is perfect for you.
It can be a big learning curve looking after an Axolotl but it is very much worth it once you get the balance right.