Axolotl Questions and Answers

Since 2001 Has Only Bred One Animal Species. That Is the Axolotl. By Staying Focus On The Axolotl Helps Us To Improve The Axolotl’s Health, Longevity and Beauty. We Will Continue To Stay True To Our Mission. is the World’s Best “All Axolotl Website” The Axolotl care instructions are complete, easy to understand, accurate and will not endanger the Axolotl’s life. We also explain the science behind our Axolotl care instructions.

Axolotls are now Extinct in the wild. The Mexican Government will not acknowledge the fact that the Axolotl are Extinct from the Wild. The reason why the Axolotl is Extinct was a man made problem; Water Pollution (Human Waste) found in the Water. Making the water safe and clean could have been done but the Mexican Government chose to do nothing to save the Axolotl For more information Click Here 

The Axolotl is also known as: Mexican Water Dragon.

We Protect Axolotls,

Philip Vena
Founder of

4531 Cornell Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515-2609 USA
(Near West Side of Chicago)
Phone: 1-630-390-7070 (Land Line no text messages)

Since 2001 Axolotls Are The Only Spices We BreedYou can download, post on the Internet (Facebook), and Publish any of content and images. No permission is needed as long as it states that is the source of the content and images. To download just click on the picture.

Get The Proper Information Before Getting Your Water Dragon
Tella May 30, 2017

I am a costumer of Philip Vena from and I got my beautiful water dragon in March. I was very happy with my water dragon but he was not happy with me. I made many mistakes with my water dragon because I chose to listen to people who call themselves “experts” on axolotls. I would study my axolotl carefully and noticed my axolotl would get ill a lot because I was following websites like All of the information posted on that site is posted by random axolotl owners and not actual professional breeders like Philip Vena himself. I highly encourage any axolotl owner to follow the proper care instructions on The breeder Philip Vena has had experience with these creatures since 2001. He’s bred hundreds of water dragons. He has high knowledge of these animals. I was thankful because he responded to a phone call a few days ago and saved my axolotl. gave me a lot of false information and I was stressing my poor axolotl out to death. I put filters and aeration tubes that were stressing my axolotl. I also over fed him. Philip helped me by explaining everything I had to do immediately to save my axolotl. Please learn from my mistakes. If you’re making any of these mistakes please check the care instructions on or call Philip Vena himself if the damage is too much.

I hope this can help somebody!

Everyone is an Axolotl Expert on the Internet?
An Axolotl expert, is now an ordinary person sitting at home, beaming Axolotl advice over the Internet to anyone who wants help. Thousands of such ordinary people have signed up to wear the label of online Axolotl Expert. Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s true. I see a lot of Axolotl questions being answered with wrong information being transmitted.

These online Axolotl Expert are participating in Web site that tries to match people who have questions with people who think they know the answers. Some of the information is harmless. But some of the information is completely wrong and wrong information can cause your Axolotl to die.
 In a connected world, no-one can be called an Axolotl Expert, even me. The best way is to let the quality of the writing speak for itself. Is the sources credible? Is the language clear? These are things to look out for in digesting information. The easier it is for us to access information, but more important is to be more careful and critical when selecting information on the Internet.

In a connected world, no-one can be called an Axolotl expert in absolute terms. The best way is to let the quality of the writing speak for itself. Is the sources credible? Is the language clear? These are things to look out for in digesting information. The easier it is for us to access information, the more careful and critical we should be when selecting and processing it.

How do I know that information on this website is correct?
At have been breeding Water Dragons since 2001 and that is the only animal that we breed. The information that we state on this website is what we do and have been doing since 2001. The first thing you notice about Axolotls is that the Axolotl does not move around a lot. They sit on the bottom of the tank usually cuddling or laying on top of each other and the Axolotl on the bottom does not care that the other Axolotl is on top. The only time you see Axolotl move is when an Axolotl is come up for a breath of air. Axolotl must go up to get a breath of air every 20 minutes which is 72 times per day. An 10 gallon tank is only 12 inches high makes it easy for a Axolotl to get a breath of air. That is why recommend that you buy a 10 gallon tank.

We have tested everything that we recommend to you on this website.  For example we state that you can put two adults in a 10 gallon aquarium with no filter. You only need to remove any uneaten food and waste every day. We tested this by putting (qty 4) 12 inch adults in a 10 gallon aquarium and found that the (qty 4) Water Dragons could not build up enough Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrate levels to harm the Water Dragons in the tank. These chemicals are coming from; Ammonia (cause by the Water Dragon’s Urine) and the Nitrate and Nitrate  (cause by the Water Dragon’s Waste and Rotting Food) that is in the water. For all you Nay Sayers, do the test yourself. You will see I am right.

