When you see a cute axolotl or other amphibian, it’s easy to worry about its mental health. Axolotls are one of the easiest amphibians to take care of and keep alive because they don’t need much food, attention, or other care.
It’s normal to worry about your pet axolotl, but the first step to ensuring their health and happiness is to know what they need to be happy.
Is It Possible for Axolotls To Get Depressed?
This makes them great pets for busy families or people who don’t have time for pets like dogs or cats that need more attention.
What Are Axolotls?
Axolotls are carnivorous amphibians that can grow to be 12 inches long and 8 pounds heavy. These animals, which can grow to be as big as a teacup, are in a very bad situation. The Aztec god of fire and lightning gave the axolotl its name.
Even though they look like salamanders, axolotls stay young their whole lives.
The best way to keep these species happy is to feed them their favourite foods, which are crustaceans, mollusks, and eggs found on the bottom of the aquarium. Axolotls might also eat the small fish in their tank.
Signs of Stress
Most of an axolotl’s stress symptoms can be fixed by looking at the water conditions. Poor water quality is the most common underlying cause of most of the symptoms discussed in this book.
Curled gills are one of the first and most obvious signs that an axolotl is unhappy or stressed. If your axolotl’s gills look like they are pointing out toward the front of its face, the water parameters are probably wrong.
Do a water test, and if you need to, change the water. If your axolotl’s gills stay bent even though the water quality is good, you should take it to a vet or get in touch with us.
Gill Deterioration – Axolotl Losing External Gills
High levels of ammonia in the water almost always cause the gills of an axolotl to get worse. High levels of nitrate and nitrite could make the problem worse.
After you’ve made sure that:
- Your axolotl’s tank has a nitrogen cycle that works.
- The parameters of the water are fine.
- You do what needs to be done to clean and maintain it.
Check your weekly schedule for maintenance. We recommend doing a 25% water change once a week to get rid of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. A healthy aquarium will have little to no ammonia or nitrites.
If you’ve tried everything and are still having problems, it’s time to clean your filter. To do this, check out our guide on How to Clean Your Aquarium Filter.
If none of these work, you can get help by talking to experienced axolotl keepers on Facebook, reading articles on caudata.org, or getting in touch with the Axolotl Planet staff as soon as you can.
Curled Tail Tip
If an axolotl’s tail curls up near the tip, this could be a more serious sign that the animal is stressed or sick. If the tail of your axolotl looks strangely coiled, you should check the water parameters and nitrogen cycle in its tank.
Even if the animal is in a healthy environment, your axolotl may be very sick. We think you should talk to a professional or get in touch with the Axolotl Planet staff as soon as possible.
Axolotl Won’t Eat – Loss of Appetite
One of the first signs that an axolotl is stressed is that it doesn’t want to eat. Most of the time, this is caused by bad water quality or a high water temperature (over 72°F) in your aquarium. Check the temperature of your water to make sure it is at or below 68°F.
If you think that chemicals have ruined your tank, check out our guide on How to Fix a Contaminated Aquarium.
If your axolotl won’t eat for more than a week, you should call a vet or the staff at Axolotl Planet right away.
Axolotl Taking Frequent Gulps of Air
Because axolotls can breathe in both air and water, it is pretty rare to see them swim to the surface to get more air.
If your axolotl starts to do this all the time, it’s probably because the water is too warm. Check the temperature; it should be between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and no more than 72 degrees.
Axolotl is Floating in the Water – Or Floating Upside Down
Most of the time, it’s normal for a healthy axolotl to float. Floating, on the other hand, may sometimes be an early sign of a bigger problem.
If you think this has happened to your axolotl, take it to a vet right away or get in touch with the Axolotl Planet team. In these situations, veterinary care is often needed.
Axolotl is Very Active – Frantic Swimming
If your axolotl is swimming quickly, it usually means that something is making it feel bad. Most of the time, this happens when there are too many ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate ions in the water. It can also happen when tap water or other things get into a tank and make it dirty.
If your axolotl looks like it’s swimming like crazy, test the water in its tank to make sure it’s clean.
If the water tests out fine, check the flow of your filter. If the filter is set too high, the axolotl may have to swim all the time because of the flow in the tank.
