Sometimes we find ourselves with a sick lotl that needs some special treatment to help recover.
But this begs the question:
What medicines are safe to use with axolotls?
It can be confusing to know which ones are or aren't, because most treatments don't say on the box.
So I've put together a comprehensive list for you in the hopes it will prove useful if you are ever wondering if a treatment is safe to use or not.
I hope you find it helpful!
Disclaimer: As with any treatment, the medicines and treatments on this list are only safe when used in their proper dosages. Too much of something, even normally harmless, can prove fatal! Please be sure to check with the manufacturer regarding the proper dosages, and scale accordingly for the volume of water you are treating. You, as the axolotl owner, are responsible for choosing the correct treatment for a problem, which is why accurate diagnosis before attempting treatment is imperative. Throwing random medicines at your pet rarely results in recovery and often makes the situation worse. When in doubt, it is a good idea to consult the help of a professional veterinarian.
An Axolotl Specific Medicine?
We can't discuss medications for lotls without mentioning this one :)
At Fantaxies, we have tested many medications and treatments on our own axolotls to find safe, effective ingredients that keep away disease.
To date, we have not found any more effective then the one we have created, which is a broad-spectrum treatment developed and manufactured right here at Fantaxies.
We call it "Axie Aid."
Axie Aid is effective against fungus, external bacteria and external parasitic diseases.
The active ingredient is safe for axolotls when used as directed and is biodegradable as well.
You can learn more about this medicine here.
More Medicines that are Safe to Use for Axolotls:
When shopping around for aquarium-marketed products, please read the ingredients when purchasing medicine for your axolotl.
If the are ingredients listed on a treatment that is not in the following list of safe treatments, please do not purchase it!
The medicines and treatments on this list are widely considered approved to use with your axie.
Safe Antibiotics & Antiseptics
- Erythromycin (Maracyn, E.M. Erythromycin)
- Trimethoprim sulphonamides
- Nitrofurazone (Furan 2, Jungle Fungus Cure)
- Kanamycin (Kanaplex)
- Nalidixic acid
- Metronidazole (Metroplex)
- Sodium chlorite
- Sulfa-based drugs (Sulfaplex)
- Praziquantel (Prazi Pro)
- Metronidazole (Metroplex)
- Fenbendazole (Panacur)
- Hydrogen Peroxide (MinnFinn)
- Methylene Blue
- Potassium Permanganate
- Copper Sulfate
Safe Natural Remedies
For various ailments, here is a list of known safe natural treatments.
- Tea tree oil (active ingredient in Melafix)
- Indian Bay Leaf Oil (active ingredient in Pimafix)
- Salt (Himalayan pink salt, sea salt, non-iodized table salt, Epsom salts, potassium chloride/Nu-Salt)
- Microbe-Lift Artemiss
- Imagitarium Parasite Remedy
- Indian Almond Leaf extract
- Colloidal Silver
- Black tea baths
Medicines & Treatments to Avoid:
Please never use the following treatments with your axolotl as they may prove moderately or highly toxic. The following medicines and treatments are known to be dangerous to water dragons.
- Malachite Green (Clout, Paraguard)
- Copper (Cuprimine)
- Aloe Vera (StressZyme)
Holtfreter's Solution Recipe:
At Fantaxies, we prefer not to use salts in the water to prevent stress from fluctuation during water changes.
If you are curious though, we have a recipe here for you on how to make it.
Holtfreter's solution is a very well known combination of salts that are designed to help ensure higher egg hatch rates and reduce pathogens in the water, including bacteria, fungus and protozoans.
It is a safe treatment to use on axolotls and their young.
The original recipe itself can be a bit complex for the average hobbyist to follow, so a simplified version has been in use in recent years.
You will find the simplified version below.
To each 5 gallons of water, dissolve...
- 3 TB salt (himalayan pink salt, sea salt, non-iodized table salt)
- 1 tsp plain unscented Epsom salt
- 1/8 tsp potassium chloride (Nu-Salt)
Some people keep their animals in this solution full time as a fungal preventative. Others use it for a 24 hour period.
Still others use 1-2 tsp of salt only per gallon of water indefinitely.
Another method is to use 15-22 grams per gallon of salt for short-term use.
Each aquarist will have to find what works best for them and their own situation.
Why Can't Axolotls Handle Some Medicines?
Let's face it...
... Not all medicines made for aquarium fish are safe for use on our axie friends.
This is because many fish respond to medicines different than salamanders and other amphibians, or even more specifically the Mexican water dragon.
Salamanders, unlike most fish, absorb medicines through their skin.
If a medicine says it is safe for scaleless fish, it may be safe for an axolotl, but if a treatment is not on this list you may be taking a risk by trying it.
I have tried to create a comprehensive list here, but you may find a medicine in your specific region or one that is not as commonly used that is not on here.
If you choose to try it, a good idea is to start with a half a dose and work your way up from there if the axolotl responds well to it.
Again, please check with the maker if possible.
There are some medicines that are fine for some amphibians but NOT the axolotl.
Not all medicines that are safe for amphibians are safe for axolotls, even though axolotls are an amphibian, because they are different.
Pro Tip - Consider Keeping on Hand an Axolotl First Aid Kit
An axolotl first aid kit is a good idea to have on hand.
Being prepared ahead of time can prove to be life saving for your animal - especially if you have to wait on a certain treatment to ship or if the store doesn't have something you find you are in need of to treat your axolotl with.
You don't need to have an entire pharmacy of stuff on hand, but a having few basic medicines in your cabinet is always a good way to be prepared.
Some parasite, fungus and bacteria mainstays are just a good idea to prepare with. You never know what can happen and you don't want to be left up a creek without a paddle.
What those are is up to you as the owner.
I hope this list of treatments helps point you on the right track of what medicines should and shouldn't be used in your axolotl medicine cabinet.
By knowing ahead of time which ones are appropriate for your water dragon, you can help protect them from the harm of using an unsafe remedy.
Thanks for reading!
- https://academic.oup.com/ilarjournal/article/48/3/297/664522 (please note not all medicines on this list are safe for axolotls!)