8 Effective Ways to Keep Your Axolotl Tank Cool

Axolotl in a cool tank

Learning how to keep your axolotl tank cool is crucial for the health of these aquatic creatures. Axolotls thrive in cool temperatures. When the tank water becomes too hot, it can create an unhealthy environment for them.

This guide discusses eight effective methods to help keep your axolotl tank cool. These methods are not only efficient, but they are also easy to implement and don’t necessarily require expensive equipment.

What Is the Ideal Temperature for Axolotl Tanks?

Axolotl thriving in cool water

Axolotls, also known as the Mexican walking fish, are fascinating aquatic pets that thrive in cool water. The ideal water temperature in an axolotl aquarium is between 60°F and 65°F.

Water temperatures above or below the given range can pose health risks to axolotls. Hence, monitoring the water temperature and utilizing effective methods to keep it stable is very important.

8 Effective Ways to Keep Your Axolotl Tank Cool

Keeping an axolotl tank cool is a crucial aspect of maintaining your pet’s health and happiness. While this might be challenging for beginners, there are various easy ways to accomplish this.

Here are some methods on how you can keep the tank cool for your axolotl:

1. Consider your tank placement

Tank properly placed at home

Properly setting your axolotl tank can play a key role in keeping the water cool. One way to do this is by placing the tank lower since heat tends to rise.

Keeping the tank at a lower elevation can help maintain the temperature enough for your axolotls’ comfort.

Avoid placing your tank in areas exposed to direct sunlight or near appliances that generate heat, such as televisions and refrigerators.

Direct sunlight can also cause a significant rise in the tank’s water temperature and promote algae growth, both of which can stress your axolotls.

Regarding room selection, opt for the coldest one available, such as a basement. Ideally, this room should have little exposure to sunlight and stay consistently cool, which will help maintain the ideal temperature range.

2. Use tank cooling fans

Cooling fan attached in a big tank
Image credit: tcfm_aquascape / Instagram

Adding tank clip-on cooling fans into your setup is another effective method to keep your axolotl tank cool. These fans blow air across the water’s surface, speeding up evaporation and cooling the tank.

Nonetheless, keep an eye on the water level, as fans can increase evaporation, and you may need to top up the tank with dechlorinated water regularly.

While using fans, be mindful that they can be less effective in humid conditions or if the room temperature is too high.

Also, select a good quality fan that operates quietly and efficiently. For optimal results, use fans in conjunction with smart tank placement.

3. Invest in an aquarium chiller

Aquarium chiller ready to use
Image credit: calipsosreefing / Instagram

An aquarium chiller is an excellent tool for maintaining an ideal temperature in your axolotl tank. These devices are built specifically to manage water temperatures in aquariums.

While chillers are a highly efficient way to maintain a constant temperature, setting them up might require technical know-how. Along with a chiller, a pump or canister filter may also be needed.

Despite the cost and complexity of an axolotl setup, a chiller is an excellent investment for axolotl hobbyists, especially those living in hot, humid climates.

4. Add aquatic plants to your tank setup

Beautiful aquatic plants in a tank

Including aquatic plants in your axolotl aquarium can also aid in maintaining low temperatures in the water tank.

Plants can act as a natural barrier to light, reducing the heating effect and keeping your axolotls content since they prefer shaded environments.

Numerous cold-water-resistant, floating aquarium plants serve this purpose and add visual appeal to your tank, such as duckweed, anubias, frogbit, and moss balls.

These plants grow towards the surface, limiting the amount of light entering the tank, which can prevent temperature spikes.

Not only do these plants help maintain a cool environment, but they also contribute to a healthier tank by providing oxygen and absorbing harmful toxins.

5. Use LED lights

Led lights attached on the axolotl aquarium

While axolotls don’t require specific lighting, if you have live plants in your aquarium, you’ll need lights.

To keep your tank cool, opt for LED lights. LEDs emit virtually no heat, unlike fluorescent and incandescent lamps, which generate a substantial amount. Your axolotl aquarium will stay cooler with LED lights.

You could elevate the lights to keep your tank cool, leaving space for heat to escape. Placing a table fan to blow air along the water’s surface can also help dissipate heat.

6. Try home remedies using frozen bottles and ice cubes

Ice cubes for temporary relief in axolotl aquarium

DIY cooling methods can be handy during heatwaves or emergencies. One such method involves using frozen water bottles.

After thoroughly cleaning the bottles, fill them with dechlorinated water and freeze them. Once frozen, place the bottles in the tank to lower the temperature.

Another home remedy is using ice cubes. Although this method only offers temporary relief, it can help in a pinch.

The important thing is to monitor the water temperature carefully, as dropping the temperature too rapidly can shock your axolotls.

7. Install an air conditioning unit in your aquarium’s room

Air conditioned room for axolotl aquarium

Air conditioning is critical in maintaining an optimal environment for your axolotls. By adjusting the room temperature where the aquarium is situated, you influence the water temperature within the tank.

