How Much do Axolotl Cost?+Tank and Accessories

How much do Axolotl cost?+Tank and Accessories

How much do axolotl cost? What is the price of baby axolotl? How much does it cost to buy the tank and equipment’s?

If you are a beginner enthusiast and confused with all these questions , then this article will surely help you out, so let us dive in.

So, Again the question how much do axolotls cost? Normally a baby axolotl will cost about 20$ while the adults cost 40$ Max. The more rare and imported axolotl like firefly can cost up to $300 dollars upfront (without, food, terrarium, substrate, and lights). While Some rare ones such as Enigma axolotl can cost up to 1500$. The real expense also lies in the tank and accessories required for the basic axolotl setup, which can cost from $80- $350.

$300-$500 seems like a big investment, but considering the pet colors and years of happiness they are doing to deliver makes it worth it as Captive bred axolotls live quite long,

How much do Axolotls cost on average?

Axolotls usually cost between $20 to $80, with lower prices for the younger axolotls and higher for adults. below is the price chart of some common, rare, and imported axolotls that you can decide and start of with.

Price Chart of Some popular Axolotl Species

Common nameScientific nameApprox price
Wild TypeCommon$30-$50
White AlbinoCommon$40
LeucisticCommon$45-$50
Golden AlbinoCommon$50
Speckled LeucisticCommon$50
Black MelanoidCommon$50-$75
Green Fluorescent ProteinUncommon$50-$60
CopperUncommon$100
Heavily-Marked MelanoidUncommon$75-$100
LavenderRare$100-$125
MosaicVery RareUnknown
ChimeraVery RareUnknown
FireflyRare$250-$300
PiebaldRare$300
EnigmaRare$1500

How big tank do you need for an axolotl?

A 20-gallon tank is preferable but if you have budget or space constraints go for at least a 15- to 20-gallon fish tank.

Make sure the tank has a secure lid to prevent the energetic juveniles from jumping out of their enclosure.

How Much it Costs to Feed an Axolotl?

There are also certain treats to occasionally feed your Axolotls that but they can be hard on your pocket.

  • Frozen Shrimp (cooked) ($8/pound)
  • Earthworms ( $30/pound)
  • Prawns ($30/pound)
  • Mealworms ($13 for 1000 Units)
  • Lean Chicken ($9 per pound)
  • Lean Beef ($10 per pound)
  • Fresh Tuna ($60 per pound)
  • Bloodworms ($8 per dozen)
  • Blackworms ($50-$60 per pound)

Veterinary and Supplements Cost Money Too

Usually, Axolotls are low-maintenance amphibians. Timely quarium cleaning and feeding is suffient to keep them healthly.

Nevertherless, Axolotls being exotic pets, sometimes requires medical attention and you will need a vet for that purpose so it may be hard on bills.

Axolotl Tank Accessories and Essentials

Aquarium and Filter (Overall cost Approx. $350)

  • 20-gallon long tank-$100
  • Airline tubing (for sponge filter)-$70
  • Air pump (for sponge filter)-$18
  • Planted tank light – 20$
  • Aquaclear 50 filter -$80
  • Prefilter intake sponge- $8
  • Sponge filter

Decorations (Approx. $60)

Cooling Materials (Approx. $90)

  • Small USB fan-$9.99
  • USB adapter (for fan)-$10.99
  • Command strips (for fan)
  • Power extension cord (for fan)-$8.99
  • Digital thermometer with alarms- $19.99
  • Reflective foil insulation -$20

Other Supplies (Approx. $100 Excluding stand)

  • Aquarium stand (Varies)
  • Power strip- $10
  • Siphon -$10
  • Water de-chlorinator -$15
  • Axolotl pellets -$8
  • Aquarium water test kit -$40

Axolotl Facts and Information

Axolotl Facts and Information

Axolotl classification, geographical origin, and its name.

Scientific name: Ambystoma mexicanum

Order: Caudata / Urodela. The axolotl is therefore a salamander that is part of the amphibians

Height: Axolotl is the largest of the Ambystomatidae family. Its average height is 20-30cm.

What does the name axolotl mean? Is Axolotl a God?

Speculations on the origin of his name: The Axolotl has its origins from Aztecs it is derived from the Spanish word “ajolote”.

