Axolotls are hardy Salamanders that are easy to keep. But, what food do pet Axolotls eat? A good diet is a plus when it comes to promoting the health of your pet. We understand that the health of your Axolotl is of paramount importance.
We know that finding the right information can be tedious. Therefore, we have done extensive research to find the information that you may be looking for. Here you will find useful information about what food pet Axolotls can eat.
What food do Axolotls eat in the wild?
Axolotls are carnivorous. They rely entirely on meat based diets. In the wild Axolotls eat;
- Insect larvae
- Small fish
- Other small amphibians
How do Axolotls eat?
Axolotls have underdeveloped teeth. They feed primarily by sucking.
Their teeth are designed to grip on food. Therefore, Axolotls feed only on anything that fits in their mouth. They do not chew their food but swallow them whole.
But what motivates them to eat?
The movement of live foods such as worms motivates Axolotls to snap and eat.
Adult Axolotls can eat both live and dead food. Newly hatched Axolotls are only stimulated by movement thus only feed on live food.
What food can pet Axolotls eat?
What do we know about Axolotls?
- Axolotls are carnivorous
- Adult Axolotls can feed on live and dead prey
- Newly hatched Axolotls feed on live prey only
- Axolotls have poorly developed teeth thus feed by sucking
- Axolotls feed only on anything that fits in their mouth.
With this information in mind, it is safe to say that good Axolotls food should be meat based. Axolotl food can easily be found in pet stores or in online platforms such as Amazon.
Axolotl food can be divided into 3 categories.
Live food used to feed Axolotls
Recently hatched Axolotls feed on live prey only as they are stimulated by prey movement to eat. Live food is therefore the best option for owners with newly hatched Axolotls.
New hatch-lings should not be fed until after 24 hours. They will still be feeding on the egg sac.
Several live foods have been used by Axolotl owners including;
Worms are good food for Axolotls. They provide for all the nutritional need of your Axolotl. Worms can be fed to both Adult and Juvenile Axolotls therefore you cannot go wrong with them.
They are easily available in pet stores. Some live worms may also be available online. Common worms used by Axolotl owners include;
- Earthworms – This is the ultimate staple food for Axolotls. They are easily available in pet stores and can be fed on both adult and juvenile Axolotls.
- Night crawlers – They are very large and may need to be cut up before being fed to Axolotls. They may not be suitable for new hatch-lings due to their large size.
- Red wrigglers – Red wrigglers are water worms and do not die if left in water. They are smaller than night crawlers. These are good for feeding Adult Axolotls. They are easily available in pet stores and can be found on online platforms. They however secrete a bitter substance that may make Axolotls refuse to eat them.
- Blood worms – These are insect larvae of the midge fly. They are small in size and good for feeding juvenile Axolotls. They are nutritious and loved by all Axolotls.
- Black worms – They are small in size hence good for feeding Juvenile Axolotls. They may contain parasites that could affect Axolotls. Wash them before feeding them to your Axolotl.
- White worms – These are commonly used to feed juvenile Axolotls. They tend to be very fatty. They should be fed as treats or temporary food.
Be careful when using water based live worms such as blood worms, black worms and white worms. They may be a source of disease to your Axolotl. Make sure that you use those obtained from fish free waters.
When feeding your Axolotl with live worms make sure to clean the worm beforehand. These contain dirt that could make your Axolotl sick.
Daphnia are small freshwater crustaceans. They are a good source of food for recently hatched Axolotls. Adult Axolotls may not notice them as they are too small.
Home grown daphnia are safe and inexpensive. They stay alive in water therefore will not change water properties if uneaten.
Daphnia caught in the wild may pose health risk for your Axolotl hence not recommended.
Some Axolotls owners use small feeder fish to feed their Axolotls. Feeder fish are nutritious however their bones can cause blockage in Axolotls. Feeder fish may also be a source of disease for Axolotls. Be careful where you source them.
Wash feeder fish with tap water before feeding them to Axolotls. They may contain bacteria that can affect your Axolotls.
I would recommend you avoid them as you can never be too sure about their safety.
