Axolotls look like a cute little salamander lizard type pet but to some people they may look a bit scary since they are different from any other type of pet you will have in an aquarium. Most people think of fish when talking about aquariums.
When talking about terrariums most people think of a lizard of some sort. So, since axolotls are becoming more and more popular, one of the first questions that arises is, are axolotls friendly to humans?
It depends on the axolotl’s personality. An axolotl’s friendliness towards you will usually depend on how friendly you are towards them and how much time you interact with them in a friendly manner. Axolotls can be friendly to the point that they rush to the glass when they see you, tap on the glass to get your attention, rest in the palm of your hand, eat from your hand, and even let you teach them tricks.
Do Axolotls Have Personalities?
Kind of like humans, axolotls all have different personalities. When you first bring your axolotl home, you never know what type of axolotl they are going to become. Actually, interacting with your axolotl will help shape their personality.
If you just ignore your axolotl, they will probably just never warm up to you. They will be squirmy and nervous around you. They may even run and hide whenever your around. However, if you feed your axolotl regularly, most axolotls will associate feeding time with your presence and begin to interact with you more.
Especially if you feed them by hand. It is recommended that you feed your axolotl by hand anyways so you can see them up close when they come to grab the food from your fingers.
If you can see them up close, you can give them a health check and make sure they have good skin color and no marks or nicks in their skin. They will also grow to trust you more as well if they eat from your hand.
Owners have commented that after their axolotls get used to them their personalities become extremely friendly towards them.
Owners have said that their axolotl will swim back and forth when they approach the tank. They will tap on the glass hard enough for you to hear when you are near the tank to get your attention.
Axolotls can even be taught to do tricks before you give them their food. They can be taught to swim in a circle, back and forth or a certain pattern before you give them your food.
Other than tricks, if you feed your axolotl by hand or just stick your hand in the tank and let them approach you first they will nibble at your fingers and even chase your hand back and forth in the tank.
If you keep laying your palm flat in the tank, they will eventually lay in the palm of your hand. They will also nibble at your fingers a lot in a playful manner.
What Do Axolotls Do for Fun? What Do Axolotls Like To Play With?
Other than the interactions with you described above axolotls are also very curious animals and love to explore their tanks.
You should always give them places to head from the very beginning of the tank setup but what some people don’t know is that your axolotl will have more fun if you consistently change out the decorations in their tank to give them new and different things to explore and figure out.
Mainly decorations like caves or even a piece of PVC pipe that they can hide in. You can get creative and build a curvy tunnel out of PVC pipe or spend more money and get a fancy decoration online that they can play with.
Axolotls also have fun interacting with you as described above.
Do Axolotls Need Tank Mates?
Another way axolotls have fun is to have a tank companion. The only tank companion an axolotl should have though is another axolotl of the same size and sex.
The companion axolotl has to be the same sex because otherwise the female will breed way too much to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Left unchecked, the female will constantly be pregnant because although axolotls are cute little creatures, they are actually aggressive carnivores which leads to why the companion axolotl must be the same size.
Axolotls are predators that will try to eat anything that will fit in their mouths, including your finger. If one of the axolotls is smaller, the bigger axolotl will eat the smaller axolotl, even if it tears the smaller axolotl apart piece by piece.
You also should just keep another axolotl if you are going to have a companion because axolotls are especially sensitive to parasites that other creatures like fish can bring into the tank.
Are Axolotls Silly?
You can probably guess from what you already read that axolotls can at least seem silly. Just seeing an axolotl bang on the tank glass because you are near can make you laugh.
Also teaching a strange looking lizard fish to swim in patterns to get their food can be funny. Just feeding them from your hands can bring a laugh.
The funniest thing of all can be when you first start putting your hands into the tank. Especially at first when your axolotl doesn’t know you as well, they will try to eat your finger!
Never fear it tickles and doesn’t hurt. The only one that will get hurt is your axolotl if you overreact and try to pull your finger away too fast.
If your axolotl does latch on to your finger, be aware that their teeth are made for gripping and not for cutting or chewing. All you have to do is patiently wait for them to realize that they can’t eat your finger and they will spit it out.
As far as being silly, some owners have reported that their axolotl appears to sit on their hind legs and watch them when they are close to the tank. Some owners insist that the axolotl recognizes the camera and will even sit on their hind legs and pose for pictures.
So, now that you know how friendly your axolotl can actually be, don’t be alarmed if you bring an axolotl home and it refuses to interact with you. Axolotls have their own unique personalities, and they are all different.
Sometimes an axolotl just doesn’t want to interact with humans. If this happens, you can simply sell it or give it away and get a different one. When you are buying an axolotl, you can try to find one that already interacts with humans by asking the owner.
You may be able to fins one that has been in the pet shop for a while and is already interacting with people when they feed it.
Anyways, axolotls can be very friendly towards humans, just don’t be too disappointed if you get one that doesn’t.