Do Axolotls Eat Their Babies

Do Axolotls Eat Their Babies? 17 Facts About It

Axolotls are paedomorphic salamanders with a distinct appearance. Axolotls, unlike other amphibians, reach adulthood before undergoing metamorphosis.

Axolotls remain in the water after reaching maturity because they do not lose their gills like frogs do when they transition from tadpoles to young frogs.

When it comes to axolotl maturity, does this species consume its young?

Do axolotls eat their babies?

If housed in the same tank as their progeny, adult axolotls will nearly invariably devour their own eggs and hatchlings.

Regardless matter how much high-quality food you give your axolotl, they will nearly always consume their own young unless you separate them early.

Axolotl parents can and will consume their young while they are still inside their eggs, which is strange and tragic. Let’s look at why this happens and how to avoid it if you’re breeding axolotls.

Do Axolotls Eat Their Eggs: How to Protect Axolotl Eggs Until Hatching

The quick, awkward answer to this question is “yes.”

According to the Salamander Site, axolotl females often deposit eggs within hours of breeding activities being seen.

Do Axolotls Eat Their Babies

The normal range is 12 to 20 hours after breeding, however it may take longer in extreme cases. The female axolotl may deposit all of her eggs in up to 48 hours.

The soon you see eggs, you should begin to remove them.

According to Reptiles Magazine, if the eggs are not removed immediately after the female has done laying them, she may return to consume them.

However, this is not the most serious hazard that freshly placed eggs will encounter as they grow until hatching.

Why Do Axolotls Eat Their Babies?

Axolotls aren’t exactly the amphibian parents of the year. They do not care for their kids and will treat them as food if they do not have another source of nutrition.

If the eggs or newly born young axolotls are kept in the same tank as their parents, they will ultimately consume them.

These carnivorous salamanders devour earthworms, crabs, and other flesh sources. They like to consume anything meat-based that seems to be a decent food source and can fit readily into their mouth.

Axolotl infant eggs are around half an inch in diameter and are small enough for parent axolotls to fit in their mouths. Because axolotls do not mind eating their infants, they must be carnivores.

So, as an axolotl breeder, how do you keep the parents from devouring their offspring? Let us investigate.

Do Axolotls Eat Their Eggs After Laying?

The quick, awkward answer to this question is “yes.”

According to the Salamander Site, axolotl females often deposit eggs within hours of breeding activities being seen.

The normal range is 12 to 20 hours after breeding, however it may take longer in extreme cases. The female axolotl may deposit all of her eggs in up to 48 hours.

The soon you see eggs, you should begin to remove them.

According to Reptiles Magazine, if the eggs are not removed immediately after the female has done laying them, she may return to consume them.

However, this is not the most serious hazard that freshly placed eggs will encounter as they grow until hatching.

How to Prevent Axolotl Parents From Eating Their Babies

After the male and female axolotls have courted, look for the female to deposit eggs on the surface of the aquarium glass—this may happen anywhere from 12 hours to a few days after mating with her partner.

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When you find the eggs, you have two options for protecting the offspring from their parents.

Place the adult axolotls in a new tank after separating them from their eggs. Leave the eggs where they were deposited for the following several weeks until they hatch.

Alternatively, you may put a solid barrier in front of where the eggs are placed, preventing the axolotl adults from getting to their offspring and feasting on them.

Make sure the parents have adequate food throughout the day so they don’t try to break down the barrier to get to the eggs.

The adults and eggs should be kept isolated from one another. Once the eggs hatch, you will need to split them into smaller groups in various tanks based on the number of eggs laid by mother axolotl.

How Many Eggs Can a Female Axolotl Lay?

After spawning with a male, female axolotls may deposit as least 1,000 eggs at a time. On average, they may lay 300 eggs. They may breed and deposit eggs as many as they like immediately after a prior breeding session.

If you see that the male and female are producing more eggs than you can manage, separate them for a time.

Because they are an endangered species, it is essential to take care of the young to reassure the parents not to consume them so that future generations may flourish.

How Long Do Axolotl Babies Take to Hatch?

The time it takes for the eggs to hatch is determined by the temperature of the aquarium tank and the axolotl’s general genetics.