Pellets used for feeding Axolotls
Most Axolotl owners find it easier to feed Axolotls on pellets. Several types of pellets designed to feed Axolotls are commercially available. These can easily be found in pet stores and on online platforms such as Amazon.
Do you want to purchase pellets for your Axolotl? Here are a number of factors that you should consider.
- The expiry date – confirm the expiry date of the pellets as expired pellets may be toxic to your Axolotl.
- Ingredients – Axolotls require meat based diets. Make sure that you purchase pellets made from meaty sources. Avoid pellets made using meat based flavors.
- The content – The nutritional requirement of Axolotl are protein content of between 40% – 60% and 20% fat content. We recommend any pellet with 40% protein content or above.
There are two types of commercial pellets available on pet stores and online platforms that can be used to feed Axolotls.
- Small pellets – They are small in size and therefore ideal for feeding growing Axolotls who have smaller mouths. Small pellets may not sink easily. These may make using them difficult as Axolotls love spending most of their time underwater.
- Sinking pellets – These pellets are ideal for feeding adult Axolotls. They sink to the bottom and are therefore ideal as Axolotls love staying underwater.
3 Best commercial pellets sold on Amazon
- Zoo Med Aquatic Newt food. This is a soft, moist and high protein diet suitable for all aquatic newts including axolotls.
- Salmon pellets soft moist sinking pellets by Aquatic foods. They come in form of cubes. Most Axolotl owners report that their Axolotls love them. They are good for when you run out of worms or with pet sitters.
- Tropical carnivore sinking pellets by Hikari. They come in the form of cubes which dissolved easily in water. They are of high quality and all axolotls love them.
Gourmet Axolotl Soft Food Pellets by Aquatic blended foods. They come is form of cubes. They can be used as staple food for Axolotls but should never be left long in the water as they can foul the water. Axolotls love them.
There are several pellets available in the market. These are just a sample of pellets that Axolotl owners have used. My Axolotl, Betty can never have enough of the tropical carnivore sinking pellets which I give her interchangeably with worms. Unfortunately most of the axolotl pellets are currently unavailable in amazon at the moment.
Read this article on axolotl pellets to find out more.
Frozen food for feeding Axolotls
Frozen meals are a good alternative for feeding Axolotls. They include;
- Brine shrimp – Brine shrimp are very nutritious. Frozen brine shrimp comes in the form of cubes. They are however messy and tend to float. They also leave behind a slimy substance that can clog your aquarium. Remove any waste left over after the meal.
- Blood worms – Freeze dried blood worms are easily available in pet shops and online platform. They are nutritious for your Axolotl although may they leave behind organisms that can clog the aquarium. Clean the water after a meal to remove any leftover waste. Be careful when feeding as the blood worms can get stuck in the Axolotl gills and drown them.
- Earthworms – Frozen earthworm are nutritious for your Axolotl. They however tend to get mushy when thawed.
- Repashy grub pie – Grub pie is bug powder turned into jelly. It is designed for reptiles although some Axolotl owners use it to feed their Axolotl. It is highly nutritious. Cut it into small pieces then lower in front of the Axolotl. Clean any uneaten grub pie as the jelly tends to disintegrate in water after some times.
- Others – There are several other frozen foods that have been used by Axolotl owners to feed Axolotls such as chicken and beef broths. These should be fed as treats occasionally.
Keeping a healthy Axolotl depends on the having a good feeding regiment. Axolotls spend most of their time underwater. They prefer to dig for worms in the sand or hide in plants to wait for potential prey. They are not good hunters and may abandon food that is difficult to catch.
Pet axolotls can be fed on a wide variety of foods. Axolotl food is divided into 3 categories.
- Live food such as live worms, daphnia and feeder fish
- Pellets which can either be small pellets or sinking pellets
- Frozen foods such as brine shrimp, frozen blood worm, frozen earthworms, grub pies and others.
We recommend feeding Axolotls on a diet of live worms such as earthworms and night crawlers as the staple food. For Axolotls 6 inches or above you can easily feed them on sinking pellets.
You can use frozen foods as treats. All pets love an occasional treat.