Do Axolotl Live In Saltwater?

where do axolotls live

Axolotls are freshwater species that originate from freshwater bodies in Mexico city called Lake Xochimilco, lake Chapultepec, and lake Chalco. 

However, they can tolerate a low salinity level especially when they need to be treated with sea salt against bacteria or fungal infections but they cannot live in salt water as it contains a high level of iodine which could limit the life span of your pet.

Table salt cannot be used to improvise as it contains iodine which could be harmful to the health of your pets. They can also survive in brackish water, a combination of salt and fresh water.

What Kind Of Water  Can My Axolotls Live In?

Apart from originating from freshwater bodies, axolotls can also live in brackish water which is a combination of both freshwater and saltwater. 

1. Tap Water

Tap water can be used for your axolotl tank but it has to be dechlorinated and filtered properly or opened for 24 hours before use and make sure it completes the nitrogen cycle before putting your pets.

2. Bottle Water

Bottle water is safe to use for your axolotls’ tank as it has passed through the necessary filtration process and contains minerals needed for your axolotls in minute proportion such as potassium chloride and calcium chloride.

It will be a significant error if you make use of distilled water thinking it is treated water as the pH level is lower than 7 signifying it is acidic compared to the normal water pH level of axolotls which is 7.4 to 7.6 and this could be dangerous to the health of your pet.

Do My Axolotls Need Aquarium Salt?

No, they do not.

Although little can be added to their water to treat skin infections caused by fungi or bacteria because aquarium salt is made from sea salt.

How To Make Salt Bath For My Axolotls?

A salt bath is required for axolotls with skin infection alone, and this is done to prevent the spread of the infection. This can be done by following the steps below.

  • Quarantine the infected pet in a different small tank to prevent the spread of the infection to the uninfected axolotls. Remember to close the lid of the tank where you removed it from as the rest of the axolotls might see it as a way of escape.
  • Make ready a  2 liter dechlorinated water with a low temperature between 59 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit, pour into a separate tank, and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of sea salt per liter well dissolved in the water.
  • Put your pet in salt water for 10 to 15 minutes. Remember to handle it carefully while placing it there, and cover the tank with a lid.
  • Put your pet back in the quarantine tank, but the water in the tank must be changed daily.
  • Repeat the last process for a few days until you are sure your pet is free of the infection.
  •  Place your pet in unsalted water.
  • Change the water in the general tank making sure the parameters are correct before placing the one from the quarantine tank with the others.

What Are The Needed Water Parameters For My  Axolotls?

When you make use of dechlorinated tap water or bottled water required for your pet’s tank, you will not have to worry about the parameters as it will automatically give you the following parameters and if it does not, make sure you regulate the water to the standard parameter before adding your pets to prevent the loss of your loved pets.

– pH Level

I love to emphasize this to any pet keeper I come in contact with as an alteration in the pH level of your pet’s water could put the pet in danger within a few hours especially when it drops to the acidic level so the pH level of the water should be monitored closing before and after putting your axolotls.

The ideal pH level that will bring about a safe and conducive environment for your axolotls should be between 7.4 to 7.6. Few axolotls keepers have recorded using a pH level of 6 to 8 but you need to be careful while using that range as a slight change could cause ammonia toxicity which is not friendly to the health of your axolotls.

– Water Temperature

The water temperature of your pet’s tank is as important as the pH level of the water as your pet loves cool water temperature and that is why it is always advised to use a dim light in their aquarium tank to prevent the water from getting hot.

The temperature of the water should be between 60 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit and should not exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit in case there is a shoot that could be caused by various things as an unnecessary increase in the temperature could result in loss of appetite, fungal build up and lack of movement which could cause loss of your pets life.

– Hardness Level

Hard water contains a high level of dissolved mineral salts such as calcium and magnesium salts, unlike soft water with a low amount of these salts.

Axolotls require slight hard water within the range of 7 to 14 degrees depicting that they need a good amount of dissolved mineral salt in their water as it helps in the production of slime coating which is a form of protection for your pet and the good performance of the gill.

How Often Should I Change My Axolotls Water?

Axolotl water is not just changed at will, they are changed depending on some factors which include, the feeding diet of your pets, the number of axolotl in the tank coupled with their age and size of the tank, tank size, and strength of the filter.

If you have a tank filled with axolotls, the water will need to be changed regularly, almost every day as it will get messy due to their feeding habit especially when the filter is not working.

Changing half of the water weekly will rid the tank of 95% of the toxic element resident in the tank and that should be done every two days if your filter is weak or you do not have it. Remove the poop with a gravel siphon and mix the water with that same siphon before draining the water. You can as well clean the glass with a magnet cleaner once a month.

Do I Need To Check My Axolotls Water Parameters After Each Water Change?


That is a great question coming from a caring and observant pet keeper. You need to check the tank’s water parameters after each water change starting from the pH to the temperature and the hardness of the water making sure it is within the ideal figures as your pets are very sensitive and you don’t have to take chances with them as it could be dangerous.



You must be conversant with basic freshwater aquariums before keeping axolotls as pets in a freshwater aquarium as they are fragile and not best used for experiments.

Besides, your ignorance of their upkeep and correct water parameters could cost them their dear lives, costing you the loss of money and resources too.

Written by Justin Michaels