Lack of Responsiveness
When axolotls are nervous, even attempts to feed them might not bother them.
Axolotl is Pale – Loss of Color in Body or Gills
The colour of an axolotl’s skin can change when it’s at rest, depending on the colour of its surroundings. If a person is badly hurt, it could be a sign of stress or blood loss. When an axolotl dies, it loses its colour.
What Do Axolotls Need To Be Happy?
Axolotls don’t need much to be happy and do well, but they do need to meet a few requirements. If you feed them regularly and take care of their environmental needs, these amphibians make great pets.
A tank is the best place for axolotls to live. Even though they are amphibians, axolotls spend most of their time in water.
If you keep the water temperature steady, your axolotl will always be happy. The water in your axolotl’s tank should be between 55 and 66 degrees for its comfort.
Your tank should also come with enough decorations. Axolotls like places to hide and plants that remind them of where they live in the wild. Axolotls, like fish, can become agitated if their environment is not properly set up.
To keep your axolotl from jumping out of its tank, you should always keep the lid closed. If the axolotls’ tank lid isn’t on tight, they could hurt themselves easily.
The axolotls may be happy for a long time if the water quality is good and you keep the water in the right range for them. Only clean water is important to these creatures.
Proper Tank Size
Axolotls need a tank that is the right size. Most of the time, a 15- to 20-gallon tank is enough space for axolotls to grow, thrive, and hide.
Axolotls live their whole lives in water. They may be clumsy, but they won’t hurt themselves in their tank unless the lid is left open.
Hiding Spots and Decor
Axolotls need a lot of space and places to hide so they can stay busy and happy. Even though this makes it harder to see them, they need places to hide so they can rest and relax without being bothered by light.
Axolotls need a lot of soft light and like to look outside their tank, but they like to hide from curious eyes and people who want to watch them. On the other hand, the light doesn’t bother them.
How Long Can Axolotls Live?
If they get all the care they need, an axolotl might live for 10 to 12 years.
Health Issues and Sickness
In this section, we talk about more serious health problems with axolotls and how to treat them. It’s important to remember that even after you’ve fixed your axolotl’s health, you still need to take care of it regularly, or the illness or infection could come back.
Axolotl Fungus spots can be white or black
If an axolotl gets hurt, fungus may grow on or near the wound. This can be seen in the picture below: The picture came from Exopetguides.com.
Fungus isn’t hard to get rid of, but you need to act quickly and correctly. Fungus infections that aren’t too bad can often be easily treated with regular care and maintenance. However, if left untreated, a fungal infection can quickly spread and kill an axolotl.
Here are some steps you can take to start treating an axolotl with a fungal infection and help it get better:
Black tea baths: The tannins in black tea can help treat fungal infections because they are a strong anti-fungal agent. However, because black tea has a much higher tannin content than Indian Almond Leaves, you should only bathe your axolotl in it for short periods of time.
To give your axolotl a tea bath, you’ll need regular black tea bags with caffeine and a plastic tub or bowl that’s big enough for your axolotl to stretch out in. Then, do the following:
- Add one to two litres of conditioned tap water to the tub.
- Boil one cup of tea per gallon of conditioned tap water in the tub.
- Let the tea steep for at least 15 minutes so that all of the tannins can get out.
- Before serving, let the tea cool to room temperature. You can also put it in the fridge to cool it down quickly.
- Half-fill the tub with tea. Put your axolotl in the tub for no more than 10 minutes.
You can give your axolotl a tea bath once a day until the fungal infection is gone. As soon as possible, you should take a black tea bath to treat small fungal infections. If your axolotl has a serious infection, it may need stronger treatments or help from a vet to get better.
- MinnFinn Dosage: For more severe cases of fungus, a solution with a wide range of effects may be better. Even though it doesn’t directly deal with axolotl health, MinnFinn Mini’s Broad Spectrum Treatment is one of the mildest and most effective fungal treatments for axolotls. When the product arrives at your door, follow the directions on the packaging to give the minimum dose. This can be used to treat both mild and severe infections, but the length of time it takes to get better will depend on how healthy your axolotl is. If you treat your axolotl in its tank, any other animals who have been exposed to the fungus will also be treated, even if they don’t have fungus.
