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axolotls

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At Avonturia de Vogelkelder you will always discover an extensive choice of axolotls and articles for your axolotl. In our store we not only offer axolotls in various colors, but also an extensive range of axolotl items, such as a suitable aquarium, axolotl pellets, live food and all accessories to optimize the living environment of your axolotl.

Our expert staff are ready to advise you and answer all your questions about axolotl care. That is why we are the place for lovers of these intriguing salamanders.

Whether you are a hobbyist eager to start your first axolotl or a passionate axolotl enthusiast looking for a new challenge, at Avonturia de Vogelkelder you will find everything you need. Visit our store in The Hague and be enchanted by the wonderful underwater world of the Axolotl!

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Axolotl Information Page Fish Species Animal Page Avonturia

Axolotls

Dutch Name: Axolotls
Scientific name: Ambystoma mexicanum
Origin: Mexico
Age: In captivity between 10 and 15 years old
Height: about 15 – 45 cm – on average around 30 cm
Legislation: CITES B
Difficulty: Easy
Diet: Carnivore
Reproduction: Female releases eggs into the water, and the male spreads his sperm over the eggs to fertilize them.
Minimum size: 100x50x50cm

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Description

An Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), also known as the "Mexican walking fish", is an amphibian belonging to the mole salamander family and native to Mexico. Although his appearance resembles a small, cute salamander with a streamlined body, it is his unique features that make him so special.

 Axolotls are neotenic salamanders, meaning they retain their larval features throughout their lives rather than metamorphosing into a fully terrestrial form. This keeps them alive in the water and keeps their gills for respiration instead of developing lungs.

Its most notable feature is its ability to regenerate body parts. Unlike many other animals, the axolotl can recover lost limbs, tails, parts of its brain and even damaged organs. This regenerative power is one of the most studied aspects of the axolotl and has fascinated scientists and researchers.

Due to their striking appearance and the fact that they are relatively easy to care for, axolotls have also become popular as pets. However, it is critical that potential owners thoroughly educate themselves about proper care requirements before taking an axolotl into their home. A suitable living environment, proper nutrition and attention to their needs are essential to ensure that these special creatures remain healthy and happy.

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Xochimilco Region Axolotl

Where did the Axolotl come from?

The natural habitat of an Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) mainly includes the lakes and canals in and around the Xochimilco region and Lake Chalco, located in Mexico City. These wetlands are home to the Axolotl and provide ideal conditions for their aquatic lifestyle.

The lakes and canals of Xochimilco are part of a unique endorheic basin, where water does not flow to the ocean but remains within the area. This creates a specific ecological environment in which the Axolotl thrives.

The water in these areas is often calm and rich in vegetation, providing a suitable environment for the Axolotl to forage and hide. They can feed on various prey such as small fish, insect larvae and other aquatic organisms.

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What kind of animal is the Axolotl?

The Axolotl is a species of salamander that occurs naturally in and around some lakes in Mexico, specifically in Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco. These fascinating and unique looking amphibians, known scientifically as Ambystoma mexicanum, are quite distinct from other salamanders and amphibians.

Their body is elongated and slender, with a flat head and four short legs with fine fingers at each end. The entire skin of the Axolotl is smooth and velvety.

A distinctive feature of the Axolotl is the presence of external gills. These newts maintain the "larval" stage throughout their lives, meaning they reach adulthood without the usual metamorphosis that other amphibians undergo. These external gills allow them to absorb oxygen directly from the water, making them fully adapted to life in the water.

Their unique appearance is further accentuated by the long and graceful caudal fin, making them somewhat like a "water dragon". This long tail is used for swimming, which helps them navigate the water with dexterity.

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The Threatened Status of the Axolotl in the Wild

The natural population of the Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) in the wild has faced significant challenges and threats, making the status of this species a concern.

  1. Habitat Loss: Human development in the region surrounding Mexico City has resulted in the loss and degradation of the natural habitat of the Axolotl, particularly the lakes and canals of Xochimilco. Urban sprawl, pollution and water pollution have affected their habitat.
  2. Pollution: The water quality in the lakes and canals where the Axolotl lives has been seriously affected by pollution from waste, chemicals and nutrients. This negatively affects the living conditions and food supply of the Axolotl.
  3. Introducing Invasive Species: The introduction of exotic fish species into Xochimilco's waters has exacerbated competition for food and habitat for the Axolotl.
  4. Diseases: Disease outbreaks have been observed among wild Axolotls, including fungal infections that have affected their population.

