Axolotls are one of the more affordable exotic pets you can keep. They’re also incredibly cute, with permanent smiles attached to their faces. These amphibians are relatively easy to care for as well, which helps to make them such popular pets. The barrier of entry is quite low if you want to start raising an Axolotl, but you’ll still need to budget enough to purchase your pet, its tank, accessories, feeders, and more. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what to expect when it comes time to purchase your Axolotl, allowing you to prepare by budgeting the right amount to get everything you need for an ideal setup, so you’re not caught unprepared by last-minute necessities.
Axolotls themselves are quite cheap. There is generally a price range for axolotls. An axolotl costs between $30 – $75 for a basic but healthy one. If you’re looking for something more exotic like a piebald axolotl variation, it will cost about $100. Some rare specimens can cost a few hundred, but these are generally extremely unique variations that only serious collectors tend to purchase.
Don’t Forget About Delivery Fees
If you go to a pet store and purchase an axolotl, then what you pay is what you pay. But axolotls aren’t always available over the counter, which means you’ll have to turn to an online vendor. In such cases, you’ll have to factor in the cost of shipping. Shipping is generally a flat rate between $40 and $60 to ship one or several pets.
Cost of Setting Up an Axolotl Aquarium
When it comes to axolotls, purchasing the pet is actually the cheapest part. You also have to consider the tank in which you’ll keep your new pet. Axolotls need a good bit of space, so a 20-gallon tank will be the smallest you can get away with for an adult. Granted, you could get a 10-gallon aquarium to start with for a juvenile, but then you’ll have to make an additional purchase of a larger tank shortly down the line. Depending on what you get, a 20-gallon tank could run you $80-$300 new, or you could search yard sales and hope to find one for $20.
You can’t just leave your axolotl in an empty tank though. You also need to factor in the cost of lighting and filtration, which could set you back another $40-$80. The substrate will run another $5-$15, plus any plants and hiding places you want to provide for your pet.
You can often purchase many of these items together as a kit. You can often find a 20-gallon aquarium with lighting and filtration systems together for less than $150.
Altogether, setting up your axolotls enclosure should cost between $100-$300 on average.
Recurring Care Costs
Your main recurring cost with an axolotl is food. Luckily, the adults only eat a few times each week, feeding mainly on earthworms, bloodworms, and brine shrimp in captivity. These are pretty cheap feeders, so you can feed an adult axolotl for less than $50 annually.
Sometimes, axolotls do require medical attention. This can cost several hundred dollars, but many axolotls will never require such care. However, you will need to spend about another $10 per year on a water de-chlorinator to make sure the water in your axolotl’s tank is habitable for it.
How Much Will It Cost to Get an Axolotl?
Purchasing your axolotl itself could cost just $30 if you get it from a pet store. But if you order it online, you might spend $120 after shipping, even more if you want a special variety of axolotl. Factor in another $100-$300 for a tank and accessories, and you can estimate that you’ll spend between $130 and $420 to get a fully set up axolotl with habitat and everything. Each year, you’ll also spend about another $40-$60 on water treatment and feeder insects. Overall, axolotls are incredibly cheap pets to keep, giving them a high cost to reward ratio.
Featured Image Credit: Piqsels