If you do water changes the 1 per week you will be removing 90% of the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate in your aquarium. If you do not do weekly water changes then the levels of Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate in your aquarium will reach levels that will kill your Water Dragon. So it very important that you do water changes 1 per week. Doing water changes each week will greatly extend the life of your Water Dragons.

How Does Breed Their Water Dragons – Axolotls?

Glossary of Terms

Out Breeding / Cross Breeding – Is the mating of unrelated individuals, which often produces more vigorous offspring than the parents are in terms of growth, survival, and fertility.

Inbreeding – Is the mating of Brother to Sister

Line Breeding – Is the mating of Uncle to Nice or Aunt to Nephew Assurance Program provides you with the healthiest, most genetically diverse bloodlines in the captive world today. We will continue to keep our Water Dragons – Axolotls free from genetic defects, by taking the time to outbreed our stock with only the best handpicked “A” Stock Mexican Water Dragons (Axolotls) in the USA. We only breed “A” Stock  Water Dragons to prevent any genetic weakness that can accrue from multiple generations of inbreeding (brother to sister) and line breeding (Is the mating of Uncle to Nice or Aunt to Nephew). We at strictly follow the Guidelines for Ethical Breeding Practices. Any Water Dragon with genetic deficiencies is not bred. At we only sell Water Dragons. That’s it, that’s all we do. With only one focus “Water Dragons” that allows us breed the best possible Water Dragon in the captive world today. We will continue to maintain the highest integrity of our Water Dragon while focusing on their long term health.

At we raise all our Mexican Water Dragons (Axolotls) in separate tanks to avoid their cannibalistic stage with their tank mates and because of this, our Water Dragons have prefect limbs and are best quality Water Dragon on the market today. We continually improve the diversity, heartiness, and variety of all our Water Dragon, while strictly following the Guidelines for Ethical Breeding Practices. In doing so has made and will continue to make an important contribution by ensuring the survival of the Water Dragon (Axolotl) species in the World.

At we want each and every one our customers to be happy, so if you have any questions regarding the purchase or care and feeding of an Water Dragon (Axolotl) you can email us at We will reply to your e-mail within a one business day. At we encourage our customers to post feedback regarding their purchase, at Click here for Customer Feedback here you will see, how they liked their Water Dragons (Axolotls) and what they thought of the service. We invite you to read these postings.

Is a forum a good place to find information regarding the care and feeding of Water Dragons (Axolotls)?
A forum is the worst places to find reliable information regarding the care and feeding of Water Dragons (Axolotls). When you read these posting on a forum you will see that a person new to Water Dragons is asking a question.  There will be about 20 different answers all from people who are also new to Water Dragons; and are clueless to the correct answer to the question. However these clueless people believe that they are correct. The real question you have to ask yourself is; why aren’t the experienced breeders answering these questions??? If you want reliable information regarding the care and feeding of Water Dragons then you need to go to a website that specializes in only Water Dragons.

What is the biggest mistake people do while caring for Water Dragons – Axolotls?  John P. Clare the Founder of and is a Chemistry Teacher, Not a Axolotl Breeder.
The biggest mistake people do is that they follow care instructions from doesn’t not know the difference between a Fish and an Amphibian. care instructions are for Fish not for the Axolotl which is an Amphibian. Axolotls are: Air Breathing Cold Blooded Salamander. That’s right John P. Clare, an Axolotl is an amphibian that breeds the air not the water. Amphibians do not need the following; water conditioning, water parameters, and filters; this does not apply for air breathing amphibian, it only applies for a Fish uses its gills to take in oxygen from the water; an amphibian (Axolotl) uses its lungs to take in oxygen form the air. care instructions are for a Fish. has the worst care instructions on the  Internet and is causing Axolotl deaths. John P. Clare is the author of, and the founder of You Bozo Stop It! You Are Killing Axolotls!

