Can Axolotls Eat Red Wigglers? (Red Words)

Red wigglers: a popular red worm, but can axolotls safely dine on them? In this guide, we dissect the suitability of these worms for our aquatic friends. If you’re eager to enrich your axolotl’s diet, this exploration promises clarity. Let’s dive into the details.

Can My Axolotl Eat a Red Wiggler?

Yes! Your axolotl can eat red wigglers! They’re high in protein, which makes them ideal for a predatory animal such as the axolotl, and can help bulk up the younger ones. Some enthusiasts say that axolotls don’t enjoy the taste of these worms, but this varies from animal to animal.

While red wigglers are nutritious, they can release a bitter substance that axolotls might find unpalatable. This can occasionally cause axolotls to spit them out.

If you opt to feed them red wigglers, ensure it’s done occasionally and observe their reaction to determine if it’s a suitable treat.

Can Axolotls Eat Red Wigglers 1 Can Axolotls Eat Red Wigglers? (Red Words)

So you’re thinking about getting an axolotl? How fun! Like any intelligent future axolotl owner, you’re undoubtedly looking for more information on how to feed them best.

They’re a nutritious food source and an excellent addition to your axolotl’s diet; make sure that you’re mixing other foods in, too, so you can feed your pet a well-rounded diet.

Axolotl Dietary Concerns

The axolotl is a carnivorous creature that hunts for:

  • Insects
  • Tadpoles
  • Snails
  • Small fish

Axolotls will also eat any other animal they can suck into their mouths. 

It’s essential to remember that axolotls don’t chew their food; they have nonfunctioning teeth and simply suck and swallow their meals whole. Anything you feed them must be small enough to eat in one shot.

The food you acquire for your pet should be fresh and sourced from somewhere reputable or freeze-dried to avoid exposing your axolotl to dangerous bacteria or pests. The axolotl is a delicate pet, so this part is crucial.

What Is a Red Wiggler?

The red wiggler is the smallest composting worm you can find! They grow from 1.5 to 4 inches and are very popular for feeding various animals, including axolotls. It’s also one of the most common types of composting worms.

They’re a great alternative to nightcrawlers, especially when feeding smaller axolotls that cannot consume the larger specimens. They can be gut-loaded and raised in small compostable bins if that’s something you’re interested in exploring.

Where Can I Get Red Wigglers?

You can get red wigglers easily, either online or in a brick-and-mortar store.

Wherever you choose to buy them, research your seller. You want to buy from a reputable source, as live wigglers can give your axolotl parasites or other diseases. Something like that could be devastating to a delicate creature. 

You could also buy freeze-dried red wigglers to avoid worrying about the dangers of live food.

Should I Feed My Axolotl Live Red Wigglers?

In the wild, your axolotl would hunt their prey! So it can be tempting to want to recreate their wild experiences as much as possible.

You can undoubtedly feed them live red wigglers. Use a pair of tweezers, carefully lower one worm into the tank, and watch your axolotl get to work.

Be careful not to add too many to the tank at once. You don’t want to dirty the water if your pet doesn’t eat them all at once.

Can I Feed My Axolotl Dead Red Wigglers?

Not only can you feed your axolotl dead red wigglers, but it might also be healthier in some circumstances. 

There’s a danger in feeding them fresh live red wigglers because they may contain parasites or carry diseases that could harm your axolotl. Providing them with freeze-dried red wigglers eliminates that danger.

Some owners choose to cut up the red wigglers into smaller pieces, a tactic used with younger axolotls. 

Does Gut Loading Help with Feeding Red Wigglers?

Can Axolotls Eat Red Wigglers 1 1 Can Axolotls Eat Red Wigglers? (Red Words)

It can! By purchasing red wigglers and then feeding them a healthy diet, you can ensure that your axolotls get the best possible nutrients out of their food. You are what you eat, after all!

It’s not as difficult or time-consuming to create your own worm compost as you imagine! You might even enjoy it and start to produce your own red wigglers. To do this, you’ll want to keep your red wigglers in a container full of good-quality compost.

Other Live Foods for Axolotls?

While red wigglers are an excellent source of protein and can be great for bulking up young axolotls, there are other live foods you can feed your favorite salamander. Bloodworms are a common snack, but they are usually given dead. You should encourage variety in your pet’s diet, as just one type of food won’t give them everything they need.

Nightcrawlers (Earthworms)

Nightcrawlers are a popular axolotl food abundant almost everywhere. They come with many of the same pros and cons as red wigglers.


Blackworms are much smaller worms that axolotls enjoy munching on. The primary drawback to this food is that they’re so small you often buy a lot of them to feed your pet. They can make a real mess of your tank if you don’t clean them up immediately.


Also known as the water flea, daphnia are small planktonic crustaceans you can purchase online or in pet stores. They’re tiny and are ideal for much younger axolotls.

Ghost Shrimp

Small freshwater shrimp have a soft body rather than a rigid exoskeleton like other larger shrimps. Because of this, they’re perfectly safe for your axolotl to eat without having to worry about hard surfaces. 

Brine Shrimp

Another small shrimp, these are equally as good as the ghost shrimp in that they are small and soft enough for an axolotl to consume without great difficulty.

Wrapping It Up: Can Axolotls Eat Red Wigglers?

So, can axolotls eat red wigglers? Red wigglers are an attractive choice to feed your growing axolotls and can be added to their regular food menu. They’re nutritious and easily obtained, found in stores both online and in person. 

You can feed them live or use freeze-dried worms, but whatever you choose, you can feel confident you’re offering your axolotl something healthy and yummy. Have more questions about axolotls? Check out our other articles on axolotl care.

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