There are many interpretations and meaning: slave of water, water-servant, water-spirit, water-player, water-twin

The most popular translation of the name axolotl refers to the god of deformities and death, Xolotl.

The most commonly accepted is the one that combines atl (for water) and xolotl (for dog) = water dog 🙂

Axolotl Geographical origin and characteristics:

The axolotl usually lives in Xochimilco and Chalco “lakes” in the basin of present-day New Mexico. They are very chalky lakes (hence the name Chalco).

Its habitat is almost destroyed because the population explosion of cities has emptied and polluted the lakes to such an extent that there are only a few canals left.

As a result, axolotl no longer exists or almost no longer exists in nature and is now one of the endangered species: IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. A recent estimate is 100 axolotls per km2 (Koenig, 2008).

However, it continues to live in large numbers in laboratories around the world.

Science is very interested in this animal as it manages to regenerate its injured or torn limbs.

Are Axolotls Neotenic?

Axolotls exhibit neoteny, that is, it stays in the larval stage without metamorphosis, unlike the overwhelming majority of other salamanders.

When it reaches its sexual maturity, it can reproduce as a larva, so it is perennibranch (“whose gills persist throughout life”). The neotenia of this animal is genetic.

It is likely that the origin of this very specific characteristic is due to a mutation.

And it came in handy: The only survivors were and are those who carry this mutation. Therefore, the mutation persisted.

Why is neoteny attractive?

Youthfulness and characteristics like slim face and protruding eyes, lack of body hair, and skin texture are attractiveness markers.

Axolotl Metamorphosis:

Axolotls are hypothyroid. The thyroid manages the metabolism. In axolotls, this is so slowed down that they never metamorphose into a salamander unless they are given iodine or thyroid hormones.

Recently, metamorphosed axolotls appear as a rarity on some exchanges.

What is a morphed Axolotl? Why do Axolotls morph?

There can only be two types of axolotls: either, it seems that some people have fun injecting them with hormones to make them metamorphose.

I would call it, to be nice, ultimate human nonsense. Either, due to the more or less intense crossing of certain lines of axolotls with ambystoma tigrinum, certain axolotls metamorphose because they are closer to tigrinum than to their own origins of mexicanum.

The fact remains that pure-bred axolotls, as we hardly ever see them in private homes again, do not go through the metamorphosis box, because it is not part of their genetic heritage!

Axolotl Disease and reproduction.

To treat fungal infections, or for the preparation of artemia nauplii, care must be taken to use pure Nacl or Non-iodized salt.

The axolotl is completely aquatic and although it has rudimentary lungs, it breathes through its gills and skin.

The cheapest and easiest way around to find is regenerating salt for dishwashers.

Can an Axolotl turn into a salamander?

The axolotl is closely related to species, the tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, and Ambystoma mavortium spp.

It is theoretically possible that axolotl is a derivative of salamanders since it can hybridize with them.

But the axolotl never metamorphosis into a terrestrial salamander. forcing causes to reduce the life span of hybrid.

Are Axolotls Albino?

Humphrey’s “Gold” or Axoltol is the descendant of this hybridization initially caused by Humphrey (1967).

Theoretically, we should rather speak of Ambystoma tigrinum-mexicanum. It is true albino in the axolotl “family”.

White axolotls with pigmented eyes are not albino but called leucistic. Pure Ambystoma mexicanum does not exist as an albino.

Conclusion

Axolotls are exotic and easily living captive pets, Once a proper tank and accessory setup is done. They don’t require special maintenance and can live for many years. So, they are a good choice for beginner enthusiasts.

If you like this article why not read an article about the price of salamanders and newts? or a review about the prices of popular frogs and toad species.

What is the rarest Axolotl?

The rarest breed of the axolotl is the copper melanoid axolotl, but they are very rare to find.

Do Axolotls bite? Do Axolotl bites hurt?

Yes. They’ll bite owners fingers while feeding and other axolotls that annoy or try to capitalize their territory, However, Axolotl bite doesn’t hurt so its safe to keep to touch them, but only if it is necessary.

Are Axolotls asexual?

The simple answer is no, Axolotls reproduce sexually. male and female both are required to mix their genes to create offspring.