Is an Axolotl a fish?
The Axolotl is an amphibian not a fish. The major difference between a fish and a amphibian is the following:

  • Fish uses gills to take in oxygen from the water

    • Fish need the following:
      • Tropical Fish need a temperature of 76° Fahrenheit
      • You need to do Aquarium Cycling & Nitrifying Bacteria Growth
      • You cannot use Tap Water without conditioning the water
      • Need Chemicals to remove the Chlorine and, Chloramines
      • Need a filter is required to remove Nitrite, Nitrate and Ammonia
      • Need to control pH and dH
  • Amphibian uses its lungs to take in oxygen form the air

    • Amphibian need the following:
      • The Axolotl needs a temperature of 57° to 68° Fahrenheit
      • No Need to do a Aquarium Cycling & Nitrifying Bacteria Growth. Axolotl Breath the AIR… NOT the Water as fish do.
      • The Axolotl by using lungs to breath the air so if your Tap Water is safe for you to drink then it will be safe for your Axolotl. If your Tap Water is not safe for you to drink then it will not be safe for your Axolotl. If you have safe drinking water then you can do the following:
      • You can use Tap Water and without conditioning it (to remove the Chlorine and, Chloramines)
      • No filter is needed if you do a 90% water change every 7 days to control Nitrite, Nitrate and Ammonia
      • No need to control pH and dH
      • No Need to do theHoltfreter’s Solution (
      • Salt solutions will NOT cure a fungus and bacterial infection ( Please stay off of this Site…I will Kill Your Axolotl

What preparation do I need to do before I get my Water Dragon – Axolotl?
I recommend that you set up your tank at least one week before ordering any Water Dragon – Axolotl. This will allow you to see if you can of maintaining the proper environment for your Water Dragon Axolotl. First fill your tank with fresh tap water, after 24 hours the chlorine will be out of the water because the chlorine turns into a gas and will be out of your tank. Once the chlorine is out of your tank water, it is now safe for the fish to breathe the water. You need to add at least quantity 5 Guppies you can buy them at Petsmart or Petco and put them in your tank. This will test your tank to see if it’s free from any chemical contamination. If your Guppies die, then you have a chemical contamination problem. You need to find the source of this contamination and correct it. Then test again with more Guppies. You can leave the Guppies in the tank with the Axolotl because the Axolotls will eat the Guppies.

Most of the time the chemical contamination is coming from a “used” 5 gallon bucket, used towels, or Windex being used in a new Tank by the petshop to clean the windows. What I recommend is that you buy a New 5 gallon bucket. It’s also important that the water temperature is at or below 68° for a least one week. If you are having problems staying at or below 68° I recommend that you try putting your tank near the floor. Some of the heat sources that you need to avoid are direct sunlight, heat registers and fish tank lights, all produce heat and will raise the temperature in your tank. If you cannot maintain a temperature at or below 68° degree then you need to buy an aquarium Water Chiller for a 10 gallon tank. The smaller the tank the cheaper the Water Chiller is. Just Google; Aquarium Water Chiller 10 gallon and check Craigslist for used and new Water Chillers.

Which is better to use; and aquarium filter or to do a 90% water change once a week?
Aquarium filters are one of the biggest killers of Axolotls today. You never know when an aquarium filter will stop working. When it does stop working the levels of ammonia, nitrates and nitrites levels get high enough to kill your Axolotl. The ammonia is coming from your Axolotl’s urine the nitrates and nitrites are coming from waste and rotting food. Overfeeding your Axolotl is the main reason why aquarium filters stop working.

By doing a 90% water change once a week you do not need a filter. Every week you are reducing the level of ammonia, nitrates and nitrites in your tank to 10%. Water changes are more effective than filters because they do not need maintenance to keep them operating properly.

How do I schedule feeding and Water Changes?

Feed only 
3 days per week
90%  Water Change
 Water Change

 Is it okay for Axolotls to live by themselves?
No its not okay. It’s like putting a Axolotl in solitary confinement. Axolotls don’t do well without their own species with them.

Can different color axolotls live together?  Yes

Do you recommended to purchase two of the same color? Yes you can have two of the same color in your aquarium, but I like to put two different colors in the tank.

Is it okay for mix adults Axolotls together after the cannibalistic stage; i.e. two males Axolotls together?
When Axolotls are out of the cannibalistic stage it is okay to mix adult females and males Axolotl together. Adult males Axolotl should not be aggressive to other males or other females. Females have no problems with other females or males.

Where do you ship to?
We ship to all USA States which includes Alaska (AK) and Puerto Rico (PR). However, we  do not ship to the State of California (CA) and New Jersey (NJ); also we do not ship to Hawaii (HI) because we do not have the necessary Hawaiian permit.

How do you pack the Axolotl for shipping?
The Axolotl is ship in a white Styrofoam shipping box with Styrofoam packing peanuts with a bottle of ice to keep the box cold during the shipping process. We also reverse double bag the axolotl so that it cannot get caught in the corner of the bag.

