Most axolotl owners feed their axolotls some type of worms, either as their main diet or as treats…
Axolotls can eat worms, but it is important to know which worms axolotls can eat as their staple diet and which worms are treats. Earthworms, Blackworms, and Bloodworms are staple foods, while White worms, Mealworms, and Tubifex worms are treats.
Okay folks, it’s not as simple as that. There are positives and negatives for all of the different types of worms available for axolotls.
Keep reading and I will explain what to watch out for when choosing and buying worms for your axolotl…
Staple Food Worms:
- Earthworms are more famous as bait for fish than as axolotl food, but they are known across the web as a superfood for axolotls!
- Earthworms are packed with nutrients for your axolotl and are so large, they have to be cut into pieces, so your axolotl will get full faster than with smaller worms.
- You can’t really feed earthworms to an adolescent axolotl since earthworms are so big. Once they become grown you can feed them whole earthworms or chop them into pieces.
- Most people just wipe the soil off the earthworms as they pull them out of the package, cut them up, and either toss them in or feed the worm to the axolotl by hand.
- Earthworms are cheap and readily available since they are sold so much for bait. We buy our earthworms but you can also start your own worm farm with most worms.
- These are the main worms that we feed our axolotl with some of the other worms tossed in as treats every now and then just to add variety to their diet.
- You don’t have to feed your axolotl other foods if you feed them Earthworms because they will get all the nutrition that they need. This is why we include staple foods and treats into our worm conversation.
The last thing I want to point out about earthworms is they are often called nightcrawlers and sometimes red wigglers. They are actually different worms but they can all 3 be staple foods, so you don’t have to worry about someone selling you red wigglers and calling them nightcrawlers etc.
Here is a good quote fromhttp://compost.css.cornell.edu/
When most people think of “earthworms”, they usually mean “nightcrawlers,” which can be 8-10″ long and 1/2″ in diameter. These nightcrawlers are different from red wigglers, although both may be called “earthworms” since they both are found in the earth.
Blackworms are also packed full of nutrients, so they are also a good staple food for axolotls.
Blackworms can be fed to adolescent axolotls because they are smaller and slimmer than earthworms.
Some people prefer to feed blackworms as the staple food rather than earthworms because blackworms are from underwater worlds whereas earthworms are just in the dirt.
So, I guess you could say that blackworms are more natural for axolotls.
Blackworms got their name because, although they are dark brown, they are so dark, they appear black.
They are smaller and thinner than earthworms so your axolotl should be able to eat them whole, so you won’t have to chop them up as some people don’t like to do this.
Make sure you buy blackworms from an organic worm farm, your local pet store, or start your own worm farm. If you get wild blackworms, they can have parasites camping out. These parasites may decide to pitch their tent on your axolotl instead.
Bloodworms to some people’s surprise are actually classified as larvae, so technically they are not a ‘worm’, they just look like one.
We don’t like to feed our axolotl blood worms because of their bloody appearance which can make the water cloudy.
The worms have been identified as bloodworms, the small larvae of the midge fly (Chironomidae). Sometimes used as fishing bait or to feed aquarium fish, the larvae of some of these insects contain hemoglobin (protein that transports oxygen in the blood), which helps them get oxygen from water and gives them their characteristic reddish hue. – Livescience.com
Bloodworms can be bought live, frozen, or freeze-dried. The freeze-dried blood worms are great to feed to juvenile axolotl
Again, it is better to get your bloodworms from your local pet store or a reputable online dealer.
Wild bloodworms can also have parasites, so don’t buy them on the street from some shady craigslist dealer.
When feeding your axolotl frozen bloodworm cubes, they need to be defrosted. It is safer to use a little bit of your tank water to defrost the bloodworms. Your tank water is already warm enough – you can just put some bloodworms in some of the tank water and let them sit for a bit before feeding them to your axolotl.
The reason for this is so you don’t use unchlorinated water or water with chemicals to defrost and avoid getting chemicals in your tank.
White worms can be bought in many different sizes so they are great to match up to the size of your axolotl.
Some people like to feed a lot of white worms because axolotls like them so much but they should only be consumed as a treat because they are really high in fat.
However, because they are so high in fat, they can be used as a staple food for juvenile axolotls.
You should be able to buy them live or freeze-dried at your local pet store or online.
Tubifex worms, also known as sludge or sewage worms are great to feed axolotl larvae. They should only be fed to an adult axolotl as a treat.
They mainly come in freeze-dried form and should be purchased from your local pet store or online. The container will say free of parasites and bacteria.
Live tubifex worms can be hard to find and you need to keep them under running water to keep them from getting parasites. It is not worth the hassle to me.
Mealworms are readily available at your local pet store because they are a popular food for reptiles but anyone who knows axolotls extensively will recommend either avoid these worms or feed them very rarely as a treat.
The reason is because they have a hard exoskeleton that axolotls can’t digest so they expel the skeleton into the water.
The exoskeleton could damage the axolotl’s intestines, end up in your aquarium filter, or just foul our water over time.
It’s really not worth the trouble to me.
So now you know.
Axolotls can eat worms. It is actually their main diet in the wild that has carried over to their aquarium life.
If you can’t stand the thought of worms or mess with them, they make actual axolotl pellets you can feed them instead of worms.
Check out our article: How Do You Hand Feed An Axolotl?