Axolotl Temperature – What is The Best For Them?

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I’ve been talking a lot about the hardy nature of axolotls in this series lately. But do you know? Axolotls are quite finicky when it comes to water temperature.

You might wonder, “What’s the best water temperature for your axolotls?”

The answer is pretty straightforward.

Axolotls thrive in cool water temperatures. The ideal temperature range for an axolotl tank is 59 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15°C – 18°C).

In this article, I’ll share all the temperature requirements you need to know to keep your axolotl happy.

Let’s get started!

Ideal Water Temperature for Axolotls

Let’s talk about the basics. Before diving into temperature details, let me reiterate; I do not recommend keeping axolotls with most other species. Axolotls prefer their space. Thus, they do not like interference. Also, axolotl tank and water requirements are quite challenging.

To house a fully grown pair of axolotls, it is recommended to keep an aquarium 24 to 30 inches (or 600mm to 900mm) in length and 12 inches (or 300mm) in width. Additionally, the water height should be around 8-10 inches (or 200-250mm).

I also strictly prohibit keeping your axolotl in soft or distilled water. The pH range should be between 6.5 and 8.0.

The ideal water temperature for Axolotls is around 59 to 65°F. And so, you should never keep them in direct sunlight. Also, axolotls’ eyes are highly sensitive to strong lights as their eyes lack eyelids. Therefore, it is recommended to keep them in dim lights. And even if you want to brightly light your axolotl tank for live plants, I recommend establishing some darker areas in the aquarium for the benefit of your little axie. If you are going to consider live plants, consider low light plants that feed off the water column.

The secret to keeping your axolotl happy and healthy is maintaining the water temperature between the ideal temperature ranges from 59 to 65°F. However, it can be quite daunting to keep the temperature at optimal levels, especially during hot days. Such days demand a reliable aquarium chiller to keep your axolotl tank cool and pleasant.

What is an Aquarium Chiller?

An aquarium chiller is basically a mini-sized refrigerator connected to your axolotl aquarium with an external cooling or chilling system. The aquarium chillers stop your axolotl tank water from exceeding the optimum temperature.

It is an excellent investment for axolotl owners to keep the water flow and temperature maintained. However, they are a bit on a costlier side. For your ease and convenience, I’ve reviewed some of the best aquarium chillers for your smiley axolotls in detail.

Minimum Water Temperature for Axolotls

Axolotls are fond of cold water. Nevertheless, there is a limit to everything. The minimum temperature your axolotls can survive is 10°C or 50°F.

However, the chances of dropping such low-temperature levels are rare since most axolotl owners prefer keeping their adorable pets indoors, where the temperatures are higher. In extreme cases, when the room temperatures drop to 50°F, I recommend getting a heater. But, they won’t be necessary for axolotls in captivity. The temperature might drop to 50°F in the wild but most salamanders are prone to surviving such extreme temperatures as their skin is relatively thicker than pet axolotls. In the wild, when temperatures get too low, axolotls might shed their slime coat, and be vulnerable to stress and diseases.

Therefore, it is imperative to not let the water temperature drop below 50°F.

Maximum Water Temperature for Axolotls

The maximum water temperature your axolotl can be kept is 22°C or 72°F. The axolotls might withstand this temperature, only if exposed to a short period of time. The longer exposure to such extreme temperature might cause:

  1. Hyperactivity
  2. Shorter attention span
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Heat stress
  5. Death

Therefore, I never recommend people living in warmer climates to house axolotls. If you must, you should first get your hands on an aquarium chiller for warmer days.

I also recommend using an aquarium thermometer to monitor your axolotl’s water temperatures.

Do Axolotls Need A Heater?

No, they don’t.

Like I mentioned earlier, axolotls thrive in cool temperatures. Therefore, if you must invest in something, you should get your axolotl a chiller than a heater.

When it comes to axolotls, always remember that being a little cool is acceptable than being a tad bit hot. You should not let your tank water cross 72 degrees Fahrenheit or it will be detrimental to your axolotl.

As far as the heater is concerned, in cold weather, it is recommended to look out for natural sources such as sunlight, room heater, or any lighting source that increases your tank temperatures.

How To Keep an Axolotl Tank Cool?

Axolotls are cold-blooded animals, and since they are purely aquatic animals, their body temperature remains the same temperature. But a gradual increase in temperature might affect them adversely.

Unfortunately, some axolotl owners have lost their entire precious collection of Mexican walking fish in a heat spike. But luckily, today, I am sharing with you some effective ways to keep your axolotl tank cool. Here’s a quick video from The Axolotl Whispher. I’ll go in more detail below:

Location Matters

The easiest and best thing to do to keep your axolotl tank cool in all seasons is by placing it in a cool environment. Away from sunlight and other external sources. This will keep your axolotls healthy because:

  1. It will keep the water temperature in an ideal range
  2. It inhibits the growth of algae

The basement of your house may not be the most desirable place to keep your tank. But trust me, it’s the safest and coolest option in hot, humid weather.

Cooling Aquarium Fans

For keeping the temperatures maintained, fans are your best pal. A good quality aquarium fan brings down the temperature between 4-6 degrees lower, which is not at all bad for their price.

Aquarium Cooling Fan

Aquarium cooling fans are cheap and effective ways of pushing heat away from the aquarium

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Pro tip: While installing an aquarium fan, make sure it hits as much of the water’s surface as possible to dissipate heat from the water and air in the tank.

Aquarium Chillers

When fans don’t do the job, chillers come to the rescue!

Aquarium chillers are by far the easiest way to keep your axolotl water cool. Aquarium chillers allow setting your desired temperatures. Hence, hassle-free.