What should I do when I am aware of a health problem with my Water Dragon? 
The first thing to do is remove your Water Dragon from your tank. Because the cause of the health problem may be coming from inside of your tank, by separating the Water Dragon from your tank gives you time to figure out what may be wrong inside your tank; for example your temperatures too high, or you need to do an emergency water change, or need to remove sand, gravel, plants and any items that might be painted with lead paint. When something like this happens put the Water Dragon in a plastic shoe box, that you can buy at any store. Then fill the plastic shoe box it with cold tap water and put the water level 1 inch above the Water Dragons head.  You can put a Water Dragon in the refrigerator. The reason for this is that Water dragons are cold-blooded they will not die from the cold. By putting it in the refrigerator what happens is that their metabolism will slow down. This gives you More Time to find out what is wrong and correct it. Feed live Red Wigglers Worms you can buy at Walmart.

Does a Water Dragon – Axolotl dislike fast moving water?
It is better not to have a filter because it will make a water current that will stress out your Water Dragon and it will die. Water Dragons – Axolotls do not like fast moving water (water currents). This will cause stress to your Water Dragons – Axolotls and you will see evidence of this stress when your Water Dragon – Axolotl Tail starts to Curl.

How long does it take for a Water Dragon to grow?
Water Dragons- Axolotls are cold-blooded salamanders and because of this their growth rate is slow. It takes about one year to get to the 3 to 4 inch size and about two years to get to the 6 inch size. This growth rate depends on the type of food you are feeding your Axolotl and water quality.

I was told that an Axolotl will change its color when it gets older?
No Jake that is not true. Axolotls do not change their color when they get older. This is part of a Bait and Switch Scam, the seller says this is because he knows that he shipped you the wrong color Axolotl on purpose. The seller just wants to keep your money.

Which Water Dragon – Axolotl is prettier Male or Female?
The Female are prettier than the males because they are carrying eggs which makes their body shape is rounder. The Male are skinny and not as pretty as a female.

A Seller told me that the gill sacks on my axolotl will not grow back. Can you please tell me why?
The reason why the Seller told you that your axolotl gill sacks won’t grow back is because the breeder is inbreeding Brother to Sister. This will cause a genetic defect that will not allow the Water Dragon – Axolotl not to regenerate their gill sacks.

How do I re-slime my Water Dragon?
If need to handle your Water Dragon we recommend that you handle your Water Dragon over the aquarium. Should it slip out of your hands your Water Dragon will fall in to the Water not on the floor. After you handle your Water Dragon you will need to replace its slime coat. You can buy Stress Coat at any Tropical Fish Store. This will replace the slime coat that was taken off when you handled your Water Dragons. The best way to this is to put your Water Dragon in a clear plastic bag that matches the length of the Water Dragon. Place your Water Dragon in the bag and add Stress Coat. With out touching your Water Dragon pour the Water Dragon back in the aquarium.

There is a gray film on top of my water. Can you please tell me what that is?
The gray film at the top of your water is dust. This is not harmful to your Water Dragon – Axolotl. If you want to remove the film just float a paper towel on your tank for a minute and that will remove the gray film on top of your water.

Chemicals – Possible causes of chemicals in your tank

My Axolotl is dead. Can you tell me what happen? 
More often than not, when an Axolotl die for “No Reason” the cause is probably chemicals. It can be from Aerosol Window Cleaner, Mosquito Repellent, Sun Tan Lotion and All Hand Creams; Scented, Medicated and Sanitizer. These repellent, lotion, creams and soaps are dangerous and will kill your Axolotl. When washing your hands makes sure that you rinse all the soap off your hands too.

You need to do a 90% water change every 7 days. By not doing a weekly water change every 7 days the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate in your aquarium will reach deadly levels and kill your Axolotl.

Also you need to make sure that the 5 gallon bucket is free of any soap and cleaners. Make sure that your 5 gallon bucket is NEW and rinsed out with tap water before use.  Do not use a towels to clean inside of your tank, only use clean paper towels.

Can Mosquito Repellent, Sun Tan Lotion and Hand Creams kill my Water Dragon?
Yes, if you use any Mosquito Repellent, Sun Tan Lotion and All Hand Creams; Scented, Medicated and Sanitizer. These Mosquito Repellent, Sun Tan Lotion, Hand Creams and Soaps are dangerous and will kill your Water Dragon. You need to wash them off before putting your hands inside your aquarium. When washing your hands please makes sure that you rinse all the soap off your hands too. Also do not use a or use a dirty towel to clean inside of your tank, use only clean paper towels.

Please do not Aerosol Cans and Spray Cleaner!
This is an easy way to kill your Water Dragons because these products produce a deadly mist that will travel in the air and into your Water Dragon Aquarium. I get email asking why all my Water Dragons died at the same time? This happens when chemicals get into your tank.  If you need to use these cleaners we recommend that you spray into a closed rag so that you do not create a mist.

