Are Axolotls Nocturnal?

Axolotls are becoming more popular recently but there still isn’t a lot of information about them. One of the questions I hear often that isn’t answered well online is, are axolotls nocturnal?

To answer this lets, define nocturnal first which means, being more active at night and sleeping more during the day.

We know axolotls are nocturnal because they came from lakes in Mexico and are known for walking along the bottom. This means they would be in deep dark waters, so they were usually always in the dark before they landed in your aquarium. Axolotls also don’t like light and many owners have reported that their axolotl is more active in the dark. When they turn all the lights on their axolotl’s scurry into their hiding places.

Are Axolotl More Active at Night?

Axolotls are naturally more active at night because they originated from deep lake habitats with little to no light. They don’t like light so naturally they are going to be more active at night when there is less light.

If you let your eyes adjust to the dark or use a really dim light at night, you can watch your axolotl and you will see that it is more active. It is more active because naturally there is no light in the room. Don’t worry if your axolotl hides a lot during the day.

Do Axolotls Sleep at Night?

When axolotls were in the wild, they slept during the day and hunted for their food at night. It may be different in your aquarium, but we know that axolotls don’t like light. Your axolotl may seem pretty inactive during the day but don’t be alarmed.

This is their natural instinct to sleep during the day. If your axolotl is being very still and is not moving during the day, it is probably sleeping. Its skin will be paler in color to from not moving around much. Axolotls don’t have eye lids so you can’t tell they are sleeping that easily.

Do Axolotls Need Light at Night?

Axolotls don’t need light at night because they are used to being in darker waters than your aquarium. They don’t like light anyways. It is recommended to not even have a light in your aquarium and to keep their tank far away from the sunlight.

If you are going to have an aquarium light then you should get the least brightest light possible. You can shut the light off at night. Of course, if you have guests over you can turn the light on for a bit so they can see your axolotl.

Do Axolotls Like Darkness?

Axolotls naturally prefer darkness since they originated in dark waters and their eyes have no eyelids, so they are sensitive to light. If you have to have a bright light in your axolotl tank for plants then you need to make sure there are plenty of dark places in the tank for the axolotls to hide.

You can also turn the light off at night.

Can Axolotls See in The Dark?

Axolotls can see good in the dark because they are sensitive to any amount of light. They are also sensitive too movements which help them navigate at nighttime.

Since axolotls are natural night hunters their sense of movements and sensitivity to light combine to give them great vision at night overall even though it isn’t completely from their eyes.


Now you know that axolotls are creatures of the night so if you have one or are planning on getting one, you will be able to understand their behavior.

Don’t get your feelings hurt if they are less active during the day since they are nocturnal…

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