Because of these threats, the natural population of the Axolotl is on the brink of extinction in the wild. Fortunately, efforts are being made to conserve the Axolotl, such as promoting conservation measures, habitat restoration, scientific research, and the conservation of genetic diversity in captivity. These efforts are critical to ensuring the future of this unique amphibian.

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Is an Axolotl legal in the Netherlands?

Yes, it is currently legal to keep an Axolotl as a pet in the Netherlands.

Axolotls are considered exotic pets and fall under the regulations of the Animals Act and European Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 on trade in protected species of wild fauna and flora.

Because exotic pets sometimes require special care and attention, the government has put in place regulations to ensure that these animals are treated properly and that their keepers meet certain standards.

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The Axolotl and CITES 

As a future Axolotl owner in the Netherlands, there are important rules that you must comply with. A transfer statement, which you must sign upon purchase, serves as proof of legal origin.

This helps to protect this unique species and ensures that trade complies with CITES regulations. As the owner, you play a vital role in preserving the Axolotl population. Understanding the rules is not only a legal obligation, but also an ethical responsibility to protect these beautiful creatures for the future.

CITES is the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.” This international agreement aims to regulate and control trade in endangered wildlife.

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Why the Axolotl is under CITES: Protection of an Endangered Species

The Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is listed as a CITES animal for several reasons, mainly related to the endangered status of this species and the need to regulate international trade and activities to protect its survival.

  1. Endangered Status: The natural population of Axolotls in the wild has declined significantly due to habitat loss, pollution and illegal trade. As a result, the species is considered endangered and vulnerable. Adding the Axolotl to CITES helps regulate and restrict international trade to prevent further population declines.
  2. Illegal trade: Axolotls are often illegally captured and traded for the pet market and other purposes. This has contributed to their decline. CITES regulation ensures that the trade of Axolotls is controlled and the origin of individuals is traced to prevent illegal activities from increasing.
  3. Conservation of biodiversity: CITES aims to preserve biodiversity by preventing endangered species from becoming extinct due to uncontrolled international trade. Listing the Axolotl in CITES will help conserve this unique species and prevent it from disappearing due to overexploitation.
  4. Annex I status: Since 2010, the Axolotl has been listed on Appendix I of CITES, which means that international trade in this species is strictly controlled and restricted. Appendix I includes endangered species whose trade is permitted only in very limited circumstances, such as for scientific research or conservation purposes.

Basically, the Axolotl is a CITES animal due to the serious threat the species faces in its natural environment and the need to regulate international trade to ensure its survival.

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Where can you buy an Axolotl?

If you're looking for a place to buy an Axolotl, you've come to the right place. Bee Avonturia de Vogelkelder in The Hague we welcome future Axolotl owners.

With over 45 years of experience, we are experts in the field of exotic pets and can advise and guide you extensively at the start of your Axolotl adventure.

Whether you're new to the world of exotic pets or already have some experience, we've got you covered! We are happy to help you to ensure that you have the right knowledge to take good care of your new companion.

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What does an Axolotl eat?

The Axolotl is a carnivore and has a diet consisting mainly of animal protein. In the wild, Axolotls feed on a diverse selection of small prey that are abundant in their aquatic environment.

These prey include aquatic insects such as mosquito larvae, water fleas and water beetles. In addition, small fish, such as young fish, are also on the menu of these amphibians. In addition, crustaceans, such as shrimp, and various types of worms also form an important part of their diet. Some of an Axolotl's typical food sources include:

  1. Aquatic Insects: Axolotls like to eat different types of aquatic insects such as mosquito larvae, water fleas and water beetles.
  2. Small fish: They may also eat small fish, such as fry, that are within their reach.
  3. Crustaceans: Shrimp and other small crustaceans are also part of an Axolotl's diet.
  4. Worms: Small worms, such as bloodworms and tubifex worms, are also a suitable food source for Axolotls.

