How often to Clean Axolotl Tank?

To ensure the well-being of your axolotl, it’s important to keep the tank clean. But how often to clean axolotl tank?

How do you know when the tank water is unhealthy for your little friend? 

Many new axolotl owners simply don’t know how often their axolotls tanks need to be cleaned, and what factors to consider when determining if the water is dirty. 

We are going to answer this question in this post. Hopefully here you will find a comprehensive guide for keeping your axolotl tank clean. Keep reading!

Cute Reptiles as Pets
Cute Reptiles as Pets

How often to Clean Axolotl Tank?

How often to Clean Axolotl Tank?

Cleaning your axolotl’s tank is necessary for the animal’s health and well-being. Be careful about regular maintenance and make sure the water parameters are within the normal range.

Clean the tank with a gravel siphon at least once every two weeks. The filter doesn’t usually pick up all dirt and debris. Remove the pieces that are left in the tank. 

Spot Cleaning (Clean Daily)

Make it a point to remove uneaten food or waste whenever you spot them. This is the best way to maintain the cleanliness of an axolotl tank. Use a turkey baster for this purpose.

Spot cleaning significantly reduces and slows down the contamination of the tank water. 

Clean Weekly

If there is a filtration system in the tank, do a 20-30% water change once a week. And if there is no filtration system, do a 20% water change once a day.

Maintaining the cleanliness of an axolotl tank is a lot easier if the tank has a filter. 

With that said, when determining how frequently the tank should be cleaned, take other factors into consideration, such as the tank’s size, the filter strength, the axolotl’s age and size, the food you give to the animal, and the number of axolotls in the tank. 

Clean Monthly

Rinse the internal filters once a month. Make sure you don’t do it too vigorously, though. And you do not have to do it on the day when you change water.

The glass should be cleaned once every three weeks. Consider using a magnet cleaner for this purpose. Avoid doing a complete scrub because if you do so, the tank will re-cycle. 

How to Clean an Axolotl Tank

How to Clean an Axolotl Tank

Cleaning an axolotl tank is a pretty straightforward process. You just have to follow certain steps. For this, you are going to need some tools.

The procedure involves preparing the water, moving your axolotl from the tank, cleaning the tank, and then adding water. The entire process should take less than an hour. 

Step 1: Materials

Here are a few things you will need: 

  • A aquarium vacuum hose or siphon
  • A source of clean, fresh water
  • 2 buckets (1 will do if the vacuum hose can be attached to a tap)
  • A net 
  • A tub

Step 2: Preparing the water

Do not change 100% of the water in the tank. If you do that, you will actually end up killing off the beneficial bacteria in the water.

It’s important to neutralize the compounds in the water. Avoid using tap water directly. Rather use an aquarium conditioner to treat the water first. 

We recommend you do a 25% water change. First, know how many gallons of water the tank holds, and then figure out how many gallons 25% would be.

For example, if it’s a 20-gallon tank, 25% of it would be equal to 5 gallons. 

Therefore, you have to pour 5 gallons of water into the bucket and let the water sit for a couple of days. If the water contains harsh chemicals, let it sit for longer. 

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Step 3: Move Axolotl from Tank

Take a tub or bucket in which you can keep your axolotl. The tub must be large enough for your axolotl to stay in it comfortably.

Fill it with water from the tank. You can also use water you have prepared. Hold the axolotl gently and move it from the tank to the tub. You can also use a net to catch the axolotl. 

Step 4: Clean the tank

If you are using a siphon, put it into the bucket to suck water out of it. And if you are doing it with an aquarium vacuum cleaner, make sure its end part reaches the bottom of the tank.

Now remove any feces or debris from the bottom of your axolotl tank. 

The goal is to siphon out water and debris without removing the gravel substrates. If there are axolotl toys or tank decorations, remove them.

Use a brush or sponge, or both to clean the tank thoroughly. 

Step 5: Add Water

Now pour the prepared water into the tank. Wait, before you do that, check the pH and other parameters of the water with a test strip. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the accessories with clean water.

There should be no trace of detergents on the accessories. If you are sure of that, feel free to put the accessories back in the tank. 

