Believe it or not, axolotl poop – or poo for British English speakers – is a steamy hot topic! As a matter of fact, you probably wouldn’t believe the number of questions we get from axolotl owners about their axolotl’s poop.
The appearance of your axolotl’s poop as well as your axolotl’s pooping habits can be good indicators of your pet’s health. So, it’s definitely worth staying on the lookout for anything unusual. If you’re interested in the topic and want to learn about axolotls and their poop, continue reading below.
Please Note: As we’ve outlined in our disclaimer and many of our posts, if in any doubt, always seek veterinarian advice.
Table of Contents
- Axolotl Poop
In the sections below, we have tried to answer the most frequently asked questions about axolotl poop.
If you believe we’ve forgotten something, please let us know. We will add the question/answer to this list as it will likely be helpful for other axolotl owners.
Axolotl Poop Appearance
It’s important to know what healthy axolotl poop should look like, so you can spot any problems early on. The shape, size, color, and consistency of normal axolotl poop are outlined below.
What Does Axolotl Poop Look Like?
Normal axolotl poop is generally an elongated tubular or oval shape. In certain cases, it may be pretty thin, in others quite plump.
To make an analogy, axolotl poop can look like similar in shape to a grain of brown rice or even a watermelon seed.
What Does Baby Axolotl Poop Look Like?
Baby or juvenile axolotl poop resembles adult axolotl poop, except it is generally smaller.
It’s also quite common for baby axolotl poop to look more circular than elongated and look like tiny little fish food pellets or grape seeds.
What Size is Axolotl Poop?
Axolotl poop can range in size from approximately 1cm to 2.5cm or more.
What Does Axolotl Poop Weigh?
Axolotl poop weighs in the region of 1 gram.
What Color is Axolotl Poop?
Normal axolotl poop will range from brown to black.
If your axolotl poop is any other color, something may be wrong. In certain cases, the color of the feces might be linked to your axolotl’s diet – and in other cases, it may be the sign that your pet is unwell.
- Green Axolotl Poop
Occasionally, your axolotl’s poop might be green. This could be due to several reasons.
For example, your axolotl may have accidentally eaten some aquatic plant material and could not digest it properly, especially if it was very fibrous. If this is the case, it’s generally no big deal, and once your pet has passed all the plant matter, its poop should return to its regular color.
However, green poop can also be a sign that your axolotl is sick. Your axolotl might have an infection of the digestive tract and the green stuff you think is feces could actually be pus.
- White Axolotl Poop
Occasionally, your axolotl’s poop might be white. This could be due to several reasons.
For example, your axolotl’s diet may be too rich in fat. Are you feeding it food with high-fat contents, such as strips of beef, chicken skin, chicken hearts, or pork sausage? If this is the case, then it’s possible that your axolotl is having a hard time digesting all that fat, and a lot of it is coming out in its feces – giving it a whiteish hue.
However, white axolotl poop can also be a warning sign. It may indicate a type of parasitic infection called a protozoan infection.
- Red Axolotl Poop
Occasionally, your axolotl’s poop might be red. This could be due to several reasons.
For example, your axolotl may have eaten something that’s giving its poo a reddish hue. It could be earthworm or bloodworm, undigested raw meat, or even artificial colorant from certain types of processed axolotl or fish food.
However, red axolotl poop can also be linked to blood in its stools. The presence of blood in your axolotl’s poop is not a good sign and could be due to infection or injury.
Axolotl Poop Consistency
Think of axolotl poop as a sort of sack, with an outer “skin” and compacted matter inside – almost like a sausage. It’s gross, I know…you may never look at a hotdog the same way again :)
The sack is actually quite fragile and may burst if trampled upon. If it bursts, the particles of excrement inside will disperse into the water and be much harder to clean out.
Does Axolotl Poop Smell?
Axolotl poop does have a characteristic smell.
However, as axolotls will poop in their tank, it’s unlikely you will smell it – unless you neglect to clean the tank out regularly, in which case the fecal material will break down, along with any other organic matter in the tank (food, dead aquatic plants, dead skin, slime, etc.) and begin to smell bad.
Axolotl Pooping Habits
In combination with appearance, your axolotl’s pooping habits can indicate its health.
We will cover pooping frequency, quantity, and much more!
How Often Does An Axolotl Poop?
What goes in must come out! Or at least what’s not absorbed by your axolotl to sustain itself.
Therefore, the more your axolotl eats, the more it will poop – both in frequency and quantity. We’re not reinventing the laws of thermodynamics here!
Moreover, your axolotl’s metabolism will also affect how often it poops.
As you may know, water parameters – particularly water temperature – can speed up or slow down your salamander’s metabolism. Cold water will tend to slow it down, so your axolotl’s digestion will also slow down, and it will poop less frequently. Conversely, warmer water will tend to increase your axolotl’s metabolism, its digestion will accelerate, and it will poop at an increased frequency.
A healthy axolotl will tend to poop once or twice a week. So expect your pet to poop from once every 7 days to once every 3 to 4 days.
How Much Do Axolotls Poop?
Axolotls will tend to poop one piece per poop. I suppose you could call that piece a “turd”…
Sometimes it will poop several pieces, one after the other. The more you feed your pet, the higher the chances it will poop out more than one “turd”.
Why Is My Axolotl Not Pooping?
If your axolotl isn’t pooping, it may suffer from constipation or impaction.
Constipation is generally caused by overfeeding.
Impaction – or intestinal blockage – occurs when your axolotl eats something it cannot digest or easily pass.
The most common impaction causes are ingesting gravel or large chunks of food (especially whole insects with hard exoskeletons such as beetles or crickets).
