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Can Axolotls Go On Land: Your Questions Answered

Can Axolotls Go On Land: Your Questions Answered

Have you ever watched your pet axolotl in its tank and wondered if it could join you on dry land for an adventure? It’s a common question among axolotl owners.

Can these fascinating amphibians swap their watery homes for a stroll outside?

Here’s what might surprise you: axolotls spend their entire life underwater, never fully maturing like other salamanders to live on land. This article dives into why axolotls need water and how they differ from their amphibious cousins.

You’ll discover everything there is to know about bringing an axolotl out of water – and why it’s not a good idea. I’ll also cover some frequently asked questions

Key Takeaways

  • Axolotls need to stay in water because their bodies, including their skin and gills, dry out fast on land. They can’t survive without being wet.
  • While axolotls have lungs and can gulp air, they mainly breathe underwater using gills. Their skin also helps them take in oxygen when submerged.
  • If axolotls are taken out of the water, they shouldn’t be away for more than an hour as they could get sick or die from drying out.
  • It’s important not to handle axolotls with bare hands; instead, use a soft net to prevent damaging their delicate slime coat which helps them breathe.
  • Always cover the tank because curious axolotls may try to jump out, and make sure the water is clean and well-oxygenated for their health.
  • Axolotls have amazing powers to heal themselves and retain their juvenile form.

Can Axolotls Live On Land?

Axolotls need to be in the water. They are aquatic animals with bodies made for living under the surface. If they stay on land, they won’t survive very long. Their skin and gills will dry out fast without water.

These amphibians like being wet and cool in their habitat. Since axolotls breathe through gills, land doesn’t have what they need to live well. Even if an axolotl could walk on land for a little bit, it should not be out of its watery home for more than a short time.

Can Axolotls Walk On Land?

Axolotls have legs and can move them. But they are not good walkers on land. Their bodies are built for swimming, not walking. They can push their bodies along if they must but don’t do well outside the water.

If an axolotl is outside of water, it needs to be wet. Otherwise, it will get sick or hurt because dryness isn’t good for its skin or gills. Always make sure they stay in their wet home where they belong.

Can Axolotls Breathe Air Underwater?

Axolotls breathe underwater using their gills. These special parts on the outside of their bodies grab oxygen from the water. The feathery gills you see on an axolotl’s head are not just for looks; they have lots of small blood vessels that help them take in what they need to stay alive.

These cool creatures also exchange gases through their skin while underwater. They must be in clean, well-oxygenated water for this to work right. Axolotls rely heavily on this ability to live a healthy life submerged in their aquatic homes.

Can Axolotls Breathe Air On Land?

Their bodies are built for life in the water, not on land. They breathe using gills underwater, and they also have lungs to gulp air when needed. 

If you find one on land, it’s trying hard to get back into the water because that’s where it can truly breathe easily.

They might take a quick breath of air if they must, but axolotls cannot stay out and breathe air like we do. Their skin needs to be wet so they can use their gills properly. On dry land, their moist skin starts to dry out; this makes it tough for them to breathe after only a short time.

How Do Axolotles Gills Work?

Axolotls exhibit a fascinating example of external respiration through their feathery gills, efficiently extracting oxygen directly from the water. These gill structures are rich in blood vessels, allowing axolotls to absorb dissolved oxygen without needing to surface for air.

Do Axolotls Have Lungs?

Yes, they do have lungs. If you see an axolotl using its lungs above the water’s surface in a tank, it is taking quick gulps of air before diving back down to the comfort of its watery home.

Why Do Axolotles Need Water?

Axolotls need water to live. Their bodies are made for life under the surface. In water, they use their gills to breathe and take in oxygen. 

The slimy coat on an axolotl’s skin also needs water. It keeps their skin wet and safe from sickness. Without this slime, they can get sick or dry out fast. Axolotls also move better in the water than on land because their legs are weak and built for swimming not walking.

How Long Can Axolotls Be Out Of Water?

Axolotls stay on land for up to an hour, as long as humidity and temperature conditions are just right. They have a high sensitivity to the environment, making them susceptible to stress and potential harm.

Maintaining a water temperature between 59 to 66°F (15 to 19°C) is crucial for the well-being of axolotls. Similarly, providing low UV output in their tank for approximately 12 hours per day is sufficient. Abrupt and unnecessary changes in their surroundings can lead to stress or even fatalities. 

Be very careful when changing the water in your axolotl tank. To minimize stress consider pre-filling a separate tank and swiftly but gently transfer your axolotl. Ensure water quality consistency using freshwater test kits before and after the transfer.

What Happens If an Axolotl Stays Outside of Water?

When an axolotl is taken out of its aquatic habitat, it faces several challenges that contribute to stress and potential harm. Firstly, the absence of water can swiftly lead to dehydration, a critical concern for these amphibians. Their skin, crucial for moisture retention, loses effectiveness on land, making it difficult for them to maintain the necessary hydration levels.

Simultaneously, the axolotl’s respiratory system is adversely affected outside of water. While their skin is essential for gas exchange, being on land disrupts this process, leading to respiratory problems. The dual reliance on both gills and lungs for oxygen intake makes them particularly vulnerable when deprived of their aquatic environment.

Moreover, the axolotl’s limbs and internal organs are at risk of damage when exposed to a terrestrial environment. The lack of buoyancy and support from water puts strain on their delicate structures, potentially causing harm over time.

