Acquired: Pet store
Tasman, New Zealand
Posted Dec 01, 2015
My Axolotl is a great pet. I'm not really one for standard pets, so Basil ticks all the boxes in terms of being unusual and unique. I especially enjoy seeing other people’s reactions when they meet Basil, it really tells me a lot about someone if they are grossed out or repulsed. My mother really hates him, she can’t understand for the life of her why I would want a pet like this, so for my own amusement I have set up his tank right beside her place at the dinner table.
I had never owned an Axolotl before and the initial care and set up was a big learning curve and even bigger expense. You need at least a 15 gallon tank with filtration system and speciality food but once you are under way everything is fine. So far so good in terms of health but axolotls can live up to 15 years so hopefully Basil will maintain his health.
I did consider trying to make him terrestrial but after a lot of research I decided it was cruel and likely to end in tears. I would suggest not doing this to your pet axolotl, the fact that they can is super cool and one of the many weird and wonderful things about the species but I don’t think we should be forcing them into unnatural and potentially distressing situations.
I am really happy with Basil, he is everything I want in a pet at this stage but I would definitely caution anyone getting one to research first. If you want a beautiful pet that is low cost then Axolotls are not the pet for you. You are not going to have a deep bond with an amphibian creature.
Basically I am going to be paying for and maintaining a reasonably expensive habitat for 15 years to support the life of a gelatinous blob who walks around a bit and occasionally blinks at me.
But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way! Vivat Basil!