The key to having healthy and well-nourished pets is to breed them properly in the first place. If the animals are bred properly, they will live long and be healthy. This just doesn’t only apply to regular pets but also to rare creatures like axolotls. As they are an exotic pet species, and hence, need to be bred with special care. So, if you are looking to breed axolotls, you must know how to breed axolotls.

When breeding axolotls, you must ensure the right conditions for the breeding pair, such as the aquarium size, living conditions, food, and water temperature. Then you should observe their behavior and let them breed. Once the female has laid eggs, you should remove them and incubate them separately. When these eggs hatch, you must take care of them until they grow up.

Here are the process of breeding axolotls in detail.

A step-by-step procedure for breeding axolotls

A step by step procedure for breeding
Image Credit: thecuriousplantaholic, Instagram

Axolotls have become increasingly popular in recent years as a pet, due to the increased popularity of the game ‘Minecraft’. This is why, more and more people are leaning towards breeding axolotls as a business. But if you, as a potential axolotl breeder, don’t know the correct way to breed them, you might end up doing more harm than good to the species.

So, we have prepared a guideline for potential and novice axolotl breeders, so that the health and future of the species remains in good hands. Here is what you should to do properly breed axolotls.

1. Preparing the right aquarium

The precondition of successful axolotl breeding is the right aquarium. You must have an adequately sized aquarium for the breeding axolotl pair so that they don’t get stressed due to a lack of space. The ideal size for an axolotl aquarium is 20 gallons. If you can provide them with more space, it can only serve you better.

2. Preparing the right living conditions

Once you have bought the right-sized aquarium, you need to ensure that the axolotls have proper living and breeding conditions. You must have clean water in the tank. Next, you should have proper lighting inside the tank.

One thing you must consider is providing the animals with a lot of hiding space. This serves two purposes. First, these hiding places allow the axolotls to take a break, and rest. This reduces their stress levels. Second, they provide female axolotls the perfect place to lay eggs, since they prefer a flat surface to do so. 

For these hiding places of flat surfaces, you can introduce flat rocks, PVC pipes, and aquatic plants. Make sure these are large enough for the axolotls to hide under.

3. Preparing the animals

Once their living and breeding conditions have been fulfilled, it is time for you to prepare the animals for breeding. First, you should give them a proper, nutritional diet so that they are in peak physical condition. You can feed them live or frozen bloodworms, blackworms, brine shrimp, or food pellets, which will make them stronger and ready to breed.

Then, you should select a breeding pair. When you select a breeding pair, you must take their age, especially that of the female axolotl into account. Since female axolotls need more energy, as they will lay eggs, you must ensure they have reached sexual maturity. Choose the axolotls who are at least 12 to 18 months old.

Next, you should introduce the breeding pair to each other. While doing so, you have to keep a close eye on the animals’ behavior. A lot of times axolotls can get aggressive towards each other. When that happens, they will bite each other or nip at each others’ tails. If you see such behavior, separate the animals as soon as possible, and try again later, or with another pair.

4. Creating the right environment

If the axolotls seem friendly to each other, then they are ready to mate and breed. But just keeping them together will not make them breed. You need to create the right environment for them to trigger their mating behavior. You can do so by lowering the water temperature. Since axolotls breed in winter, you should lower the water temperature to 15.5 degrees Celsius to stimulate the breeding environment.

Then you should look out for the courtship ritual. During courtship, the male axolotl will nudge the female at her sides or tail while swimming around her. If you see this kind of behavior, then it means that the pair is ready to breed.

5. Observe the mating

When axolotls mate, the males will deposit spermatophores on a flat surface. These spermatophores are white, jelly-like substances. The females will then pick it up to fertilize her eggs, which she will later lay on the flat surfaces inside the aquariums or leaves of aquatic plants.

6. Removing the eggs

As soon as the eggs are laid by the female axolotl, you must remove them from the aquarium to a new, separate one. Use a gentle net, or a siphon to remove the eggs as gently as possible. There are reasons you should separate the parents and the eggs. They are:

  • To protect the eggs from getting eaten by adults
  • To better monitor and maintain the eggs
  • To prevent various bacterial and fungal infections.

7. Incubating and hatching the eggs

To incubate and hatch the eggs, you should put the eggs in an egg tumbler, or a separate aquarium. While doing that, make sure that the water parameters inside the new aquarium are exactly the same as the previous one. Maintain the temperature and the water quality inside the tank for 2-3 weeks, which is the average time for axolotl larvae to hatch.