Early detection of chemicals in your tank.
The best way to detect chemicals in your tank is to put small feeder fish in your tank. They will be the first to die should you have any chemicals in your tank. They are like canaries in a coal mine. You can buy small feeder fish at PetSmart and Petco for about $.20 cents each.

How can you tell if a Water Dragon is a Male or Female?
At 6 inches long the Males will have a bulge behind their back legs, females do not. Males are skinny and Females are wider because they have eggs.

My Water Dragon has been floating around on the surface of the water is this normal behavior? He does swim around and sit on the bottom, but he like to spend a lot of time on the top. Is he okay?
Yes this is normal behavior.

My 3-4 inch Water Dragons – Axolotl has a minnow in its mouth that is too big to swallow. What should I do? Use a fish net and take your Water Dragon Axolotl out of the water. This will startled him and he will let go of the minnow. Only use minnows with adult Water Dragons Axolotls that are 6 inches long or larger.

Why does state that Water Dragons are Social Animals and should be together with other Water Dragons after they are 6 inches long. While other people and websites say not to put a Water Dragon with any other Water Dragon?
Water Dragon’s Cannibalism is a learned and remember behavior. At Buy-Axolotls we separate our Water Dragons during the Cannibalistic Stage. Because our Water Dragons are separate during the Cannibalistic Stage they never learn to be Cannibalistic.When they are 6 inches long you can put the together with other adults.

The reason why other people/web sites say not to put them with other adults is because they do not separate their Water Dragons during the Cannibalistic Stage. These Water Dragons will be Cannibalistic for their entire life. Yes it cost less money to raise them all together but the Breeder is ethically wrong to raise Water Dragons together during the Cannibalistic stage, because they will tear off each other legs, feet and toes; etc.

My Axolotl won’t eat and is skinny. What should I do?
I have seen this condition and don’t know what causes “Wasting Away” when a Axolotl will not eat any food. What I recommend that you do is feed Live Red Wigglers Worms as soon as possible. You can buy Red Wigglers Worms in the fishing department at Walmart.

My Water Dragon looks fat. What should I do?
If your Water Dragon is over 6 inches long and does not have a bulge behind its back legs then you have a female Water Dragon that has eggs inside of her and she is not fat.

My Water Dragon is not growing what is going on?
Once in a awhile Axolotls do have Dwarf Axolotls, just like we have in the human population. Dwarf Axolotls It is rare but it does happen, and Dwarf Axolotls have a shorter life.

How do prevent children from putting their hands in my aquarium so that chemicals that may be on their hands do not kill my Water Dragons?
We recommend that you take your aquarium to a Home Depot or Lowes and ask them to cut a glass top that will fit the tank. You will need a 1 inch gap at the back of the tank so your Water Dragons will be able to get fresh air and the water level must be 2 inches below the glass. You also can do the same using Plastic Wrap but it not to easy to reuse.

What is the difference between Cold-Blooded Water Dragons and Warm-Blooded animals?
The Warm-Blooded animals have to generate their own body heat, they do this through their metabolism. Water Dragons are Cold blooded animals and use the environment to control their body temperature. The main difference between a Cold-Blooded animal and Warm-Blooded animals is that the Warm-Blooded animals have a physiology mechanism that heat their body to keep the body warm. The Cold Blooded animal lacks this physiology mechanism in its body and their body temperature will change with the temperature in its environment. You need to keep your Water Dragons at a temperature that is 68 degree Fahrenheit or under. Higher temperatures will kill your Water Dragon.

What is the best way to feed my Water Dragon while on vacation?
We recommend that you put you Water Dragons in the refrigerator. Make sure that your refrigerator will not freeze water…You need to test it before putting an Axolotl in the refrigerator.  Buy some Red Wiggler Worms at Walmart. Also buy plastic shoe box at that you can buy at the Dollar Store for each Water Dragon. The water level should be 1 inch above your Water Dragon head and put your Water Dragon put them in the refrigerator while you are on vacation. Also put 1 to 2 Red Wiggler Worms in each plastic shoe box. Using the refrigerator will slow down their metabolism and keep them safe if you have a power outage while you are on vacation.

You will need to TEST your refrigerator’s temperature to make sure that it is not set too low that it will freeze water. You can do it by putting a plastic shoe box with 2 inches of water for 2 weeks. If ice on the top, set your refrigerator to a warmer temperature.

If your vacation is longer than 2 weeks then have a friend take care of them using his refrigerator and plastic shoe box for each Water Dragon. Have him do 100% water changes one per week. He need to matching the temperature of the water from the shoe box.

