Does Axolotl Bite?

axolotls bite

Axolotls are one the most popular pets kept. They have funny, squishy, and cute looks. Pet lovers will have them in aquariums because of their unique personalities and cool and calm nature. Surprisingly people wondered and asked Do Axolotls Bite?

Yes, axolotls while hunting for food bite anything and everything found in their aquarium. They also bite while trying to defend themselves from being hurt. Their bite isn’t very painful because they possess a small set of teeth.

Why Do Axolotls Actually Bite?

Axolotls do not have aggressive eating habits, nor are they naturally destructive. They believe anything moving in their environment is food to be consumed. If they see that the particular thing is less of a threat, they will assume it can be food for them to fill their stomach.

In the wild, where you can find axolotls is the Xochimilco lake, where they originated from. In the Xochilmilco lake, with the flourishing underwater ecosystem,  they are known to be the highest predator as there are no other predators over them. However, they are not an aggressive predator. All they need to do is ensure they fill their bellies with food. 

With the belief that everything is food, axolotls bite your hand when they see it in the tank. Their bite isn’t painful because their teeth are small and not sharp; it may not even pierce your skin.

What Should I Do When Axolotls Bite Me?

It is common to be bitten by your pet axolotls when you put your hand in their tank; you should always prepare for the bite but know that their bite won’t injure your skin. The pressure they mount when they bite is minimal, and their teeth are not sharp. 

But in a situation where you find your hand bleeding when they bite, you should use an alcohol squad to clean the part they bit and put on the cleaned area an antibacterial band-aid.

As an axolotls owner, it is important to check out your axolotls’ health when you find your finger bleeding from their bite because you may have accidentally hurt your pet. However, they can regenerate their damaged tissues, including their organs and limb, the process can be longer than expected and maybe worse in some cases.

So it would help if you bothered more about the safety of your pet axolotls than yourself. Ensure you take precautionary measures before and after handling your pet axolotls. 

Ways to Handle Axolotls

Handling axolotls needs extra caution as the slime coat which protects them can be easily damaged and are highly prone to bacteria and fungus infection. Normally it is not advisable to bring out your pet from their aquarium for long, but some scenarios may occur where you will need to bring them out of the tank unavoidably.

Before handling your pet axolotls, you must properly wash and rinse your hand to ensure they don’t get infected. Traces of little soap can affect your pet and can even result in death. This is why you should rinse thoroughly after washing.

You can dip both your hands into their tank to familiarize your hands with tank water. Be calm and relaxed, and leave your hands there for a few minutes in the process; your pet axolotls can swim in your hand to settle on it if they find it comfortable. 

It is important to use both hands to prevent them from slipping off. But if they slip off your hand, give them a few minutes to try again. Separate your pet’s axolotls leg with your thumb and index finger so doing it will prevent your pet from sliding off your hands by pushing with the leg.

When cleaning their tank, you can move them to another clean and sanitized water and be fast so you can return them to their original tank. 

Can I Train My Pet Axolotls Not to Bite?

Training your pet axolotls not to bite your hand, especially when feeding them, can be fruitless. However, you can feed them using a pair of blunt forceps. This will help to prevent your hand from being bitten.

Feeding them with blunt forceps might help them know that food does not come with your hands in their tank but with blunt forceps. Though it may not effectively prevent them from biting your hands, it might have a little impact. 

Do Axolotls Bite Each Other?

Axolotls are social creatures, they will prefer to be alone in their tank, so they do not really appreciate having a tank, even of the same species. It is unnecessary and risky when you have many of them simultaneously, as they will sometimes bully or attack their tank mate, though they cannot injure with their teeth but inflict stress.

However,  they can tolerate each if some measures are being taken. Some factors to put into consideration when having more than one axolotl in a tank are as follows:

1. Proper Habitat Setup

Axolotls can be restless if their tank is overstocked. This can lead to your axolotls fighting each other. So do not overcrowd your axolotl’s tank, and ensure they have enough hiding places where they can hide to avoid clashing.

2. Your Axolotls Size

The size of the axolotls you intend to keep together matters. When one axolotl is bigger than the other, there is a tendency that the bigger axolotls will bully the smaller one.

This is common when you keep adult axolotls with baby axolotls. So ensure your keep axolotls of the same size in a tank.

3. Tank Water Parameter and Quality

If the water parameter is not balanced, axolotls may get irritated and stressed. This may result in a fight between tank mates. To avoid this, ensure the water condition is balanced for your axolotls.

4. Adequate Food for Your Axolotls

These creature needs to be well-fed. They can attack each other when they are starving. So ensure you always provide enough food for your pet to remain calm and live peacefully with each other.

Do Axolotls Chew Their Food?

Axolotls do not and can not chew their food; instead, they swallow. And swallowing their food can result in compaction, especially when they swallow solid things like a small rocks, pieces of wood, and even solid food. A severe case may demand surgery.

 So to prevent this problem of compaction, ensure you clean their tank always to remove large matters from the decorations, food residue, and plant matter that may chock them when they swallow.

When mimicking their habitat, please use sand for the tank substrate, as it will be safer. And also feeding them with food that contains chucks. 


Bites from your pet axolotls can not be severe, even though they bite. But if you discover your finger bleeding when your pet axolotls bite you, ensure you treat the spot immediately by cleaning the area with an alcohol squad and using antibacterial band-aids to avoid infection. 

Most importantly, be extremely careful when handling your pet axolotls.

Written by Justin Michaels