Axolotls, with their unique ability to regenerate limbs and spinal cords, have become popular as pets in recent years. These aquatic creatures, also known as Mexican salamanders, are fascinating to observe and care for.
However, some potential axolotl owners may wonder if they are safe to keep in their homes.
One common concern is whether axolotls are poisonous or toxic. In this article, we will explore this question in-depth and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about keeping axolotls as pets.
What are Axolotls?
Axolotls don’t need any introduction, these are one of the most popular creatures on the internet and almost everyone has witnessed this adorable feat of nature. They are native to the Xochimilco lake and Chalco lake of Mexico City, and are also bear the name Mexican walking fish.
Axolotls are amphibians, which means they can live both in water and on land. However, they are fully aquatic and spend their entire lives in water.
They have external gills that allow them to breathe underwater and come in a range of colors, including white, black, brown, and shades of pink and grey. They commonly grow to the length of 9 inches, but sometimes they can reach 12 inches.
One of the most fascinating things about axolotls is their ability to regenerate.
If an axolotl loses a limb, it can regrow it in just a few weeks. This ability has attracted the attention of scientists, who are studying axolotls to learn more about how regeneration works. It’s also one of the reasons why axolotls make such great pets – if they do lose a limb, it will grow back.
Are Axolotls Poisonous?
Axolotls are fascinating creatures that have become popular as pets in recent years. However, some potential axolotl owners may be concerned about whether they are poisonous or toxic.
Firstly, it’s important to note that axolotls are not poisonous. They do not produce any toxins or venom that could harm humans or other animals.
This means that handling an axolotl is perfectly safe, and you don’t need to worry about being exposed to any harmful substances. In some areas they are even considered a delicacy, therefore, there is no harm in consuming them as well.
If you decide to keep an axolotl as a pet, you don’t need to worry about getting bitten because they don’t hurt. However, it’s important to be cautious because they may carry salmonella.
But if the environment that they are in is not up to the make or is of low maintenance, they can be the carriers of health risks to humans. They can be the carriers of Salmonella poisoning and can pose a threat to people with the weak immune system.
Therefore, after touching an axolotl you need to wash your hand. Also, consuming an axolotl that has salmonella can be risky for humans.
Is it Safe to Keep Axolotls in Aquarium?
Axolotls with their adorable appearance and calm nature have found their way into the bucket list of almost all aquarium enthusiasts.
However, potential owners may wonder whether it’s safe to keep them in an aquarium. Well, if you can provide the proper care for an axolotl, then keeping them in an aquarium can be safe. They are not poisonous and therefore don’t pose a threat to you or their tank mates.
However, it’s important to take precautions to avoid injury or illness. Axolotls have delicate skin that can be easily damaged, which can lead to infection.
It’s also possible for axolotls to carry salmonella poisoning which can cause illness in humans, so it’s important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.
But they can carry salmonella poisoning only if the aquarium is not maintained properly.
An aquarium with a poor and bad water condition is not suitable at all for them.
What about Salmonella Poisoning?
Even though Axolotls pose no threat to humans, they can be carries of salmonella bacteria, which can cause illness in humans.
These bacteria are present in the digestive tract of the axolotl and they cannot be eradicated from them. Therefore you have to take a lot of precautions to avoid getting salmonella poisoning.
It’s important to take precautions when handling axolotls, such as washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling them or cleaning their tank.
It’s also important to note that the risk of salmonella poisoning from axolotls is relatively low, and can be reduced even further by practicing good hygiene and cleanliness. This means keeping their tank clean and the water in the best condition is the best thing to do.
If you have a compromised immune system, it’s important to be extra cautious when handling axolotls, as you may be more susceptible to salmonella poisoning.
When you get infected by salmonella poisoning, the symptoms are fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. It might not sound that severe but if you have a weak immune system it can prove to be fatal.
Can Axolotls Bite?
Axolotls biting are a rare occurrence and can only bite if it feels threatened or provoked. If an axolotl does bite, the bite itself is not likely to be harmful to humans.
Axolotls have small teeth that are designed for grasping prey, and their bites are not strong enough causing a small cut and a little bleeding.
However, it’s still important to handle them carefully and avoid putting your fingers too close to their mouths. Also, as you already know they are not poisonous, so you don’t have to worry about any kind of contamination.
If an Axolotl bites you then you should wash your wound and disinfect it, then let it heal.
Moreover, if it bites you then you should not pull your finger abruptly. If you do so, it can damage their delicate teeth and you wouldn’t want that happening.
Finally, don’t get another bite from them.
How to Keep Axolotls in Aquarium? (Safety Measures)
Keeping this adorable creature in an aquarium is almost everyone’s wish. They are neither harmful and don’t pose any threat to humans to tankmates.
But they need to be kept in a proper environment and some necessary things must be followed.
Adequate Aquarium needs
When setting up an aquarium for axolotls, it’s important to provide them with a suitable environment.
- Axolotls need a tank that is at least 20 gallons in size and has a water depth of at least 12 inches.
- The water temperature should be between 60-70°F, and the pH level should be between 6.5-8.0. It’s also important to use a water filter to keep the water clean and maintain good water quality.
- It’s also important to provide axolotls with hiding places and plants to make them feel secure. This will also help to reduce stress levels and prevent aggression.
- Use sandy substrate but if you want gravel keep large gravel that the axolotls cannot swallow.
- Also, make sure their tankmates are equal to their size or bigger than them. They will harass smaller fishes or organisms and might eat them. Moreover, their tankmates need to be docile.
Maintain hygiene and keep the tank clean
If you have an Axolotl then you must keep the aquarium clean. Not maintaining the water quality in its best condition can make the Axolotl stressed, also it can raise the risk of salmonella poisoning.
Therefore, you need to clean the tank regularly and perform water changes.
- Axolotls are sensitive to changes in water quality and temperature, so it’s important to monitor these factors regularly.
- Avoid using chemicals or medications in the tank unless they are specifically designed for axolotls, as they can be sensitive to certain chemicals.
- Also, make sure that you clean your hand thoroughly before touching the Axolotl.
- As they have sensitive skin, they are susceptible to any kind of bacteria present in your hand.
- In addition, you also need to wash your hands properly after touching an axolotl to avoid salmonella poisoning.
Feed them properly
As you already know Axolotls are capable of biting, therefore, you need to be careful when you feed them.
- You can feed them brine shrimp, worms, pellets, daphnia, and nightcrawlers. They will get their necessary nutrients from these foods.
- When you feed them, make sure to be careful as they can bite you. But they don’t do it purposely, they mistake your finger for food and bite it.
- Therefore, don’t feed them using your finger, you only need to drop the food directly in front of them.
Axolotls are not poisonous or toxic to humans. However, axolotls can carry salmonella bacteria, which can be harmful to humans if proper hygiene measures are not taken when handling them.
Therefore, it’s important to practice good hygiene and take safety measures when keeping axolotls as pets.
With proper care and attention, axolotls can make fascinating and rewarding pets for those who are willing to provide a suitable environment and take the necessary precautions.
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