Why Is My Axolotl Lazy?

Axolotls make great pets. And, even though you should avoid petting them, holding them, or taking them out of their tank, they’re still a lot of fun to watch.

However, if you’re used to fishkeeping, for example, you might wonder why your axolotl isn’t very active. Fish always seem to be swimming around, and keeping themselves busy.

But axolotls are different. Why does it sit at the bottom of its tank? Or retreat to its hide for most of the day? Is it because your axolotl is lazy you might ask?

In this article, we will take a look at why you might think your axolotl is lazy.

Table of Contents

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Are Axolotls Naturally Lazy?

Axolotls are naturally lazy creatures. People are often surprised that despite their fun appearance these little creatures are actually quite lazy, and spend most of their time doing nothing.

If you could ask an axolotl if it would rather play or sleep, my bet is that they’d choose sleep every time!

In fact, shockingly, they are so lazy that they flicker their gills to move the water around them instead of moving to a space with more oxygen available. 

Why Is My Axolotl Lazier Than Normal?

As stated above, it is normal for axolotls to be lazy. However, you know your pet better than anybody. And, if your gut instinct tells you that your axolotl is being abnormally lazy and that something is wrong, then there is a good chance that it is.

When it comes to pets one of the most concerning things is change, so if you have noticed that your axolotl’s behavior has changed, you may have ground to be worried. So, if your axolotl has suddenly become lazier, then the points below might help you understand why.


Just like humans, axolotls have less energy as they get older. The younger ones will move around a lot more. However, as they become adults they become less active and arguably lazier!

Time of Day

Depending on your schedule it is more than likely that you are watching your axolotl in the daytime.

Unfortunately, this can actually make you think that your axolotl is lazier than it is. Indeed, axolotls are nocturnal animals. Generally speaking, they will be pretty inactive and still during the day, and more active at night. 


Axolotls don’t enjoy strong, bright lights. If the light is too bright for them, they will hide away from it or seek refuge in the shade or in their hide.

This is especially common during the day. If your axolotl is not moving much think about the lighting around it, and make sure that it’s dim and indirect, rather than bright and direct,


Like many other animals, axolotls may become more reserved when stressed or sick.

If they are feeling particularly stressed then you may notice that they are eating less. Eating less can be mistaken for laziness but should always be taken seriously especially as adult axolotls are only fed every two to three days. 

When Are Axolotls Most Active?

Despite being pretty lazy, there are still times when axolotls are active. If you want to see your axolotl when it’s busy, then start here!


Because axolotls are nocturnal creatures, they tend to spend most of their days asleep or resting. They really spring to life at night, when their natural instincts kick in.

In the wild, axolotls will use the cover of darkness to forage for food at the bottom of their habitats or to hunt and ambush their prey.

If you can stay awake until it gets dark, then you have a better chance of observing your axolotl when it’s most active.

Feeding Time

Feeding time is perhaps when axolotl owners get the most fun out of their pets. Indeed, axolotls tend to get excited when they sense that it’s dinner time.

With time, they learn to recognize the tell-tale signs that dinner is on its way. They will snap out of their slumber and leave the comfort of their hide to check what’s on the menu.

You can have fun feeding them by hand with a forceps. By dangling their food in front of their mouths you can entice them to move around their tank, and see them in all their majesty!


It is important to remember that axolotls are naturally slow and arguably lazy creatures. So, don’t expect explosions and fireworks from them! Keep your expectation in check.

However, you know your pet best and any big changes in their behavior should never be ignored. Factors such as age, the time of day, the intensity of their lighting, or even stress may help explain why your axie is lazier than usual.

Finally, if you want to get the most enjoyment out of your pet axolotl, it’s worth trying to observe them at night or during their feeding time, which can be a fun and playful event.


Hello and welcome to Pets From Afar. I'm Glen. My daughter Siri and I are mad about axolotls. I created this website to document our findings and experiences, as we learn more about these amazing amphibians. Follow along and enjoy the fun!

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