Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Oct 13, 2015
I've had three axolotls for six months, and overall, I am very pleased with them. Axolotls have permanent smiles that cheer you up with a single look. Each one of my axolotls has a unique personality, so it really feels like they are my children. However, similar to children, axolotls are not exactly a walk in the park. They require moderately cold water, for one, which becomes difficult during warmer months. This would require you to either move the aquarium to your basement/a cooler part of the house (which is messy, dangerous, time-consuming and obnoxious), or buy an aquarium chiller (which can be very expensive). Their general upkeep is rather pricey! You have to buy food monthly. The food itself is not exactly too expensive, but since axolotls don't like repetitive meals you have to buy different varieties and types. The worst thing that happens diet-wise is when your axolotl rejects almost everything you buy. This does not happen very often in axolotl owners, but it happened with me and it sucked! I drove back to the pet store which refused to give me my money back, so then I had a bunch of frozen cubes of gunk that my pet didn't even touch. (I ended up using these for my next two axolotls, but at the time it was really discouraging.) Another con to axolotls is that they produce quite a bit of ammonia. Ammonia, which they are heavily producing through their waste, is lethal. To manage this, you will need a filter. But axolotls don't like flowing water since it stresses them out, so you would have to buy a weak filter (like a sponge filter). Although these are inexpensive, they are relatively hard to find offline. You could keep them without a filter, but this would require a lot of daily hand-cleaning and water changes. This would not allow you to spend the night at a friend's house since you would need to give the tank a good scrub. Although these things can be hard to maintain, they are still amazing pets. Every time someone comes over, they are fascinated by my unique choice of aquatic pet. Axolotls come in a variety of colours. Although these colours are simplistic, they are vibrant and beautiful. These amphibians are unusual looking, and this gives them a certain charm. They are also very funny. I once got a decorative aquarium piece that had large stairs leading up to a large platform. Instead of simply swimming up to the platform, my axolotl actually used the stairs with his legs! I found it hilarious and even posted a video of him doing it up on Instagram. Every time I walk into the room, my axolotls notice and they swim up to the surface to greet me. Their eyes truly make them seem like they understand you and love you. My axolotls are also very playful! After I hand feed them (an optional part of axolotl-keeping that I think is recommended), they want to continue playing with my fingers. I keep my hand in the tank as they merrily swim around it, nibbling and paddling adorably. They even climb into my palms sometimes. Even though you cannot take them out of the water, it doesn't mean that they don't enjoy handling YOU! So far, my experience with axolotls has been amazing and I don't regret purchasing them whatsoever. I would say that these pets are not something you'd buy on impulse or without researching, but if you know the basics, they make great company and lighten up your life for a long time.