10 Tips on How to Clean an Axolotl Tank

Proper water quality, illness prevention, stress reduction, oxygen level assurance, general health and lifespan of axolotl (a unique amphibian) may be achieved by regularly cleaning an axolotl’s tank. Inadequate care for an axolotl’s tank can have devastating effects on the animal’s health and longevity.

10 Tips on How to Clean an Axolotl Tank

1. Proper Water Parameters

The health of axolotls depends on keeping the water at the correct conditions. Maintain a pH range of 6.5 to 8.0, ammonia and nitrite levels of 0 ppm, and nitrate levels below 20 ppm by routinely testing the water using an aquarium test kit. It is crucial to monitor and alter settings for axolotls according to their sensitivity to changes in water quality.

2. Mini-Changes in Water Level

Every week, at room temperature, replace 25–30% of the tank’s water with dechlorinated water. This is called a partial water change. This procedure aids in decontamination and restores vital mineral stores. Use an aquarium-safe dechlorinator to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals from water before adding it to your aquarium.

3. Preparing the Surface

Because they feed so awkwardly, axolotls often drop their food and feces onto the substrate. Make sure the substrate is clean before adding new water by vacuuming out any pebbles or using a turkey baster.  Axolotls may eat substrate, therefore be careful not to sucking up any loose substrate.

4. Filter Maintenance

In order to keep the water quality consistent, it is vital to maintain a filter that is working properly. To clean and replace the filter media, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. To maintain beneficial bacterial colonies, rinse mechanical filter media (such as sponges or filter floss) with the water that is taken from the tank when the water is changed. Keep the appropriate timetable for replacing chemical and biological mediums.

5. Decorations and Ornaments

As inquisitive creatures, axolotls may attempt to consume little ornaments or decorations. Opts for harmless, non-porous ornaments crafted from slate, ceramic, or resin. Their delicate skin is often irritated, so keep them away from anything sharp or abrasive.

6. Plant Maintenance

Plants enrich water with oxygen and provide cover from predators, but regular pruning is required to keep them from getting too big. Take cautious not to release any germs or other contaminants into the water supply when you remove decaying or dead plant matter.

7. Algae Control

Algae growth is an unavoidable issue with axolotl aquariums because of its unique lighting requirements. Regular partial water changes and the use of an algae scraper will keep the tank walls clean. Consider adding snails or prawns, which feed on algae, to help with the natural control of algae levels.

8. Tank Disinfection

Cleaning the entire tank may be necessary to eradicate persistent bacterial or fungus infections. Put your axolotl in its own special tank and disinfect it safely using a solution like bleach or potassium permanganate. Rinse your axolotl well and change its water many times to remove any residual disinfectant before returning it to its natural environment.

9. Temperature Regulation

60–68°F, or 15-20°C, is the sweet spot for an axolotl’s water temperature. Excessive heat or cold might compromise the immune system of an axolotl, therefore it’s important to keep its temperature where it should be with an aquarium fan or chiller.

10. Handling and Stress Reduction

Axolotls are quite sensitive, therefore they may become anxious when handled or when their tank is cleaned. Do not produce excessive noise or vibrations, and refrain from touching the tank with your hands. If you’re feeling stressed out, changing the water in a new container or bucket can be a good idea. Make sure there are plenty of hiding spots in the tank so they can relax.

If you follow these 10 rules, keeping your axolotl’s tank clean and attractive will be a breeze. If you want your axolotl to be healthy and happy, you need establish a maintenance plan. When it comes to this, consistency is key.

How to Clean an Axolotl Tank: A Comprehensive Guide


Maintaining a clean aquarium is critical for the well-being of axolotls, which are fascinating amphibians. Axolotls are extremely sensitive creatures, and as a result, poorly maintained aquariums can create a wide range of health problems for them, including but not limited to stress, skin issues, and even deadly diseases.

How do I know if my axolotl is unhealthy?

Identifying a sick axolotl involves considerable attention. Lack of appetite, lethargy, irregular swim patterns, bulging eyes, skin blemishes, and fungal development indicate poor health. Curled gills suggest tension.

Check water temperature, pH, and ammonia/nitrite levels for optimal conditions. Waste and cloudy water indicate inadequate habitat. If your axolotl isn’t swimming, breathing fast, or seeming sick, it may need a quarantine tank. Axolotls need prompt treatment for any symptoms.

Here we’ll go over the specifics of “how to clean an axolotl tank,” so you can maintain a spotless environment for your pet.

Getting to Know the Axolotl’s Habitat

Prior to beginning to clean an axolotl’s environment, you should familiarize yourself with its specific demands. These aquatic creatures thrive in waters with a high oxygen concentration and a temperature range of 16–20°C (60–68°F).

Water Parameters

Parameter Ideal Range
Temperature 16-20°C (60-68°F)
pH 7.4 – 8.1
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate < 20 ppm

It is critical to regularly monitor these water conditions to ensure the axolotl’s health. Disturbances from these ranges can put the axolotl under stress and increase its vulnerability to illnesses.

What You Need to Get Ready to Clean Your Tank

Make sure you have everything you need for the cleaning process before you start:

A separate, sanitary container for holding water
A gravel syphon or vacuum
DE that is safe for use in aquariums
Optional but recommended: aquarium salt
The algae pad or scraper
Paper towels or clean, gentle cloths

Step 1: Collect Necessary Materials and Tools

In a single location, place all of the necessary items, including the tools. So long as you don’t have to interrupt your cleaning to search for anything, you’ll be able to save both time and energy.

