How Old is a 3-Inch Axolotl? Aging An Axolot

So! You decided to adopt a pet finally, and you’ve got your heart set on bringing home an adorable little axolotl. Well, you’ve certainly made an excellent choice! They’re easy to care for, fascinating to watch, and generally have long life spans. Of course, one issue with the adoption process is that you don’t always know how old they are. While it’s not an imperative piece of information, it’s still nice to know. If you’re looking for a frame of reference, this is how old a 3-inch Axolotl would be.

How old is a 3 inch axolotl 1 1 How Old is a 3-Inch Axolotl? Aging An Axolot

How old is a 3-inch axolotl? 

A 3-inch axolotl typically falls between the 3 – 4 months old range. This, of course, is merely a rough estimate since there’s no reliable method of age-gauging these amphibians. Unless someone has been keeping track of how old an axolotl is from birth, you won’t know for sure. 

True, a 3-inch axolotl is most likely about three months old, but there’s always the possibility that they’ve had an expedited or stunted growth.

How Fast do Axolotls Grow?

Once again, each axolotl is a different case, so there isn’t a rule of thumb for how fast or slow an axolotl grows.

That said, you can expect rapid growth until they reach the juvenile stage of life, which will take them five months at most to reach. Until this point, axolotls typically grow about an inch each month, although some grow even faster.

Overall, it will take between 18 and 24 months for an axolotl to reach its full size and sexual maturity. Unlike many other animals, adult axolotls grow after they reach adulthood.

An axolotl is considered an adult when it is sexually mature and can reproduce. This can take anywhere between 6 and 9 months.

How Big do Axolotls Get?

A fully grown axolotl can get to be anywhere from 7 inches to 18 inches. 

Given the massive difference in sizes here, you might be thinking, “how do I know how much my axolotl will grow?” This is a pretty significant question considering you need to know how big your tank and other amenities should be.

Well, there are a few factors that determine the growth potential of an axolotl:

How old is a 3 inch axolotl 1 How Old is a 3-Inch Axolotl? Aging An Axolot


Unfortunately, the first thing that affects your axolotl’s growth is out of your control. As with basically every creature in the animal kingdom, genetics play a pretty significant role in determining how big your salamander gets. 

All you can do is adjust to accommodate your axolotl as it grows.

Tank Size

Axolotls are pretty incredible creatures. They can fully regenerate lost limbs and are experts at adapting to their environment. A juvenile axolotl placed in a smaller axolotl tank will stop growing to adjust to its living space.

Of course, you should never purposefully give your young axolotls less habitat room to live solely because you want to keep them small. You should still give them the minimum tank size required for them to sustain long, healthy lives.


Is your little axolotl buddy getting enough nutrition? If not, this may stunt their growth and pose other detrimental health risks.

To ensure your axolotl is getting all the nutrients it needs, ensure you’re feeding it the right kind and amount of worms.

Water Parameters

While axolotls aren’t high maintenance, they require proper water parameters to survive. For example, something like an imbalance in PH or high nitrate levels can potentially halt your pet’s growth and even kill it if you’re not careful.

If you aren’t sure about the water conditions for your axolotl, then you should check out this ultimate guide on caring for axolotls.


The last thing you want to do is overcrowd a tank! While keeping axolotls together is perfectly fine in itself, stuffing too many in a cramped space can cause a multitude of issues – one of them being stunted growth.

Is There Any Way to Predict How Big My Axolotl Will Get?

Other than contacting the breeder, you never know what you’re getting with an axolotl. It’s unfortunate, and chances are, you aren’t prepared to host a behemoth of an axolotl that grows to be over 20 inches long. 

Luckily, you’ll be glad to know that those giant axolotls you see in pictures and aquariums are quite pretty rare. Most pet axolotls only grow to about 9 inches, which is the standard and expected size of the species. 

Assuming you have the minimum proper tank parameters, it’s unlikely you’ll get an axolotl that grows over a foot long. As mentioned before, they’re adaptive and develop to accommodate the size of their environment. 

Just as long as you do everything right, your axolotl friend should stay at a manageable and healthy length.

How Big Does an Axolotl Have to be to Sell?

An axolotl should be at least 3 inches long before it can be sold. It would be best if you avoided any sellers marketing juveniles under this benchmark.

Optimal Buying Size

Should you get axolotls that are 3-inches long? While this is perfectly fine, the optimal size to buy a healthy axolotl is 4-5 inches. This indicates that their growth is moving along adequately, and there aren’t any blatant visual health conditions.

Alternatively, you can get one from a breeder in the juvenile stage (6-7 inches), which will save you some of the initial startup care.

Frankly, the choice is up to you. As long as they’re no smaller than 3 inches, you’re pretty much golden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some common questions regarding axolotls.

Is there a maximum tank size for axolotls?

Nope! Axolotls can live perfectly healthy lives in larger tanks, and there’s no limit other than the minimum size.

How old do axolotls live to be?

Axolotls usually live between 10 and 15 years as pets. With proper care, they can even live upwards of 20 years!

Final Thoughts

There are many factors that influence the growth rate of an axolotl, including nutrition and tank size. However, it can generally be assumed that a 3 inch axolotl is approximately three months old.

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