Leucistic axolotls are one of the cutest variants of this species that you can often find in the aquarium trade.
These smiling-faced amphibians are quite suitable for a home tank as they are not very tricky to care for. They are highly popular in the aquarium trade due to their unique appearance.
Leucistic axolotls look quite exotic with their pink and white body and dark-colored eyes. They tend to grow up to a length of 10-18 inches and live for 10-15 years. Besides, they are also easy to care for in a 20-gallon freshwater tank. You only need moderate-level experience to handle them well.
Like any other color morphs of the axolotls, the leucistic ones are much more significant with their unique hue. They are fully aquatic salamanders and have a close resemblance to lizards in terms of shape.
You can even find a fish-like shape in them with some extra pair of limbs. Hence, they are even known as the “walking fish ” that are popularly found in the lakes of Mexico.
Leucistic axolotls usually possess a dorsal fin that runs down the side of their body towards their tail. One of the cutest things that you can notice in them is their little unwebbed feet. Besides, their upturned mouths make them look like happy and smiling creatures. Isn’t that cute?
Well, another most distinctive feature you will find in them is the feathery external gill that sticks out from the side of their face giving them a more framed appearance.
Leucistic axolotls have a unique pink and white body color with dark navy blue or black eyes. They may develop freckles based on their living environment and genetics.
Their translucent white body with shiny gold flecks are quite rare to find among the group of such salamanders. Also, these axolotls are quite rare to find in the wild as they are vulnerable to predators. However, they are pretty common in captivity due to their beautiful appearance and lovable nature.
Well, this particular species has a close resemblance to the albinos. But unlike albinos, they do not have red eyes.
The leucism in them is caused by a specific type of mutation, which results in the lesser production of melanocytes in their skin. They usually have a pink or red gill, which adds a touch of uniqueness to their look, making them appear much different from any other axolotl variant.
Leucistic axolotl can grow much longer than any other color morphs. They usually have a moderate body length, which helps them swim flawlessly through the water.
They usually reach up to a length of 10-18 inches if you serve them good quality food and proper nourishment, along with regular water changes.
Behavior & Temperament
The behavior of leucistic axolotls makes them ideal for tank-based care. They are usually docile and slow-moving amphibians that tend to stay active mainly during the night.
They spend most of their time at the bottom area of the tank. Usually, they possess a minute predatory nature. Thus, you will often find them slowly moving in your tank while you feed them.
If your fish is shy or stressed, they will tend to hide behind the plants in your tank. Well, they are pretty aggressive towards their own types when they are juveniles.
However, the adult ones are considerate enough towards others as long as they get enough space for moving and living peacefully in the tank.
Moreover, they eat anything that fits their mouth. Hence, keeping them with small fish is not at all recommended. Instead, it would be better to keep them in a species-only tank since they do well in solitude.
Leucistic axolotls are not very short-lived. Even though they are sensitive as a species and on their way to extinction, if they receive proper care and a healthy, safe aquatic environment, they can live up to 10-15 years.
The tank setup for your leucistic axolotls needs to be top-notch. They need a moderate-sized tank with proper water conditions that mimic their natural axolotl habitat. So, here are the tank essentials that you need to know before getting them to your home.
You must keep an adult leucistic axolotl in a minimum of 20-gallon tank. However, you can always go for a size larger than this. Also, it is better to consider a tank having 2 ft. length.
Besides, make sure that the tank has enough surface for the axolotl to swim around. Moreover, you must not forget to cover the tank properly as they are good jumpers and can easily jump out of the aquarium, resulting in injuries or death.
Choosing the right substrate for your leucistic axolotl can be trickier. They tend to ingest small-sized substrate particles, adversely impacting their health. Hence, you can simply skip the substrate and go bare bottom for your axolotl tank.
Nevertheless, if you anyway want to add a substrate to the aquarium, you can use fine-grained sand. Even if they ingest sand, it will not harm them much. But make sure there are no sharp or rough surfaces in your tank that can harm their soft body or delicate external gills.
Lighting is quite a sensitive factor for the tank of leucistic axolotl. They lack eyelids and are quite sensitive to bright lights.
So, avoid any kind of bright lighting, which can increase the temperature of the tank. You can make space for some natural lighting that your room has. However, a low nighttime lighting fixture can be added to the tank.
Water parameter is another crucial prerequisite that you must meet while taking care of leucistic axolotl in your tank.