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Decoration Of Axolotl Aquarium

Cannibalism in Axolotls

Cannibalism is a prominent behavioral trait in Axolotls. Axolotls are carnivores by nature and have a natural tendency to view smaller young Axolotls as easy prey.

This behavior can also be triggered by various stressors, such as competition for food and territory, as well as limited space.

Therefore, if you decide to keep Axolotls together, we strongly recommend that they are about the same size. If the Axolotls are of similar size, the chance of cannibalism is less.

But in addition to matching the size, it is also essential to provide them with a spacious living environment. An aquarium should be large enough for several Axolotls so that they have enough individual space to move around and feel comfortable.

 

Young Axolotl Eating

What Does a Pet Axolotl Eat?

To meet its nutritional needs, an Axolotl as a pet needs a diet that mainly consists of animal proteins. To help keep your Axolotl healthy, you can offer a variety of foods.

  1. frozen food: Frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, mysis shrimp, and daphnia are excellent food choices for Axolotls. These contain nutritious protein and are easy to store and defrost.
  2. live food: Live foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, small worms (e.g. tubifex worms) and small fish (make sure they are appropriate for the size of your Axolotl) can supplement your pet's nutritional needs.
  3. Axolotl food: Specially formulated Axolotl food, such as the JBL Axolotl Pellets. Provide a balanced mix of nutrients specifically tailored to the needs of these amphibians.
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How Much Does an Axolotl Eat?

A general guideline is to feed your Axolotl about 2-3 times a week. An Axolotl's nutritional needs can vary depending on several factors, for example, younger Axolotls generally eat more food than adult Axolotls.

It is better to offer smaller portions than too much food at one time. Overfeeding is a significant danger to your Axolotl. Uneaten food remains can degrade water quality, leading to ammonia and nitrite buildup. This can be detrimental to your Axolotl's health and cause stress, which weakens immunity and increases disease risk.

In addition, overfeeding can lead to obesity, digestive and internal organ problems, and shortened lifespan. It is essential to carefully manage the diet and avoid overfeeding your Axolotl to ensure its well-being.

Pay close attention to your Axolotl's behavior to determine if the food is accepted and eaten. If the food isn't eaten within 15-20 minutes, it could be an indication that you've been offered too much.

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The Remarkable Regenerative Power of an Axolotl

One of the most intriguing traits of the Axolotl is its extraordinary ability to regenerate.

Unlike other animals, the Axolotl has the ability to regenerate lost limbs, damaged organs, and even parts of its spine. This means that if an Axolotl loses a leg, tail, or any other part of its body, it is able to regrow it.

Cell regeneration

The key to the axolotl's regenerative ability lies in its incredible ability to regenerate and specialize cells. When injured, cells near the damaged area form a structure called a "blastema."

These blastema cells are actually versatile stem cells. Which means they have the ability to turn into different types of tissues, such as muscles, nerves, and skin. This flexibility allows the axolotl to regenerate specific tissues needed to restore the lost body part.

Research and possible applications

The axolotl's regenerative ability has sparked the interest of scientists and researchers around the world. By studying the genetics and regenerative processes of this amphibian, scientists hope to gain insight into how regeneration works in vertebrates and how this knowledge can be applied in medical research.

The possibilities are promising. If we can understand how the axolotl controls its regenerative powers, these insights could lead to new approaches to promoting tissue regeneration in humans. Think of repairing damaged organs, regrowth of nerve tissue after injuries or even stimulating regeneration in patients with certain conditions.

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Axolotl Colors

Which Axolotl colors are there?

Axolotls come in many different colors and patterns. Their color depends on their genes, how old they are and how healthy they are. In the wild, they are often brown or gray, so they don't stand out in their environment.

In captivity, several colors have been added through selective breeding. Here are a few examples:

  1. wild color: These Axolotls look like in the wild, with brown or gray color and dark spots.
  2. White: Some Axolotls are very light in color. These are also called Albinos.
  3. Black: Other Axolotls are almost completely black.
  4. Gold: Some Axolotls have a yellow almost golden color.

 

What is the Rarest Axolotl Color?

