One of the most enchanting animals in the aquarium hobby is the black axolotl. This rare breed of salamander is dark in color and is quickly becoming a popular choice for pet owners. They’re native to Lake Xochimilco in Mexico, a place that has seen selective breeding of its inhabitants to create these unusual animals. This guide will cover everything you need to know about caring for a black axolotl.
Table of Contents
When it comes to appearances, black axolotls have a truly distinct look. Resembling a lizard, these amphibians have legs and arms but also have a long, tadpole-like tail on top with fleshy fins that run the length of the tail and part of the back. Their front feet have four slightly webbed toes and their rear has five. Another distinguishing trait is their ‘headdress,’ a set of six frilly appendages on the back of their head – actually external gills that enable them to breathe underwater. People are especially enamored by the black axolotl’s headdress, as it’s not something that is commonly seen in other animals. As the name suggests, these animals are completely black with dark eyes, which is due to their melanistic genetic mutation.
When it comes to Lifespan, these animals can live up to 15 years if they are given proper care, which is why getting a black axolotl requires a lot of commitment. As always, the length of their life will largely depend on their genetic makeup and the quality of care they receive. If they’re kept in substandard living conditions and fed a poor diet, they could be susceptible to illnesses and die prematurely. On that note, the average size of a black axolotl is 11-12 inches, most of it being the tail. Although they don’t move swiftly, these animals still need plenty of room in the tank for comfortable living.
Black Axolotl Care
Black axolotl Care is considered moderately difficult, but it doesn’t have to be with the right information. Tank size requirements for these creatures can range from 20 gallons or above depending on what type of setup you’re going for. Some may assume that larger tanks are needed since these animals are large, but that is not always the case.
Water parameters are also very important in order for the pet to thrive. In general, the water should be around 18 °C (64 °F) and the pH should stay between 6.5 and 7.5. It’s recommended to use a good water conditioner to remove chlorine and other toxins, and to change 20% of the water weekly to maintain healthy levels. Lastly, axolotls must have access to food, including feeder fish, worms, and pellets. Feeding them once every few days and abiding by a strict schedule will stop them from overeating.
When keeping black axolotls in a community tank, it’s important to remember that these animals are solitary creatures and don’t need companionship to survive. That said, they are relatively non-aggressive when they are kept together, though they need ample space and hiding spots to reduce territorial squabbles. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to only keep one black axolotl per tank.
Although black axolotls are quite low-maintenance pets, they do require dedicated carer who is willing to invest lots of time in helping the pet thrive. From providing suitable tank conditions to feeding them on a regular basis, a successful black axolotl keeper should be willing to undertake all these duties. With proper care, nutrition, and environment, these animals can benefit from long lifespans and even develop their own personalities. Ultimately, keeping a black axolotl is an exciting and rewarding experience for any owner.
In addition to good care and proper nutrition, black axolotls will also benefit from an enriched environment. Sheltered hiding spots as well as plenty of driftwood, rocks, and plants can help them feel more secure and allow them to hide if they need to. Live plants can also provide valuable oxygen and food sources and make a great addition to the tank.
It’s important to know that black axolotls don’t require a basking area; in fact, they thrive best when submerged in water and changing water temperature can result in serious stress or even death. As such, it’s crucial to invest in a thermostat and monitor the water temperature is kept within a safe range.
Although they are not particularly active swimmers, black axolotls will still require some tank maintenance if they are to remain healthy and happy. Regular water changes can help keep the tank clean and clear and prevent the build-up of any toxins or waste. It’s also recommended to use an aquarium filter to ensure optimal levels of water quality.
For those living in colder climates, it’s important to note that black axolotls may require more than just indoor tank care. During the winter months, pond owners should invest in an aquarium heater to keep the water temperature stable and comfortable for their pets.
On top of regular maintenance and care, black axolotls should also have the opportunity to explore the world around them. Many enthusiast recommend taking the animals outside on sunny days, as this provides an interesting experience and can be beneficial for their physical health.
Black axolotls may not be exceptionally active creatures, but this doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate an occasional playtime. It is possible to stimulate their behavioral instincts by introducing objects into the tank and allowing them to explore. This could involve floating objects for the animal to swim around, or perhaps hiding treats in the tank so that the axolotl has to search for them.
In the wild, black axolotls prefer to live in murky waters and dark corners, so it’s important to recreate this type of environment in their tanks. This can be done by adding plenty of plants, driftwood and rocks, which will act as shelter and provide the animal with plenty of shadowed areas. Additionally, a darker substrate can also help to recreate a natural environment.
When considering the size of the tank, it’s important to remember that black axolotls have a long life span, so they’ll need a larger and better equipped tank as they grow older. Some experts recommend investing in a 40-gallon tank as soon as possible, so that the creature has enough room to move and explore.
Finally, it’s worth noting that black axolotls can suffer from dehydration in warm and dry environments, so frequent misting of their tank is essential. A good-quality water sprayer can help ensure that the water is kept at optimal humidity levels and moisture levels are constantly maintained.