These salamander species prefer cool water for their living. So, there is no need to add any water heater to their tank. They usually prefer the water temperature around 60- 65° Fahrenheit. Moreover, try to maintain a pH balance within the range of 6.5-8.
They need freshwater to thrive well. So, their tank water must always be clean. And to achieve the purpose, you can easily add a sponge filter to the tank and make regular water changes to keep them healthy.
Leucistic Axolotl Food & Diet
This color morph of axolotl prefers to have a carnivorous diet since it meets the unique needs of their body growth. Well, arranging for their food is not at all trickier. They do fine with the usual protein-rich diets.
These creatures mostly prefer live food. You can feed them earthworms, blackworms, nightcrawlers, daphnia, brine shrimp, etc. You can also offer them commercial foods like fish pellets, flakes, etc.
But make sure that you feed them at least once daily. They usually have poor eyesight. Thus, you need to offer the food right in front of them. You can use forceps to place the food carefully in their front without injuring them.
Leucistic axolotls require a moderate level of care in a tank. However, you need to be very attentive to them since they are quite sensitive.
From tank setup to water parameters, everything needs to be top-notch when it comes to caring for this axolotl morph in your tank. Moreover, while caring for them, you might need to visit a veterinarian often to ensure your axolotl is in good health.
As said before, leucistic axolotls are better cared for in a species only tank. But they might show aggression to their types if they are not served with enough space and food.
Besides, housing them with invertebrates is not at all recommended. Not only do they eat small fish, but also large fish can nip their external gills. So, the best thing you can do is buy one axolotl and house it in a well-setup tank alone.
While caring for your leucistic axolotl in captivity, you must take care of its every health-related aspect.
Axolotls can easily suffer from stress and compromised immunity due to inadequate water conditions. Poor water quality can also cause bacterial and parasitic infections.
High ammonia levels or water temperatures can burn the skin of your axolotl, which may lead to their death. Thus, it is recommended to check the water parameters regularly. You must also maintain the water changing cycle regularly to facilitate their good health.
Besides, these species are better kept alone. Overcrowding in the tank can cause aggression or injuries due to fighting, causing infection.
However, if you find that your leucistic axolotl moves stiffly or has paler gills, you need to consult a vet immediately.
Breeding & Reproduction
If you do not want to breed them in your tank, it’s absolutely fine, and you need not worry about it. But if you want to, you need to pick male and female specimens and house them in one tank.
Males will first deposit their spermatophore sacs, and then they lead the female axolotls over them. The female species will pick it up and use it to fertilize her eggs.
It might take 12 hours to 3 days for the female to lay her eggs. They usually lay up to 1500 eggs in a single time. These eggs hatch after 15 days.
But once the baby leucistic axolotls are out of the eggs, you must not leave them with the adult ones as the parents tend to eat their fry.
Things to Consider
So, are you planning to buy a leucistic axolotl or a speckled variant to welcome it as your new pet? Well, then here are a few things that you must consider before purchasing it.
You can usually find juveniles in most stores. So, while getting them, ensure that it is a healthy one having fully feathery gills and skin without any red patches.
Before you purchase one, make sure it is legal in your region to own an axolotl.
Be sure about all the care-related guidance before you buy one.
Are leucistic axolotls good enough as a tank species?
Whether they will make a good tank animal or not can be the first question to come to your mind before buying one.
Well, if you have some experience in fish or amphibian care, go ahead to buy one without any reluctance. Leucistic axolotl can turn out to be excellent pets for people who know how to care properly.
These creatures are also very social and friendly with their owners. Their docile nature makes them a good tank addition. Besides, you can easily spot them even in a dark tank due to their leucism.
Another benefit of petting them is that they are cost-friendly. You do not have to buy a school of axolotls. They are suitable for a species-only tank where they enjoy their solitude.
However, you have to be very attentive while choosing a tank mate for them. It is better not to house them in any community tank as they tend to eat away smaller fish.
So, nothing can be a greater decision than keeping leucistic axolotl in your home tank. But if you want to care for one in your tank, you must know all the essentials stated above.
One of the best things about them is that they are quite friendly as a pet and can even recognize you over the glass. However, you must not attempt to keep them with any unsuitable tank mate as it can harm them.
Also, remember one thing, if you do not have much experience in keeping or petting leucistic axolotls, take some time and consider gaining fish-keeping skills before you purchase one.