In captivity, Axolotls are actively bred to create new colors. It's hard to say which color is the rarest at the moment. This is because new color variations are constantly being discovered.

In addition to the well-known colors, there are now also Axolotls with mosaic patterns, gray spotted Silver Dalmatian Axolotls, colorful Piebald Axolotls and chimera Axolotls that have a unique half-black and half-white appearance. This continuous evolution in color variations adds to the fascination surrounding these extraordinary amphibians.

 

Mosaic Axolotl
Mosaic Axolotl
Copper Axolotl
Copper Axolotl
Chimera Axolotl
Piebald Axolotl
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Dark Axolotl Color

How big does an Axolotl get?

An adult Axolotl can average between 15 and 45 centimeters in length, depending on factors such as genetics, nutrition and environmental conditions.

Females are generally slightly larger than males. It is important to note that the size of an Axolotl can also be affected by the habitat they are kept in.

In general, a suitable, well-maintained habitat with optimal water quality and suitable nutrition is crucial to promote the healthy growth and development of Axolotls. And giving them the chance to reach their full size potential.

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Axolotl As A Pet

 

How old does an Axolotl get?

An Axolotl can live up to 10 to 20 years in captivity with proper care. Some Axolotls can live even longer when properly cared for and kept in a healthy and natural environment.

In the wild, they often age a little less. This is because of the challenges and risks they encounter in their natural environment.

If you are considering getting an Axolotl as a pet, it is important to carefully consider whether you want to care for this unique pet for the next 10 to 20 years.

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The reproduction of an Axolotl

The reproduction of Axolotls is unique and has some remarkable features. Unlike many other amphibians, adult Axolotls remain in the water throughout their lives and do not undergo complete metamorphosis to a terrestrial form. This permanent aquatic lifestyle affects their reproductive strategy.

Sexual maturity 

Axolotls reach sexual maturity around 18 months of age while still in their larval form.

The Mating Ritual

The Axolotl mating ritual is a unique spectacle that revolves around timing and determination. The male takes the initiative and determines when mating takes place, often following signals from the female. When the female is ready to lay eggs, the male clings to her to make sure he doesn't miss the opportunity.

While this interaction can sometimes be rough and involve biting, it is a critical part of the reproductive process. The male persists and patiently waits for the female to begin laying the eggs. Because he is attached to her, the eggs pass past his penis, so that they are directly fertilized by him. This ingenious mechanism ensures effective and natural fertilization during the Axolotl mating ritual.

 

Development

After a few weeks, the eggs hatch and the larvae are born. These tiny creatures feed on microscopic plankton and other small food sources in the water. As the larvae grow, they undergo a process of slow metamorphosis and gradually develop the distinctive adult Axolotl form.

 

 

 

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Axolotls In Natural Decor

Can You Keep Axolotls Together?

Keeping Axolotls together is possible, but it requires careful planning and adherence to specific conditions. Axolotls are solitary animals by nature, so if you choose to keep several Axolotls together there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

It is advisable to select Axolotls of similar size and age to minimize unnecessary stress or territorial behavior. A spacious aquarium with ample swimming space and hiding places is essential to ensure individual space.

Food competition can cause stress, so feeding Axolotls separately can be a smart approach. Regular monitoring of their interactions and behavior is crucial to ensure that each Axolotl experiences a healthy and harmonious environment.

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Axolotl Scaping Tray

An Axolotl as a Pet

Keeping exotic pets has become increasingly popular in recent years. And with its striking appearance and intriguing features, the Axolotl has won the hearts of many.

The Axolotl is an amphibian that spends its entire life in the water and retains its larval form. This is in contrast to other amphibians that undergo a metamorphosis to a terrestrial form. This unique feature makes Axolotls aquatic inhabitants, so to get started you need a suitable aquarium.

A suitable aquarium

Choose a spacious 100cm or 120cm aquarium for your Axolotl, with ample horizontal space for natural behavior. Provide sufficient water depth of at least 30cm and a well-fitting lid to keep it safe.

Temperature and pH value

Axolotls are cold-blooded creatures that thrive best in an aquatic environment with a temperature between 14°C and 20°C. Maintaining this optimum temperature is very important to ensure that your Axolotl functions properly and feels comfortable. In addition, the pH value of the water is important. A pH value between 6,5 and 7,5 is recommended to create a stable environment.

Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate

Regulating the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the water is extremely important. Ammonia and nitrite are toxic substances that can build up in the water and be harmful to your Axolotl. This can lead to health problems and even death. Regular water changes and the use of a reliable filtration system can help keep these substances under control.

Oxygen and Water Movement

Oxygen is vital to your Axolotl's well-being. A properly functioning filter system and possibly an air pump can ensure sufficient oxygen supply to the water. At the same time, the water movement is important to prevent dead spots in the water and to ensure that nutrients and oxygen are evenly distributed.

Regular Checks

It is very important to regularly check the water values ​​using test kits. These kits can give you insight into pH levels, ammonia and nitrite levels, and more. If the values ​​deviate, it is necessary to make immediate adjustments to restore balance and ensure the health of your Axolotl.

Axolotl With Pellet Feeding

Simulating the Natural Living Environment

A crucial starting point when setting up an Axolotl aquarium is to simulate their natural habitat. Axolotls are aquatic inhabitants that live in lakes and waterways in Mexico. Recreating an environment that resembles their natural habitat can help them feel more comfortable and display more natural behaviors.

Ground Cover and Shelters

The right substrate is important to create a comfortable and functional environment. Sand is the best option! Axolotls have velvety skin that is sensitive and fragile. Shelters are also essential. These can be decorative caves, ceramic pipes, or other structures where your Axolotl can hide and rest.

Plants and Decorations

Plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also provide functional benefits to your Axolotl. Real aquatic plants can oxygenate the water and provide shade, which is important for Axolotls to reduce stress. Make sure the plants don't have sharp edges that could damage your Axolotl's delicate skin.

Lighting

Lighting is an essential component and can affect your Axolotl's health. Light that is too bright can cause stress, so provide soft, dim lighting. Decorations such as floating plants or driftwood can add visual interest to the aquarium while also serving as hiding places.

 

The importance of properly setting up an Axolotl aquarium cannot be overemphasized. It is about more than just making the environment aesthetically pleasing. It's about creating a home that supports your Axolotl's natural needs and instincts. By paying attention to details such as substrate, hiding places, plants and water movement, you can provide an environment where your Axolotl is comfortable and can live a long and healthy life.

 

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Everything you need to get started on an Axolotl

Before embarking on the adventure of keeping an Axolotl as a pet, it is vital to make sure you have all the necessary equipment and supplies on hand.

  • Aquarium: From 100cm – 120cm long
  • substrate: Soft sand to prevent your Axolotl from getting hurt.
  • Filter system: A reliable filter system to maintain water quality and circulation.
  • Thermometer: To monitor the water temperature.
  • shelters: Decorative caves, pipes or shelters to provide a safe place for your Axolotl.
  • Plants: Real aquatic plants for oxygen and shade.
  • Water treatment agents: For neutralizing chlorine and conditioning the water.
  • Test kits: To regularly check the pH value, ammonia and nitrite levels.
  • Voedsel: Frozen or live food such as worms, insects and small fish.
  • Pellet Nutrition: Special Axolotls Pellet food for additional feeding
  • Water change equipment: A bucket and a hose for performing regular water changes.
  • Air pump: Optional, can add extra oxygen to the water.
  • Lighting: Soft, subdued lighting to reduce stress
  • Net scoop: To gently move your Axolotl if necessary.
  • Bottom cleaner: To remove waste and food residues from the bottom.
  • Aquarium stand: A stable stand to place the aquarium on.

This list covers the basic needs to create a comfortable and healthy living environment for your Axolotl. It is important to always provide the best care and perform regular maintenance to ensure that your Axolotl thrives.

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We are happy to help you!

If you are looking for a reliable address to purchase an Axolotl, then look no further. Bee Avonturia de Vogelkelder in The Hague we warmly welcome future Axolotl owners.

With an expertise of over 45 years, we specialize in exotic pets and are ready to advise and guide you in starting your Axolotl adventure.

Whether you're new to the world of exotic pets or already have some experience, we're here to support you. Our goal is to make sure you are well informed and have the right knowledge to take excellent care of your new companion.

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