When it comes to figuring out where to house your axolotls, the question often comes up:
"Can I keep an axolotl in a pond?"
"Will they even survive?"
It IS possible to keep your axolotl in a pond!
There are some caveats. But we'll talk about those in today's post so you can know in advance if a pond is the right choice for your situation or not.
Benefits of Ponds
There are numerous benefits of keeping your axies in a pond as opposed to an indoor aquarium.
Generally, ponds hold much more water than indoor aquariums.
(Unless, of course, you're lucky enough to have a big massive tank in your big massive house! :) )
The larger water volume often equates to being able to support more aquatic life.
Ponds are usually equipped with an efficient filtration unit and/or live plants.
These also serve to help keep the water pure for the axies.
Axolotls - especially larger ones - will be spoiled with lots of space to swim.
Now, let's look at indoor vs outdoor ponds.
Advantages of Keeping Axolotls in an Indoor Pond
Indoor ponds have some advantages over outdoor ones.
1. Protection from Predators
Much stress can result from worrying about wild animals catching your beloved pet axolotls.
Hence, one more benefit of an indoor pond.
At most, you may have to contend with the family cat or dog getting curious about the pond, if that, and there are some pretty simple workarounds (i.e. keeping the door closed to the room where the pond is, or as a last resort netting or a small fence barrier).
No herons will be swooping overhead to snatch your axolotls from the water.
2. Electrical Access
By being placed near a source of electricity, adding filters and lighting is a walk in the park.
You also don't have to worry about protecting your equipment from harsh weather.
Having an indoor pond gives you much more control over the temperature too - it's simple to add some fans or a chiller if needed during the warmer months.
These may not work so well outdoors in more extreme conditions.
3. Ease of Maintenance
Let's face it:
Having the pond in the next room makes it much easier to perform daily tasks, such as feeding, monitoring water quality and ensuring things are going well.
Having to do a water change is a snap - all you need is a Python or a pump-powered siphon and it's all very convenient.
Trudging out in the snow or intense heat routinely may detract from your ability to enjoy your critters and make it more of a chore than a leisure.
Benefits of Keeping Axolotls in an Outdoor Pond
Axolotls can also live outside too, in the proper conditions.
There are some good things that being in nature has to offer the water dragon too.
1. Natural Live Food Sources
For rearing little axolotl babies, having access to natural micro food sources (such as daphnia and tiny worms) outdoors can really take the load off your shoulders for culturing live foods yourself.
The adults can appreciate getting to eat bugs and worms they are able to hunt.
So it's easy to see how having a pond could help reduce your workload for caring for your animals, at least during the months where such natural food sources are available.
2. Greater Plant Selection
Yes, you can keep lots of plants in an indoor aquarium.
In a pond though, you may be able to have access to a bigger variety of plants that for whatever reason (size, light requirements, etc.) do better when kept outdoors.
Large water lilies provide lots of shade for the axolotls at the pond bottom, as do many other floating plants.
Many plants - even trees - can be placed by the side of the pond and shadow the water too.
3. Beautiful Garden Water Feature
A pond can be a lovely addition to your property, with the relaxing sound of water and natural rockery or plants giving your home more interest.
Ponds can be equipped with fun lights to create an elegant ambiance.
Some ponds have pretty waterfall features that oxygenate the water and look quite impressive as well.
Considerations for Outdoor Pond Life
If you live in a climate that's more tropical, with hot summers and mild winters, a pond might be best in the winter months and the lotls brought inside for the summer.
(Provided your winter temps aren't too hot).
If it's colder where you live and winters are more harsh, bringing the axies in for the winter could be the best bet.
Ultimately it really depends on your area and if you can keep the temperatures within the safe range.
Very extreme winters can be harsh on the axolotl.
They can endure very cold temps for a time as long as the water doesn't freeze, but if it is prolonged too much (more than 21-28 days) then that could prove lethal.
The temperature of the water is not always the same as the outside temperature.
If the pond is in the ground, that can help with keeping it cool when its hotter and keeping it from freezing.
In areas where the water freezes, the pond should be at least 3 feet deep to prevent freezing solid.
Racoons, herons, foxes and bears are just some of the predators that can pose a threat to the safety of axolotls kept outside.
There are numerous weapons pond owners have in their arsenals to combat the pond thieves, from motion-sensor water guns to netting to fences - or a combination of them all.
There are also some reports of people stealing axolotls from ponds (a similar problem happens among koi owners who keep their fish outside).
So the last predator to guard against would be an axie thief!
Best Indoor Pond for Axolotl
There are a variety of DIY options out there.
But if you want something quick...
Here are some of our top pics for an indoor pond.
Intex Mini Frame Pool
This pool is inexpensive (especially when you consider the gallons of water it holds, as compared to a traditional aquarium), easy to put together and has a lots of floor space for the Mexican walking fish to do its thing.
At 89 gallons, this 4 foot square pool is a perfect indoor pond for seasonal or year-round purposes.
Can Axolotls Go in a Fish Pond?
Most ponds that contain fish are not suitable for axolotls.
I would not recommend ever putting an axolotl in a koi pond.
Koi are strong, fast swimmers with big mouths and they will likely nip the axolotl (best case scenario)...
... Or eat them (worst case scenario).
If your pond contains mosquito fish or guppies, those fish should not pose a threat whatsoever.
Your axolotl may enjoy eating some of them though :)
With a bit of planning and an appropriate setup, you can enjoy having axolotls in a pond, be it indoors or outdoors.
So yes, axolotls can be kept in a pond, at it can definitely be a blast.
I hope this post has helped you.