Axolotl babies may hatch in a few of weeks if the aquarium water temperature is kept between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Any temperature below this range, on the other hand, might cause the babies to wait 20 or more days to hatch.

Do Axolotls Eat Their Babies

How Many Axolotl Babies Should Live In One Tank?

Axolotl eggs need at least a 20-gallon tank to flourish and hatch successfully. A maximum of 100 hatched young axolotls may reside in a single 20-gallon tank at any one time, while 200 infants should not be housed in such a tiny tank.

Axolotls should not be maintained in the same tank until they reach the juvenile stage, which is when they are around two and a half inches to four inches long.

They may engage in cannibalism with one another when they begin to consume a more carnivorous diet than when they initially hatch.

Make a separate chamber for the axolotl youngsters’ tanks. If you have other bigger animals in the house, like as dogs or cats, keep them apart.

Start selling them to prospective axolotl owners to clear up room in case a fresh batch of axolotl eggs hatch among the breeding male and female.

Can Adult and Baby Axolotls Live Together?

As previously stated, axolotl adults are unconcerned with their offspring. They will devour them if they are kept together in the same tank. Unless you can isolate them from the adults in the same tank, there is no way to solve this issue.

The easiest method is to capture them when they are laying eggs, collect them, and place them in a different tank. Nothing horrible can happen to them while they are apart from their parents. Keeping juveniles together might also be dangerous.

If some of the juveniles are larger than others, there is always the possibility that they may consume the smaller fry.

The axolotl fry can only be kept together if they are around the same size. Remember that if they are hungry, they will consume absolutely anything that fits in their mouth.

Should You Move Adult Axolotls After Laying Eggs?

As previously stated, adult axolotls are completely untrustworthy when it comes to guarding their eggs.

They are so negligent that they would soon see those eggs as excellent meal. This is why axolotl breeders have no choice except to separate them.

It doesn’t really matter whether you take the eggs out and leave the adults in or the other way around. What is important is that you separate them.

After all, eggs are delicate, so if you’re concerned about transferring them, relocating the adults is definitely a better choice.

Should You Remove the Axolotl Parents or the Axolotl Eggs?

This is an excellent subject, and one that axolotl breeders constantly argue.

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The fact is that there is no “correct” or “incorrect” response to this topic. You may go with either choice based on your home aquarium setup and what is the most convenient.

If this is your first experience raising axolotls, you should know that axolotl eggs are very robust. Even though they seem to be extremely little and frail, they usually withstand the transporting procedure pretty well.

This is due to the fact that each egg is covered in multiple jelly-like layers of a protective covering, which helps protect the eggs from injury.

If your mother axolotl lays the eggs on a rock or other surface, just carefully remove the jelly and transfer the eggs together as a clump. The turkey baster approach works as well if the mother lays the eggs in a lengthy string.

Adult axolotls are considerably more delicate than eggs when it comes to handling and transporting them between tanks. This is due to their very delicate bodies and easily broken exterior gill “feathers.”

So it may be better to remove the eggs and leave the parents in the tank, however you may also want to separate the parents if you expect another batch of axolotl eggs soon.

This is also a significant safety factor.

Water Critters recommends not breeding an adult axolotl female more than three times throughout her lifetime.

If feasible, fewer breedings can help you prevent sick hatchlings with genetic abnormalities or other health concerns caused by a stressed-out mother axolotl depleted from over-breeding.

How Can You Remove Eggs from Axolotls Tank?

It is simple to remove the adult axolotls from the aquarium. You just take them one by one and place them in the other tank.

Obviously, the other tank must also be correctly configured. Your axolotl adults must have adequate room, and the temperature must be appropriately regulated.

However, if your aim is to remove the eggs, it isn’t all that tough. You can accomplish it by hand if you are confident in your abilities.

A better method is to take a tiny cup and gently roll the eggs in it. Then you may simply transport them without fear of shattering any of them.

Once the second tank is ready, carefully place the eggs in it. All you have to do now is wait for them to hatch. But just how long does it take?

How Long it Takes for Axolotls Eggs to Hatch?

