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How To Clean Axolotl Poop: 3 Basic Ways

As a new owner, you struggle and don’t know how to clean axolotl poop. You are willing to take care of your cute little salamander, but you don’t know how to clean its stool which makes the tank water dirty too quickly. 

Many axolotl owners are not adequately informed about the care and maintenance of axolotls, and therefore fail to keep the tank clean.

It is important to clean your axolotl’s poop regularly because hygiene has a huge impact on your little friend’s overall well-being.

In this post, we will discuss everything you need to know about cleaning axolotl poop. We hope you will find some useful tips and information here.

How to Clean Axolotl Poop

Axolotl poop looks like goatskin, with black or brown hues. The shape of the stool depends on the axolotl’s size, and diet.

When an axolotl wants to poop, its posture changes and its gills turn red. The stool is very liquidy, it will burst if you poke it. Some axolotls trample on the poop while others eat it. 

Cleaning axolotl poop is very easy if you are a bit strategic. Avoid holding the stool directly. Even if the stool looks solid, it’s not solid. As soon as you poke the stool, it will get destroyed and scatter everywhere in the tank. 

It is important to scoop the stool immediately because if it gets scattered in the tank, the ammonia level in the water will rise. High levels of NH3 in the tank can be fatal for your axolotl. 

Use a Turkey Baster

Using a turkey baster is the easiest way to clean axolotl poop. Press the bulb, dip the baster into the tank, move the nozzle close to the axolotl stool release the bulb.

The turkey baster will suck the poop in. Be careful about the size of the turkey baster you choose. If needed, cut the end down to make the process easier. 

OXO Good Grips Angled Turkey Baster with Cleaning Brush

OXO Good Grips Angled Turkey Baster with Cleaning Brush
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Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Use a Gravel Vacuum Cleaner to Clean Out the Poop

A gravel vacuum can simplify the task of cleaning axolotl poop. This tool is remarkable because it picks up the poop and removes dirty water.

The problem is that most gravel vacuums come with nozzles that are too small for the task. If this is the case, you can make the end wider by cutting a part of it.

You are not vacuuming gravel; you are just picking up axolotl stool. Therefore, you don’t need to use the huge head part. Take off this column and then use only the tube part. 

Dip the head of the vacuum cleaner into the aquarium and place the head close to the poop. Allow the siphoning force to suck the poop in.

Then take the vacuum cleaner out of the tank, release the poop in a pot and repeat the process until you have siphoned out all the stool. 

There is a remarkable advantage to using a gravel vacuum cleaner. Besides cleaning axolotl poop, the tool will also remove dead bits of plants, uneaten food, and other debris and thus keeps your axolotl tank clean and healthy. 

Fluval Gravel Cleaner Kit, A370, Black

Fluval Gravel Cleaner Kit, A370, Black
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  • For use in freshwater and Saltwater aquariums

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Use a Net

Some people use nets to remove axolotl poop, but the process can be a hassle, especially if there are plants in the tank.

However, if there are no plants or decorations in the tank, using a net is a very simple and effective way to get the job done. Just bring the net to the poop, get the net under the poop and then lift it up. 

Cleaning axolotl poop with a net one will require a little bit of practice because the stool is very liquidy and bursts as soon as it receives an impact. So, try and see if this method works for you.

PENN-PLAX Quick-Net Aquarium Fish Nets

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Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pro Tips to Clean Axolotl Poop

  • Consider using activated carbon. It will absorb the odors of axolotl poop and remove impurities, making the tank water look clear and sparkling.
  • As we have already stated, axolotl poop is liquidy. It decomposes quickly. Make sure you clean the poop before it gets scattered. The poop can rapidly change water parameters. 
  • If your axolotl poops a lot, it is important to check the tank water regularly. Make sure the ammonia level is never above 0.25 ppm. Use an ammonia test kit to monitor water quality.  

Note: Contrary to what some people claim, nitrite snails and cherry shrimp do not ease or neutralize the effects caused by axolotl’s poop.

That means there is no alternative to clean the tank regularly, even if you are not keeping multiple axolotls in the tank. 


API AMMONIA 130-Test Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Water Test Kit
  • For fresh and Saltwater
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Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Axolotl Poop?

Axolotl poop itself is not toxic and does not cause any serious harm to axolotls or humans.

The poop contains ammonia, which can change water parameters. Changes in water parameters, especially high levels of NH3, are harmful to axolotls. 

If ammonia levels get too high, do not keep your axolotl in the tank. High concentrations of ammonia can result in poisoning and severe ammonia burns.

Do a water change and clean the tank with a vacuum cleaner at least once in a couple of weeks. It is to be noted here that filtering the water is not enough.

The residue from your axolotl poop will still be there in the tank. It is important to keep the water clean because clean water can prolong your axolotl’s life

Axolotls eat their poop, which is another important thing to consider. If the poop is not immediately picked up, the axolotl will soon scatter it everywhere!


How do you clean axolotl waste?

There are a few ways to clean axolotl waste. Using a turkey baster is the easiest way to get the job done. Or you can use a gravel vacuum or just a net. The key is to pick up the poop without poking it. 

Do you have to clean axolotl poop?

Axolotls are silly creatures. They tend to eat their poop. Also, axolotl poop is liquid and can get mixed with the tank water.

This can lead to high levels of ammonia in the water, which is bad for your axolotl’s health and well-being. Therefore, recommend picking up the poop whenever you spot it. 

Does axolotl poop explode?

Axolotl poop is contained in a sausage skin that prevents the poop from getting mixed with the water, at least for some time. If you poke the poop, it will instantly burst into pieces, contaminating the tank water. 

How often should axolotls poop?

It depends on your axolotl’s age and how often the animal eats. The water temperature also affects the animal’s digestion process to some extent.

In general, a healthy adult axolotl poops once or twice a week. Baby axolotls that eat multiple times a day may poop every day. 

Wrapping Up

All axolotl owners should educate themselves about the care and maintenance of these salamanders. For first-time axolotl owners, understanding the basics of the animal’s excretion process is of utmost importance. 

We have tried to answer the most frequently asked questions about cleaning axolotl poop, and we hope you have found this post useful. 

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