When looking into what you can feed your pet Axolotl (or you might not even have one as a pet and be curious), you’ll likely find that as carnivores, their diet is both the wild and in captivity is mainly protein-based from small fish, animals, and insects.
Widespread food sources for Axolotls are earthworms, nightcrawlers, bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp though you’ll also see that many owners will also feed them salmon pellets.
When it comes to insects, however, people are not too sure what insects are best or even suitable for them to eat, and the most common question you’ll see is if Axolotls can eat crickets.
Axolotls are carnivores and therefore have a diet made up primarily of animal-based protein, which they consume through small fish, meat, and insects. Axolotls can eat crickets, and they are one of the most popular insects to feed to a pet Axolotl. They are not the most nutritious food source and should be used as an occasional treat rather than a diet staple.
When looking through a list of dietary requirements or recommendations, you’ll often find crickets as a suitable food source for an Axolotl. In this article, we’ll help you understand what type of crickets you should buy and how you should feed them to your Axolotl.
Can Axolotls Eat Crickets
Axolotls can eat crickets, and you’ll find that among a range of other insects, crickets are one of the most common and popular types of insects to feed to your Axolotl.
Crickets are not the most nutritious food source for an Axolotl, though, and therefore should not be a diet staple but something they can occasionally consume as a treat, with most opting to feed them crickets 1 – 2 times per week.
Besides offering some variety to your Axolotls diet, another good reason to feed them crickets is for the hunt. This will provide entertainment for the Axolotl and the owner, and we’ll explain the best ways to feed your Axolotl crickets later in this article.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Crickets
According to Caudata, live crickets are a good source of nutrition for Axolotls; however, only being rated as suitable means that they are a secondary food source. As mentioned earlier, they should be treated as an occasional treat to add variety to your pet Axolotls’ diet.
Below are some benefits and drawbacks that you should consider when deciding whether or not to feed your Axolotl crickets.
- Widely available in local pet shops and online, and you can even breed your own
- Gives your Axolotl a food source to hunt and catch (which can be entertaining for both the Axolotl and the owner)
- Are a food source they would naturally consume in the wild
- They can be difficult for some Axolotls to catch and therefore require supervised feeding or assistance
- They are not an utterly nutritious food source (frozen crickets are practically devoid of most nutrients)
- They can bite and potentially injure your Axolotl
- Don’t sink or swim(Axolotls are typically bottom feeders)
- They need to be dusted with calcium powder because they contain a poor calcium-phosphorus ratio.
Frozen crickets are also an option, but they are essentially void of their nutritional value, and we feel that they are not a good option, even when using them as a treat.
How to Correctly Feed Crickets to Axolotls
Axolotls might be carnivores and are well developed to feast on prey; however, that doesn’t mean they are excellent hunters.
As you can see, both Axolotls are finding it incredibly difficult to catch and eat the crickets. If they went about feeding unsupervised in a larger tank, you might find that some Axolotls might never be able to eat crickets of this size if they can’t catch them!
To feed your Axolotl crickets, you have two options, you can feed them live crickets or frozen crickets, and as mentioned earlier, we feel that frozen crickets are not a great option as they are devoid of nutrients.
The type of cricket will also need to be factored in as some classes will either be too large to consume (in which case you should always be cautious and go for a smaller option) or have too harsh of an exoskeleton for your Axolotl to digest which could result in choking.
It’s, therefore, best to always seek expert advice from the shop owner when buying crickets, especially as a new and untested food source for your Axolotl.
Axolotls are primarily bottom feeders though they will be triggered by the cricket’s movement along the water’s surface once you introduce them to the tank. Therefore, you have two options when feeding your Axolotl crickets.
Firstly, you can place the crickets on top of the water and wait for the Axolotl’s hunting instinct to kick it (it will) to pursue and catch them.
If your Axolotl is struggling to catch the crickets to eat them, then your second option is to feed the crickets to your Axolotl by using some long steel tweezer tongs. This will remove the fun aspect of the hunt, but it will ensure that your Axolotl eats the crickets.
While crickets can be a good food source for your Axolotl, and they certainly can eat them, many owners and experts feel that crickets should be fed as an occasional treat rather than being a diet staple, and that is because there are simply more nutritious and better options available like nightcrawlers or bloodworms.
If you are going to feed your Axolotl crickets, then do so with supervised feedings and help them to provide if needed by holding the crickets with tongs. Also, ensure that you buy live crickets that are not too large and purchase them from local pet shops, as these will have a lower likelihood of carrying parasites.
Don’t be too deterred by that list of requirements, though; most Axolotls can catch crickets, as demonstrated by the video we added earlier, and they offer a significant variety to an Axolotls diet which makes them a very viable food option.
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