Pregnant Axolotl Or Sick Axolotl? Pregnancy and Common Health Issues

pregnant axolotl

You can quickly tell whether you have a pregnant Axolotl on your hands, or they are just sick by simply monitoring their behaviors. While a sick Axolotl will display signs of illness such as lethargy, loss of scales, and loss of appetite, a pregnant axolotl will carry on as usual while maybe showing a slightly bloated belly.

In this article, we will go into detail, providing information regarding Axolotl breeding, pregnancy, and spawning whilst comparing it to all signs and symptoms that your female might not be expecting but instead is sick or obese.

Pregnant Axolotl – Signs

There are very few signs that indicate a pregnant Axoloti, due to the short amount of time these salamanders stay pregnant. Therefore, there really isn’t much to look for in terms of symptoms.

The best indication of a pregnant Axolotl is a round, bloated belly that looks a little bigger than usual; this is due to the eggs they are carrying.

Normal Axolotl stomachs should be the size of their heads unless they are carrying a sack containing hundreds of eggs.

Axolotls will only lay eggs that are fertilized, so if you notice a ton of eggs in the aquarium, you should start preparing for a bunch of babies or get ready to cull them.

Culling the eggs is usually done when pregnancy isn’t planned, and there is a chance the babies are the result of inbreeding, which leads to a lot of health issues for them, and the eggs should be destroyed before they have the chance of hatching.

Pregnancy In Axolotls – The Process

pregnant axolotl

Once the male is ready to breed, he will initiate the act by nudging the female. If she is willing and able, the process begins, and the male will start to move around the tank, depositing sperm. The female will follow his lead and position herself over each one collecting them, and fertilizing her eggs.

This process can take a few hours to complete as the female collects multiple sperm deposits. Once that is done, you’ll have a pregnant axolotl.

How Long Is Axolotl Pregnant For?

Once the breeding process is over, there isn’t much time to wonder whether or not your salamander is pregnant.; this is because axolotls are not pregnant for very long, from the time of successful breeding and fertilization to the time they spawn is between 12 and 72 hours. 

How Many Eggs Do Axolotl Lay?

Axolotls are known for laying many eggs. In a single spawning, a pregnant axolotl can lay between 1000 and 1500 eggs. If you plan on breeding your Axolotls, you need to be fully prepared for the little ones to arrive.

How Often Do Axolotl Lay Eggs?

Technically, a female Axolotl can lay eggs at almost any time as long as there is a male in the tank to fertilize them. However, this is not a good idea and not at all healthy for your salamander. 

It is best to only allow your Axolotl to lay once every six months. Spawning such a large amount of eggs can be very draining on the female’s body, and over-breading her can cause a lot of health problems.

The egg-laying process can take up to 72-hour for the female to empty a full clutch, which is three full days of delivery. 

What To Do With The Eggs?

For starters, it is important to remove the adults once the pregnant axolotl lays the eggs. This is because the adults will eat the eggs. The female axolotl will lay the eggs all over the aquarium, on top of rocks, plants, tank decorations, etc., so it would be impossible to keep the eggs sectioned off, making the removal of the parents the best option.

Another important thing to do is to check if the eggs are healthy. Healthy Axolotl eggs will be a dark brown color; unless the mom is albino, then her eggs will be white.

Signs of Sick Axolotl

pregnant axolotl

It’s important to know what are the signs of a sick axolotl, so you can tell the difference between pregnant axolotl and sick axolotl.

It is much easier to tell if an Axolotl is sick compared to pregnant. They will show many signs and symptoms indicating there is something wrong such as:

  • Lack of growth
  • Noticeable physical Injuries to limbs, gills, or tail: 
  • Poor balance while swimming
  • Gills begin to fall off
  • Back deformities
  • Jaundice
  • Skin lesions
  • Loss of appetite
  • Curled tail tip
  • Bloating

Some of these symptoms can be due to a whole slew of issues, and it is essential to keep a close eye on your salamander and note everything you find off; this will help diagnose where the problem lies.

The main symptom of a sick axolotl that can be confused with pregnancy is bloating.

What Causes Bloating in Axolotls?

There are a few different reasons your Axolotls may be bloated, the only positive one being pregnancy. The remaining reasons include bacterial infection, impaction, kidney failure, hyperthermia, and thyroid disorders. We are looking at these common health issues that axolotls deal with in the section below.

