Black Axolotl Care: What You Need To Know

The Black Axolotl is a unique and fascinating species of salamander that has gained popularity among pet owners and researchers alike. With their distinct black coloration and ability to retain their larval form throughout their lives, they are an attractive option for those looking for a new and different pet.

However, taking care of a Black Axolotl requires special attention to their specific needs and requirements.

In this blog post, we will provide you with the essential information you need to know about Black Axolotl care, including their diet, habitat, and general maintenance. Whether you are a first-time axolotl owner or an experienced caretaker, this guide will help ensure that your pet thrives in its new home.

So, let’s dive in and learn everything you need to know about Black Axolotl care!

Species Summary

The Black Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a species of salamander known for its ability to retain its larval form throughout its entire life, a characteristic known as neoteny. They are native to Lake Xochimilco in Mexico and are black in color due to a genetic mutation that produces an excess of melanin. Axolotls are popular as pets and in scientific research, particularly for their ability to regenerate lost body parts. They have a lifespan of around 10-15 years in captivity and feed on small invertebrates and fish.

Black Axolotl care


The Black Axolotl has a distinctive appearance, characterized by its sleek, smooth body and long, feathery external gills.

They have a wide head and a rounded snout, and their eyes are large and bulbous. Their bodies are covered in smooth, black skin that is slightly translucent, allowing their internal organs to be visible.

They have four legs that are short and stubby, and their tails are long and muscular, used for propulsion and balance in the water.

Black Axolotl Lifespan

The average lifespan of black axolotls in captivity is approximately 10 to 15 years, with some individuals living up to 20 years. In order to maximize the lifespan of black axolotls, they should be housed in a large aquarium with a filter to maintain good water quality and provided with a diet of live or frozen food, such as worms, brine shrimp, or bloodworms.

Black Axolotl Average Size

The average size of adult black axolotls ranges from 10 to 15 inches in length, with some individuals growing up to 18 inches. Males are generally smaller than females, reaching an average length of 8 to 10 inches, while females can reach an average length of 10 to 12 inches.

It is important to note that the size of black axolotls can be affected by a number of factors, including genetics, diet, and overall health. A healthy diet and proper care can help to promote healthy growth and maximize the size of black axolotls.

In addition to their length, black axolotls have a distinctive appearance, with a broad head, wide mouth, and wrinkled skin. They are also capable of regenerating their limbs and other body parts, making them a popular species for scientific research.

Black Axolotl Care

Black Axolotls are fascinating creatures that require a specialized environment to thrive. Proper care is essential to keep them healthy and happy, and to ensure they have a long and fulfilling life. Here are some important tips to help you care for your Black Axolotl:


Black Axolotls are aquatic creatures, and they need a spacious tank to live in. A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended, with a larger tank being even better. The water should be kept clean and filtered, and it should be changed every two weeks. The temperature should be kept between 60-68°F and the pH level should be maintained at 7.0-7.5. A substrate, such as pebbles or sand, should be provided at the bottom of the tank for them to burrow in.


Black Axolotls are carnivorous and feed primarily on small invertebrates and fish. They can be fed live or frozen food, such as earthworms, brine shrimp, or bloodworms. It is important to avoid feeding them processed or dried foods as they do not provide the necessary nutrients they need. They should be fed every two days, but it is important not to overfeed them, as this can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Water Quality

Maintaining good water quality is essential for Black Axolotls. The water should be kept clean and well-filtered, and it should be changed regularly to prevent the buildup of waste products and to ensure a healthy environment. Regular water tests should be performed to monitor pH levels, ammonia levels, and nitrite levels. If the water is not kept clean and well-maintained, it can lead to health problems and disease.


Black Axolotls do not need any special lighting, but it is important to provide some form of lighting for them to see their food. If the tank is located in a room with natural light, this can be sufficient. If not, a low-wattage aquarium light can be used.


Black Axolotls are delicate creatures and should be handled with care. It is best to avoid handling them whenever possible, as they can be easily stressed or injured. If you do need to handle them, it is important to use wet hands and to support their entire body to prevent them from being dropped or injured.


Regular health checks should be performed to ensure that your Black Axolotl is in good health. Signs of illness include lethargy, lack of appetite, and abnormal swimming behavior. If you suspect that your axolotl is sick, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your Black Axolotl has a long and healthy life. With proper care and attention, they can make fascinating and unique pets that are sure to bring joy to your life.

Black Axolotl Tank Size

Black axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are large aquatic salamanders that require a spacious and well-maintained aquarium for proper care. The appropriate size of a tank for black axolotls depends on the number of individuals being kept and the size of each axolotl.

