Have you always known just a type of axolotl and were surprised about the enigma axolotl? Well, there are over 15 types of axolotls morphs, and the enigma happens to be just one of them.
Are they different from other axolotls, and can you keep them? Caring for an animal you know little about can be risky; you may even be doing the wrong thing without knowing it!
You should totally read this article through before getting an enigma axolotl in your tank. Learn about them, keeping, caring, feeding, and helping them survive for a long time.
Let’s get into it!
Overview of Enigma Axolotl
Axolotls are quite popular among exotic pets people keep, and at the same time, they are endangered. You would’ve seen them in a few shades and colors if you knew them so well.
They’re also salamanders, just like other types of axolotls people keep, and they live in the water all their lives. Since they are endangered, you’re unlikely to see them in the wild, and you’ll find most of them kept in tanks.
But what do they look like, and how are they different from others?
The most famous axolotls morphs are pink, albino, white, blue, golden yellow, gray, and black, and while there are tens of other colors, these are more common. All these colors are attractive and will look good in your tank.
On the other hand, enigma axolotls have dark colors with other shades on their bodies. They have golden eyes, pale red gills, white toes, and bellies.
Apart from that, they have bright golden patches all over their bodies that look greenish from different angles. An American breeder was the first to discover these species of axolotls, and there haven’t been so many of them afterward.
Enigma axolotls have many iridophores in their genes, making them look greenish-gray. If you look at them closely, they sometimes camouflage the environment that they are in.
This is why sometimes you may not see them all the time in your tank when you keep them. Another thing about their color is that their body gets darker as they grow older, so expect to see deeper shades as your axolotl grows.
There is nothing really special about the size of enigma axolotls. They usually maintain similar sizes to other axolotls types; also, compared to other salamanders, their length seems ideal.
However, they don’t stay small forever, and they don’t grow too big for your tank, so you don’t have to change your aquarium size as they become adults. Ideally, an average Enigma Axolotl will grow up to between 11 to 12 inches.
Whether they grow up to 11 or 12 inches or less depends on how well you feed or care for them. Actually, every animal’s growth depends on that, so adequate care is a big deal.
Enigma axolotls can live a long period when you care for them. The estimated lifespan for axolotls generally is 15 years, and they can live for up to 20 years.
While they are fragile, they are hardy when it comes to survival, and with the right tank and water conditions, they can live a long time. Apart from water conditions, they need the right food and care.
If you’ve ever kept an axolotl before, caring for enigma axolotls shouldn’t be much of a big deal. When you have the right guide, it’s as easy as you can think!
Can You Keep An Enigma Axolotl As A Pet?
Ideally, before keeping any animal as a pet, especially when it concerns endangered species, you need to check with the laws guiding where you live whether it is legal. There are exotic pet laws guiding some states, making it illegal to keep axolotls in general.
For example, you can’t keep the colored species of axolotls as pets in California, Virginia, Maine, and Jersey. In that case, you can opt for other axolotls morphs or go for a different pet entirely.
Otherwise, you can keep an enigma axolotl as a pet if you have no laws restricting you. If you intend to keep it as a pet, you should be ready for all the work that comes with raising them.
First, you need to get their habitat right to mimic their natural one in Lake Xochimilco in Mexico. It can’t be too warm or cold, over or underexposed to light.
Apart from their habitat, there are other things to sort out like their diet, tank mates, setup, routine checks, care, etc. You also need to understand their behavior, so you can quickly respond to any unusual movement in the tank.
So, what goes into caring for an enigma axolotl as a pet?
Setting Up Enigma Tank
If you’ve been interested in and keeping aquatic life for a long time, you should know a little or a lot about tank setup already. You should also know that what works for animal A may not work quite well for B, even when both are the same but different types or species.
Therefore, your usual tank setup may be inappropriate for enigma axolotls. As mentioned earlier, their living conditions need to match their natural habitat, and you should aim for that.
You need to get the appropriate tank size, filtration, substrate, decor, lighting, and even their tank mate.
The ideal tank size for enigma axolotls is a 20-gallon tank. It is neither too big nor small for a growing axolotl. No matter how big they grow in length, they will still fit into the aquarium.
Axolotls, generally, love a big space for them to move around and stay discreet. When choosing a tank, both the length and depth matter, but 2 feet is quite okay for a start for your enigma axolotl.
This allows them to swim around freely and have enough space to relax and rest. Axolotls love to float at the top of the tank; therefore, ensure you keep a cover on your aquarium.
Also, axolotls can jump out of their tanks, and that’s more reason for you to cover the aquarium on top. After choosing the right tank size, the next thing is to fill it up and set it up.
A filtration system is important in every tank, and your axolotl needs them. Your pet can make a lot of mess in the tank, ranging from their waste, food, and plant leftovers.