One advantage of isolating the eggs from the adult axolotls is that they hatch faster. By raising the water temperature to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the eggs will hatch in 14 days. Axolotls should be kept in water that is 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The eggs would hatch in 20 days if the temperature was kept at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The ability to prolong or reduce this interval may be quite beneficial. You may speed up the process if you have all of the ingredients and feel prepared to care for the fry.

If you need additional time to obtain some food or an attachment for the tank, just reduce the temperature. You may start feeding them live micro worms once they’re out.

What Happens After Axolotl Eggs Hatch?

Once the female axolotl has completed laying all of her eggs and you have securely transferred them, your primary responsibility will be to maintain the aquarium environment at the proper temperature to facilitate hatching.

According to, lower temperatures may cause egg hatching to be delayed, whilst higher conditions can hasten the process. It takes 14 to 20 days for eggs to hatch on average.

You have up to 72 hours after seeing larvae emerge from your axolotl eggs before you need to start actively feeding them. This is due to the fact that each larva emerges with a little amount of emergency yolk to tide them through.

When the yolk ration is depleted, each larva will begin vigorously consuming whatever it can find, including the eggs and other larvae nearby.

Caudata Culture has a fantastic feeding website that covers some of the finest micro-foods for these small hatchling axolotls.

Do Axolotls Eat Their Babies

It’s also worth noting that freshly born axolotls have a difficult time consuming anything, even each other.

So, if you can’t simply obtain the correct live micro-prey to feed your axolotl larvae, they might starve to death right in front of your eyes.

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Axolotls Are Cannibals All Throughout Life

Axolotls are known to be cannibalistic throughout their whole life cycle.

They are far more inclined to consume one another while they are young, developing quickly, and need daily feedings to survive.

This is also the time to watch the axolotl’s astonishing regenerating abilities, as hungry larva may nibble off the tails, limbs, or legs of another larva for food.

Even if you believe you are feeding your axolotl hatchlings appropriately, they may begin to devour each other. Why might this happen?

According to the website, hatchling axolotls must only be fed live prey. They hunt by looking for movement and cannot identify dead prey.

Even if you provide enough of dead micro-food, your axolotls will begin to feed on each other instead.

How Much to Feed Newly Hatched Axolotls So They Don’t Eat Each Other?

Axolotls have even less visual acuity than juvenile or adult axolotls, which isn’t saying much.

Axolotls hunt mostly by movement or smell, according to the Dallas World Aquarium. Instead of “noses,” axolotls have what are known as “lateral line organs” that run along their sides.

Axolotls are also largely nocturnal throughout their lives, which means they are more active at night while many of their natural predators are resting.

Axolotls that have just hatched need to feed at least once a day, ideally twice. You should feed them every 12 hours in the early morning and late evening when the light is lower.

Feed your axolotls in groups of 100 or fewer animals, and give each larva as much live micro-food as it can safely take in around 10 minutes.

So now you know the unsettling truth: axolotl parents will eat their eggs, and axolotl larvae will devour each other after hatching.

However, this also allows you to prepare ahead of time to keep your axolotl eggs and hatchlings healthy and viable after breeding. When you know what to anticipate, breeding axolotls for the first time may be fun and gratifying.

Cautions For Housing Baby Axolotls Together

As the infant axolotls grow in size, measure them. Because larger newborns can fit smaller ones into their jaws, they will most likely become predators of the smaller ones.

In a 20-gallon tank, house 50-100 axolotls of similar size. Keep track of their growth so you may move the babies to various tanks as required.

When axolotls reach maturity, they should have their own tanks or live with just one spouse. Axolotls, like other aquatic creatures such as dolphins and whales, are not a sociable species.

An adult axolotl requires at least a 20-gallon tank, whereas two axolotls living in the same tank need at least a 40-gallon tank to be happy and prosper.

Because of their modest size, babies may coexist in 20-gallon tanks. When they initially hatch, they are approximately half an inch long.

Final Thoughts

If both parents are in the same tank and hungry in between normal meal feedings, they will devour their eggs. Keep the adults and infants in separate tanks if you want to save the axolotl eggs.

While supervising a fresh batch of axolotl infants might be time-consuming, seek the assistance of a trustworthy family member or friend who is also an axolotl lover and eager to assist you.

Princy Hoang
See more articles in this category: Geckos

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