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The Only Guide You Need To Know How To Breed Axolotls

It is pretty understandable when people confuse Axolotls with fish. But you’ll be surprised to discover that it is actually not a fish, it is an amphibian. However, it cannot walk on land like other amphibians do which makes them resemble fish more. Most of them lack the ability of metamorphosis and do not significantly undergo major changes throughout their life. Those that are able to go through metamorphosis look more like their tiger salamander relatives. This shows that they have a close connection with the tiger salamander of North America. They have tiny limbs but have external gills (as opposed to the internal gills in fish). 

Axolotls are oviparous amphibians, and the males fertilize the eggs after the female lays them. If you have been trying to find ways to help these tiny fish-like amphibians breed, this article is the perfect guide for you.

When Should You Start Breeding Them?

When starting out as an Axolotl breeder, you have to know the perfect time to breed them. In nature, Axolotls usually breed around late spring and late winter, so the ideal breeding season is between December and June. You will have to create feasible conditions that help the Axolotls breeding during this time. Light duration has a substantial impact on their breeding behavior. To optimize breeding, both genders are kept in minimal daylight for weeks. Afterward, the light duration gradually increases, and the female and male Axolotls are kept in one place to encourage breeding. 

Assemble the Perfect Axolotl Tank

Tanks are essential because space matters a lot for their growth; Axolotls are generally bottom dwellers and require quite a bit of horizontal space to move around. You should also add a filter and heater in the tank to keep them comfortable. You need to add a lot of natural or plastic plants in the tank to help them with breeding. Plants are essential because female Axolotls can easily cling to them and lay their eggs; later on, you can easily separate the females. The male Axolotls require slate stones or flat surfaces to release their spermatophores or sperm packets; during this process, they need to stay stationary for it to be successful. During mating season, privacy is crucial for Axolotls, and according to, you don’t need to enter their space to change the water while they’re going through their mating process. Also, if you have always kept the two genders together, it is essential to keep them apart at 20 degrees for up to three weeks before starting the breeding sessions. When you put male and female Axolotls back in the same tank, keep the temperature at around5 degrees. 

Understanding Spawning and Breeding

The breeding process is started by males when they show interest by giving the female’s hindquarters a slight nudge using their nose. It is essential to observe these smaller signs because this tells you that they are ready for the breeding session. You will generally see the male Axolotl swimming around the tank in aggressive writhing motions while keeping the tail raised. If the female is responsive to the gestures of the male counterpart, he will begin courting her by leading her around the tank (nose to the tail manner). During this, the male usually releases around 25 spermatophores and leads the female to them, who gets directly on top of spermatophores, and her cloaca picks them up. At the same time, the male keeps on leading the female to more spermatophores. The fertilization process goes on internally, and you can see the female Axolotl giving soft nudges to the male as well. This intriguing and unique mating dance can go on for hours! After about 12 or 72 hours of breeding, the process of laying eggs starts, and a female Axolotl can lay as many as 1500 eggs at a time. They usually select plant leaves, decorative objects, or rocks to lay eggs on. Once you observe that the egg-laying process has been completed, you need to separate the pair. 

Decisions Concerning the Eggs

These are big decisions! As a newbie aquarist, you may struggle with deciding whether to keep the eggs in the same tank or remove them from there. It is good news that these are pretty tough in texture, and it will not be much difficult to transport them. You will notice a jelly-like attachment that anchors the eggs, but it can easily be separated with your fingers. The average hatching time for the eggs is usually 17 days.

As you gather more and more information about Axolotls, it becomes easy for you to create the perfect breeding conditions even when it is not the breeding season. Once the eggs are hatched, you will have lots of larvae in the tank to look after. The breeding process is enjoyable, but you need to gather as much information as possible before you start.