• Axolotls are illegal in California. Please read this thread for detailed information and links to the actual laws: https://www.caudata.org/forum/f1173-advanced-newt-salamander-topics/f1175-herpetological-science-politics/f1176-laws-legality-ethics/66386-axolotls-illegal-california-here-relevant-laws.html

*HELP* Cycling a tank with 2 juvenile Axolotls, need advice.


New member
Hey guys,

I just bought 2 Axolotls, one leucistic and one wild type. They look to be around 2 months old. Prior to purchasing them I had a 29 gallon tank with an Exo Terra canister filter, a large air stone ring, and 2 large amazon sword plants running for about 4 days with fish flakes at the bottom(very fine white sand as substrate, temp is 68F). I’ve treated the water with prime and have been trying to get a cycle going with tetra safe start and stability. Since I got the Axolotls before my tank cycled, I plan to cycle with them inside.(the shop I was got them from was down to the last 5 axies and I didn’t want to miss out) aside from monitoring the water several times daily, and performing 25-30% partial water changes everyday. Is there anything else I can do to ensure the axies thrive? They’ve just been introduced to the tank and are pretty stressed from the Tupperware-to-tank change. (substrate has been cleaned and most if not all fish flakes were removed, and a 75% water change was done to get rid of any built up ammonia.) Thanks so much, I’ll provide pics of the setup if you’d like.
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New member
So cute. I am in the same shoes, except I tossed in a big bundle of hornworts. Grows fast, low lights, and sucks up ammonia. If that's not an option and you have another tank, toss its filter media into the filter of your new axie tank.


New member
Tank looks great! The only thing is that juvenile axolotls are recommended to be on bare bottom tanks for the first few months as even sand can cause impaction.
If you have to leave the sand in you can use a feeding jar/plate so they are eating away from the sand.
Test the water every day or two to make sure ammonia, etc, doesn't get high. Keep doing water changes according to these results too, cycling can take longer when doing it with animals in so it can be a while before you see a lot of progress. Borrowing cycled filter media, decorations or live plants are great to kick start it, maybe some bottled bacteria too. If ammonia, etc, gets too high and water changes don't bring it down fast enough be prepared to put the axies in a temporary container.
Keep an eye on how well they swim to the surface, little ones might need a lower water height until they get bigger.