Budget Option
Active Aqua Chiller

Budget Option

A budget friendly aquarium chill that offers a variety of models and sizes

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Ice cubes or Ice Bottles

Many axolotl owners I know swear by this cooling method.

It is recommended to put a few ice cubes in the tank to keep it cool and pleasant. However, if you’re keeping a frozen water bottle, I advise keeping it mainly out of the water, in a corner of the tank.

Pro Tip: Always keep your ice cubes or frozen water bottles ready. Because as soon as the first one melts or thaws, they should be replaced shortly.

Use Minimal Lighting

It’s no wonder that lighting produces heat. Axolotls, in general, do not need special lightings. However, if you have live plants in your tank, I recommend getting lights that do not produce a lot of heat.

Consider Keeping A Cooling Unit In Your Pet’s Room

Another alternative is to purchase a mobile AC unit to keep the room that you keep your Axolotl in cool. This can actually save you money overall as you won’t have to cool your entire home and will still work in a pinch if your AC ever fails.

Value Priced
BLACK+DECKER Portable AC

Mobile AC units are an unconventional, but very effective and cheaper solution over many chiller options

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Go Lid-free

If you have a lid on your aquariums, I suggest that you keep it open. It will not only encourage evaporation but also help in escaping heat. Ultimately, cooling down your tanks.

The Importance of Cold Water for Axolotls

Since axolotls are cold-blooded animals, cold water works wonders for them. It is recommended to keep axolotls at very cold temperatures for quite some time.

The benefits of cold water for axolotls are:

  1. It reduces your aquatic animal’s need for food.
  2. The immune system works normally and the metabolism slows down
  3. Harmful bacteria and fungus do not reproduce in cold temperatures
  4. Many axolotl owners claim that their axies grow healthier when exposed to a season of winter
  5. And if your axie is sick or wounded, cold water is proven1 to heal wounds than normal water

Nevertheless, the decreased urge for feeding might reduce ammonia content from your pet axolotl, but the water can become highly toxic from any uneaten food.

Therefore, testing the water for ammonia is the safest option.

Axolotl Temperature FAQs

Can axolotls (Mexican walking fish) live in 70-degree water?

Yes, axolotls can live in 70 degree Ferhenheit water, which is considered room temperature.

Axolotls being cold-blooded animals seek places where the temperature ranges between 10-20 degrees Celsius (50-70 degrees Fahrenheit).

What temperature is too high for axolotl?

When the water temperature reaches above 24 degree Celcius or 75 degree Ferhenheit, the axolotls go in stressful conditions.

Such temperatures causes your axolotls to be highly energetic with a drastic increase in appetite.

What temperature is too cold for axolotls?

Keep in mind that an axolotl cannot continue to survive very low temperatures indefinitely. It shuts down many important metabolic functions – like digestion – in the cold, and must eventually turn those functions back on to survive. More than 20 days or so at 40F is usually fatal.

A rapid change in temperature is a different matter. Axolotls need time to adjust their metabolic functions to changing temperature. If they don’t have enough time they are unable to slow metabolic functions, change enzyme production and blood chemistry, and reduce oxygen demand. The sudden cold turns their fat to a jelly-like consistency, and thickens the blood so much that the heart struggles to pump it. Organs rapidly run out of oxygen and begin to die. This can severely affect nerve signal transmission, resulting in heart attack and fatal seizures.

What temperature is too cold for axolotls?

Keep in mind that an axolotl cannot continue to survive very low temperatures indefinitely. It shuts down many important metabolic functions – like digestion – in the cold, and must eventually turn those functions back on to survive. More than 20 days or so at 40 Fahrenheit is usually fatal.

A rapid change in temperature is a different matter. Axolotls need time to adjust their metabolic functions to changing temperature. If they don’t have enough time they are unable to slow metabolic functions, change enzyme production and blood chemistry, and reduce oxygen demand. The sudden cold turns their fat to a jelly-like consistency, and thickens the blood so much that the heart struggles to pump it. Organs rapidly run out of oxygen and begin to die. This can severely affect nerve signal transmission, resulting in heart attack and fatal seizures.

How cold is too cold for an axolotl tank?

The minimum temperature your axolotls can survive is 10°C or 50°F. In fact, cold temperature is fruitful to keep your pet axolotls happy as they prevent the spread of bacteria and other infection causing fungi.

However, the axolotls cannot survive very low temperatures for a long period of time. When exposed to temperatures at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, many body functions of axolotls shut down, including digestion. Also, be informed that axolotls cannot detect sudden changes in temperatures like humans do. They need ample time to adjust their metabolic functions to the changing water temperature. When exposed to sudden low temperatures, their blood thickens and fat turns into a jelly like substance which might cause oxygen deficiency. Eventually your axolotl dies.

Can Axolotls live in 75-degree water?

75 degree Fahrenheit water is quite detrimental for your axolotl. In fact, anything above 70 degrees might put your axolotl into stress. At water temperatures above 75 degree Fahrenheit, your axolotls may show signs of:

– Decreased appetite
– Swelling
– Pale patches on the skin
– Floating
– Decreased lifespan

What temperature should an Axolotls tank be?

The ideal water temperature for an axolotl tank is around 59°F to 65°F. Therefore, be advised no matter where you live, your water temperatures should not exceed 65°F. The high temperature of your axolotl tank not only disturbs your axolotls, but put them in a lot of health risks.

Final Thoughts

Axolotls are happy and healthy pets that adorn your home aquariums. However, as a responsible pet owner, you should always look after the regular maintenance such as meeting their tank requirements, water requirements and catering to other water changes.

The ideal temperature for your axolotls is around 59 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to keep your beautiful axie happy, make sure to maintain water conditions and temperatures tailored for your axolotls’ needs.

by Mark

Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping - both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.

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