The axolotl is a friendly and easy-to-care pet. These are aquatic pets, so you probably have an aquarium which makes you wonder when to clean the axolotl tank?
Commonly mistaken for a fish, though it is known as a Mexican walking fish, axolotls are amphibians living underwater and have become increasingly popular due to their interactive nature. Axolotls can live up to 15 years so they can be a long-term companion. However, their longevity and health depend on their living conditions, and a clean tank plays a crucial role in offering a hygienic environment.
Table of Contents
- How do you know when to clean your Axolotl’s tank?
- How Often Should I Clean My Axolotl Tank?
- How Do I Change The Water In My Axolotl Tank?
How do you know when to clean your Axolotl’s tank?
How often you will need to clean your axolotl’s tank will change as your pet grows. Changing at least 20% of the water weekly and doing a complete cleaning process once a month is recommended. As your axolotl grows, you should gradually increase the weekly water change percentage to 80%.
How frequently you clean the axolotl tank also depends on several factors, including the tank size, your pet’s feed, the number of axolotls in your tank, and the filter’s effectiveness. Axolotl also tends to be sloppy by stepping onto their waste and spreading it all over the tank.
While axolotls are fun and interactive pets, they require more frequent care as they grow old, so it is common to wonder how often you should clean the axolotl tank. We are axolotl lovers, and having kept these tiny crawling pets of all ages, we are well aware of the routine care they need.
How Often Should I Clean My Axolotl Tank?
The tank cleaning time varies according to your routine. There’s no hard and fast rule bounding to a particular routine. However, cleaning the entire tank once a month is one aspect you should not ignore for your pet’s long and healthy life.
Besides that, cleaning the tank is vital for the filter’s health. A filthy tank will choke the filter and reduce its life even when you clean it.
Adult axolotl’s solid waste is larger, and it can be difficult for the filter to process it. Unattended waste contaminated the tank much faster, forcing you to clean the tank entirely and more frequently.
If you have one adult axolotl in a ten-gallon tank, you should clean the tank with a gravel siphon fortnightly to ensure any solid pieces not picked up by the filter are disposed of. If you have two axolotls in a ten-gallon tank, you will have to shorten the span of picking solid waste from two weeks to a week or ten days at most.
Besides waste, uneaten food also populates the tank to be cleaned to keep the water healthy. Droppings spread ammonia, and uneaten food builds up high nitrate levels that are harmful and can cause bacterial diseases and infections to your pet.
Changing a quarter or half of the water weekly will eliminate 90% of the toxic elements that build-up due to dropping and food residue. An excellent technique to catch more impurities is to stir the water well with any item, preferably the gravel siphon since you will already be using it, to lift the impurities off the ground.
It is easier to change the water more frequently in a small tank. But what can you do if you have a large tank? Changing water for a large tank with a water capacity of 12 tons or more can be time-consuming and hectic. However, you don’t need to panic.
You can simply find your way by installing two water filters for a more powerful cleaning system and picking up sizable solid waste with the gravel siphon to keep the water free of intoxicants.
How Do I Change The Water In My Axolotl Tank?
Changing the water properly is an imminent step in taking care of your little axolotl. Suppose you do not clean the tank properly.
In that case, filth and impurities will keep increasing the ammonia and nitrate levels in the water, pouring your efforts into waste and affecting the axolotl’s health. Before we talk to guide you with the steps of cleaning the water, you should consider ways to keep the water as clean as possible.
This includes getting a water testing kit. A water testing kit checks the water for impurities, including bacteria, ammonia, nitrates, chlorine, and pH levels. By ensuring these elements’ levels, you can know when to change the water and when not to waste your time and efforts.
Besides that, the feed you provide to your pet also determines how much they contaminate the water. Daphnia, bloodworms, ghost shrimps, cherry shrimps, and pallets make some tasty and nutritious food for an axolotl. But anything with a hard exoskeleton, feeder fish, and processed meat is a no-go zone when feeding your axolotl.
These items are hard to digest for the axolotl and cause bacterial and fungal infections, also affecting their digestive systems.
Axolotls will produce more waste with a weak digestive system and ultimately ask you to change the water more frequently.
The tank cleaning process depends on whether you are changing water partially or cleaning the tank entirely. If you are replacing the water partially as your weekly routine, you can do that by:
- Draining out the water as much as you want with a mug and pouring it into the bucket
- Pick up any solid waste with a siphon gravel
- Pour it into a toilet or in the soil in your front or backyard
- Drain the wastewater into a toilet
- Refill the tank with clean water
On the other hand, follow the process below for cleaning the tank entirely:
- Turn off and take out the filter
- Transfer the axolotl to a smaller bowl through a fishnet
- Pick out the decorations and rocks and sock them into bleach
- Empty the water with a water siphon
- Remove all dirt and sand with a gravel siphon
- Scrub the tank’s walls with an algae scrubber
- Rinse the tank from inside
- Use an aquarium-safe lime cleaner on both sides to clean and shine the walls
- Clean the filter
- Rinse the decorations and rocks and ensure all bleach is washed off properly
- Replace the sand
- Refill tank with clean water
- Place the filter and decorations in place
- Put the axolotl back in and enjoy your pet feeling delighted!