Axolotl Throwing Up? 4 Causes For Axolotl Vomit and How To Fix It!

Axolotl Throwing Up

Owners often worry when their axolotl retching and vomiting. However, there is no need to panic as in most cases axolotl throwing up can be simply fixed. Usually, axolotl throwing up is a sign of ammonia poisoning, impaction, overfeeding or they are just too cold.

This article will help you establish the cause for your axolotl vomiting and offer the best solution to the problem.

Causes For Axolotl Throwing Up

The most common causes for axolotl throwing up include:

  1. Ammonia poisoning
  2. Incorrect diet such as overfeeding or poor food quality
  3. Impaction
  4. Water temperature is too cold

Now, let’s take a look at each cause in a bit more detail.

1.Ammonia Poisoning

Axolotl Ammonia Burn

One of the symptoms of ammonia poisoning is axolotl vomiting. Ammonia poisoning is a common issue that axolotl owners have to deal with.

So, how to prevent ammonia poisoning? Well, to have a happy and healthy axolotl, you need to provide the correct water parameters.

One of these very important water parameters is ammonia. The ideal ammonia levels are 0 and even the slightest spike can result in your axolotl being sick.


Other symptoms of ammonia poisoning besides axolotl throwing up include:

  • Refusing to eat
  • Gills deterioration
  • Red skin
  • Lethargy
  • Hiding


The only way to know for sure if it’s ammonia poisoning that you’re dealing with is to test the water using a testing kit like the one below.


If the water test comes back and it shows that the ammonia levels are anything different than 0, you need to act fast by following these steps:

  • Treat the tank by doing a partial water change and cycling it. Once you have done that you must test the water again to ensure the parameters are impeccable.
  • Treat the axolotl by fridging them for 48 hours whilst you are treating the tank.


Even if you lower the ammonia levels, you can easily end up with the same problem. This is because ammonia levels will naturally increase as a result of the presence of natural material such as your axolotl’s poop and uneaten food.

 Therefore, you need to think ahead and use prevention methods such as:

2.Incorrect Diet

The diet is one of the most important factors for keeping your axolotl healthy and happy. The incorrect diet can result in your axolotl throwing up.

Incorrect diet can be related to any of the following:

  • Overfeeding
  • Poor food quality
  • Axolotl not liking the food


The second most common cause for axolotl throwing up is overfeeding. This includes feeding them too much food, too often or the size of the food is too big. In each of these cases, your axolotl will end up throwing up the excess.


The solution is either reducing the size of the food you’re feeding to your axolotl or adjusting how often you’re feeding them.

Having the correct feeding schedule is not only important in preventing throwing up but also for your axolotl’s overall health.

Too much food all at once or feeding too often can result in obesity. On the other hand, too little food can result in your axolotl becoming too skinny and subsequently – ill.

To find out what is the perfect feeding schedule for an axolotl, head over here What Do Axolotl Eat? – The Perfect Axolotl Feeding Schedule [2022]

Poor Food Quality

Another food related cause for your axolotl throwing up is feeding them food that is of poor quality. If you’re feeding your axolotl the wrong foods, foods that are spoiled or have bad smell, they will end up vomiting.

This is natural reflex that axolotls have to avoid poisoning. If your axolotl is spitting out the food, make sure what you’re feeding them is fresh.

Axolotl Not Liking The Food

Just like humans, each axolotl will have different food likes and dislikes. Therefore, if your axolotl is getting used to a new diet or simply not liking the foods you’re offering, they will end up throwing it up.

If that’s the case, you will need to switch up their food.

Axolotl Throwing Up Worms?

Everyone knows that axolotls love worms! But what if your axolotl is throwing up worms? Normally, the reason for you axolotl throwing up worms is because they are full from previous meal, the worm is too big or they don’t like the slime/smell of it.

Full From Previous Meal

If you’re feeding your axolotl too much food or too often, they might end up throwing up or spitting out worms.

It’s important to remember that axolotls can go over a week without being fed and without any health problems. Therefore, sometimes it’s better to give it a 3-4 days and then try again.

The Worm Is Too Big

Often axolotl throwing up worms can be because the worm is too big. To resolve this, you need to reduce the size of the worm by cutting it in 4 small pieces.

The Worm Is Too Slimy Or Smelly

As some worms have bad smell or are too slimy, it can result in your axolotl throwing up.

Some good examples include earthworms that have slimy juices or the eisenia fetida, also known as red wiggler or red worm that excretes foul tasting slime or liquid when handled. This will naturally make your axolotl retch and vomit.

Unfortunately, you can’t just wash the smell off. The only way to avoid this is by first killing the worm, then washing it and only then feeding it to your axolotl.

On the other hand, if you think it might be the slime that’s making your axolotl vomit, you can easily wash that off whilst worm is still alive.

To prevent your axolotl throwing up worms, try killing the worm, then cutting it up in 4 small pieces and lastly washing it before feeding to your axolotl.


Impacted Axolotl With Stones

Another common cause for an axolotl throwing up is impaction. Axolotls can often become impacted as they are famous for eating anything they can fit in their mouths. Axolotls can become impacted from eating gravel, sand or simply overeating.

If your axolotl’s belly is full from being impacted, when you try to feed them food, they will attempt to eat but will end up spitting it out or throwing it up.


Other symptoms of impaction besides axolotl throwing up include:

  • Bloating
  • Refusal to eat
  • Floating


To treat axolotl impaction, follow the steps below:

  1. Stop feeding the axolotl for 4-5 days
  2. Test the water parameters to ensure its impeccable
  3. Lower the water temperature slightly
  4. If the issue still persists after day 5, you will need to fridge your axolotl

To read the full guide on how to treat impaction, head over here Constipated Axolotl? What Causes It and How To Treat

4.Water Temperature Is Too Cold

The last cause that we are looking at for axolotl throwing up is the temperature being too cold.

If the water is too cold in the tank, the axolotl will become stressed, their metabolism would also slow down which will result in them refusing food and even throwing it up.


If the water is too cold for your axolotl they will refuse food, throw up anything they attempt to eat as their metabolism will slow down. Other symptoms include inactivity.


To diagnose this issue, you need a thermometer to measure the water temperature. The ideal water temperature for your axolotl’s tank is 55-68 °F. Anything lower will result in health problems for your axolotl.


To solve this issue, you need to increase the water temperature. However, it’s essential that this is done safely. If there is a sudden change in the water temperature, it will make your axolotl very stressed and make things even worse.

Final Thoughts

Owners sometimes have to deal with their axolotl throwing up food or specifically worms. The first thing to do is check the water parameters as a spike in ammonia or water temperature that is too cold can cause axolotl vomiting.

Other causes include being overfed, impaction or foods being too big in size and difficult to digest.

To help your axolotl stop throwing up their food, you will need to make sure the water is the correct temperature, ammonia levels are at 0, you’re not overfeeding them and their food is cut up small enough to digest.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

How Long Can Axolotl Go Without Eating?

As long as all the water parameters are up to a good standard, an axolotl can go without food for up to 1.5 weeks. With the lack of food, your axolotl will naturally become less active and slow down their metabolism, so it won’t affect their health.

How Do I Know If My Axolotl Is Hungry?

Normally, if your axolotl is hungry, they will become more active when they see you. On the other hand, once they have eaten, they become less active as they will be happy and full.



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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