How Much Does an Axolotl Cost? (2024 Price Guide)

Axolotl costs and prices

Ever thought about adding an axolotl to your aquarium? These fascinating amphibians are gaining popularity fast. But with their unique looks and care requirements, many wonder: how much does an axolotl cost?

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $90 for an axolotl, depending on its type and where you’re getting it from. However, a rare axolotl might cost a few hundred dollars more.

If you’re contemplating the idea of acquiring this extraordinary pet, you’re on the right page. This comprehensive guide will delve deep into all the costs associated with axolotl ownership, ensuring you’re fully aware of the cost of getting this pet.

How Much Does an Axolotl Cost?

Axolotl swimming in its tank

The cost of an axolotl can vary based on several factors, including its age, coloration (morph), rarity, and where you’re purchasing it from.

Here’s a table summarizing the price range of an axolotl based on type:

Type of axolotlPrice Range
Wild Type Axolotl$20 – $35
Leucistic Axolotl (Pink)$20 – $35
White Albino Axolotl$20 – $35
Golden Albino Axolotl$20 – $35
Melanoid Axolotl (Black)$20 – $40
GFP Axolotl (Green Fluorescent Protein)$30 – $45
Copper Axolotl$40 – $55
Piebald Axolotl$100 – $200
Lavender Axolotl (Silver Dalmatian)$100 – $200
Mosaic Axolotl$100 – $200

Keep in mind that these prices are just a rough estimate and can fluctuate depending on various factors, which we will discuss in the next section.

It’s also worth noting that these costs are only the prices of the axolotl itself and not the additional costs of setting up and maintaining their habitat. All of these cost-related factors will also be covered in this guide.

Factors Affecting the Cost of an Axolotl

Axolotl resting on decorative rocks in a tank

When you’re ready to purchase your axolotl, it’s important to understand that several factors can affect the price. Doing so will help you assess if you’re getting one for a fair price.

Here’s a closer look at the different areas that factor in the cost of an axolotl:

  • Breed or Type: Axolotls come in a variety of types, each with its own unique charm. Some are more common, while others are rare and harder to breed in captivity. This rarity can drive up the price. For instance, a golden albino axolotl, with its striking appearance, may set you back by a few dollars more than a wild axolotl.
  • Age: Age plays a significant role in the cost of an axolotl. Adult axolotls are usually more expensive than their younger counterparts. This is because adult axolotls are easier to care for and have a lower risk of mortality, making them a safer investment for first-time owners.
  • Color: The color of an axolotl can also influence its price. Unique colors or patterns can increase the price. Axolotls with rare or striking colors are often more sought after, which can drive up their cost.
  • Availability: The principle of supply and demand applies to axolotls as well. If axolotls are scarce in your area, they may cost more. Conversely, if there’s a high supply of axolotls, you might be able to get one for a lower price.
  • Seller: Where you purchase your axolotl can also affect how much it would cost. Prices can vary from breeder to breeder. Usually, pet stores charge more than private breeders due to overhead costs. On this note, it’s crucial to buy from reputable sellers to avoid getting unhealthy or illegally sourced axolotls.

These are just some of the factors that affect the price of an axolotl. Fortunately, these aquatic creatures are not too pricey to begin with. 

Don’t forget to factor in the recurring cost of food, the axolotl tank, the water conditioner, and other necessities to keep your new pet happy and healthy.

All of these expenses will be tackled in the next section of this guide. 

First-Time Expenses of Axolotl Ownership

When budgeting for your new axolotl, it’s important to consider the initial setup costs. These costs include everything from the cost of a tank and accessories, as well as food costs and more. 

Here’s a breakdown of the costs to expect when you purchase an axolotl:

  • Food and Treats: Generally, axolotls eat a diet of brine shrimp, bloodworms, and special pellets. The first batch of food and treats will cost around $20 to $40 depending on the brand and type of food you feed your axolotl.
  • Tank: Your baby or adult axolotl will need a spacious tank. A 20-gallon tank usually provides ample room for one axolotl. If you are getting two, you might need to double the tank size. The cost can fluctuate depending on the quality and size of your tank. Expect to spend $25 to $100 for this expense.
  • Filtration System: Clean water is crucial for your axolotl’s health. A good filtration system helps maintain water purity and safety, making it a worthwhile investment. This device will make sure the water in your axolotl’s tank water is safe and in optimal condition. A good filtration system will cost you between $100 and $165.
  • Substrate: The substrate is the material you place at the bottom of the tank. Sand is a popular choice as it’s safe for axolotls and easy to clean. Avoid small pebbles or gravel, as axolotls might try to eat them, causing health issues. A pack of substrate could cost $15 to $25.
  • Lighting: While axolotls aren’t fans of bright light, a low-intensity aquarium light can enhance your pet’s colors and the overall aesthetic of the tank. This expense will run you between $20 and $50.
  • Water Dechlorinator: Raising an axolotl requires you to keep it in a chlorine-free water tank. A water dechlorinator removes harmful chlorine, ensuring the water is safe for your axolotl. Budget around $10 to $20 for this expense.
  • Aquarium Chiller: Axolotls prefer cooler water temperatures. An aquarium chiller helps maintain an ideal water temperature, keeping your axolotl comfortable. Prepare around $10 to $15 for an aquarium chiller.
  • Water Tester: Regularly testing the water’s pH level and other parameters is essential to ensure it’s suitable for your axolotl. Water testers can be bought for around $15 to $20.
  • Decoration/Hiding Places: Axolotls enjoy having places to hide. Providing caves or other hiding spots not only makes your axolotl feel secure but also adds to the visual appeal of the tank. This will usually cost you $50 to $100 if not already bundled with your tank and accessories as a set.

Here’s a summary of the initial expenses associated with owning an axolotl:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$20 – $40
Tank$25 – $100
Filtration System$100 – $165
Substrate$15 – $25
Lighting$20 – $50
Water Dechlorinator$10 – $20
Aquarium Chiller$10 – $15
Water Tester$15 – $20
Decoration/Hiding Places$50 – $100
Total Initial Cost$265 – $535

Based on our estimates, it will cost you around $265 to $535 for your axolotls’ essentials. This goes on top of the actual cost of this unique pet. 

Remember, though, that these are ballpark estimates, and your actual spending can cost less or more than these figures. 

Ultimately, it will depend on your location, the specific products you choose, the size of the tank, and how many axolotls you have. That said, it’s always a good idea to budget a few extra hundred dollars for unexpected expenses. 

On a similar note, I’ve had my share of experiences with owning an axolotl. Years ago, I acquired a black axolotl, which I named “Inky.” 

In total, I spent around $450 to $550 on Inky’s initial expenses and around $50 to $100 on yearly expenses. 

These numbers are on par with our estimates; however, keep in mind that the annual expenses I mentioned are exclusive of vet fees. We’ll cover these yearly expenses in a later section.

All in all, my initial expenses include not just the purchase price of Inky’s 30-gallon aquarium but also the appropriate filtration systems, water tester, tank, substrate, and more.

Annual Cost of Owning an Axolotl

Young axolotl in a pet shop

On average, you can expect to spend between $245 and $480 on an axolotl’s annual cost. This estimate includes the cost of food and treats, replacing the water dechlorinator and water tester, and vet expenses. 

Here’s a table breaking down the annual cost of axolotl ownership:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$120 – $240
Water Dechlorinator$10 – $20
Water Tester$15 – $20
Vet Checkup$100 – $200
Total Initial Cost$245 – $480

While this yearly cost estimate can be daunting, it is important to remember that this is not always the case. More often than not, axolotl owners spend only a fraction of this cost.

As mentioned earlier, I only spend around $50 to $100 on Inky’s yearly expenses. This is because I keep my axolotl in tip-top shape; hence, I am able to cut down on unnecessary vet fees other than routine checkups.

Moreover, I also find it more cost-effective to purchase food in bulk. This way, I can save a few hundred dollars on the expenses associated with the diet of an axolotl.

However, there were years when I had to spend around $350 when I had to restock Inky’s water dechlorinator and repurchase a water tester.

Other Potential Expenses

When budgeting for your axolotl, you also need to factor in other potential expenses. These could include repurchasing equipment, vet fees, and more. 

Here are some potential expenses associated with owning an axolotl:

  • Equipment replacement: Over time, items like filters, lights, or heaters may need to be replaced. Depending on the item, this could cost around $20 to $100.
  • Emergency vet visits: If your axolotl gets sick or injured, emergency vet visits could cost you around $50 to $200 per visit.
  • Decor and toys: To keep your axolotl stimulated, you might want to add new decor or toys to the tank. This could cost less than $20 for simple items or up to $100 for more unique setups.
  • Breeding expenses: If you decide to breed your axolotls, there will be additional costs for setting up separate enclosures and caring for the young. This could cost a few hundred dollars, depending on the number of axolotls.

