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Golden Axolotl Overview, Care, Lifespan & Tank Setup

The golden axolotl is probably one of the greatest creations among the group of salamanders. This exotically colored axolotl comes with a unique golden-yellow shade that makes it a must-have species in your tank.

Golden axolotls are one of the unique color morphs, which are quite easy to distinguish with their golden yellow body hue and beautiful eye color. They are docile by nature and too easy to care for in a 20-gallon tank. They tend to grow up to 18-30 cm if you take good care of them.

Species Overview

It is one of the prehistoric-looking salamanders native to Mexico. Their close resemblance to fish in terms of their structure makes them popularly called Golden Mexican Walking Fish.

Though their small legs and fish-like tails make them considered fish species, they are basically not so. Gold axolotl fish are amphibians that retain most of their infant qualities even after becoming adults. So, what makes them so unique in the group of amphibians?

Normal amphibians like frogs are born in the form of tadpoles that survive well in water and possess gills to breathe. But as they grow, their gills are replaced with lungs, which makes them shift to lands for easy breathing.

But, unlike frogs or any other normal amphibians, it retains some larval features even in their adulthood. And that’s why they stay aquatic for the rest of their lives. They possess larval gills that help them breathe in the water seamlessly.


An adult golden axolotl has a grotesque appearance with its long and sleek body. They come with 4 short and shabby legs that add up to their out-of-the-box appearance. Their 3 pairs of feathered gills are situated right at the back of their head.

Besides, they do not possess any scales on their body; instead, they have smooth skin, which is quite sensitive to external elements or sharp objects.


It is an albino morph whose color can range from peach to almost white. They are primarily available in bright shades like yellow and orange-gold, which renders them the name “golden axolotl.”

These axolotl variants possess some reflective spots and speckles throughout their body. Also, their eyes look quite pretty with shades like pink, yellow and white.

Their external gills look peachy with a light yellowish tint that adds up to their stunning appeal. As juveniles, they are quite indistinguishable from the white albino color morphs. But as they tend to age, their body color transforms into a goldish shade.

These golden albino color morphs basically lack melanophores in their color pigment. However, they retain xanthophores, which renders them the golden hue. Some unique specimens contain iridophores that make them look like a species covered in golden leaf.

Unique Features

Just like all other color morphs, golden axolotls are capable of re-growing their body parts such as back legs, tail, etc. They can even re-grow some parts of their heart or brain, which have been lost or damaged. Sounds interesting, right!

Besides, they can even exchange oxygen through their moist skin. Hence, they do well outside the water for a short period as long as their skin remains wet.

While swimming, as water passes through their gill, it allows them to intake oxygen, fulfilling their respiratory requirements. However, from time to time, they tend to come to the surface area of the water to gulp some fresh air. Cute, isn’t it?


Similar to any other type of axolotls, the golden morphs are not too small in size. Rather they possess quite a moderate length.

If you give them nutritious meals and care for them properly, they can even grow up to a length of 18-30 cm.


Usually, golden axolotls are not much short-lived. Hence, purchasing a young one is a good idea as they will accompany you for a long time.

With proper food and adequate tank water changes, it can live up to 10-15 years. So, if you are thinking of housing one, do give it a try.

Tank Setup

You need to meet all the necessary tank parameters if you are willing to care for gold axolotls in captivity. Their tank must be equipped with all the essential things that can perfectly fulfill the needs.

So, here is the tank setup guide that you must follow thoroughly to make your new amphibian friend have a good time at your place.

Tank Size

Golden axolotls need enough space to grow and move around freely. The more they get their space to swim, the more they find the captivity comfortable.

To render the best care, you must keep it in a tank of 20-gallons. If you want to care for two axolotls in a tank, you must facilitate enough space for both of them. While introducing each axolotl to the tank, you need to add 10 gallons more capacity to it.


Your tank decoration needs to be unique and effective, which can meet the needs of your golden axolotl. But remember that this species is very sensitive to any sharp surface, so you must not add any pointed or tapered elements to your tank.

You can add some aquarium plants, pots, caves, and pipes in your tank that will provide them enough space to hide and rest.


The substrate selection is very crucial for the tank of the golden axolotl. They have a bad habit of gulping gravel or swallowing pebbles, which can pose a threat to their health.

So, the best thing you can do for the tank is to leave it bare bottom, or you can add fine sand as the substrate.

Water Parameters

The water parameter in your tank needs to be very appropriate so that your golden axolotl can stay healthy.

If you are thinking of adding tap water to your aquarium, you must treat the water with a water conditioner to get rid of all harsh elements. You must also replace 20% of the tank water each week to maintain a proper water balance.

Make sure that the water depth inside the tank is at least 15 cm. Besides, try to maintain the temperature between 14-20° Celsius. 18° is the ideal temperature for your axolotl tank. Also, the pH of the water must be maintained in the range of 6.5-7.5.


You can add ordinary lighting to your tank, which will go quite fine for albino golden axolotls. They do not have any specific need for lighting.

However, these species are very sensitive to sudden light changes. Also, make sure you are not adding too bright light to the tank.

Food & Diet

Golden axolotls are carnivorous by nature. Thus, you must add meat-based food to their diet. However, their teeth are incapable of biting and tearing food. Hence, you need to give them such proteinaceous food that they can swallow easily.

They easily eat away any live or dead food. Hence, you can feed them small fish, insects, etc. Sinking axolotl pellets are also another nutritious food option to feed these salamanders.

Besides, earthworms can be a good source of protein and help them to undergo proper digestion. You can also offer them brine shrimps as an occasional treat. Other food varieties like mealworms, daphnia, etc., can be given to gold axolotls to keep them healthy.

Golden Axolotl Care

Golden axolotls are not too difficult to care for if you are maintaining all the necessary tank parameters.

They require very clean water to thrive in your tank. Thus, you must install a top-quality filter in the tank to facilitate effective filtration and change the water from time to time to maintain your pet’s good health.

Also, clean the aquarium at least once a month for their better care. It is usually recommended to scoop out all debris from the tank every day so that your golden axolotl is not exposed to poor water quality.

Besides, make sure you are handling them with utmost care since they are very delicate and sensitive. While shifting them from the tank, it is better to use a fish net rather than using your hands.

Does golden albino axolotl make a good addition to a tank?

Well, by now, you must have understood that it is quite a good match for your home tank. They are quite docile and do not come up with hectic care schedules. So, they are not that tough to care for if you are well-experienced in fish-keeping. But if you are a beginner, it can become a bit tough for you to tackle their unique needs.

This axolotl color morph fits quite well in a nicely filtered tank. But when it comes to adding them to a community tank, it can be trickier for you to make them thrive with other tank mates. Hence, they are better kept in a species-only tank.

Keeping them with other aggressive fish can cause damage to their external gills. Some fish tend to bite their external gills, leading to bad injuries. On the other hand, small fish can easily become axolotl’s snacks as they are carnivores and survive on animal proteins.

However, you can have some fun time with them since they are quite friendly. After a few instances of meeting, you will find that they are trying to interact with you through the tank glasses. Such a sweet gesture to show their love for you, isn’t it?


The pretty golden hue of this axolotl color morph sets them apart from any other variants. Hence, adding them to your tank can easily uplift its aesthetics and make your collection richer.

However, before you bring golden axolotl to your home, make sure you have properly researched care-related information about it so that you can have an easy and happy time while petting them.