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Housing Axolotls in Captivity

General Info

The Requirements Page and Health Page discuss several important points that are mentioned on this page. For information regarding the housing of tiger salamanders and metamorphosed axolotls, click that link.

Axolotls are not demanding in respect to their accommodation. It’s important to bear in mind that an adult axolotl can reach a size from 18 to 35 cm in length (7-14 inches). Laboratories prefer to use minimalistic containers that barely allow the animals to turn around, like fish bowls. Each one is used to house a single animal, or a few are housed together in a container that approximates to a 45 cm long aquarium (18 inches). For the enthusiast, the accepted minimum size would be a 45 cm long aquarium (US 10 gallons) for one adult.

The Simple Aquarium

Shown below is an example of a simple setup for one adult axolotl.

Simple Axolotl aquarium tank
1) Homemade mesh lid (removed for photograph);
2) Thermometer; 
3) Hang-on-back filter;
4) Rock to disperse the filter outflow;
5) Artificial plants;
6) Hide area;
7) Bare tank bottom (no gravel).

This is an aquarium of dimensions 50 cm long x 25 cm wide x 25 cm tall (20 x 10 x 10 inches; standard 10 gallons). It has no lighting, but does normally have a lid to prevent leaping. The hides consist of a pot and artificial plants. The filter is a hang-on-back waterfall filter, and the outflow is dispersed by a rock to prevent a current. No bottom substrate is used.

The Advanced Aquarium

For multiple axolotls, a larger tank is required. Shown below is an attractive example that could easily house 6 adult axolotls. At the time of this photo, it contained 12 juvenile axolotls.

Advanced Axolotl aquarium tank
1) Lid (glass plates with handles);
2) Thermometer; 
3) Filter intake (to canister filter) 
4) Spray bar;
5) Many hides and live plants;
6) Fine sand substrate;
7) Foam layer and sturdy tank support.
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