Do Axolotls have teeth?

Yes axolotl have fine teeth on their upper and lower jaws used for grabbing and puncturing their food.

How long does an axolotl live?

Axolotls in captivity and fed properly can live upto 15 years

Do Axolotls glow in the dark?

No, they never glow in the dark. Axolotls fluoresce in UV light Due to presence ofgreen fluorescing protein,

Do Axolotls need a bubbler?

No, axolotls don’t require an air pump or air bubbler. That’s because the filter is a sufficient source of oxygen for the tank,

Can 2 Axolotls live together?

Axolotls are not social species, it is ok to house axolotls together, as long as they are of the same size. and doesn’t fit in each others mouth.

Do Axolotls Bite? Does Axolotl Bite Hurts?

do axolotl bite hurts

Axolotls are one of the most loved pets and therefore their biting you is also common, So How exactly an Axolotl bite? Does it hurt, which axolotls usually bites, and what to do when you are bitten? Well, you will have your answers in this article!

Do Axolotls Have Teeth?+Are They Known For Biting?

Do all Axolotls bite? Yes, there are some axolotl species that will bite you when they feel threatened or mistake your hand for food. They sometimes cling on your finger while feeding, Others most likely won’t bite but will try to wiggle away or simply hide.

Why do axolotls bite? Do all axolotl species bite?

Normally there are 2 reasons why an axolotl may bite you. They can either feel threatened by you and therefore use a bite as a defense mechanism, or, they can bite you when you try to feed with your hand and axolotl mistakenly bites your finger instead of the food you’re trying to give. usually, all axolotls species can nibble on your fingers while feeding it is more like a tingling sensation

Let’s explore these 2 reasons a bit further:

The Defense Mechanism

Axolotl might feels threatened by you and therefore bite you to defend himself. However, this almost never happens with axolotls.

They have small and sharp teeth that can hurt you but not much.

The best thing you can do is let the axolotl get used to you and let it be near you so that it isn’t afraid of you anymore.

Mistake your Finger or hand for food

The second reason for getting bitten by a Axolotl is food.

If you try to hand feed your axolotl, he can mistake your hand for the food and bite you instead of the food.

Don’t shake your hands hard so that the axolotl falls off and maybe hurts itself. Keep calm and he will eventually let go.

Does it hurt when an axolotl bites?

Axolotl bites don’t hurt at all. Even the biggest ones are fed by hand and will readily bite any finger within a short distance.

Do Axolotl bite people? Do axolotls bite their owners?

Yes. They’ll bite other axolotls that annoy them or wander into their territory, and they’ll nip at their owner’s fingers while feeding, Even though, axolotls recognize their owners and usually react to human hand signals but never hesitate to bite their handlers.

Axolotl with full mouth open

Why does my Axolotl keep biting me?

They just think that you are food, And when they bite, it is more like a tickle than pain. you can play around them like that by letting axolotls bite your finger. just make sure your hands are clean and don’t transmit any pathogens in their mouth.

Do Axolotls have sharp teeth?

The simple answer is No, Axolotl teeth are not that sharp, like frogs and salamanders and you may not even be able to see their teeth as they’re small and don’t have any Bulging or protruding edges.

Axolotls have a cartilaginous skeleton that doesn’t calcify completely even when they reach the adult stage.

They have muscles like fish and fine teeth on their upper and lower jaws like frogs and toads,

But they are only capable in grabbing and puncturing their food. Their bite intensity is not high enough to rupture human skin.

What to do when Axolotl bites you?

The most important thing you have to remember is to maintain your cool and calm.

Try not to shake your hand; I know it’s a normal reflex action to get your hand away, but try to stay cool!

When you try to get your finger back with heavily shaking your hand, you can hurt the axolotl.

Instead, keep your hand still and see if you can calm the axolotl by stroking it or just wait on it for a bit.

Normally the axolotl will let go quite quickly, or once they realize its not their regular food they are nibbling on.

Are Axolotls aggressive?

Axolotls are territorial amphibians hence, should not be kept in aquariums with other species.

They are aggressive and treat other aquarium tank mates, including smaller axolotls as potential food.

Moreover, Axolotls are fragile and large fishes have chances to bite and damage their gills, thus prevent them from breathing.

