One of the hardest parts of keeping the puffers is one of their cutest aspects. They want to be involved in everything! So you have to be extra careful when doing a water change because they wanna be close to the siphon to figure out what it is, or when you’re picking up waste bits they’ll try to get between the tongs to see if it’s food. Luckily this means they also love my phone and are great for pictures…only problem is they’re so tiny the damn thing won’t focus on them! I wish I had a 2.8 lens for my DSLR 😝

These guys also get bored really easily, I’ve found mine love a weekly rearranging of the tank. Not a major change, but moving some decor around and putting something new that’ll be replaced the next week. They’re super curious and really enjoy learning, I wish more people realized how intelligent fish are!

Shown is Cheese checking to make sure she completely emptied out the snail shell 🐡

Axolotl Care Sheet

Keeping Other Animals with Axolotls:

Just say no. Fish will bite the worm-like gills of axolotls. Even bottom feeder fish like Plecos will try to feed on the axolotls. Large snails might attach themselves to the axolotls, or might get eaten by the axolotl and impact its digestion. For the sake of your axolotl, please don’t keep anything else in the tank with it.

Keeping Axolotls Together:

Male and female axolotls will mate throughout the year, and the female can lay several hundred eggs at a time. Same-sex pairs of similar sized adult axolotls are okay to keep together as long as they each have their own places to hide by themselves. Larger axolotls may bully, or even try to eat, smaller axolotls, so only keep adults together if they are within about 1” of each other’s size.


The yearly average water temperature where the axolotls are native is about 70° F, and this is a fine temperature to keep axolotls at all year long. Water temperatures over 75° F are stressful for the axolotl. To aid in cooling your tank, leave the lid part-way open to allow some water to evaporate, and keep the tank out of direct sunlight.


Axolotls prefer low light levels, and benefit from having a steady day/night cycle. To help yourself out with this, place a timer on the light’s outlet, and set it for 12 hours light and 12 hours dark. Give the axolotl plenty of dark hiding spaces, and add plants (preferably live plants) to help diffuse the light.

Water Flow:

Axolotls prefer still or slow-moving water, so if you choose to run a filter in your tank, try to diffuse the water flow with decorations or plants. Axolotls are more active in calm water.

Water Parameters:

Axolotls benefit from water with a pH between 6.8 and 7.4, and need some mineral content in their water or else they will become anemic. To balance your water’s pH and to keep mineral content high, filter your water before adding it to your tank (this can be done with a filtered refrigerator tap or a Brita-style water filter on your sink tap), and to this water add:

2 tsp aquarium salt

2 tsp Epsom salt

1 level tsp baking soda

per 5 gallons of water.

To aid in water filtration, consider adding live plants, which absorb some of the waste produced by the axolotl.

As with any aquarium, make sure to add beneficial bacteria, which can be purchased at any fish shop, and cycle the tank BEFORE adding the axolotl. If unsure about how to cycle a tank, speak with a professional at your local fish shop.

Filtering your water before adding it to your aquarium will remove any chlorine, which can kill an axolotl. Bottles of chlorine-remover can be purchased, but these only cause chemical reactions to produce chlorinated plastics or metals, and do not actually remove the chlorine from the water. A safer way to remove chlorine is to either filter the water ahead of time, as mentioned above, or let the water sit in an open bucket for 24 hours and let the chlorine evaporate.


NEVER use gravel in an axolotl tank. Axolotls eat by sucking in large amounts of water, and in doing so, can accidentally ingest anything near the food. The gravel will impact the axolotl’s digestion and may even kill it. As a good rule of thumb, NEVER put anything smaller than your axolotl’s head in its tank. This includes gravel, stones, snails, decorations, and so on. Aquarium sand (not playground sand) is great for axolotls, or a bare tank bottom will suffice too. The only problem with a bare tank bottom is that the axolotls have trouble gripping it, and moving might become stressful to them.


Axolotls can swim pretty vigorously, and are known to thrash when they eat, so don’t put anything in their tank with sharp edges or rough surfaces. This includes the edges of PVC pipes, splintery driftwood, sharp rocks, and even some fish tank decorations. If you notice a cut on your axolotl, run your finger along everything in their tank and remove any sharp object you find. Even if it’s not sharp in your mind, it may be too sharp for the axolotl’s soft skin.