Also, treat the water with a dechlorinator. It’s important to treat the water because chlorine can actually wreak havoc on the tank’s nitrogen cycle. 

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Axolotl Tank

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Axolotl Tank

Cleaning an axolotl tank is essential because a dirty tank can be literally the reason for your axolotl’s death.

In fact, poor water quality is the most common reason for the death of axolotls in captivity. 

Unless you do water changes regularly, chemicals and toxins such as ammonia will build up over time.

While a filter can slow down the change in water parameters, the water will eventually get polluted.

Disease-causing parasites will proliferate, making it hard for your axolotl to survive the hostile living conditions. 

Axolotls are highly sensitive to ammonia ,and therefore you have to make sure that the level is never above 0 ppm.

High ammonia levels will have an adverse effect on your axolotl’s health and well-being, and the animal will eventually die. 

How to Keep An Axolotl Tank Clean

Dirty water is a direct threat to your axolotl’s health and well-being. Spot cleaning is the most important part of keeping a tank clean.

Use a turkey baster to remove axolotl poop whenever you notice it. But that’s not enough. 

Never skip the nitrogen cycle, even if you find the process time-consuming. The goal is to establish bacterial colonies and thus regulate the nitrogen cycle.

Bacteria turns ammonia into nitrite, and then nitrite is turned into nitrate. If the nitrogen cycle is performed properly, the ammonia level stays at 0 ppm. 

Before you add substrates to your tank, stir them properly and eliminate contaminants.

Avoid using soil as a substrate unless you are sure that the soil does not contain chemicals, pesticides or critters. 

Every week, do a 20% water change, even if there is a perfectly functioning filter in the tank.

In order to keep water parameters within a normal range, change water regularly. Use a water testing kit to test water parameters regularly. 

Learn more here: How to Keep An Axolotl Tank Clean

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FAQs

How to clean bottom of axolotl tank

Feces, uneaten food, dead bits of plants and other pollutants settle to the bottom of the tank. To remove them vacuum the gravel at least once a week. You can also use a turkey baster to remove axolotl poop and uneaten food. 

How to clean axolotl poop

Use a turkey baster to clean the poop whenever you spot it. Just press the bulb of the turkey baster, take the nozzle to the stool and release the bulb.

The poop will be sucked in. Avoid poking the poop, because if you do so, the poop will burst and get scattered in the tank water. And that will lead to high levels of NH3, which may be the cause of your axolotl’s death. 

How to change the water in an axolotl tank

To change water in your axolotl tank you need a gravel vacuum, which works pretty much like a siphon. Using a vacuum is a pretty straightforward process. You just have to suck water into it and drain the water into a bucket or something like that. 

To keep ammonia levels down and prevent the proliferation of harmful bacteria, you have to do a 25% water change per week. Old water should be replaced with dechlorinated water. Avoid changing all of the water because if you do so, you will end up killing the beneficial bacteria. 

How to remove axolotl from tank

When you are transferring your axolotl to another tank or cleaning the main tank, you can simply hold your axolotl and pick it up. You may consider using a net for this purpose. However, make sure the animal stays out of the water only for a short period of time. 

How to clean an axolotl tank with sand

Cleaning an axolotl tank with a sand substrate is pretty easy. Remove the plants and decorations from the tank, use an algae scrubber to scrape off algae. Pieces of algae will fall to the sand substrate.

Siphon up the pieces of algae from the tank. Hover the gravel slightly higher above the sand, so that the sand does not get sucked up with the dirt. It may take a little bit of practice. Once the dirt has been sucked up and released into a bucket,  put the decorations back into the tank and do a 25% water change. 

Final Sentences

While some vets may recommend cleaning your axolotl tank every fortnight, more frequent cleaning is good for the health and well-being of your axolotl.

Ideally, you should spot clean whenever you spot poop or food waste and perform a 25% water change every week

Yes, it requires some commitment on your part. After all, keeping a pet is a commitment.

Now that you know how often an axolotl tank should be cleaned, we hope you will never allow your axolotl’s tank to get too dirty. 

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