As a general rule, black axolotls should be housed in a minimum of 10 gallons of water per individual. For a pair of axolotls, a tank size of 20 to 30 gallons is recommended, while a group of three to four axolotls may require a tank of 30 to 40 gallons. It is important to note that larger tanks are always better for black axolotls, as they provide more swimming space and help to maintain good water quality.

In addition to the appropriate size of the tank, black axolotls also require a high-quality filtration system to maintain good water quality. The water temperature should be kept between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH should be maintained between 7.0 and 7.5. A substrate of sand or gravel should also be provided to allow the axolotls to burrow and hide.

Black Axolotl Water Parameters

Water quality is critical for the health and well-being of Black Axolotls. Maintaining the proper water parameters is essential to provide a safe and healthy environment for your pet. Here are the recommended water parameters for Black Axolotls:


The ideal water temperature for Black Axolotls is between 60-68°F (15-20°C). Any significant changes in temperature can stress them and cause health problems. It is important to use a thermometer to monitor the temperature and to adjust it as needed.


The ideal pH level for Black Axolotls is 7.0-7.5. The pH level should be monitored regularly and kept within this range to ensure a healthy environment. If the pH level falls outside of this range, it can cause stress and health problems.

Ammonia levels

Ammonia is a toxic byproduct of fish waste and uneaten food, and it can cause health problems for Black Axolotls if levels become too high. Ammonia levels should be monitored regularly and kept as low as possible. A good filtration system can help keep ammonia levels low.

Nitrite levels

Nitrite is a byproduct of ammonia, and it is also toxic to Black Axolotls. Nitrite levels should be monitored regularly and kept as low as possible. A good filtration system can help keep nitrite levels low.

Nitrate levels

Nitrates are another byproduct of fish waste and uneaten food, and high levels can cause health problems for Black Axolotls. Nitrate levels should be monitored regularly and kept as low as possible. Regular water changes can help keep nitrate levels low.

Black Axolotl Common Possible Diseases

Black Axolotls are hardy creatures, but like all animals, they can still fall ill if proper care is not taken. Some of the common diseases that Black Axolotls are susceptible to include:


Ich is a parasitic infection that causes white spots to form on the skin of the axolotl. It can be treated with a combination of water changes and medications.

Fin Rot

Fin rot is a bacterial infection that causes the fins of the axolotl to become frayed or discolored. It is usually caused by poor water quality and can be treated with a combination of water changes and antibiotics.

Bacterial infections

Bacterial infections can occur in Black Axolotls if their immune system is weakened, often due to poor water quality or a stressful environment. Symptoms include cloudy eyes, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Treatment usually involves antibiotics.


Parasites, such as leeches, can infest Black Axolotls and cause a variety of health problems. They can be treated with medications, but it is important to identify the specific parasite in order to choose the appropriate treatment.

Ammonia poisoning

Ammonia poisoning can occur if ammonia levels in the water become too high. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. The best way to prevent ammonia poisoning is to maintain good water quality and to perform regular water changes.

Swim bladder disease

Swim bladder disease is a condition that affects the swim bladder, causing the axolotl to become buoyant or unable to swim properly. It can be caused by constipation, and it can be treated by adjusting the diet or using medications.

By paying close attention to your Black Axolotl and maintaining a healthy environment, you can help prevent the onset of these common diseases. If you suspect that your axolotl is ill, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible in order to provide the best chance of recovery.

What To Put In Their Tank With Black Axolotl

When setting up an aquarium for black axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum), there are several essential items that should be included to provide a comfortable and healthy environment. These include:


A substrate of sand or fine gravel should be provided at the bottom of the tank for the axolotls to burrow and hide.


Live or artificial plants can be added to the tank to provide hiding places and improve water quality.

Rocks and caves

Black axolotls appreciate having hiding places, and adding rocks or caves can help to provide a sense of security and reduce stress.


A low-level, indirect light source can be provided to simulate the natural lighting conditions of the axolotls’ habitat.

Filtration system

A high-quality filtration system is essential to maintain good water quality and keep the water clean. A filter rated for a tank of appropriate size should be used.


A water heater should be used to maintain the water temperature between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the ideal range for black axolotls.

Feeding dish

A feeding dish should be provided to serve as a designated feeding area, reducing the risk of food contamination.

By providing these essential items, you can help ensure that your black axolotls have a comfortable and healthy living environment. It is also important to regularly monitor water quality, provide a varied diet, and perform regular water changes to maintain a healthy and well-maintained aquarium.

Food & Diet

Black Axolotls are opportunistic carnivores, meaning they feed on whatever food is available to them in the wild. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of food items to meet their dietary needs. Here is what you need to know about the diet of Black Axolotls:

Live food

Live food is an excellent source of nutrition for Black Axolotls, and it also provides mental stimulation as they hunt for their food. Live foods include earthworms, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and black worms.