This method should only be used in the worst cases of fungus and only after talking to a veterinarian. Fungus completely breaking down and/or covering your axolotl’s gills, or fungus covering 30% or more of your axolotl’s body, are both signs.
After washing your hands well with very hot water (don’t use soap because soap residue could hurt your axolotl), dry them completely and do the following:
- Hold your axolotl gently above the water’s surface, but with enough force to keep it from slipping away.
- With your other hand, dip a Q-Tip into the hydrogen peroxide (typically a 3% solution in a brown container) and then quickly and gently wipe the affected areas of your axolotl.
Take your axolotl out of the water for about 5 seconds, and then put it back in.
It’s also important to keep the water parameters in your tank in good shape. If you don’t, the fungus will come back and do more damage.
By the next day, your axolotl should look much better. If you can still see a lot of mould, do the hydrogen peroxide swab again.
Wounds / Physical Damage – Axolotl Missing an Arm or Leg
Axolotls can get hurt by bites, cuts, and losing limbs. Axolotls are a very rare species that can heal almost any part of their bodies, including parts of their spine and brain. If your axolotl gets hurt, you don’t need to worry about it.
Depending on how bad the damage is, how old your axolotl is (older axolotls heal slower than younger ones), how clean its water is, how often you feed it, what kind of food you give it (pellets and bloodworms can be bad for its health over time), and what precautions you take to make sure it stays healthy, the wound could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to heal completely.
Continue to use a Freshwater Master Test Kit to check your water parameters once a week to make sure they are safe. A clean environment makes it less likely that someone will get sick and speeds up the healing process.
Damaged Slime Coat
The slimy coat of an axolotl is important to the animal’s overall health because it keeps germs, fungi, infections, and temperature from getting in. Your axolotl’s slime coat could be hurt by dirty water, sharp decorations, or aggressive tank mates.
If it is in a safe place with good water conditions, its slime coat should heal on its own in a few weeks, depending on how badly it was hurt.
During this time, keep the water temperature as low as possible (at least below 68°F) and make sure it gets cleaned regularly to keep it clean.
As your axolotl gets better, a Freshwater Master Test Kit will help you figure out how your water is doing. During this time, the Indian almond leaves will also help your axolotls get stronger against sickness and disease.
Ammonia/Chemical Burns – Axolotl is Red
Ammonia poisoning and chemical burns are two of the most dangerous and painful things that can happen to your axolotl.
As soon as you know if your axolotl has burned or not, you should do the following:
1. Tub Your Axolotl: You can quickly tub your axolotl in any clean, empty aquarium, big bowl, plastic tub, or Tupperware. When you use bowls or Tupperware, make sure they don’t have any dangerous residues, like soap, that could irritate your skin.
Tap water that has been cleaned of chlorine should fill up half of your container. If the water is much warmer than your axolotl can handle, quickly cool it down with ice cubes and water conditioner.
If you don’t have ice, you can use anything frozen, but make sure it’s clean and doesn’t have any residue on it. Keep the water as cold as you can to help your axolotl’s skin. You can help your axolotl stay cool by having a supply of frozen water bottles on hand.
To avoid a buildup of ammonia and skin irritation, it is important to change the water in the tub twice a day. If the burn from the ammonia is bad enough, a veterinarian may need to help.
2. Clean Your Tank: If chemicals have gotten into your tank, you will need to completely drain and clean it, unless you already have another tank set up for an axolotl.
Check out How to Clean a Dirty Aquarium for more information. Everything that has come into contact with the chemicals, including your filter media, needs to be cleaned.
Because all of the good bacteria have died, you can use tap water to clean anything that had chemicals in it.
Set up your tank again and think about what you could do to keep it from getting dirty again. You will also need to cycle your aquarium again, but you can speed up the process by reading our article, “How to Cycle Your Aquarium.”
If your axolotl was burned by ammonia, you must let the tank cycle.Adding axolotls to a tank that hasn’t been cycled, not doing regular maintenance, adding too many fish at once, and/or overfeeding can all cause ammonia levels to rise, which could cause your tank to crash (when all of the beneficial bacteria die). You might also find our post on How to Cycle Your Aquarium helpful.
Because every situation is different, please ask for help from our staff. In 24 hours, one of our experts on axolotls will help you fix the problem.