All these can affect the water quality and, consequently, your enigma axolotls’ health and lifespan. You need to install a filter that can see to that and keep the water safe for your pet.
We recommend you get either a sponge or canister filter as they don’t cause much turbulence in the aquarium, but they still function properly. However, you should note that the filters are not enough to keep the tank clean at all times, so you need to do more than that.
You also need to carry out routine water changes in your tank to maintain a clean aquarium.
When keeping enigma axolotls, adding substrate to the tank is not necessary. This is because axolotls can live at the bottom of the tank with or without substrate.
However, sometimes, the tank can become slippery, making it difficult for enigma axolotls to walk properly in that aquarium. To prevent this from happening, you would need to add substrate to the tank.
When choosing a substrate, you should use fine sand; it can serve as the right nonslippery bottom for your axolotl. Another thing you should know about using substrate is that you shouldn’t use tiny stones or pebbles in the aquarium.
This is because axolotls can mistake them for food and swallow them, eventually harming your pet. Fine sand and large stones are okay for substrate in the tank.
Adding decorations to your axolotls’ tank is totally up to you. Not only will decors make the aquarium more beautiful, but they will also give your axolotls a lot of hiding places.
For instance, you can add plants or caves to the tank. However, you should keep in mind to leave enough space left in the aquarium for your axolotls to move around.
In addition, when choosing decors, plants, caves, or others, ensure they don’t have poking sides that can prick your pet and harm it. Sharp surfaces can lead to injuries and, even worse, infections.
Finally, don’t overfill the tank with too many decorations. Not only will it leave less room for your pet, but also it can make maintaining the tank tedious.
Lighting is important in axolotls tanks. Apart from being necessary for your axolotls, it also helps you monitor your pet in the tank due to their camouflage nature.
Let the lightning maintain a day-to-night cycle so it can help your axolotl transition easily from living in the wild to the aquarium. In addition, you need to keep your axolotl under minimal or low lighting conditions because they are sensitive to bright lighting.
Enigma Axolotl Tank Mate
Enigma axolotls can do well on their own in their tank. Generally, they don’t need tank mates in the aquarium due to some factors.
Asides from that, more aquatic life in the tank equals more waste which can cause an imbalance in the aquarium. You might consider keeping some fish in the tank with them, but that’ll cause more harm than benefits for both your pet and you.
For example, keeping enigma axolotls and fish together can cause:
- Injuries and infections that can be fatal
- Either axolotls or tank mates can prey on each other
- It can result in impaction and choking
With extra precautions and selecting the right tank mates, you can prevent those things from happening. Not all tank mates’ options are terrible; there are other options that are manageable.
It’s possible that the options may not work for you, and when that happens, then you need to separate the axolotls from other animals. If you can handle multiple aquatic life in the tank, then the following are tank mate options you can consider:
You can keep other axolotls types of morphs in the tank with the enigma. However, you would need to be cautious here. Juvenile axolotls can be cannibalistic and can harm each other in the tank; therefore, keeping them together may not be ideal.
As a better option, you can keep adult axolotls together. However, you should immediately separate them if you notice the same behavior. Also, ensure they are both the same size, so one doesn’t bully the other.
Small snails can also live in harmony with your axolotls. They usually stay at the bottom of the tank and can clean up waste in the aquarium.
Big snails can become a problem, so you need to remove them from the tank when the small ones start growing.
You can also keep large guppy fish with adult axolotls together in the tank. However, you also need to be careful here because guppies can breed too fast, and the fry can become food for your pet.
Other times, their gills can carry diseases or parasites that can harm your pet. Therefore, ensure you quarantine guppies before introducing them to the tank.
Amano shrimps are other tank mates for your enigma axolotls. However, tiny shrimps can become food for them, so they are not exactly the best options.
However, since Amano shrimps are transparent, they become less visible, but in the end, their smell always gives them away.
Learn more: Axolotl Tank Mates (#12 MIGHT BE A SAFE CHOICE)
Enigma Axolotl Diet and Care
Enigma axolotls are rare, so they are not exactly suitable for new pet owners. However, if you are certain you can care for them properly, you can surely keep them.
Enigma axolotls are carnivores, so their food should be meat-based. Also, you don’t need to feed them three-square meals.
You can feed baby axolotls every day, but the adult can survive with just two to three days of weekly feeding. Here’s a list of food for them:
- Red wigglers
- Micro warms
- Frozen bloodworms
- Soft salmon pellets
- Live black worms
Undoubtedly, axolotls are exotic pets, and the enigma types are rarer than the others. Here are a few facts about them;
- They are grayish
- Get darker as they grow older
- Don’t need tank mates
- And are carnivores.
Caring for them is easy, and that takes the major work of keeping them alive for a long period. Remember their tank setup, their diet, and other important things you’ve read, and incorporate them into their care.