Axolotl (Mexican Walking Fish)

The axolotl is a neotenic salamander related to the tiger salamander. Although the walking fish name might suggest that it is a fish, the axolotl is actually an amphibian. Axolotls are very unusual among amphibians in that they reach adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis. Unlike other amphibians who develop lungs so they can live in both water and on land, axolotl adults remain aquatic and gilled.


Axolotl can do really well in aquaponics since they produce a lot of waste. They’re carnivorous and don’t have a good digestive system. Axolotls need to be fed only 2 to 3 times a week because they take 2 to 3 days on average to digest their food. Both their food waste and fecal matter can become too much solid waste for the average aquarium tank filters to handle. Therefore, they are perfect for aquaponics where wastes are turned into beneficial nutrients for the plants to absorb. A system like Nature Garden is perfect for keeping your axolotls as the plant filtration system cleans the water and saves you time from having to clean the tank. 


Important Notes


Axolotl are quite fragile and shouldn’t be keep with other types of animals. Their external gills and slow nature make them an easy target for even smaller fancy goldfish. Fish in the same tank may bite and damage their gills.


Axolotl have poor eyesight and since they don’t have eye lids, they are quite sensitive to light. It is recommended to not have any aquarium lights in their tanks. Normal indoor lighting will be sufficient. 


Although there hasn’t been any study suggesting that the salmonella disease some axolotl carry can affect the food grown in aquaponics; extra care should always be taken with axolotl aquaponics. For example:⁠

  • Monitor the water and filter condition.⁠

  • Prevent splashing onto the vegetables.

  • Wash vegetables well before eating.

  • If growing edible plants, choose ones that require cooking.⁠

  • Grow plants that are not for consuming like flowers.