Common symptoms of impaction are constipation, bloating of the stomach/abdomen, and reduced appetite.
Whilst certain owners have successfully treated impaction by putting their axolotls in the fridge, we’d definitely recommend seeking veterinary care.
Why Is My Axolotl Not Eating or Pooping?
If your axolotl isn’t eating or pooping, it may be a sign that it’s sick or unwell.
However, it’s sometimes hard to know which is responsible for the other…
Indeed, if your axolotl has lost its appetite for whatever reason (stress, sickness…), then it won’t eat. And if it doesn’t eat, it won’t have anything to poop.
On the other hand, if your axolotl is suffering from constipation or impaction (as seen above), then it will tend to lose its appetite.
Can Axolotls Get Constipated?
Yes, axolotls can get constipated. The leading cause of constipation in axolotl is overfeeding.
Why Is My Axolotl’s Stomach Swollen?
Your axolotl’s stomach could be swollen for several reasons, including constipation due to overfeeding, impaction, a bacterial or parasitic infection, or even injury.
How To Help An Axolotl Poop?
To help your axolotl poop, you first need to understand what is causing it not to poop.
If your axolotl not pooping due to constipation (itself caused by overfeeding), then don’t feed them for a few days.
This fasting will give them time to digest and pass the food already in their digestive system. Putting your axolotl in the fridge (also known as “fridging”) may help.
If your axolotl is not pooping due to impaction, you have two options: fridging or surgery (performed by a qualified veterinarian, of course).
Why Is My Axolotl Pooping a Lot?
Your axolotl may be pooping a lot due to several factors: inadequate diet, overfeeding, poor water parameters (in particular high water temperature), or bacterial or parasitic infections for example.
Cleaning Up Axolotl Poop
Removing axolotl poop from its tank is important to keeping your axolotl healthy by promoting optimal water parameters.
Do You Have To Clean Up Axolotl Poop?
Yes, axolotl owners should regularly remove axolotl poop from the tank. Axolotl poop contains ammonia, which can be toxic to axolotls, especially at higher concentrations.
If poop isn’t regularly removed from the axolotl’s tank, it can break down and cause ammonia levels in the water to rise.
How To Clean Axolotl Poop?
How you remove poop from your axolotl’s tank will depend if you’re due to clean your tank or not. Cleaning your axolotl’s tank – and all the steps involved – will remove most unwanted material, including poop. For more information, check out our dedicated post How To Clean An Axolotl’s Tank?
If you’re in between “big” cleans, there are at least three different methods to remove poop from your axolotl tank.
- Aquarium Gravel Vacuum Cleaner Method
Gravel vacuum cleaners are tools specifically designed to remove debris from aquariums and axolotl tanks.
These devices function by creating a siphon that will suck unwanted particles, such as axolotl poop, out of the water through a filter that traps the gravel and keeps it in the tank (which you would obviously want to keep).
As these devices were designed with the end goal in mind, they tend to work really well and are quite easy to use. They are available in both manual and electric versions and tend to be relatively affordable.
Perhaps one of the drawbacks, they also tend to suck out quite a lot of the tank water – which you will need to catch in a bucket and dispose of before topping your tank back up.
Below we’ve included an affiliate link to a model similar to ours. If you use this link to purchase from Amazon, we may receive a small compensation from them, allowing us to keep this site going.
- Turkey Baster
Yes, you’ve read it correctly! You can indeed use a turkey baster to remove axolotl poop from your tank. A turkey baster is traditionally used to siphon up the juices at the bottom of a roasting dish. The juices are sucked into the baster and then squirted back onto the bird, thereby basting it. However, on a fundamental level, a baster performs a similar function to a gravel vacuum cleaner – it siphons!
To use a turkey baster, simply squeeze the bulb at the top. Then, insert the baster into the tank. Place the tip of the baster next to the axolotl poop you wish to remove and release the pressure applied to the bulb. This will create a siphon and suck the waste into the baster. Finally, remove the baster from the tank, place the baster over the drain in your sink and squeeze the bulb again to squirt the poop and water out.
It’s worth noting that using a turkey baster is fine if you have a relatively small tank, you may run into trouble if your tank is big and deep. Indeed, turkey basters are generally 10-12 inches long, providing limited reach without submerging the bulb and your hand.
Secondly, certain axolotl poops are bigger than others and may not easily fit into the baster. Instead, there’s even a chance the fragile poop sack might burst. Therefore, you may want to buy a baster with a large opening on the nozzle.
- Fish Net
A fish net is a cheap and cheerful method to scoop axolotl poop out of your tank. It’s definitely the least technologically sophisticated method on this list, but it’s tried and tested.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Axolotls Eat Their Poop?
Axolotls sometimes eat their poop. However, this is by accident more so than by design. Indeed, an axolotl’s eyesight is pretty poor. Therefore, they can’t always see what they’re eating. Also, an axolotl’s poop can sometimes look like a worm or a fish pellet and lure the animal into eating it.
The consensus is that occasional ingestion of poop is not life-threatening for axolotls. However, you wouldn’t want them to make a habit out of it.
Where Do Axolotls Poop From?
Axolotls both poop and pee through their cloaca. Their cloaca is situated behind their back legs.
Do Axolotls Pee?
Axolotl pee. They have bladders where urine collects before being released through the cloaca.
Why is My Axolotl’s Poop Hanging?
Your axolotl’s poop might be hanging from its cloaca because it got stuck on its way out. It’s possible that the poop hadn’t completely exited the canal and/or something within the poop itself (generally fibers) is still inside the animal.
This should resolve itself, and as the axolotl moves, the poop should fall off.