When you first bring home your axolotl, you will need to feed it. One of the first questions you ask related to food may be,
“What kind of worms do axolotls eat?”
Axolotls are carnivores so they mainly eat earthworms/nightcrawlers, blackworms, bloodworms, and red wrigglers as part of their main diet. White worms and grindal worms should only be given as treats for adult axolotls or used to help juvenile axolotls grow.
If you are feeding worms to young axolotls, they should be alive as young axolotls will only eat live worms. You should also get your worms from an organic farm, or fish-free water source, or raise your own worms to ensure that the worms are chemical-free.
Okay, there’s a lot more to it than that, so let’s dive in!
Worms to Feed Your Axolotl
Earthworms are more famously known as nightcrawlers because they usually feed above ground at night. I would assume so those pesky birds can’t see them, and they can eat in peace.
Earthworms are one of the most common foods to feed your axolotl this is because they arevery nutritious. Earthworms are so nutritious, they can be the main diet for your axolotl with some treats of white or grindal worms thrown in every now and then.
Earthworms can be too big so you may have to cut them into smaller pieces for your axolotl. To know whether you need to cut them or not just toss one of the worms in and watch. If they try to grab it and constantly let it go then you need to chop it into smaller pieces.
You can buy your own kit to raise your own earthworms for $50-60. You can feed your worm farm with compost created from your kitchen garbage. This way you can spend less money and will always have earthworms on hand to feed your axolotl.
Although they are called blackworms, they are actually brown in color. Some axolotl owners feed blackworms as the only food for their axolotl. Make sure the worms are nutritious enough to be the main part of your axolotls’ diet and not too fatty or oily like white and grindal worms which should only be fed as occasional treats.
Blackworms are related to earthworms but much smaller and skinnier. They do have about the same nutritional value as earthworms.
Many axolotl owners choose earthworms over black worms because blackworms are more difficult to raise on your own.
You would have to set up a separate aquarium with an air pump at room temperature and feed the blackworms fish food every day. You will have to use the usual dechlorinated water as any other freshwater aquarium, change out half the water each week (with dechlorinated water of course) and keep stocking the separate aquarium with more blackworms.
Never fear though, if you decide to choose blackworms over earthworms, blackworms are readily available in pet or aquarium stores.
If you feed blackworms to your axolotls, you need to try to make sure your axolotls consume all of the worms as they are messier than earthworms and will make your tank dirtier.
Bloodworms are also very nutritious and a great choice for adult axolotls because of their availability. They are always available freeze-dried because they are raised in massive quantities as food for tropical fish. They usually come in frozen cubes. They are also readily available live if you prefer to go that route.
These are great to feed to baby axolotls in live form because of their size. For adults, they don’t quite pack the nutritional punch as black and earthworms so you should probably mix these worms into their diet. You could also mix some salmon pellets to add more nutritions as it doesn’t always have to be worms that you feed them.
If you feed blood worms you you will need to keep a close eye on your tank maintenance because these are another messy worm.
Red wrigglers are usually confused with earthworms or nightcrawlers, but they are known for their reddish color.
They feed off of compost so you could call them a compost worm.
They are skinnier and smaller than an earthworm. They can grow to 2 – 5 inches and should be available at your local pet or aquarium store.
If red wrigglers are too big for your axolotl, you can chop them up, same as any other worm.
Your axolotl may not like them since they feed on compost waste. Because what they are feeding on is so gross, the worms themselves can taste pretty gross. Axolotls may throw up the red wriggler if it tastes too bad so you will have to keep an eye on them. You may have to cut up the red wriggler and vigorously wash it before feeding it to your axolotl.
To get the bad tasting slime off wash the red wrigglers in hot water. Just let them cool before feeding them to your axolotl.
Red wrigglers are okay for the main diet of axolotls if they actually eat them.
Although axolotls can eat tubifex worms, they are not recommended as their staple diet as they do not have enough nutrition to keep your axolotls healthy.
You have to be careful with tubifex worms because they can carry a lot of bacteria. You should be able to buy them locally live or freeze-dried. Freeze-dried tubifex worms are not as healthy as live ones.
If you are going to feed tubifex worms, I would go with the freeze-dried worms and only feed them as occasional treats, not as their staple diet.
Tubifex worms have also been known to attack salamander eggs, so be careful.
A cousin to the grindal worm, white worms are fatty and oily so they should only be fed as occasional treats to adult axolotls. However, you can feed white worms to baby axolotls as their main diet because it will help them to gain weight.
Grindal worms are smaller than white worms and are used for the same purpose, to help baby axolotls put on weight and grow. They can also be used as treats for adult axolotls but not as their staple diet.
I trust that this article has answered your question “What kind of worms do axolotls eat?” I would just save yourself a lot of trouble and just go with earthworms/nightcrawlers as your main food source. A lot of people seem to like the bloodworms as well so you could always try both and see which ones your axolotl likes the best.
There are other food sources like Daphnia and pellets that you can use as your axolotl’s staple diet or as extra treats.
If you are going to go with worms, I would stick with earthworms/nightcrawlers and mix some of the other stuff in as treats.