To learn more about bloating in axolotls, head over to this article Axolotl Bloated Belly? What Causes It And How To Treat it!

Common Health Problems In Axolotl

After monitoring your Axolotl, you can compare the list of symptoms to the ones associated with the most common health problems found in this species. This is going to assist you in narrowing down the possible disease and give you better insight on how to help.


Axolotls can become ill and even die from parasites that can come from bad foods. They can also become infected with parasites through their bodies since they do not have any protection covering their skin.

Symptoms of parasites include:

  • Mucus secretion
  • Loss of appetite

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections are often caused by poorly kept aquariums and absolutely preventable. This disease can come from infected foods given to your Axolotl or from a dirty tank. Either way, this can cause a lot of painful symptoms and can even kill your salamander.

Symptoms of bacterial infections include:

  • Red patches on the body
  • Fin or tail rot
  • Anal and gill bleeding
  • Ulcers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of scales
  • Hyperthermia
  • Saprolegnia
  • Toxicosis

Gastric Blockage or Impaction

Because Axolotls eat their food by inhaling it, it leaves room for foreign objects such as small rocks or fish to become lodged in their digestive tract, not able to pass, causing impaction. Good options for rock decorations are rocks larger than the axolotl’s head. You can purchase some from the link below:

Sometimes owners can confuse gastric block for pregnancy in female Axolotls, which could lead to prolonged illness.

Symptoms of gastric blockage include:


Hyperthermia occurs when your Axolotls tank temperature is too high. Your salamander can get overheated easily if its environment is too warm.

High temperatures in an aquarium can also lead to bacteria growth causing infections that can lead to death.

Hyperthermia is another illness that can mimic the signs of pregnancy due to a bloated belly.

Signs of hyperthermia include:

  • Fluid build-up in the stomach
  • Lack of appetite
  • Floating uncontrollably


While stress may not be an actual illness, it can lead to your Axolotl’s susceptibility to infections and illnesses. Stress is one of the most common health issues found in Axolotls in captivity.

A few main reasons for stressed-out Anxolotls include over-crowded tanks, incorrect water perimeters, and aggressive Axolotls mates.

What To Do If My Axolotl Is Sick?

There are many treatments you can do yourself or through a vet for a sick Axolotl. However, it is crucial you know what is causing the symptoms before treating them.

If your Axolotl has a bacterial infection, you can give them a salt bath and constantly check to make sure the tank is clean and at the proper temperature. In case that doesn’t work, you may need antibiotic injections administered by a vet.

If the problem is due to parasites, and antiparasitic medicine will need to be added to the tank. 

For impaction, most cases will get better on their own. However, if your Axolotl is unable to pass the object, a veterinarian may have to perform surgery to remove it.

The best way to treat a sick Axolotl is by taking all precautions to keep them from getting sick in the first place. If all else fails, always contact your vet.

Final Thoughts

If the only symptom you have noticed coming from your female Axolotl is a slightly bloated belly, there is a good chance she is pregnant. However, if you notice any other signs or symptoms, it may be time to contact your vet.

If you do have a pregnant axolotl on your hands, it is extremely important that you have a safe place for each of the eggs you are trying to hatch, and the mom is in a tank alone to rest and recover from all she has been through.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

What Are The Signs Of A Healthy Axolotl?

The best way to tell if your Axolotl is healthy is by constantly monitoring their behaviors and appearance. As long as they seem happy, active, and free from apparent injuries, parasites, or markings, chances are good your Axolotl is healthy. 

How Often Do Axolotl Breed?

The sexual maturity of an Axolotl can start as young as six months old. However, it is recommended that a female doesn’t get pregnant until she is at least 18 months. This is because laying eggs takes a lot of them, and they need all their energy and strength at this time to grow.

One your female Axolotl is old enough (and healthy enough) for breeding; they can do so at pretty much any time of the year as long as the aquarium conditions are right. 

The water temperature and length of daylight will induce breeding, usually occurring around December through April.



My name is Iliyana and I'm a passionate animal lover and pet owner. As there is significantly less information online about unusual and exotic pets, I decided to found this website and recruit expert writers to help pet owners.

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