Collectively, these factors contribute to heightened stress levels in axolotls when removed from their aquatic homes. The distress they experience is not only a response to the immediate environmental changes but also a result of the potential long-term consequences on their physiological well-being.

Axolotl Dos and Don’ts

Don’t Handle Axolotls With Your Hands

Touching axolotls with your hands is not a good idea. The oils and soap from your skin can hurt their special slime coat that helps them breathe right.

If you must move an axolotl, use a soft net instead. This way, you help keep the axolotl calm and stop hurting its skin or gills. Always be gentle because they are very fragile creatures that need careful handling to stay happy and well.

Don’t Use Strong Filters

Axolotls like calm water. They come from places with little moving water. Strong filters make big waves and can stress them out. Use a quiet external canister filter in your axolotl tank.

This kind of filter cleans the water without making it rough for the axolotl.

Make sure the water flow is gentle for your pet. Axolotls have delicate skin and gills, so too much movement is bad for them. Filters that don’t disturb the water help keep your axolotl happy and healthy.

Maintain Clean Water

Keeping your axolotl’s tank water clean is vital. Dirty water can lead to sickness because bad stuff like ammonia and nitrate build up. These are harmful to your axolotl. Make sure you change some of the water often, but not all at once. 

Ensure your pet’s home is nice and tidy, as clean water not only helps keep the environment safe and fresh but also provides enough oxygen for their breathing.

Handle Axolotls Gently with Soft Nets

Moving axolotls can be tricky. Use soft nets to make it safe for them. The soft net helps protect the axolotl’s body and keeps their slime coat from getting hurt, like a shield that stops sickness.

Carry your axolotl gently when using a net to cut down stress during transport. Stress can make an axolotl sick, so gentle handling is key for their health. Always put their comfort first when you need to move them from one place to another.

Use A Quiet External Canister Filter

Quiet external canister filters are good for axolotl tanks. They clean the water well without making strong currents. This is important because axolotls don’t like moving water too much.

Make sure you pick a filter that won’t be too loud or push the water around a lot.

Canister filters help keep your axolotl happy and healthy. They take out bad stuff from the water but do it gently. Axolotls can then swim and play without stress from too much wave action.

Axolotl FAQS

Can Axolotls Heal Themselves?

Axolotls have amazing powers to heal themselves. They can fix their own bodies in ways most creatures can’t. If an axolotl loses a leg or even hurts its heart, brain, or spinal cord it can grow these parts back.

Do Axolotls Retain Their Juvenile Form?

Axolotls are pretty unique because they exhibit something called neoteny. This means they don’t go through the usual adult transformation that most amphibians do. Instead, they retain their juvenile characteristics, like gills, even into adulthood. 

So, while other amphibians might undergo a metamorphosis and transition to life on land, axolotls stay in their aquatic larval form. This neotenic state is cool because it allows them to keep their regenerative superpowers throughout their entire lives.

Will My Axolotl Jump Out of the Tank?

Axolotls might try to jump out of their tanks. These creatures are curious and may push up against the lid if they want more space or don’t like something in their home, like the water quality.

You should have a cover for your tank to stop them from getting out.

Even though axolotls spend all their time in water, sometimes they get spooked and dart upward which could lead them to leap out of an open tank. Always keep an eye on your pet and make sure there’s no way it can escape its watery home.

It is much safer for axolotls to stay under the water where they belong.

Can Axolotls Drown?

Even though they can breathe air, it does not mean axolotls can’t drown. If they get stuck in something under the water or if they are too weak to move up to the surface for air, they could drown.

So it’s important to keep their tank safe with nothing dangerous where they could get trapped.

Can Axolotls Climb Out Of Their Tank?

These little creatures might be good at swimming, but climbing is not their strong suit. Their bodies are made for living underwater, not for moving on land or climbing out of tanks.

If the sides of their tank are too high and smooth, they won’t be able to climb out. It’s best to have a lid on the tank just in case they get curious or if something startles them and causes them to move upwards.

A secure top helps prevent any escape attempts and keeps other household pets from getting into the axolotl’s space. 

Having plants or decorations near the surface should also be avoided as these could accidentally give an axolotl a boost out of its aquatic home.

What Do Axolotls Eat?

Axolotls have big appetites and they like to eat meaty foods. They love treats like earthworms, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and even little fish. In their homes in the wild, they munch on insects’ babies, tiny shellfish, clams, and other small creatures in the water.

They are hunters who look for food at the bottom of lakes. Always make sure their snacks are just right for their size so they can eat them easily without trouble.

Are Axolotls Good for Beginners?

While Axolotls can be wonderful pets, they may not be the best choice for beginner pet owners without prior experience in caring for amphibians.

Wrapping Up

Axolotls need water to live and breathe. Keep them in their tank so they stay healthy and safe. They are special because they do not turn into salamanders like their cousins.

These captivating amphibians, with their extraordinary regenerative abilities and neotenic traits, showcase a delicate balance between adaptation and specialization. 

The crucial understanding that axolotls need water for their survival underscores the responsibility of keeping them in their aquatic habitat. While their charming appearance might spark the curiosity of pet owners, it’s essential to recognize the challenges axolotls face going on land, emphasizing the importance of responsible care and mindful handling.

Axolotls need water to live and breathe. Keep them in their tank so they stay healthy and safe.

I’m Elle, the founder of FishHQ. I created this website to share knowledge, tips, and inspiration for beginner hobbyists to help them create a healthy, happy, and vibrant environment for their fish to thrive. Read more...