Keep your axolotl’s tank clean and check on its health to help keep them away. Aeromonas spp. and Pseudomonas spp. are two types of bacterial infections that happen more often.
When germs get into an axolotl, it won’t eat, and in the worst cases, it may get ascites (bloating due to fluid retention).
When an infection is very bad in an axolotl, the chances of it living are very low, and euthanasia may be the best option. In the early stages of a bacterial illness, antibiotics may be able to help the axolotl get better.
Most of the time, giving your axolotl a dose by mouth works better than treating the water in its tank. Antibiotics like enroflaxin, getamycin, and amikacin can be mixed with wet food, like thawed brine shrimp or repashy grub pies, and then frozen before being fed to axolotls.
Some bacterial diseases, such as mycobacteriosis, have symptoms similar to septicaemia.The spread of mycobacteriosis is like the spread of other infections.
Mycobacteriosis is more likely to happen to an axolotl if it lives in water of poor quality, is exposed to high temperatures, or eats live food.
There is no known cure for mycobacteriosis. If you think your axolotl has mycobacteria, you should talk to your vet.
Like bacterial diseases, parasitic diseases are caused by bad water quality and eating foods that are alive. Parasites that live on axolotls come in many different forms.
There are parasites that live on the skin or gills of the host and parasites that live in the body of the host (these live inside of their host).
Each of these parasites needs a different kind of treatment, so it’s important to figure out which one your axolotl has in order to heal it. Talk to a vet to figure out what kind of parasites may be bothering your axolotl.
If you can’t figure out what kind of parasite is hurting your axolotl, talk to your vet about the best way to treat it.
Axolotls that are getting therapy have to be treated in a hospital tank or tub because parasites like Hexamita can live without a host for a long time and may be common in the tank. The parasites will just come back and infect the axolotl again, so it won’t help to treat it. If your axolotl has parasites, you will need to completely disassemble, clean, dry, and reassemble the tank to get rid of any parasites that may be hiding inside.
Do Axolotls Feel Fear?
It depends; some axolotls will be more scared than others, but in general, they won’t feel fear.
When you get your axolotl for the first time, you may notice that it is scared or confused. These feelings may last for a few weeks. But don’t worry; the animal will get used to its new environment and stop being scared.
On the other hand, children may become much more worried or scared if they are under too much stress. But in reality, these animals won’t be scared at all. Also, if the water parameters aren’t right, you might notice some strange or unusual behaviours.
There isn’t much information about how axolotls feel. Even though it’s normal for them to be a little wary or even afraid of you at first, this usually goes away after a few weeks.
Do Axolotls Have Emotions?
There are not many signs that axolotls have feelings. In reality, they don’t have the best senses and won’t know who you are. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like you being there.
At the moment, there is no scientific evidence that axolotls have feelings. For example, they will be stressed if the water parameters are not right. But it’s unlikely that they feel the same things that humans do. Axolotls are pretty simple animals that don’t show a lot of emotion.
We can, however, do a few things to make the axolotls happy. Happiness is a feeling that axolotls can have, especially if they are taken care of well.
Can You Keep Two Axolotls Together?
It’s easy to keep two adult axolotls together. If the axolotls are less than 10 cm (4 inches) long, keep them as far apart as possible because they are more likely to peck at each other. In any case, don’t put two aggressive men together because it could lead to a never-ending battle for power that could hurt one or both of them.
Otherwise, it’s fine to keep them together. Don’t be surprised if you find eggs in your axolotl tank one day if you keep a male and a female in the same tank. When you keep two axolotls together, the most important thing to remember is to give them enough room to grow.
If they don’t have enough room, you can expect them to fight often, and they may nip at each other. A 20-gallon tank is the best choice if you want to keep two or more axolotls.
Axolotls are beautiful frogs that would make great pets for even the busiest families. These creatures don’t need much care and can go up to two weeks without being fed. Axolotls may also do well in dark, damp places, and they like to be alone in a tank. Even though these dogs like to be alone, they don’t mind when their owners watch them and stare at them.
These amphibians are easy to care for and make a cute pet for busy families. All they need is a place to hide, a good environment, and a few decorations to keep them company.
Your axolotl will be safe from depression and other mental health problems if it meets these small requirements.
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