Remember that water doesn’t cool as swiftly as air. Thus, you’ll need to work out an ideal setting for your air conditioner to lower the water temperature efficiently.

A reliable aquarium thermometer can be valuable in this process, helping you hit the temperature sweet spot for your axolotls.

Consider investing in a portable or window air conditioner for homes without a built-in air conditioning system. 

Although these can be costly, they offer a more targeted cooling solution, saving you from chilling your entire house.

8. Remove your aquarium’s lid

Keeping axolotl tank lid open

Encouraging evaporation is another effective way to keep your axolotl tank cool. A straightforward method involves removing the lid from your aquarium.

A lid traps heat, causing it to re-enter the water and raise the tank’s temperature. By eliminating this barrier, heat can escape, resulting in cooler water conditions.

This practice also encourages water exchange at the aquarium’s surface, which can contribute to temperature reduction.

But what if your axolotls are jumpers? You can lower the water level by a few inches to discourage escape attempts. Alternatively, consider using a mesh lid for tanks to keep your axolotl safe.

What to Avoid When Trying to Keep Your Axolotl Tank Cool

In the quest to keep your axolotl tank cool, there are several strategies to avoid. Remember, it’s not just about cooling the water but also ensuring your axolotl’s well-being.

Here are a few things to avoid when cooling your axolotl tank:

1. Avoid sudden changes in water temperature

Resist the urge to chill your axolotl’s water rapidly during a heatwave. You might think introducing cold water will instantly solve the problem, but this could cause a temperature shock that is harmful to your axolotl.

They prefer a stable environment, and a sudden shift in temperature can stress them out.

During my early days of axolotl keeping, I made a mistake. I forgot to account for the temperature difference during a water change.

Suddenly, my axolotls became lethargic and started showing signs of stress. It was a worrying sight. Since then, I always ensured not to cause drastic temperature changes when replacing the water in the tank.

It’s best to lower the temperature of your axolotl aquarium gradually. When you need to replace the water, ensure it’s about the same temperature as the water in the tank.

2. Do not disturb the nitrogen cycle

Another aspect you must be careful about is the aquarium’s nitrogen cycle. This biological process controls the levels of harmful bacteria in your axolotl tank.

When you replace a lot of water at once, you can unintentionally disrupt this cycle. This could lead to an ammonia spike, which is toxic for axolotls.

A best practice to follow is changing around 25% of the water during cleaning to maintain a healthy nitrogen cycle.

You can watch this video to learn how to properly change the water in your axolotl tank:


3. Don’t rely on ice cubes or frozen bottles for cooling

Using frozen bottles or ice cubes carefully can be a temporary solution for maintaining your axolotl tank water temperature.

However, as mentioned, this is not a permanent solution and requires regular upkeep and monitoring.

Instead, consider more stable cooling methods such as air conditioning or installing an aquarium chiller, which can consistently maintain the ideal temperature for axolotls.

4. Do not place your water tank directly under an air conditioning unit

Positioning an axolotl tank under an air conditioning unit is not recommended. Cold drafts from AC units can cause sudden temperature drops, which can stress axolotls.

Air conditioners can also speed up water evaporation, disrupting water levels and chemistry in the tank.

Reduced humidity from AC units might also affect live plants inside the tank or axolotls if they emerge from the water. Moreover, a leaking AC unit can introduce harmful substances into the tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Axolotl swimming in a tank

What Temperature Is Too Hot for Axolotls?

Axolotls thrive best in cooler water environments. The ideal temperature for axolotls is between 60°F and 65°F. Temperatures above 72°F are considered too hot for these aquatic pets and may induce stress and health issues.

What Happens If an Axolotl Gets Too Hot?

If an axolotl’s tank gets too hot, it can lead to stress and other serious health risks. Axolotls prefer cool water, and an overheated environment can cause loss of appetite, uncontrollable floating, lethargy, or even death.

If the water temperature rises above the ideal range, you must find ways to cool your axolotl tank effectively to maintain the ideal aquatic conditions.

How Can I Cool My Aquarium Down Without a Chiller?

If you find the temperature in your axolotl aquarium is too high, but you don’t have an aquarium chiller, don’t panic. There are several ways to cool your axolotl tank.

Firstly, a DIY solution involves using ice bottles. Fill a bottle with dechlorinated water and freeze it. Once frozen, place the bottle in the tank to help lower the temperature.

Secondly, consider using an aquarium fan. The fan promotes evaporation, which naturally cools the water. Just be cautious about your water level, as evaporation can reduce it.

Lastly, consider the tank’s placement. Keeping your axolotl tank out of direct sunlight and away from heat-producing electronics can help maintain a cooler temperature.

You can also consider the other effective water-cooling methods discussed in the previous section!

We hope this guide on how to keep your axolotl tank cool has been helpful to you. If you’ve used any of these methods or have other ideas, we’d love to hear about your experiences! Feel free to share in the comments below.

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