How Do I Clean My Aquarium After I Had A Fungus or Bacteria Problem?
At we don’t recommend that you use bleach to clean your aquarium after you had a Fungus or Bacteria problem. The best way to kill the Fungus or Bacteria is to go to your local Pool Store and buy a gallon of Pool Shock (liquid chlorine). Take out any Water Dragons and any other living creature out of your aquarium before you add Pool Shock (liquid chlorine) to your aquarium. Pool Shock will kill all living creature in your aquarium.

First fill your aquarium almost to the top. Then add 2 cups of liquid Pool Shock for a 10 gallon aquarium and stir the Pool Sock in the aquarium. After 24 hours drain your aquarium and rinse it a few times with tap water before setting it up. The chlorine will turn into a gas in 24 hours and will be out of your aquarium. This an easy and safe way to kill any Fungus or Bacteria that is in your aquarium. Also clean any outside filters with Pool Shock.

Never use soap or any other solvents in your aquarium.

How to remove calcium build-up or hard water stains off my tank/aquarium?

Can have snails in the aquarium with my Water Dragon?
Your Water Dragon will eat the snail and the Water Dragon cannot digest the snail’s shell. You would be putting your Water Dragon’s life at risk if you have snails in your aquarium.

My Water Dragons flicks its gills, is this a medical problem?
No this not a medical problem, just normal behavior.

Is there and health differences between the Glowing and Color Water Dragons?
I  Outbreed my Water Dragons and I have not seen any different in health, growth and feeding between any of my Color Water Dragons and Glowing Water Dragons.

Can I use live plants?
An Axolotl needs to be at a temperature of 68° or below to survive. Tropical plants cannot survive in water temperatures that are below 68°.

Live tropical plants can only grow if they have a light source. By using an aquarium light you are producing heat which will raise the tank temperature and make it impossible for you to stay at 68° or below.

A Water Dragon is an amphibian that breaths the air not the water, like fish do. When you read Websites that tell you that you need live plants they are written by people that do not know the difference between a Fish and Amphibian. These Websites think that Water Dragons are Fish. Stay off these websites because they are full of wrong information. recommends that you use plastic plants in your aquarium, that can be move for easy cleaning. See: How to Make a Safe Axolotl Tank – Click Here.

Can  I do Aquasaping?
If you decide to do Aquascaping you may be putting your Axolotl life at risk.  When an Axolotl gets scared he will swim very fast like pinball machine running into everything in the aquarium. If your Axolotl hits a rock at high speed, that may be the end of your Axolotl’s life.

Can I use floating plants?
No do not use floating plants in your tank. The Axolotl is and air breathing amphibian. The Axolotl has lungs like you and me to breath the air not the water. The Axolotl must go up for air every 20 minutes, all day and all night. Your Axolotl will make 72 trips for air per day. By using floating plants you are blocking the Axolotl from getting air. Also your Axolotl may get in entangled in the floating plants and die from drowning. If you love your Axolotl do not use floating plants.


Which is better to use; and aquarium filter or to do a 90% water change once a week?
Aquarium filters are one of the biggest killers of Axolotls today. You never know when an aquarium filter will stop working. When it does stop working the levels of ammonia, nitrates and nitrites levels get high enough to kill your Axolotl. The ammonia is coming from your Axolotl’s urine the nitrates and nitrites are coming from waste and rotting food. Overfeeding your Axolotl is the main reason why aquarium filters stop working.

By doing a 90% water change once a week you do not need a filter. Every week you are reducing the level of ammonia, nitrates and nitrites in your tank to 10%. Water changes are more effective than filters because they do not need maintenance to keep them operating properly.

Should I use ice bottles to keep the temperature down? 
Please do not use ice bottles, you will kill your Water Dragon (Axolotl). Changing temperature rapidly is an easy way to kill your Water Dragon than if you maintain a high stable temperature. Ice bottles cause the temperature to go down too fast. After the ice melts the temperature will begin to climb back up once again. This is a very effective way to kill your Water Dragon because the temperature changes are too fast.

How do I clean my tank/aquarium?
Do not use any soaps to clean your tank, soap’s contain chemicals that will kill your Water Dragons. Just use clean water and a new plastic scouring pad. That is all that you need to clean a tank. If you are using a tank that had another animal in it then; fill your aquarium almost to the top. Then add 2 cups of liquid Pool Shock for a 10 gallon aquarium and stir the Pool Sock in the aquarium. After 24 hours drain your aquarium and rinse it a few times with tap water before setting it up. The chlorine will turn into a gas in 24 hours and will be out of your aquarium. This an easy and safe way to kill any Fungus or Bacteria that is in your aquarium. Also clean any outside filters with Pool Shock. Also do not use a or use a dirty towel to clean inside of your tank, use clean paper towels.

