Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted Jun 24, 2013
I got a pair of spare axolotls from a co-worker who is doing research on their regenerative abilities. I have had them for over a year, and they are still alive. I have been keeping them in a tank with some plant material, dechlorinated water, and rocks. I have been feeding them ReptoMin (reptile food I buy in the pet store) twice a day. They appear healthy. The water/filters should be changed regularly since they do produce a lot of waste. Based on this experience, I feel they are an easy pet to maintain, but they require regular maintenance.
They look very interesting, but they do not do very much except for swim around their tank from time to time. They are usually still and resting. Their activity is highest when I am feeding them. They are not able to learn any games, tricks, or commands so they aren't great pets for those looking for interaction or affection. For these reasons I do not recommend them to children (except for those used to the reptiles they have currently and are content with just looking).
Axolotls are endangered in the wild and as such are listed under Appendix 2 of C.I.T.E.S. If you want to import or export an axolotl from one signatory country to another, or out of a signatory country, you will need a permit. The best places to get axolotls are from breeders and scientists breeding them in captivity. As long as you acquired your axolotl in your own country from a dealer who has followed the required procedures, the treaty will not apply to you. A few countries have legislation dealing with amphibians. They are probably the only salamander legal in Australia. The legal status of these peculiar pet should be looked up before you acquire one.