Is it Safe to touch Axolotl?

Yes, Is it safe to Tough axolotls they are neither poisonous not they have toxic secretion’s on their bodies.

Axolotls are not hardy amphibians like frog, toads and salamanders; They have delicate, soft tissues with permeable skin.

In fact, most of their body is made of cartilage (skeletal calcifications) rather than regular bones.

So, Rough handling may rupture they body organs so, we should prevent handling them unless it’s an emergency.

Are Axolotl dangerous to humans?

Axolotls are not a potential threat for humans; Their bite can’t hurt us in any significant way.

On the Contrary, When they are forced to share a common tank with other or similar species,

They often gets violent and territorial towards each another. and may bite the body parts of their opponent in a contest!

How do I stop my axolotl from biting each other?

If you have many axololts in a common tank always feed them well so as to to prevent nipping.

Moreover, maintain a safe distance among them during feeding time to avoid any unnecessary competition.

Since, Axolotls don’t have a social hierarchy, it may be problematic to keep opposite-sex together.

Apparently, Some Axolotl bites can hurt.

We did an experiment with 3 axolotls in one tank. Golden Albino, Melanoid and Leucistic Axolotl. I tested with a worm in my hand, and Melanoid axolotl grabs on my thumb. It didn’t hurt like I’m dying or bleeding like hell but left a sandpaper tooth in the tip of my thumb and it was an unpleasant experience!

For Further Reading

I hope you have learnt quiet a lot about axolotl bites and cleared any misconceptions that their bites hurt.

I You really loved reading this article why not know if Salamanders bite? Does it hurt? are they poisonous?

Do, You own a pet frog? interested to know which frog or toad bites hurt the most?

here we have a short article about Frogs and Toad Bites; do frog bites hurt? Do toads have teeth?

Do Axolotls have Many Colors? (And Why so Many)

Overview of Axolotl Color

Do axolotls come in many colors? The simple answer is Yes, Axolotls come in many colors, these colors are either natural or artificially induced through crossbreeding. and their selection is a personal preference.

So, Being a beginner or Enthusiast you may be wondering, What colors do Axolotls come in? Which color is the best? Why axolotls have many colors? Is Albino axolotl good for a beginner? What is the most common Axolotl color?

In this article, we will discuss Various Axolotl Morphs and Colors; and which ones you should own.

However, I recommend only natural color axolotls as they have better resistance and longevity as compared to artificial ones.

How Many Types of Axolotls Are Available?

Technically Speaking, There is NO Fixed amount of color patterns for this amphibians species.

In the wild, you can typically see tanned or brown or axolotls with some golden flares or a greenish overlay.

The color variations in lab conditions result due to smart genetic engineering and we can see many mutants or morphs.

Nevertheless, Mutant morphs are in higher demand than naturally patterned axolotls among aquarists and Pet Enthuciasts.

20 Best Axolotls Colors (Common and Rare Morphs)

Below we have classified Axolotls Colors based on Basic, Specials and Rare Morphs.

  • Wild Type Axolotl
  • Golden Albino Axolotl
  • Mosaic Axolotl
  • Lavender Axolotl
  • White Albino Axolotl
  • Chimera Axolotl
  • Firefly Axolotl
  • Enigma Axolotl
  • Copper Axolotl (Het Copper and Light Copper)
  • Leucistic Axolotl (Lucy)
  • Piebald Axolotl (Dirty Lucy Morph)
  • Silver Dalmatian Axolotl
  • Melanoid or Black Axolotl
  • Speckled Leucistic Axolotl (Dirty Lucy)
  • Heavily-Marked Melanoid
  • Axolotl Green or GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein)

Axolotls Color Table

Basic Axolotl Morphs Special Axolotl MorphsRare Axolotl Morphs
Wild Type – Black or Dark-colourGFP or Axolotl GreenChimera Axolotl
Leucistic or lucy– Pink or Pale whiteCopper AxolotlPiebald Axolotl
Gray or Silvers (Axanthic)Enigma Axolotl
Albino Axolotl (Xanthic)Mosaic Axolotl
Albino – Golden or WhiteSilver Dalmatian
Melanoid – Pitch Black or Dark GrayFirefly Axolotl

