Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Feb 21, 2013
First of all, axolotl is a fascinating creature. Technically it is a salamander but they reach sexual maturity before they complete their metamorphosis. By their looks they are somewhere between a giant tadpole and a fully grown salamander. For the interested this early maturation is called neoteny.
I owned one specimen of this interesting species for a couple of years. I did not necessarily wanted to acquire one but my fiancee was fascinated by them. So we got one. And as usual I ended up taking care of the animal once my fiance's interest died away. Anyway, I tended for this lovely amphibian (they spend all their lives in water they are still amphibians) for about two years until it died because I forgot to set the thermostat right. If you are considering having an axolotl as a pet you should consider the following:
- They are not very easy to keep happy and healthy. They survive a wide spectrum of temperatures but they prefer cool water. Any extended period of time in temperatures above 70 degrees F (22 degrees Celsius) is extremely stressful for them. In just a couple of days above these temperature will cause disease and even death. (This is what happened with ours)
- They do not like companions in their tanks. Fish tend to nibble on their gills.
- They like live feeds but be careful where you get them. Earthworms are usually ideal for adult axolotls.
- They are sensitive animals. Ours eventually got used to be handled gently and would nibble on my finger. Axolotl's bite does not hurt but might be uncomfortable.
Overall, they are not very low maintenance and might die out of blue. Just for this reason I would not recommend it as a pet idea for a kid younger than 10 years old. They do not respond to their pets passing.