The Perfect Axolotl Water Parameters For A Healthy Axolotl

Axolotl Water Parameters

For your axolotl to be healthy you need to get the axolotl water parameters just right. This includes water temperature, nitrate, ammonia, etc. As axolotls are sensitive animals, even the slightest change in their environment can set them off, result in health problems and stress for your pet.

This simple and straight forward guide will help you set up you axolotl water parameters perfectly, so your axolotl leads a happy and healthy life.

The Perfect Axolotl Water Parameters

For your axolotl to be healthy and stress-free, you need to keep an eye on the following axolotl water parameters:

  • Temperature if t
  • Water compound levels (nitrate, ammonia, pH, salinity)
  • Water hardness
  • Type of water

Let’s look at these in more detail.

Axolotl Water Parameters – Water Temperature

axolotl water parameters

When looking at what is the requirement for the axolotl water parameters, getting the water temperature right is essential.

This is important because if the water temperature is too cold, it will lead to your axolotl’s metabolism slowing down too much, not eating and throwing up their food.

Whereas if the water temperature is too warm, it will result in your axolotl becoming stressed and subsequently very ill. One of the signs that your axolotl is stressed because of the temperature being too warm is thrashing around and swimming frantically. For more information on this head over here Axolotl Thrashing And Frantic Swimming? When To Worry

Maintaining the right water temperature for your axolotl is essential. The ideal axolotl water temperature is 59-65 °F.

Getting the water temperature is important but it’s also as important to maintain the same water temperature in the tank. This is to avoid any sudden temperature changes as that would stress your axolotl, make them ill and can even be fatal.

Maintaining Axolotl Water Temperature

To maintain the right axolotl water parameters, it’s important to monitor the water temperature using an aquarium thermometer.

So, what to do if you need to cool down your axolotl’s tank?

  • Location. The first thing to consider is if the tank’s location is optimal. Is the tank in direct sunlight? Near any electronics? The best place to keep your axolotl’s tank is somewhere cool such as a basement or a room that doesn’t get much sunlight.
  • Use the ice water bottle method – 1L bottle for 20-gallon tank and 2L for 40-gallon tank. Place 2 bottles of water in the freezer. Once frozen place the first bottle it in the axolotl’s tank. Once the water bottle has melted, place the other bottle in the tank and place the first bottle back in the freezer. Keep monitoring the temperature throughout the process. Once you’ve reached the temperature you want, now you just need to maintain it. This method will need constant supervision and it’s not a permanent solution. This method is recommended as temporary solution until you get fans.
  • Buy fans. There’s a low chance of the fan failing, it creates a stable reduction in temperature and doesn’t requires constant attention (unlike the frozen bottles).
  • Buy a chiller. This can be costly, starting at $300. So, if you need to save up for this purchase, you can use the first two methods as a temporary solution.

Axolotl Water Parameters – Water Compounds

The next most important thing when looking at the axolotl water parameters is ensuring that the ammonia, nitrate and pH levels are correct.


Axolotls will always produce ammonia as their poop contains high levels of ammonia. However, this can be very toxic if not removed from the water.

The ammonia levels in your axolotl’s tank should be 0. If there is even the slightest spike in ammonia levels, it can result in ammonia burns and even be fatal for your pet.

Head over here to learn more about how to treat ammonia burns Why Is My Axolotl Turning Red? Is Red Axolotl Skin A Concern?

How To Lower Ammonia In The Tank Or Prevent It From Building Up?
  1. You need to invest in a good filter. A biofilter will provide a physical substrate for beneficial bacteria to colonise so they can detoxify wastes.
  2. Tank size. Make sure that your axolotl tank is big enough. The tank shouldn’t be smaller than 20 gallons. Ideally, it needs to be 40 gallons. This way any leftover waste is more saturated in the water. The more water, the less chance of ammonia build-up.
  3. Regular water changes.
  4. Regular and prompt removal of uneaten food and poop.


Maintaining safe levels of nitrate as part of your axolotl water parameters is essential for your pet’s health. High levels of nitrate in the water are a sign of poor husbandry. 

The ideal levels of nitrate for axolotl’s tank are 0ppm.

High Axolotl Nitrates? How Do I Lower The Nitrate Levels?
  1. Use liquid testing kit instead of strip for better accuracy
  2. Test your tap water for nitrates
  3. Check for uneaten food or anything that might be decomposing inside the tank.
  4. To assist with lowering the nitrates between water changes, we recommend plants such as duckweed and elodea.
  5. A product that can be used for filtering is Purigen.
  6. Do a large water change of 80%-90%.

pH Levels

pH levels measure how acidic or basic the water is. The optimal pH levels for axolotls are 7.4-7.6.

So, what can cause a spike in the pH levels? If you have rocks in the tank, the salts from the rocks can release in the water and increase the pH levels.

How To Lower pH Levels In Axolotl Tank?
  1. Daily water changes of 20% until pH regulates
  2. Remove rocks
  3. Peat pellets are known to reduce pH levels. If the first two steps haven’t helped, you can buy some peat pellets and put them in a media bag in the tank


Another important thing to test regularly is the salinity. This is the salt level in the water. Ideally, the salinity in your axolotl’s tank water should be 0% but axolotls can tolerate up to 15%.

Water Hardness

GH stands for the general hardness of the water. This measures the hard minerals in the water such as calcium and magnesium. The optimal hardness for axolotl’s tank water needs to be 7-14deg (125-250ppm).

How Do I Harden My Axolotls Water?

If you live in a state with softer water, you can increase the water hardness by adding Epsom salt.

Type Of Water

Axolotl’s tanks should be filled with tap water. However, chlorine is found in tap water which is harmful to axolotls.

Therefore, the type of water for you axolotl tank should be de-chlorinated tap water. To achieve this, you can either use a de-chlorinator, or the water must be left to stand for 24 hours before adding it to the tank.

How To Test Axolotl Water? And How Often?

The axolotl tank water should be tested weekly to ensure that the axolotl water parameters are within acceptable limits.

To test your axolotl tank water, you should use an API test kit like the one linked below. It’s important to note that is recommended to test nitrates with liquid testing kit instead of strips for better accuracy.

Final Thoughts

To properly care for your axolotl, you must ensure that their environment and water parameters are optimal. The axolotl water parameters need to be just right to ensure that your pet stays healthy. Even the slightest deviation from what’s recommended can result in health problems and can even be fatal.

Nailing the perfect axolotl water parameters is important but if you want to read about the rest of the axolotl tank set up head over here The Perfect Axolotl Tank Set Up – Step By Step Guide [2022]

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Is Aloe Vera Toxic To Axolotls?

Yes. Aloe vera is toxic to axolotls. That’s why is important to ensure that the water conditioner you use does not contain aloe vera.

Stay clear from conditioners that have the following on their labels: “natural”, “plant”, “herbal extract”, or “slime coat”. In addition, the water conditioner you pick must not contain iodine.

How Do I Fix My Axolotl Slime Coat?

To fix your axolotl’s slime coat follow these steps:

  1. Place your axolotl in a clean fresh tub of dechlorinated water
  2. Do daily 100% water changes
  3. Scrub the tub every second day
  4. Place a sponge filter in the tub but make sure you squeeze it out when you perform the daily water change



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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