Frozen food

Frozen food is a convenient option for feeding Black Axolotls, and it is also nutritionally balanced. Frozen foods include brine shrimp, bloodworms, and krill.


Pellets are a dry food that can be fed to Black Axolotls. They are nutritionally balanced and convenient to store.


It is important to feed Black Axolotls a variety of food items to ensure that they receive all the necessary nutrients. Feeding a varied diet can also help prevent boredom and keep your pet interested in feeding.

Feeding frequency

Black Axolotls should be fed once or twice a day, depending on their size and activity level. They should be fed only what they can consume in a few minutes, as overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and health problems.

Black Axolotl Behavior & Temperament

Black Axolotls are a unique species of salamander that are known for their distinctive black coloration. They are fully aquatic creatures and spend their entire lives in water. They are generally slow-moving and peaceful, making them easy to care for as pets.

In terms of behavior, black axolotls are nocturnal creatures that are most active at night. During the day, they tend to rest and hide, but at night they become more active, hunting for food and exploring their environment. They are also relatively passive animals and tend not to be aggressive towards other creatures.

In terms of temperament, black axolotls are generally considered to be docile and easy-going, making them well-suited as pets for inexperienced aquarists. They are not territorial, and they are unlikely to harm other creatures in their environment. They are also not prone to stress or anxiety, which can make them low-maintenance pets.

Tank Mates

Black axolotls are a type of albino axolotl, which means they lack melanin and have a black or dark gray appearance. As for tank mates, it is best to keep black axolotls with other axolotls of similar size and temperament. Some suitable tank mates for black axolotls include:

  • Other axolotls: Axolotls are social animals and do well in groups, but it’s important to have enough space to accommodate all of them.
  • Non-aggressive fish: Some non-aggressive fish species such as ghost shrimp, danios, and tetras can be good tank mates for axolotls.
  • Snails: Snails can help keep the tank clean by eating any excess food and debris.


Breeding black axolotls can be a challenging but rewarding process. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Sexing: Male axolotls have swollen, pencil-shaped gills, while females have broader, fan-like gills.
  • Water quality: It is important to maintain proper water quality, including temperature, pH, and cleanliness, to promote breeding success.
  • Tank size: A larger tank is recommended for breeding as it provides more room for the axolotls to lay eggs and reduces the risk of aggression.
  • Diet: A balanced diet of live or frozen food will help to maintain the axolotls’ health and promote successful breeding.
  • Triggering breeding: To trigger breeding, you can increase the water temperature, change the water, or increase the number of hours of darkness in the tank.
  • Egg laying: Female axolotls can lay hundreds of eggs, which should be removed from the main tank and placed in a separate hatching tank to avoid being eaten by the adults.
  • Caring for the eggs: Eggs should be kept in warm water and regularly aerated to ensure proper oxygenation. It may take several weeks for the eggs to hatch.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, black axolotls are fascinating and unique creatures that can make great pets for those who are interested in keeping an aquatic animal. They are known for their distinctive black coloration and their peaceful, docile nature.

To care for a black axolotl, you will need to provide a suitable habitat, including a tank that is large enough to allow them to swim and hide, and you will need to ensure that the water temperature and quality are suitable.

You will also need to provide them with a healthy diet, which should include a variety of live or frozen foods.


What kind of habitat does a black axolotl need?

Black axolotls are fully aquatic creatures and spend their entire lives in water, so they need a suitable habitat in the form of an aquarium. The aquarium should be large enough to allow them to swim and hide, and should have a secure lid to prevent escape. The water temperature should be kept between 12-20°C, and the water quality should be maintained through regular water changes and filtration.

What should I feed my black axolotl?

Black axolotls are carnivores and will feed on a variety of live or frozen foods, such as earthworms, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. They may also accept pellets or frozen fish food. It is important to provide a varied diet to ensure they are receiving all the nutrients they need.

How often do I need to change the water in my black axolotl’s tank?

The frequency of water changes will depend on the size of the tank, the number of axolotls in the tank, and other factors such as the presence of plants or other creatures in the tank. As a general rule, it is recommended to change 25-50% of the water in the tank once a week.

Are black axolotls prone to illness?

Like all living creatures, black axolotls can become ill if their environment is not suitable or if they are not provided with proper care. Some common health issues for black axolotls include fungal infections, skin ulcers, and parasites. It is important to monitor your axolotl’s health and to seek veterinary care if necessary.

Are black axolotls social creatures?

Black axolotls are generally not social creatures and do not need to be kept with other axolotls. However, they can be kept with other peaceful, non-aggressive aquatic creatures if the tank is large enough to provide adequate space for all inhabitants.

How often do black axolotls need to be fed?

Black axolotls should be fed every other day, or up to three times per week. It is important not to overfeed them, as this can lead to health problems and poor water quality.

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Article Reviewed by Sara Peter.

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