Once the babies hatch, you must provide them with ample amounts of nutritious food, such as finely crushed food pellets, or freshly hatched brine shrimp.

8. Raising the babies

Baby axolotls have gills, and they need special care. Apart from maintaining clean water, and optimal water temperature, you must also provide them with highly nutritious food, so they can remain healthy and grow up fast. Feed them smaller parts of food pellets or small insects at first. As they grow up, transition to larger food items, appropriate to their size.

Benefits of Breeding Axolotl

Benefits of Breeding
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Nowadays, breeding axolotls has gained popularity among both hobbyists and researchers. Now, let’s explore the benefits of breeding axolotls and how it can be a rewarding endeavor.

1. Preservation of Endangered Species

Axolotls are critically endangered in their natural habitat. By breeding axolotls in captivity, we can help protect the species from extinction. Captive breeding programs allow scientists to study their biology and behavior, and contribute to conservation strategies.

2. Research Potential

Breeding axolotls opens up opportunities for scientific research. Their remarkable regenerative abilities make them an invaluable model organism for studying tissue regeneration and developmental biology. Researchers can gain insights into human regenerative medicine and potentially develop new treatments for various conditions.

3. Promoting Environmental Awareness

Breeding axolotls can serve as an educational tool to promote environmental awareness. By showcasing the beauty and uniqueness of these creatures, people become more conscious of the importance of protecting natural habitats and preserving biodiversity.

4. Selling Axolotls and Offspring

The demand for axolotls as pets has been steadily increasing. Breeders can sell axolotls and their offspring to individuals interested in keeping them as pets. This can be a rewarding and profitable venture for those who have successfully bred axolotls in captivity.

5. Supplying Axolotls for Research

Research institutions often require a supply of axolotls for scientific studies. By breeding axolotls, one can provide a valuable resource for researchers and contribute to advancements in various fields of study. This can lead to collaborations and financial opportunities for axolotl breeders.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should Axolotls be Breed?

Axolotls should ideally be bred at least once a year. However, it’s important to note that the breeding frequency can vary depending on individual circumstances and preferences of the breeder. While there is no strict requirement, breeding axolotls annually is generally recommended to ensure the continuation of their reproductive cycle and genetic diversity.
When deciding on the breeding frequency, factors such as the health and age of the axolotls, availability of suitable mates, and the breeder’s goals and resources should be considered.

How Long Does it Take for Axolotls Eggs to Hatch?

The incubation period for axolotl eggs typically spans from 2 to 3 weeks, but it can be influenced by factors such as temperature and tank conditions. Providing the ideal environment and ensuring proper care during this period are essential for a successful hatch and the subsequent growth of healthy axolotl larvae.

Is it Possible to Identify a Pregnant Axolotl?

Yes, it is possible to identify a gravid (egg-bearing) axolotl. When a female axolotl is ready to lay her eggs, her belly will appear round and swollen due to the presence of the developing eggs. This change in abdominal shape can be observed visually, allowing you to identify a pregnant axolotl.

How long is an axolotl pregnant for?

Once a female axolotl becomes gravid or you could say ”pregnant”, it usually takes around 10 to 14 days for her to lay the eggs. The exact duration can vary depending on various factors such as the individual’s health, age, and environmental conditions.

What age do axolotls lay eggs?

Axolotls generally reach sexual maturity between 6 months to a year of age. However, it’s important to note that individual growth rates and maturation can vary among axolotls. Some axolotls may reach sexual maturity on the earlier side of this range, while others may take longer. Once an axolotl has reached sexual maturity, females have the potential to lay eggs during their breeding season.

How Many Axolotl Babies Survive After Hatching?

The survival rate of axolotl offspring is influenced by multiple factors, including the care provided and the genetic health of the parents. When optimal care is given to a healthy batch of axolotl eggs, the survival rate can be as high as 95%. However, it’s important to note that even with careful attention, a small percentage of hatchlings may still be unfit or have genetic abnormalities.

Final Thoughts

Breeding axolotls and raising their young is no easy task. The knowledge of how to breed axolotls will ensure the animals you breed will be healthy and live a long time. This will also move your business forward, and you can enjoy a steady revenue stream as well as profit.

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