Why Do Axolotls Eat Their Babies?

Unfortunately, axolotls can and will eat their babies while they are still inside their eggs. If you haven’t fed your axolotl plenty of high-quality food, they will almost always eat their own babies unless you separate them early.

Axolotls aren’t exactly good parents in the amphibian world. They naturally do not care for their babies and will view them as food if they have no other source of food. If the eggs or newborn axolotls are in the same tank as their parents, they will inevitably and eventually be eaten.

Why Do Axolotls Eat Their Babies?

Axolotls are carnivorous and like to feed on earthworms, crustaceans, and other sources of meat. They prefer to eat anything meat based that looks like a good food source that can easily fit in their mouth as well.

Axolotl baby eggs are about half an inch in diameter, which is easy enough for axolotl parents to fit into their mouths. Since axolotls don’t mind eating their babies, this must make them carnivorous.

How to Prevent Axolotls From Eating Their Babies

After the male and female axolotls have courted, watch for the female to lay eggs on the surface of the aquarium glass, 12 hours to a couple of days after mating with her mate. Once you see the eggs, you can do one of two methods to protect the spawn from being eaten by their parents.

Separate the adult axolotls from their eggs by placing the adults in a new tank. Leave the eggs where they were laid until they hatch within the next two weeks.

Alternatively, you can put up a strong barrier in front of where the eggs are laid so that the adult axolotls cannot get to their babies to feed on them. Be sure to give the parents enough food during the day, so they don’t try to break through the barrier to get to the eggs.

The best way would be to house the adults and eggs separately. Once the eggs hatch, you will need to separate them into smaller groups in different tanks depending on how many eggs the mother axolotl has laid.

How To Remove Eggs from Axolotls Tank?

Removing adult axolotls from the tank is easy. Just gently grab them one by one and then take them to the other aquarium. Obviously the other tank needs to be set up correctly as well. Your axolotl adults need to have enough space and the temperature must also be adjusted correctly.

However, if your goal is to remove the eggs, it’s not that difficult either. You can do it by hand, but only if you feel confident about it. A better way is to get a small cup and gently roll in those eggs. Then you can easily transport them without breaking any of them.

Once the other tank is set up you can gently lay the eggs. From then on, all you have to do is wait until they hatch.

How Long it Takes for Axolotls Eggs to Hatch?

One of the benefits of separating the eggs of the adult axolotls is that you can make them hatch sooner. By increasing the water temperature to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, those eggs will hatch in 14 days. The recommended water temperature for axolotls is 50 to 70 Fahrenheit.

If you kept the temperature around 65 Fahrenheit, the eggs would hatch only after 20 days. The fact that you can extend or shorten this period can actually help a lot. If you have all the food and feel like you are ready to take care of the fry, you can speed it up.

However, if you feel like you need more time to secure some food or tank accessories, simply turn the heat down. Once they are outside, you can start feeding them some live micro worms.

How Many Eggs Can a Axolotl Lay?

Female axolotls can lay at least 1,000 eggs at a time after spawning with a male. They can lay 300 eggs on average. They can breed and lay eggs as much as they like right after a previous breeding session.

If you find that the 2 or more axolotls laying more eggs than you can handle, have them live in separate habitats for a while. Since they are an endangered species, it is best to care for the babies to ensure the parents do not eat them so that posterity can thrive for future generations.

How Many Baby Axolotls Should Live In One Tank?

Axolotl eggs need at least a 20 gallon tank to thrive and hatch on time without issue. About 100 newborn axolotls can live in a 20-gallon tank at a time, as 200 babies shouldn’t be in a tank that small.

Once the axolotls reach the juvenile stage, which is when they are two and a half to four inches long, they should not be kept together in the tank.

They may exhibit cannibalism towards each other when they begin to eat a larger carnivorous diet than when they were first hatched.

Have a designated room for separate tanks for juvenile axolotls. Keep them away from other larger animals if you have them at home, such as dogs or cats. Start selling them to potential pet owners interested in owning an axolotl to free up space in case a new set of axolotl eggs hatch between the breeding male and female.