Can Axolotls Go On Land?

Axolotl plunged itself out of its tank

Axolotls are aquatic salamanders with biological development and unique characteristics which most aquarists keep as pets. They spend most of their life in water and are classified as amphibians. Can axolotls go on land?

No. Axolotls are aquatic pets and can hardly walk on land like salamanders. This is because their limbs are not fully developed, so they can’t quickly and effectively walk on land if introduced to the land.

Since axolotls are aquatic creatures, they can swim easily in water with their muscles and legs, and their bodies are adapted to movement in the water.

Can I hold axolotls in my hand?

Yes, you can be. It should be too often or long, as many axolotls do because they want to discover something about their pet axolotls. Axolotls water chemical, which slime coat protects their body, can be damaged when you hold them often. This can expose them to several diseases and problems.

When you hold axolotls in your hand for long, they tend to be stressed and even die. They can survive for a few minutes on your hand, but when it becomes long tend to die as they cannot breathe. Do not hold them in your hand for long to avoid stress on your pet axolotls.

Can I take axolotls out of the water?

Taking axolotls out of the water is not a good idea because it can be detrimental to their health except in an unavoidable situation. These aquatic amphibians have lungs but are not fully developed for heavy breathing. Their skin and gills are mainly for absorbing oxygen from the water. So when you remove them from the water, they will switch to a secondary breathing mechanism through their undeveloped lungs and cheeks, supplying unsustainable air.

Axolotls flap their gills, enabling adjacent water movement to their tiny filaments, thereby promoting gaseous exchange. When their gills are not relaxed and flapping rapidly, it is an infection or stress symptom. The exterior gills have lots of arteries that capture voluminous substantial gas.

How long can axolotls survive outside of water?

There is no specific time for you to take axolotls out of their watery habitats. They can be physically exhausted and stressed, resulting in the death of your pet axolotls. The moment you take your pet axolotls out of the water, you will notice their skin will begin to dry.

Taking axolotls out of the water will make them more vulnerable to potential bacteria/fungal diseases and reduce the effectiveness of their glossy skin cover. 

There are instances like tank cleaning where you cannot avoid taking your axolotls out of their tank. If you want to clean their tank, it shouldn’t take long before returning them to the tank. You can transfer them to another tank with well-treated and sanitized conducive water. You can also replace their tank water weekly to avoid taking them out frequently.

What are the precautions when taking my axolotls out of their tank?

When you leave your axolotls with stress and disease when you frequently handly by taking them out of their aquarium, this is because they possess a delicate protective layer on their skin that need not be tampered with. However, the necessary precaution you should take note of before taking your pet axolotls out of their aquarium.

1. Thoroughly clean Your hands before handling your pet axolotls

Your pet axolotls can be infected by bacteria which may result in severe infection aside from other health problems in handling them because their skin is very sensitive.

It is advisable to wash your hands properly before handling axolotls. Wash your hands after handling them to avoid health problems and for your safety.

2. Do not touch axolotls’ heads and gills

Axolotls’ heads and gills are built of tender matter, making them the most sensitive parts; when you handle them with a hard hand, they can be damaged. Once the gills are damaged, they will be highly prone or susceptible to bacteria and fungus infection, including other health problems.

You can dip your hand into their aquarium water and wait a few minutes for your hand to be familiar with tank habitat water before bringing your pet out. You may be surprised that your pet axolotls will swim toward your hand and settle on it, which means it is comfortable with your hand. With that, you can safely touch your pet.

The belly and tail of axolotls are not susceptible to infections; you can touch the tail or belly of your axolotls if they have not reached your hand.

3. Avoid stroking your pet axolotls

Axolotls may become nervous and distressed when you stroke them for a long period; they may even go crazy when you stroke them. They do derive pleasure in being massaged, so avoid stroking them.

They must before be frightened by your touch, so try to be calm and gentle when handling them.

Do axolotls breathe air or water?

Axolotls are capable of breathing air, but it is not very effective. Surviving outside water for a long period can result in heat issues. They are not like other amphibians that can cope on land.

Even though they have lungs to breathe with, it is not effectively functional on land. They depend on their skin and gills for gaseous exchange, which will function appropriately in water. 

Axolotls will occasionally come to the water’s surface to breathe in air to support their normal gaseous exchange if the water you kept them in does not have enough dissolved oxygen.

If you notice your pet axolotls coming to the surface to breathe frequently, know there is a shortage of oxygen; introduce an air pump to improve the oxygen in the tank. Axolotls can diffuse carbon dioxide, which is the waste product of respiration, through their skin just the way they breathe via their skin. This is why their skin is very delicate. 

Should I add a tank mate for my pet axolotls?

Axolotls do not appreciate tank mates as they are not social. Don’t bother adding other fish to their tank because they will end up displaying their cannibalistic behaviors they hurting their tank mate.

Adult axolotls will attempt preying on baby axolotls, so if you must have at least two of them in a tank, make sure they are of the same age and size. Keep baby axolotls in a separate conducive tank.


Axolotls are not built to stay outside water for long because if they do, it can be problematic. Try not to bring them out of the aquarium; if you must touch them unavoidably, ensure you take the necessary precaution.

They can be vulnerable to bacterial and fungus infections when their skin is roughly handled and damaged.

Written by Justin Michaels