You bought an axolotl, and dreamt of happy years hoping it’d lay eggs and have a big family. Then you found out a rumour saying they eat their own eggs, yikes! It’s a controversial topic indeed.
Do they actually eat their babies? Amongst pet owners, this been mulled over by curious minds ever since these unique creatures have made their way into our hearts, tanks, and homes.
We’ll tackle this “taboo” subject together. I’ll handle this with due care – no need to worry! Why not take a few moments out of your day, gather up some tasty snacks, maybe your favorite beverage or two, and join me in learning all about the eating habits of one of my favorite freshwater friends – the adorable (and kinda temperamental!) axolotl.
Are Axolotls Cannibalistic?
The natural habitats of axolotls are quite devoid of the food that is required to meet their nutritional needs. This is why these animals are infamous for showing cannibalistic behavior.
Usually, axolotls that are smaller than 6 inches in size tend to be cannibalistic toward their siblings.
Do Axolotls Really Eat Their Own Eggs Or Babies?
On the upper section, you found out they can be hostile towards siblings. But what about their own? So, do axolotls really like to snack on their offspring?
Well, unfortunately, the answer is yes. Axolotls are infamous for bad parenting.
It is quite uncomfortable, but an axolotl’s own eggs are highly rich in protein and other nutritional values. Furthermore, these amphibians’ fundamental nature makes them more concerned with their own nutrition than with the welfare of their young.
Even after hatching, the small fry are still easy prey for the adults. They will just munch on them as well.
This is why the best practice is to immediately remove any eggs from the aquarium after they have been laid. Or, you can remove the axolotls from the tank as well.
However, if you intend to not keep any axolotl babies, then you can leave the eggs in the aquarium. These eggs will provide them with an excellent source of food that is highly nutritious.
Will My Baby Axolotls Eat Each Other?
Yes, if the baby axolotl is smaller than its parents, then it is likely to be cannibalistic toward its own brothers and sisters. Fortunately, this behavior is only temporary and is not a habit the axolotl will develop later in life.
So, if you keep a few baby axolotls together, then it might be the case that the bigger ones will attempt to eat the smaller ones.
Can Adult And Baby Axolotls Live Together?
It is generally not recommended to keep adult and baby axolotls together, as the adult axolotls may see the baby axolotls as food and attempt to eat them. It is best to keep baby axolotls separate from adult axolotls until they are large enough to defend themselves.
If you are planning to keep axolotls together, it is important to provide enough space and hiding spots for the baby axolotls to avoid being attacked by the adults.
What To Do After An Axolotl Lays Its Eggs
In order to save the eggs, it is best to remove the axolotls from the tank and bring them to a separate temporary container. Then, remove all the eggs from the aquarium to their separate container, where you want to raise all the axolotl fry. Afterwards, you can bring the parent axolotls back to their original place.
If you are not looking to breed any axolotl babies, then you can just leave the eggs as they are. Your adult axolotls will have a good snack from their own eggs!
Unfortunately, axolotls are not the best parents. They will, by nature, care for their own wellbeing rather than being concerned for their babies. This behavior is another reason why axolotls are driven to the brink of extinction in the wild. So, sorry if this burst your hope of a happy family. Have them separate if you want them to live.