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Can Axolotl Live Out of Water?

Amphibians and salamanders can only live in water since they have gills for breathing.

Axolotls breathe using four different systems, including gills and lungs. Because the presence of lungs indicates that axolotls should be able to live on land. So, can axolotl live out of water?

Pet owners, including axolotl owners, have a strong bond with their pets. They want to pet, play, and interact with their axolotls. Axolotls are brought out of the water to be petted and played with.

Axolotls do not have lungs similar to land animals, thus people should be aware that they cannot survive for lengthy periods of time without water.

The purpose of this article is to inform readers about the dangers of keeping axolotls out of water for an extended period of time.

The article will also explain how axolotls have managed to breathe both in and out of water. 

So, keep reading to learn about the measures you should take if your axolotl is dehydrated or stressed.

Can Axolotl Live Out of Water?

Axolotl can't live without water.
Axolotl can’t live without water | Credit: Ngoc Diep / Facebook.com

No, axolotls can’t live without water because they don’t have the necessary organs. Axolotls can live and breathe outside of the water for a few minutes, but not for long. 

To survive outside of the water, a species’ lungs, limbs, and skin must be well-developed to withstand extreme environments.

Lungs are present in axolotls; however, they are not fully developed. They have sac-like lungs that are encircled by blood vessels and have a low air intake volume. 

Axolotls also have weak and fragile limbs that can’t be used to live for long periods of time outside of water.

Also read: Do Axolotls Have Lungs?

Axolotls Can’t Go on Land

Axolotl's legs are very weak
Axolotl’s legs are very weak | Credit: Nguyen Minh Ha / Facebook.com

Axolotls do not fully transform or differentiate into salamanders. They have short legs that are designed to allow them to swim in the water.

To survive on land, species must have long, muscular legs that can support the entire body’s weight.

Axolotls’ legs are incapable of lifting their body weight. Their legs can get deformed and injured if they spend too much time on land.

Cell and fibril differentiation forms the axolotl’s small and feeble limbs while Hard connective tissues, bones, muscles, and ligaments make comprise the legs of marine animals that dwell on land

Axolotls Can’t Breathe out of Water for Long Periods of Time

Axolotls skin, legs and gills are only suitable for water
Axolotls skin, legs and gills are only suitable for water | Credit: Linh Tran / Facebook.com

Because they lack strong legs, robust skin, and developed lungs, axolotls cannot survive for lengthy periods of time without water. 

The slime skin of axolotls is photosensitive. When they spend more time out of the water, their skin becomes injured, and patches appear.

Axolotls’ skin must be kept moist and hydrated at all times. Their skin grows dry when they are not in the water, making them vulnerable to bacterial infections and skin illnesses

When axolotls are out of the water, oxygen from the air diffuses through their gills, only at a low volume due to the small surface area of their gills exposed to the air.

Also read: Do Axolotls Need Air?

How Long Can Axolotl Live Out of Water?

Axolotl outside of the water
Axolotl outside of the water | Credit: Quan Quan / Facebook.com

Axolotls can live and breathe outside of the water for up to 15 minutes, but they cannot survive for long periods of time.

They can live for up to an hour if the temperature and humidity outside the water are suitable. 

Axolotls prefer to live in cool, wet environments. They breathe through their skin as well, therefore their skin should be moist and hydrated.

Axolotls can become stressed if they are kept out of water. As a result, it is vital to keep the tank’s water parameters in check and to change the water on a regular basis.

Keep a container filled with water nearby when changing the water, and do not leave the axolotl out of the water.

Also read: Full Requirements & Water Conditions for Axolotl in Captivity

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What Happens If Axolotl Stay out of Water Too Long

Axolotls’ limbs and organs may be harmed if they are kept out of water for an extended period of time. 

As previously said, their limbs are unable to carry the weight of the entire body, and as a result, the limbs may become malformed. Other organs, including the skin and gills, may also be damaged.

It is vital to keep an axolotl hydrated in order to keep it healthy and happy. Axolotls that are dehydrated are more prone to ailments including bacterial infections and dermatitis. 

Keeping an axolotl out of the water might lead them to become stressed and have respiratory problems. As a result, it may suffer from respiratory arrest and die.

Also read: 8 Axolotl Dying Signs (and Some Treatments)

First Aid for Dehydration Axolotl

Water must be readily available to keep axolotls healthy and hydrated. If your axolotl appears to be dehydrated, immediately return it to the lake or tank. Then, using water pumps, increase the oxygen levels in the tank.

Axolotls residing in the lake or tank might become agitated and exhausted as a result of changes in water parameters.

Stress is also caused by a reduction in the oxygen concentration in the tank. Check the levels of ammonia, nitrates, nitrates, and dissolved oxygen in the tank on a regular basis.

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FAQs

Can axolotls be held out of water?

No, axolotls can’t stay out of the water. After maintaining the temperature, you can pet them out of the water for a while.

When you remove axolotls from the water, immediately return them to the tank before their skin becomes dry and dehydrated.

How long can axolotls live on land?

Axolotls are unable to live on land for lengthy periods of time because they lack the well-structured organs required for survival. Their limbs are weak and short, and they are unable to support their body weight.

Aside from that, they lack the developed lungs of land animals, making it difficult for them to breathe on land.

How long can axolotls live out of water?

Axolotls may survive for 10 to 15 minutes without water. They may, however, live for up to an hour provided the right temperature and humidity are maintained.

They have sac-like lungs surrounded by blood capillaries to breathe out of water for some time.

How long can an axolotl live?

In captivity, axolotls can survive for up to 7 years. They can, however, live for up to 12 years provided the water conditions and temperature is correctly managed.

Axolotls’ lifespan can be extended by providing them with a disease-free and ideal aquatic environment.

In Conclusion

Water is essential to an axolotl’s survival. Axolotls are unable to live outside of the water, although they do have sac-like lungs that allow them to breathe in tough environments.

Axolotls must be kept hydrated at all times, and you should know how to assist a dehydrated axolotl. Check the water conditions regularly and increase the oxygen levels if your axolotl appears to be stressed.

Also read: What Should You Do If Axolotl Jumped Out of Tank? Cause and How to Deal 

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