Step 2: Disconnect All Devices

Make sure to switch off the air pumps, heaters, and filters in the axolotl tank before you start. Because of this, working within the tank will be safer from electrical shock.

Step 3: Take Down Any Decor or Plants

Take special care when removing any ornaments, plants, or other detachable parts from the aquarium. The surfaces and substrate may be cleaned more easily and efficiently because of this.

Step 4: Substrate Vacuum

Use a gravel vacuum or siphon to remove any dirt and rubbish that has accumulated on the substrate, whether it’s sand or gravel. Start at one corner of the tank and work your way across to cover the entire substrate surface.

Method for Vacuuming Gravel

While retaining the other end in the designated bucket or container, insert the gravel vacuum into the substrate.
To empty the trash and dirt into the bucket, gently swivel the vacuum cleaner back and forth.
When the vacuum starts to pick up sand or gravel, lift it slightly and keep on vacuuming.
You need to keep going until you’ve covered the whole substrate.

Step 5: Clean the Tank and Its Accents

To gently wipe away any stubborn algae deposits or buildup from the tank’s walls, decorations, and other surfaces, an algae scraper or pad can be used. Carefully avoiding scraping the surfaces will prevent damage to them.

Step 6: Do a Half-Fill of Water

Following cleaning and vacuuming, you should partially change the water. The frequency of water changes will depend on your axolotl’s size, the capacity of your tank, and the bio load. Typically, it is recommended to change 25-30% of the water weekly.

Procedure for Changing the Water Level

Use the gravel vacuum or siphon to transfer the desired amount of water from the tank to the specified bucket or container.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adding a dechlorinator to ensure the water is pure and chlorine-free.
Gently replenish the tank’s water supply without disturbing the substrate too much.
Mix the aquarium salt with enough fresh water to make it a diluted solution before adding it to the tank.

Step 7: Rinse the Filter

The sponge or biological filters used in axolotl tanks need to be cleaned often to keep them effective. The filter can be cleaned by following these steps:

Take the filter out of the tank a little at a time.
After emptying the old tank water into a separate bucket, swirl the filter in it. Never use the water straight from the faucet; doing so will destroy the beneficial bacterial colonies that call this filter home.
Gently squeezing or rinsing the filter with the old tank water could help remove additional dirt if it’s really clogged or hasn’t been cleaned for a time.
Add the cleaned filter to the tank once again.

Step 8: Put the Tank Back Together

After you’ve finished cleaning the tank, gently put everything back where it belongs, including the decorations and plants. Before you switch on the filters, heaters, and air pumps again, make sure they are all working properly.

Maintenance Routine

To maintain a healthy and clean environment for your axolotl, it’s essential to establish a regular maintenance routine. Here’s a recommended schedule:

Task Frequency
Partial water change (25-30%) Weekly
Vacuum substrate Weekly
Clean filter Monthly
Deep clean (full water change, scrub surfaces) Every 2-3 months

By following this routine, you can ensure that your axolotl’s tank remains clean and habitable, minimizing the risk of health issues and promoting their overall well-being.


Q: How often should you clean your axolotl tank?

Axolotl aquariums need 25-30% water changes every 1-2 weeks. This routine maintenance should include vacuuming gravel and decor to eliminate debris. Monthly filter media replacement. Deeply empty and cleanse the tank every 2-3 months. Axolotls are protected against ammonia and nitrite surges by regular cleaning.

Q: How to get rid of ammonia in an axolotl tank?

Dilute ammonia with a 25-30% water change. Carefully vacuum gravel to eliminate waste. Replace filter media and rinse biological media in old tank water. Avoid overfeeding and swiftly remove uneaten food. Add an ammonia-detoxifying water conditioner. After controlling ammonia, progressively add beneficial bacteria to sustain the nitrogen cycle.

Q: What if I don’t cycle my axolotl tank?

Failure to cycle an axolotl tank before introducing a pet is dangerous. Axolotl feces quickly accumulates poisonous ammonia and nitrites without a helpful bacteria colony. High ammonia levels burn axolotls’ gills and skin, causing stress and sometimes death. Fishless cycling the tank for 4-8 weeks minimizes ammonia increases and protects axolotls.

Q: How to clean axolotl poop?

Use a turkey baster or siphon vacuum to quickly extract axolotl excrement. Thoroughly vacuum gravel during weekly partial water changes to remove waste. Avoid disrupting beneficial bacteria colonies. Rinse décor and accessories with old tank water to eliminate excrement. Good filtration and regular cleaning minimize ammonia accumulation.


The general health and lifespan of your axolotl depends on your ability to keep its habitat clean and free of harmful substances. Maintaining a spotless tank for your axolotl is essential to keeping it healthy and happy, so be sure to follow the instructions in this detailed tutorial. Establishing a regular maintenance routine will greatly contribute to your axolotl’s happiness and well-being. Consistency is crucial in this regard.

External Resources

For further reference and additional resources, consider consulting the following reputable sources:

You should always keep in mind that the key to a happy and healthy pet is an axolotl tank that is clean and well maintained. Your axolotl will flourish and provide you with years of pleasure if you provide it with the appropriate care and attention.

2 thoughts on “10 Tips on How to Clean an Axolotl Tank”

Leave a Comment