Some will say that adult axolotls only need to eat every other day or so, but it’s best to feed them smaller portions daily. To get a handle of how much your axolotl needs to eat, keep feeding it until it no longer seems interested in food. Remove any uneaten food within 30 minutes or your water will become contaminated.

A scientific study published by the Journal of Veterinary Behavior proved juvenile axolotls grow fastest on a diet of bloodworms, but this diet is best for juveniles and not so much for adults. Axolotls have little holes in their heads behind their gills to let water flow in and out when they eat, and tiny bloodworms will flow right out through these holes.

The best food for adult axolotls is earthworms. If you choose to find your own worms outside, be sure to avoid taking them from anywhere sprayed with fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides. While you’re out looking, slugs also make a nice meal for axolotls. To clean off the food you collect, fill a small cup with your tank’s water and let the worms and slugs sit in it for a few minutes, but be sure to cover the cup! This will remove any excess dirt from the food. Store-bought worms are great too, but axolotls can be picky and might not like the kind you buy. Some don’t like Canadian Nightcrawlers, some don’t like Red Wigglers. I’ve had the best luck with “Dillies,” sold as fishing bait at most tackle shops. Some people have had luck feeding axolotls sinking trout pellets, but I have never tried this.

DO NOT feed your axolotl the following: fish, other amphibians, mealworms, snails you catch yourself, any bug with more than 6 legs, spiders, anything that may be venomous, beef heart or any mammalian protein. This list is not exhaustive. Use common sense when feeding your axolotl. Avoid purchasing live aquatic worms from pet stores, as they may be contaminated with parasites.

Further Information:

The internet is a valuable tool for researching animal care, but remember that there is a lot of misinformation out there. Axolotl.org is a great resource for specific information about axolotls. Caudata.org is a good message-board about amphibian care, but not everyone there knows what they’re talking about. The same goes for any amphibian-related groups on social media: it’s hit or miss trying to find someone with good information.

There are a few good books about axolotl care, but most are outdated. These include Developmental Biology of the Axolotl (scholarly article compilation from 1989), Axolotls: Care and Breeding in Captivity (Peter Scott 1995), and any of several books about general amphibian keeping.

important question

so im just wondering, why are fishblr people so against buying “unethical” fish? (fancy tailed and dragon scaled bettas, parrotfish, fancy goldfish to name a few) like??? these fish are still gonna exist and people are still gonna buy them, and chances are if educated aquarists dont someone who has no idea what theyre doing is gonna buy them. why leave these already struggling fish to people who will most likely stick em in a bowl and let them suffer?


@jayce-space @immersive-lore-friendly-cheese or anyone else that can help.
Today I noticed my Betta completely off color, pale, and inactive. Looking closer I noticed something really off with his pectoral fin. At first I thought he had an open wound right behind his fin but after isolating him and watching it looks more like a wound with something coming out of it? It’s hard to see because whatever it coming out of it is transparent and looks a lot like the fin itself? Definitely reminiscent of bacteria or fungus.
It’s hard to get a good pic but it looks like the open wound is directly behind the spot where the pectoral fin meets the body. It almost looked as if it was partially ripped from the joint. He’s very inactive right now, laying on the bottom of the cup he’s in now and in the tank was laying on plants, completely uninterested in food and not really going to the surface to take air. Which is really off behavior for him, sine he even when he’s being picky w/ food he still is active and going to the surface.
I just did a water change and cleaned the tank. It’s a 2.5 tank, with a sponge filter and a heater pre set to 78°. I don’t have a test kit on me since this tank is at my dorm. I was planning on doing a salt bath later today with aquarium salt. I always treat the water during water changes w/ aquarium salt (.5 tsp per gal) although this time I upped the dosage a bit and put some stress coat in. Any help would be greatly appreciated! (I have one treatment of tetracycline left but last time I tried tetracycline it didn’t work on a fish I thought had a bacterial infection and fin rot and the antibiotic/ antifungals are just too expensive to buy one and find out it doesn’t work (also not sure how I’m going to dilute it for a 2.5 tank….))