Fat Axolotl Or Something Else? Is Your Axolotl Overweight And How To Fix It!
Are you worried that you have a fat axolotl on your hands? As axolotls love to eat anything and everything, becoming overweight is a high possibility. However, there might be other reasons that your axolotl appears “fat”.
This article will help you establish if your axolotl is actually overweight or if there is something else that’s causing the fat appearance.
Is My Axolotl Fat Or Is It Something Else?
Your fat axolotl might not be actually fat! There are other reasons for your axolotl to appear chubbier than usual. These reasons include:
- They are due a big poop
- Sexual maturity in females
- Dwarf axolotl
Before looking at the causes and treatment for fat axolotl, let’s take a quick look at the other possibilities listed above.
Axolotl Is Due A Big Poop
A fat axolotl at a first glance might just be a bit backed up and due a big poop! If that is the case, take a closer look at the appearance of their belly. You should be able to see darker areas which are the digestive organs as the picture above.
If your axolotl is becoming backed up by big poop too often, you’d want to review how often and what you’re feeding your axolotl as you might be overfeeding them.
In addition, you should also keep an eye on the poop consistency. If the poop is crumbly and gritty, it means that your axolotl is ingesting large amounts of sand which can be a concern that can result in intestinal blockages.
Read more about sand substrate for your axolotl tank and if it’s a safe option over here Axolotl Eating Sand? Is It Dangerous? Best vs Worst Sand Substrates
The issue might not be that your axolotl is fat but just bloated by swallowing too much air. Often, axolotls ingest too many oxygen bubbles when eating and become bloated. In fact, they enjoy eating air bubbles!
Another way for an axolotl to become bloated is when there is too much oxygen in their tank. To make sure, you should measure the oxygen in the water and if there is an excess oxygen saturation of > 100%, it can be dangerous not only for bloating but also for developing gas bubble disease.
So, how to tell if it is bloat?
- If it came on suddenly, it’s almost certainly bloating
- If the bloat is caused by too much oxygen in the water, their gills might also have shrunk.
If left untreated bloating can result in organ failure.
To read more on the topic of bloating in axolotls, head over here Axolotl Bloated Belly? Causes And Treatment For Bloated Axolotl
Often the reason for a fat axolotl appearance is actually impaction or constipation. Common causes of impaction or constipation include:
- Swallowing pebbles, sand, gravel, tank decorations, etc
- Feeding indigestible foods such as worms/insects with hard exo-skeletons
- Overfeeding as a result of feeding too often or feeding too large portions
If you have a fat axolotl with blue stomach or lumpy stomach, it means that your axolotl has swollen pebbles or gravel.
For the full guide on axolotl constipation, head over here Constipated Axolotl? What Causes It and How To Treat
Another reason for your axolotl to appear fat is pregnancy. Female axolotls that are heavy with eggs in the stomach will appear fat.
To learn more about pregnancy in axolotls, head over here Pregnant Axolotl Or Sick Axolotl? Pregnancy and Common Health Issues
Sexual Maturity In Females
When female axolotls reach maturity, their bodies become very rounded. This is because of the number of eggs that are present in their bodies.
This new more rounded appearance might make you worried that your axolotl is fat. However, this is totally normal stage in the female axolotl’s life. As long as your feeding schedule and the type of food you’re offering is up to a good standard, there is nothing to worry about.
Many owners confuse their dwarf axolotl with just being fat. The way you can tell apart a dwarf axolotl from a fat axolotl is by their length.
A dwarf axolotl grows up to only 6 inches in length, their bodies look squished, and they reach this size within the first year. Whereas a fat axolotl will grow to the normal average length as expected for axolotls without any genetic irregularities.
To know if your axolotl is truly fat, first you need to know what the normal weight and appearance for an axolotl is. This largely depends on the axolotl’s age and sex.
What Is A Healthy Weight and Size For An Axolotl?
- Length. An adult axolotl can grow up to 18 inches in length from nose to the tip of the tail. However, on average their length range between 8 to 10 inches.
- Width. Axolotls don’t grow too wide. A healthy axolotl’s width is measured by their belly being roughly the same as their head. Therefore, if their belly is significantly wider than their head, you might have a fat axolotl on your hands
- Weight. An adult axolotl weighs in the range of 60 grams to 300 grams. Females are a little heavier than males but not any longer. Therefore, if your axolotl weighs more than 300 grams, it’s likely they are overweight.
It’s important to point out that age plays a major role in determining if your axolotl is fat.
- Larvae stage is when the axolotl measures 2 inches in length
- Juvenile stage is when the axolotl measures up to 6 inches in length
- Adult stage is when the axolotl reaches 7 inches in length and can grow up to 18 inches in some cases
What Does A Fat Axolotl Look Like?
To check if your axolotl is fat, you want to look from above and compare the head to their belly. The belly width shouldn’t be wider than the axolotl’s head.
Another way to tell apart an overweight axolotl from being constipated or impacted is by checking the color of the skin. If your axolotl’s bigger belly is due to gaining extra pounds, the skin around the belly will be the same colour as the rest of the skin like the picture above.
Cause For Fat Axolotl
What leads to an axolotl becoming fat is mainly incorrect diet. This can be either feeding foods that are too fatty, feeding too often or the meals are too large.
If your axolotl is overweight, it can cause overstrain on the internal organs and can be detrimental to their health.
Fat Axolotl – Treatment and Prevention
To treat a fat axolotl, you should feed them one earthworm one day a week until your axolotl’s weight regulates. Once your axolotl loses the extra pounds, it’s essential to continue feeding them a healthy diet.
A healthy axolotl diet depends on their age. Baby axolotls should be fed daily, whereas juveniles should be fed every other day. Overfeeding baby and juvenile axolotls is almost impossible.
However, overfeeding can easily happen once the axolotl reaches adulthood. Therefore, the feeding schedule needs to be adjusted accordingly.
As axolotls enjoy indulging on food and will continue eating even when full, it’s up to you to control how much and how often they eat.
The best staple diet for young axolotls includes bloodworms, live daphnia, ghost shrimp. Whereas the best staple diet for an adult axolotl includes nightcrawlers, blackworms.
To read the full guide on the perfect axolotl feeding schedule, head over here What Do Axolotl Eat? – The Perfect Axolotl Feeding Schedule 
To summaries, a fat axolotl has a belly that’s larger than their head when looking from above and the skin on their belly matches the rest of their skin. Whereas, if you can see dark bits on their belly, it can just be backed up by poop.
Adult axolotls can easily become overweight if they are fed too often, too much or the incorrect foods. Feeding your axolotl, a healthy diet ensures that your pet will be at a healthy weight.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Is My Axolotl Too Skinny?
If your axolotl’s head is significantly larger than their body, it might mean that your axolotl is too skinny. The main cause for an axolotl becoming too skinny is incorrect feeding. This can include meals are too small and how often you feed them doesn’t match their age requirements.
Another reason for your axolotl becoming too skinny can be an illness such as parasites.
How Long Can Axolotl Go Without Food?
An axolotl can live without food for up to 1.5 weeks without causing any harm. However, it’s not recommended to not feed your axolotl for such a long period of time.