Axolotls are rapidly gaining popularity as aquarium pets, especially since they are a part of the Minecraft game.
Since Axolotls are new to the aquarium world, you need to make sure they are cared for properly.
I was recently asked if you can use aquarium salts with axolotls to help with their health, so I decided to share the answer here…
You can use non-iodized aquarium salt or Hofstetter’s solution with your axolotls to prevent fungus, bacteria, or parasites. The recommended dosage is one tablespoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water
Before using salt with your axolotl, you must know that table salt or plain salt is not an option because its iodine content will negatively impact the axolotl and impair their growth.
Moreover, you should remove chlorine from your tap water using a de-chlorinator whenever you do a water change before you use aquarium salt.
Why Should You Use Aquarium Salt With Your Axolotl?
If you have a basic understanding of how to care for freshwater animals, you have a higher chance of effectively maintaining your axolotl. Axolotls are freshwater animals but have adapted to tolerating minimal salt levels.
Many axolotl owners use aquarium salt with their pets for the following reasons:
- To prevent or eradicate bacteria and fungi infection: It would help if you recognize that your tank water usually contains bacteria that feed on the excess food, debris, and axolotl waste. These bacteria can cause certain diseases to your axolotl if they form excess colonies. Therefore, you can minimize the disease-causing bacteria and fungi by adding the correct amount of aquarium salt to your axolotl tank.
- To maintain the health and safety of your axolotl: Most aquatic animals benefit from the minerals present in the water they live in because they use them for their biological activities. It has been shown that the most beneficial trace minerals to aquatic animals like axolotl include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, carbonate, and chloride. Suppose your tank water lacks some essential minerals; it is good to add the correct amount of aquarium salt to supplement or replenish the deficient mineral(s).
- To increase the tank humidity and buoyancy: Axolotls are bottom-dwellers, which is a significant factor to consider when setting up their tank. When you add aquarium salt to your axolotl tank, the water humidity will increase as the salt evaporates. Besides, when the salt evaporates, the water salinity will increase slowly, bringing your aquarium water to the low brackish water level. Brackish water has been shown to favor axolotl growth since it’s a blend between freshwater and low-level salt water.
- To boost your water hardness: Axolotl are used to living in hard water due to its good mineral content. If your aquarium water is relatively soft, you may need to add sufficient aquarium salt to bring it to the required hard water level. However, you won’t need to add more salt if your aquarium water is already hard.
Caution When Using Aquarium Salt With An Axolotl
It’s good to use aquarium salt with axolotl due to the benefits mentioned above, but before you use this salt, you must be aware of the following things:
- Use only a limited amount of aquarium salt: Axolotls are very sensitive to even a small change in their environment due to their permeable skin. If you add excess salt, you may notice that your axolotl experience temporary anemia, which can be harmful.
- Use non-iodized salt only: Most people confuse non-iodized salt with table salt. Table salt is an ionized salt as it contains iodine, which is particularly toxic and harmful to your axolotl.
- Use dissolved salt solution: It is not advisable to use the raw aquarium salt with your axolotl because doing so can irritate the animals and lead to injury. Ensure that you dissolve the salt in a small amount of water separately before adding it to the axolotl tank.
- Add the dissolved salt solution slowly: It would help if you add the dissolved salt solution slowly because this will make the axolotl get used to the new water condition. This will also aid adaptation to the new high salinity environment.
What Is The Correct Amount of Salt to Use with Your Axolotl?
Knowing the correct salt amount to use with axolotl is essential if you want to enjoy the maximum benefits and prevent harming them. Some experts recommend using one tablespoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water.
However, it would be best if you did not rely on this recommendation since there are various axolotl species with different salt sensitivity. You should first find out if your axolotl species are susceptible to salt poisoning. If susceptible, you may use less than one tablespoonful of aquarium salt per gallon of water.
You can also use an aquarium test kit or refractometer to measure the water saltiness. This is the most reliable means to define the correct amount of aquarium salt you should use because you can know the salinity and the real-time effect of the added salt on your axolotl with this instrument.
The goal of every axolotl owner is to provide care and safety for their unique pets. One way of ensuring this is using aquarium salt with the axolotl to prevent infections and replenish deficient minerals. But when you use salt with your axolotl, always make sure that you follow the procedures to avoid stressing your amazing axolotl.