(Common or Mutant Morphs)

  1. Wild Type – Black or Dark-colour
  2. Leucistic or lucy – Pink or Pale white
  3. Albino – Golden or White
  4. Axanthic – Gray or Silvers
    • Albino Axolotl (Xanthic)
  5. Melanoid – Pitch black or Dark Gray

(Uncommon Morphs)

  1. GFP or Axolotl Green
  2. Copper Axolotl

(Extremely Uncommon Morphs)

  1. Chimera Axolotl
  2. Silver Dalmatian
    1. Lavender Axolotl
  3. Piebald Axolotl
  4. Enigma Axolotl
  5. Mosaic Axolotl
  6. Firefly Axolotl

Genetics Behind Axolotl Colors

The color genetics of axolotls are made up of three chromatophores (pigmentation cells) and a mutation that can occur during the development of melanophores:

Genetics Behind Axolotl Colors- table of color variants
Source: axolotl.org/genetics.htm
  1. Melanophores (A):
    They contain dark pigments, eumelanin, and melanin (brown and black)
  2. Xanthophores (AX):
    They contain yellowish pigments, carotenoids, and pterins
  3. Iridophores (M):
    They contain iridescent purine crystals and reflectors of light
  4. Non-uniform distributed pigmented cells (D):
    This factor causes a non-uniform distribution of melanophores and is therefore responsible for the leucistic color

On the surface genetics is simple – but it’s never as easy as it should be.

D genes control the ‘base’ color of an axie, D/- = dark, d/d = white
A genes control albinism, A/- = non albino, a/a = albino
M genes control iridophores, M/- = iridophores, m/m = no iridophores (melanoid)
AX genes control xanthaphores (yellow spots) AX/- = yellow, ax/ax = no yellow

https://www.caudata.org/threads/differentiating-between-axanthic-and-melanoid-albino.57787/

Each gene has 3 sections that code for the 3 types of chromatophores (Check table below)

Type of Chromatophores Cell Table

Chromatophore TypeType of PigmentColor Morph
Melanophores (A)Eumelanin+MelaninBrown and Black
Xanthophores (AX)Carotenoids and PterinsYellow and Red
Iridophores (M)Iridescent Purine CrystalsShiny Reflectors

Gene basically manages the formation of each type of cell without influencing each other.

They are either dominant (noted with an uppercase letter, or for example A), or recessive (noted with a lowercase letter, or for example a). Each dominant or recessive formation is either homocygous (eg A / A or a / a) heterocygous (eg A / a).

It differs only in the degree of distribution of pigmented cells determined by developmental d / d mutation.

Some hypotheses are circulating, but genetic analysis of this phenotype has so far not been carried out.

The chimera is a special case, as we have already mentioned elsewhere. It consists of two fused eggs.

A priori, any egg can fuse with any other egg, so a priori a chimera can have any genotype

(as long as it has a different one per side of the body, otherwise it would not be a chimera).

What Colour Axolotls can you get? How to Pick the Right Color?

The common Axolotl has 5 colors respectively. Wild, Leucistic (pink), White Albino, Golden, and Melanoid.

 Some also refer them as Pink (leucistic usually referred to as “lucy”), brown (wild), yellow, cyan and blue.

The color of Axolotls is due to pigmentation of skin, and their selection is a personal preference.

Fun Fact : Can Axolotls change color?

The simple answer is yes they can. By increasing blood-flow in their body. Some axolotls also change color as grow up.

Many wild types axolotl darken over time, and end in dark black which is completely different from original color.

Image Source and Credits IMPULSEimpact

Natural Colors in Axolotl

Basic/Common Axolotl Morphs or Mutant Morphs

Fauve or Wild Axolotl

Grey-brown, sometimes with a greenish tint, The majority of the wild axolotls in Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco have this color.

The name “Sauvage” is linked to the original color of the Axolotls in their natural environment, but it doesn’t mean Axolotl was taken from nature. To avoid this confusion, some prefer to use the term “Fauve“.

A “Wild” or “Fauve” Axolotl is brown in color, which may tend towards grey or green, and spotted with black. Shades can range from lightest to darkest.