Why does the water in my tank get cloudy?
There are several reason why your water gets cloudy:

  • You are feeding too much food. Feed less food (most common reason why your tank is getting cloudy)
  • Your not doing 90% water changes every 7 days
  • You have river rock in your tank and rotting food and waste is under the river rock. Take the river rock out of your tank

If you see your tank is cloudy you need to do a water as soon as possible. An Axolotl need clean water in order to survive.

My Axolotl climbed over the divider. What should I do?
Just lower the water level 1 inch under the height of the divider.

My room temperature is around 76° degrees with no cooling what do you recommend? 
I would recommend that you put the tank on the floor or a better answer is to buy an aquarium Water Chiller. The good new is that Aquarium Water Chiller is a lot less money for a 10 gallon tank than it is for a large tank. You also can make a Water Chiller See Above for DIY (Do It Yourself; Water Chiller). It you put the aquarium on the floor make sure that it is away from sun light and heating vents. Also put your aquarium in the coldest part of your house or room. You need to maintain a temperature of 57° to 68° degrees if you do not your Water Dragon will stress out and die.

Can I put any fish in with my Axolotl?
Axolotls cannot be kept with any fish because the fish will eat the Axolotl gills that are around its head. Also a Axolotls will eat any thing they can fit in their month. You do see Axolotls with small feeder fish; like Guppies, but these fish are being used as a live food source for the Axolotl. Another important fact when consideration for tank mates is that the Axolotls like cold water 57° to 68° degrees Fahrenheit, so you cannot put tropical fish in with your Axolotl.

Do Axolotls have teeth?
Axolotls are carnivores, implying they require a meat-based diet. They have rather rudimentary teeth, designed for gripping rather than biting or tearing. As a result, their food is generally swallowed whole, so anything they want to eat must fit into their mouths.

Are Water Dragons Child Friendly?
Yes, Water Dragons are completely child friendly; they do not bite, have no claws and are not poisonous. Also Water Dragons do not breathe fire. Because of this Water Dragons do not require any safety precautions.

How long can an Axolotl go without food?
Axolotls are Cold Blooded animals and because of that, they don’t need to eat every day, unlike humans that are Hot Blooded and do need to eat every day. A well fed Axolotls can go without eating for up to 3 weeks and suffer no long term effects, provided the water temperature Is BELOW 60F. If the Axolotl is a good eater then your Axolotl should be able to up to 3 weeks with out food. If your going on vacation we recommend that you put the Axolotl in the Refrigerator with the water level just covering the Axolotl by 1/2 inch. Put live Red Worms in with Axolotl. They can eat them in the dark. Make sure that the Refrigerator is not set to low and will ice over. To test the Refrigerator for icing by putting some water in the Refrigerator  where you plan to put your Axolotl.

Are Water Dragons Eco-Friendly?
Yes, Water Dragons are Eco-Friendly and have a very small carbon footprint because they do not require any electricity. You do not need a tank light or filtration system (if you do weekly water changes); because of this Water Dragons are one of the most Eco-Friendly pet on the planet.

Can I hold my Axolotl?
I don’t recommend that you hold your axolotl. First of all your axolotl has a protective slime coat and by holding him you would remove some of that protection. Also axolotl’s protect themselves by doing a tail flip that turns the axolotl 90° in less than a second, if your axolotl should accidentally fall out of your hand he would probably die. The reason for this is that the skeleton of the axolotl is very delicate because he spends his entire life in water. So any fall would probably kill your axolotl.

Can a Water Dragon walk around outside of the aquarium?
Adult Water Dragons can walk around when they are out of water. They also can do is a tail flip that will turn your Water Dragon 90° degree turn in less than a second so you must be very careful when handling your Water Dragon outside the water so that it does not fall to the ground.

How much waste does an axolotl produce a week and how often must I clean it?
A Water Dragon (Axolotl) produces about 2 to 3 pieces of solid waste per week. Every day you need to remove all the uneaten food and waste. The best way to do that is to buy a siphon hose at Home Depot in their plumbing department. The manufacture is Watts the model number is 42141425 description; Polyethylene Tubing 3/8″ x1/4” x 25 ft long. The cost is about $6.00 dollars. Cut it to 6 feet long. This is a great tool to take out any uneaten food and waste from your aquarium into a new 5 gallon bucket. It is better to feed too little than too much. Too much food will cause health problems.