These are just a handful of the many other potential expenses associated with axolotl ownership. It is recommended to save up a bit of cash to prepare for these expenses.

Common Health Issues of Axolotl and Cost of Treatment

Axolotl with unique coloration

Axolotls are generally robust creatures. In fact, these creatures have the ability to regenerate some of their body parts. However, they may suffer from health issues from time to time.

Here are some common health issues of axolotls and the estimated cost of treatment:

  • Fungal infections: Axolotls can develop fungal infections, which can be treated with antifungal medication. Treatment for axolotl skin infections could cost around $20 to $50.
  • Bacterial infections: Bacterial infections are also common and can be treated with antibiotics. The price tag of treatment could range from $50 to $100.
  • Injuries: Injuries from rough handling or tank mates can occur. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment could cost between $50 and $200.

Remember, regular checkups with a vet experienced in exotic pets can help catch any health issues common in axolotls. As a result, doing so can potentially save you money in the long run.

Legalities of Owning an Axolotl

Before you rush out to get an axolotl, it’s essential to understand the legalities involved. For starters, axolotls are protected species in some regions due to their endangered status

For instance, in Mexico, their native country, removing axolotls from the wild is prohibited. 

Certain states in the United States, including California, Maine, New Jersey, and Virginia, also impose restrictions or outright bans on axolotl ownership. 

However, in countries like the United Kingdom, owning axolotls doesn’t require special permits. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with local wildlife authorities or refer to online resources to ensure you’re abiding by the law when bringing an axolotl home.

How to Get the Best Prices for an Axolotl

Axolotls for sale in plastics filled with water

When seeking the best prices for an axolotl, it’s advisable to explore options with reputable breeders. 

These breeders not only offer competitive prices but also provide comprehensive information about the axolotl’s health and lineage, ensuring you get value for your money. 

Alternatively, adopting an axolotl from a rescue organization can be a cost-effective choice. This approach not only offers a potentially lower price but also provides a loving home for an axolotl in need.

Best Places to Find Axolotls for Sale

If you’re looking to bring home an axolotl, it’s crucial to find a reputable source that ensures the health and well-being of their animals. 

To ease your search, here are three reliable places where you can find axolotls for sale:

  • Axolotl Planet – This full-service aquatics company is run by dedicated hobbyists, biologists, and axolotl breeders. Their focus is on improving industry standards and breeding the healthiest axolotls possible. Their website showcases their available axolotls worth your consideration.
  • Fantaxies – Based in Colorado, Fantaxies is a small axolotl business that prioritizes the quality and treatment of its animals. They provide spacious setups for their axolotls, ensuring they have plenty of room to move and swim. Fantaxies also offers a 100% live arrival guarantee.
  • Pet Central – Pet Central offers a variety of axolotl morphs and colors. They ensure the health of their axolotls and provide overnight shipping with a live arrival guarantee.

Remember, it’s essential to do your research and ensure that you’re buying from a reputable source. This way, you can ensure that your new pet is healthy and has been well cared for.

In conclusion, owning an axolotl is a rewarding experience. By choosing a reputable source, you’re taking the first step towards a successful axolotl ownership journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Axolotl walking on sand

Are Axolotls Good Pets?

Yes, axolotls make excellent pets. They are easy to care for, have a peaceful nature, and can live up to 15 years with proper care. Axolotls are a favorite choice for both novice and expert aquarists looking for a unique pet.

Are Axolotls Hard to Keep?

No, axolotls are not difficult to keep. This kind of amphibian requires a balanced diet and proper water conditions in their tank. Being nocturnal, they don’t need a lot of light, making them suitable for low-light environments.

How Long Do Axolotls Live?

With proper care and attention, axolotls can live up to 15 years, making them a long-term commitment.

This lifespan is quite long compared to other aquatic pets, so be prepared for many years of commitment when getting an axolotl as a pet.

Despite the daunting initial cost of bringing home this pet, many owners find that buying an axolotl is worth the money for the joy and companionship they bring. 

If you have any thoughts or feedback about the price of axolotls, feel free to leave a comment below!

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