Leucistic (Pink) Axolotl

Also found in the wild, this animal is white or slightly pink with black eyes.

Despite its light color, leucistic axolotl is not albino. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have black eyes, but red eyes.

This is because there is no natural albino form in Axolotl, Existing albinos are created by humans, by hybridizing the Axolotl with the Tiger Salamander.

Leucistic (Pink) Axolotl

Harlekin Axolotl Kaufen

Harlekin is quite simply a more pigmented leucistic. While in the leucistic, the pigments did not go further than in the eyes, in the harlekin, they are distributed in different ways on the head, gills, even on the back, but never on the whole body.

So it is a spotted leucistic in different ways. The classic harlekin is white with a more or less blackhead.

Harlequin Axolotl

Harlequin axolotl is hard to recognize, as they are often confused between piebalds.

harlekin axolotl

Melanistic/Melanoid Axolotl

A melanistic Axolotl or Melanoid Axolotl can be black, fawn, white, grey, or albino (gold or white).

Its genotype is characterized by the absence of iridophores. therefore, means no bright reflections on the body or the gills.

The surest way to tell a melanic is to look them in the eye: a melanistic axolotl does not have a golden circle around the pupil.

Melanoid Axolotl

Breeding Artificial Colors in Axolotl

None of the colors below are part of the natural color palette of Ambystoma mexicanum.

Golden Axolotl

Originally derived from hybridization between a female Ambystoma tigrinum albino (Tiger Salamander) and a male Ambystoma mexicanum (Axolotl), Humphrey (1967) created Humphrey’s Axolotl.

This hybrid is very common. He’s an albino, he has yellow eyes. Its genotype (its genes) does not contain melanophores. This color can have all shades from very yellow to white.

Albinotic gold axolotl without color pigments with pink external gills

Chimera Axolotl

Melanophores chimera Axolotl An absolutely extraordinary animal in every sense! It doesn’t really fit into either category.

While it is a prior possibility that it appears in the natural environment, nobody has seen it yet, but theoretically,

it is quite possible since these are two embryos that have fused in one. The coloring of the chimera is not hereditary.

Chimerism in axolotls occurs when two eggs fuse together in early development and each side grows according to the egg,

However, one side can often grow at a slightly slower rate than the other, these cannot be duplicated while breeding.

Chimera Axolotl Image Credits bram_jessen

5) Mosaic Axolotl

An Axolotl Mosaic is the result of the mutation of cells during the division of the embryo. Axolotl exhibits the two-cell phenotype all over the body.

Mosaic Axolotl Source Exopetguides

Special and Uncommon Axolotl Morphs

1) GFP or Axolotl Green

These axolotls have a gene known as the GFP gene, this is a genetically modified protein in their DNA that was originally
introduced in a lab setting.

Usually, any axolotl morph can be a GFP But it is the protein that allows the axolotl to glow vibrant green under UV or blue light

GFP or Axolotl Green Source caudata.org

2) Copper Axolotl

The copper has the characteristic of brown spots on a copper background.

No one seems to know where exactly this color came from, nor its exact genetic makeup.

The first appearance of this strain came as a spawn from the United States.

There are a few lines of these animals, many of which do not seem to be healthy:

The animals do not grow well, often get sick, etc. In any case, another line is healthy, and our animals come from that one.

Since the color was new and very beautiful, the breeders probably raised all they could, without eliminating the puny animals that appear in all the spawns that a conscious breeder would not normally raise later separated.

Copper Axolotl Source: pinterest

Grey Gills leucistic Axolotl

This axolotl has a white or pink body color, dark navy or black eyes plus bright red gills,

Depending on the environment and genetics these axolotls may or may not develop freckles;

White Albino Axolotl (Xanthic)

Albino axolotl has a white or pinkish body; additionally they have clear or red eyes and bright red gills.

These axolotls never develop any type of freckles or pigmentation on the body,

They only come in two appearances known as white and xanthic or in common laguage as white albinos.

There you go

I hope you have learned quite a lot about axolotls and the genetics behind their colors and morph’s.

If you like this one go ahead and read an interesting article about What is Albinism? (A guide to Albino Amphibians)

Interested in Buying an Axolotl here is an article about How much does Axolotl cost?+ Cost of Tank and Accessories