Would a Water Dragon (Axolotl) be suited for a garden pond?
It really depends on the temperature of your water. If your pond temperature stays below 68° and does not ice over during the wintertime; then it is possible to put Water Dragons (axolotls) in your pond.

I do not recommend that you put Koi or any other type of Goldfish in your pond, because Koi and Goldfish grow much bigger than the Water Dragon (axolotls) and they may bully or even look at your Water Dragon as a possible food source. What I recommend is that you put minnows in your pond. Minnows our excellent food source for your Water Dragons and very entertaining to watch because minnows like to school together.

I know some folk that like to put small snails in their fish tanks, serving both as biological cleaners and as the occasional snack. Is this something you’d recommend for an axolotl?
I do not recommend any snails in with your Axolotl. If an Axolotl eats a snail, the Axolotl will die because it cannot digest the shell of a snail.

I found Websites that have conflicting information regarding the care and feeding of Water Dragon (Axolotls), what should I do?
Most of the sites out on the Internet should know that an Water Dragon (Axolotl) is an air breathing salamander (amphibian) not a Tropical Fish. These site recommend that you cycle your water and dechlorinate your water when do a water change. Please stay off these sites because they don’t know the difference between an amphibian and a fish and are notorious for giving out wrong information regarding the care and feeding of a Water Dragon (Axolotl).

There are literally hundreds of self appointed Axolotl experts out there on the Internet. Some these guys even have impressive sounding names like PH.D. If you put 100 of these so-called Axolotl experts in one room you would have 100 different opinions. A vast majority of these self appointed experts use Tropical Fish care instructions. They don’t know that an Axolotl is a cold blooded air breathing amphibian. It’s like saying that it’s okay to use Polar Bear care instructions for Human care. Also these  Internet posting are only from book knowledge or from very limited personal experience breeding axolotls. So a good question to ask these self appointed Axolotl experts: Are you currently breeding Axolotls? If so; how long?

More importantly, you need to understand what is motivating the writer to make these postings.  Are these postings emotional? Or are they trying to scare you? Or do they try to make you think that you need a Ph.D. to raise an Axolotl? Could the real purpose be that they want you to join a Forum or send a donation? If so, the information they are posting is probably questionable at best.

Since 2001 we at have continuous practical experience in care and feeding of Water Dragons (Axolotls). The information we provide on our website is time-tested, hands-on practical experience from working with our Water Dragons. We continue to take a practical common sense approach in the care and feeding of our Water Dragons and hope that you will too.

Is it legal to own a Axolotl in California?
It is illegal to ship Axolotl into California and the possession of Axolotl in California is illegal. (SEE LAW BELOW)

All salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are now restricted from entering the state and ownership. The measure was taken in order to reduce the risk of hybridization between the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) and related species not native to California. Non-native salamanders of the tiger salamander complex have been introduced into California primarily through their common use as fishing bait. While I know of no direct correlation between any introduced population and the pet trade, the concern is valid. Axolotls (a name most commonly used for the Mexican species Ambystoma mexicanum but applicable to any Ambystoma larvae or neotenic adult) have been hybridized with the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) under laboratory conditions. All this means that you are unlikely to find axolotls for sale commercially.

California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Excerpts §671. Importation, Transportation and Possession of Live Restricted Animals.
(a) It shall be unlawful to import, transport, or possess alive animals restricted in subsection (c) below except under permit issued by the Department of Fish and Game. Permits may be issued by the department as specified herein and for purposes designated in Section 671.1 subject to the conditions and restrictions designated by the department. Except for mammals listed in Fish and Game Code Section 3950 or live aquatic animals requiring a permit pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 2271, no permit is required by this section for any animal being imported, transported, or possessed pursuant to any other permit issued by the department. Cities and counties may also possession or require a permit for these and any other species not requiring a state permit.

(b) The commission has determined the below listed animals are not normally domesticated in this state. Mammals listed to prevent the depletion of wild populations and to provide for animal welfare are termed “welfare animals”, and are designated by the letter “W”. Those species listed because they pose a threat to native wildlife, the agriculture interests of the state or to public health or safety are termed “detrimental animals” and are designated by the letter “D”. The department shall include the list of welfare and detrimental wild animals as part of DFG MANUAL NO. 671 IMPORTATION, TRANSPORTATION AND POSSESSION OF RESTRICTED SPECIES, to be made available to all permittees and other interested individuals.

(c) Restricted species include: Axolotl

We Protect Axolotls,

Philip Vena
Founder of

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Since 2001 Axolotls Are The Only Spices We Breed

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