How Much Does an Axolotl Cost?

Last Updated on January 15, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

With their cute “smiles” and cool exotic colors, axolotls have become a popular pet choice. But before bringing one of these unique amphibians home, it’s important to understand the costs involved with properly caring for them.

Let’s take a detailed look at the axolotl costs.

Initial Cost of Purchase – How Much Does an Axolotl Cost?

Axolotl purchase prices often range from $30 to $100 or more depending on:

  • Species – Common colors like albino cost less than rare morphs.
  • Age – Younger axolotls are cheaper than mature adults.
  • Gender – Females tend to cost more than males.
  • Health – Sick or injured axolotls have lower prices. This is inadvisable for ethical reasons.
  • Breeder – Prices vary between different sellers.

Here are typical axolotl price ranges:

  • Common colors: $30 – $80
  • Rare axolotl morphs: $100 – $300
  • Golden albino: $45 – $60
  • GFP leucistic: $150 – $300

Do plenty of research to find a responsible, ethical breeder. Never buy an animal if you can’t properly care for it.

GetPebby notes that standard axolotls can cost between $30 and $75, while more exotic morphs may range from $100 to $1,500. Delivery fees typically range from $40 to $60.

According to A-Z Animals, the adult Golden Albino axolotl costs around $45 while the Piebald axolotl costs about $100. Axolotl Planet, a company run by passionate biologists and breeders in Texas, gives the following price ranges for different species of axolotls.

  • GFP axolotl: between $150 and $300.
  • Albino axolotl: between $110 and $215.
  • Copper axolotl: between $160 and $270.
  • Wild Type axolotl: between $85 and $120.
  • Axanthic axolotl: between $190 and $270.

Animal Bliss says you can expect a baby or juvenile axolotl to cost between $30 and $75 for your standard, common breed. There are more exotic morphs and types that can cost between $100-$1,500, but these really are for collectors.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a chameleon, an iguana, or a tarantula.

Assuming you don’t have a breeder close by, remember that you will also have to pay for shipping. You can expect this to cost between $40-$60 as a flat fee no matter how many you purchase.

Cool Exotic explains that pets The costs of axolotls vary depending on species, size, color, and availability. Prices range from $30 to $500.

An Introduction to Axolotls

Axolotl CostAlso called Mexican walking fish, axolotls are actually a type of salamander able to walk on four legs and swim underwater. They have amazing regenerative abilities, allowing them to regrow limbs and heal wounds.

Axolotls come from just two lakes in Mexico and are critically endangered in the wild. The axolotls kept as pets are captive bred, not taken from wild populations.

Their signature smile gives axolotls very expressive faces. And through breeding, they come in a variety of colors beyond the natural brown/gray.

Housing – What Kind of Habitat Do They Need?

Axolotls require a specific aquatic habitat to thrive. Here are the main supplies needed:

  • Tank – Minimum 20-gallon tank with ample floor space.
  • Substrate – Fine sand or bare bottom tank recommended. No gravel or rocks.
  • Filtration – Low-flow canister or sponge filter to keep water clean.
  • Lighting – Subdued lighting without bright lights.
  • Plants/Decor – Hides, tunnels, and plants for enrichment. Easy to clean.
  • Cooling – Water temperature must stay 60-68°F. Use a chiller if needed.

Properly setting up and maintaining an axolotl’s habitat takes time and some costs. Budget at least $200 to $300 for a complete habitat setup.

Water Care and Testing Supplies

Keeping their water clean and at proper pH, temperature, and chemical levels is very important. You’ll need:

  • Water test kits for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH – $30 to $60
  • Water conditioner – $10 to $15
  • Gravel vacuum for cleaning – $15 to $25
  • Partial water change supplies – $20+
  • Filter media like activated charcoal – $15 to $30

Test water chemistry weekly and change 10-30% of the water as needed to keep levels ideal.

Food and Treats

Adult axolotls mainly eat worms, like earthworms or bloodworms. Younger axolotls need brine shrimp. Average food costs:

  • Earthworms – $15 to $25 per month
  • Bloodworms – $5 to $10 per month
  • Brine shrimp – $10 to $15 per month
  • Occasional feeder fish or shrimp – $3 to $5

Feed adults 2-3 times per week. Babies need daily feeding. This makes food costs low overall.

Toys and Enrichment

Axolotls appreciate enriching “toys” like:

  • Tunnels and hides – $5 to $15 each
  • Ping pong balls – $2 to $5
  • Moss balls – $5 to $8 each
  • Hammocks or nets – $3 to $10

Rotate different options to keep their habitat interesting.

Recurring Costs for Vet Care and Meds

Find an exotic pet vet with axolotl experience. Costs vary but expect:

  • Yearly exam – $75 to $150
  • Medications for illness – $25 to $80
  • Equipment to take water samples for testing – $30 to $60

Transport very carefully in cool water to avoid stress. Visit if abnormal signs appear.

Cost Considerations when Owning an Axolotl

When figuring out the cost of an axolotl, factor in these additional expenses too:

  • Insurance – $150 to $300 per year, if covered
  • Electricity for equipment – $100+ yearly
  • Tank maintenance tools – $30 to $60
  • New axolotl aquarium if upgrading size – $200+
  • Replacing worn tank equipment – $40 to $100

While not hugely expensive pets upfront, proper lifetime care for axolotls does require an investment. Make sure you have the time and resources to take great care of these wonderful creatures!

Saving Money on Axolotl Care

If you’re on a budget, here are some tips to save on your next axolotl:

  • Buy cheaper common color morphs, not rare expensive ones
  • Choose a baby axolotl which would cost less than a adult axolotl
  • Buy a basic 20-gallon axolotl tank, not a huge custom setup
  • Use low-cost plastic decor and hides
  • Buy food in bulk when it goes on sale
  • Do partial water changes, not 100% changes
  • Learn to check water parameters yourself
  • Skip unnecessary vet visits for a healthy axolotl

You can provide great care without going overboard on fancy accessories and custom details. Focus on their basic needs being met.

Are Axolotls the Right Pet for You?

Before getting an axolotl, carefully consider:

Pros like

  • Fun and unique pets
  • Long 15-20 year lifespan
  • Low-maintenance overall
  • Can handle gentle handling

Cons like

  • Require specific water habitat
  • Can’t be out of water or handled often
  • Food isn’t found at pet stores
  • Need water monitoring and changes

Make sure you’re ready for the responsibility! Axolotls thrive when properly cared for.

Final Words: Axolotl Costs Overview

The purchase price for an axolotl ranges from $30 to $300. But their habitat, food, vet care, and other supplies add ongoing costs. Budget $500 to $1,000 for the first year’s expenses as a new owner.

While not the cheapest pets, axolotls can provide many years of enjoyment when you meet their unique needs. Understanding the costs involved allows you to be a well-prepared axolotl owner.

If you’re looking for a good place to find Axolotls, try Caudata.org. This website is an information portal about newts and salamanders in general, but it has specific forums dedicated to the care of axolotls with other enthusiasts or breeders that can provide valuable tips on how best to take care of these amphibians.

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