When it comes to owning a pet, there are so many options on the market. For some, sticking with a more traditional pet like a dog or a cat is the done thing. For others, though, it might be wise to go down the route of something a little more exotic. In the eyes of some, there are few better options out there to go for than an Axolotl.
Regarded as among the most interesting yet affordable pets that go outside the norm, these make tremendous pet choices. They can be fun, they can be endearing, and most find them to be adorably cute. While you might think that having this little ray of sunshine in your life each day would be a no-brainer, you need to factor in the cost.
The cost of a pet today can be quite an important deciding factor. If you are looking for an easy way to improve your experience of owning an axolotl, then understanding the cost can be very important. With that in mind, how much is an axolotl?
This article will break down the key factors you need to know about owning an axolotl in terms of the cost.
Is owning an axolotl expensive?
So, this is a hard question to give an answer to that feels genuine – the simplest answer is ‘kind of’. They are expensive if you go down the route of getting a very specific axolotl. For basic ones, though, the price is very much affordable for any serious pet owner. At the same time, you might want to take a closer look at the price of ownership beyond simply owning the axolotl itself.
You need to give it a place to live for a start, so it will need a tank – and a fairly large one, at that. The tank also needs to have feeders included which can be hard to find at the right size you need. There are other accessories that you need, too.
So, before you decide to own an axolotl, be sure to look closely at the costs involved. Your initial investment in the axolotl itself is just the beginning of the cost. Read on, and we will break down the main costs that would come from ownership of this special species. Where, then, should you start your search if you want an affordable deal overall?
The price of an axolotl is hard to determine
The axolotl itself should not actually cost you too much to buy. If you go into a pet store, you could easily pick one up for as little as $30 and an average of around $60-75. If you live in more affluent areas where the price of everything goes up, you could be looking at $90-100 in some locations. Generally, though, something in the region of $30 to $75 should be what you would expect to pay to buy an axolotl.
However, this is for a very basic and simple axolotl. If you want something a bit more out there in terms of axolotl breeds, your price will break the $100 without breaking much sweat. Rarer axolotls can cost you well in excess of $250, but these tend to be very specific pets for experienced people who are very passionate about axolotl ownership.
Generally, though, you should not be expecting to pay through the nose if you choose to bring an axolotl into your home. The real cost, though, comes in the ownership and maintenance costs!
Can I have an axolotl delivered instead?
If you live somewhere where a pet store does not or cannot get you an axolotl, you can order one online. Many online stores will happily deliver an axolotl to you, but this can be expensive. You might be looking at a delivery fee that can be as much as the creature itself. It is not uncommon for delivery fees of $50+ to be asked for.
This is due to the conditions needed to ship the axolotl safely. It isn’t just packed into a delivery van and dropped off in a cardboard box, after all!
So, if you cannot find an axolotl locally, you could have one delivered: again, though, be prepared to pay.
Does an axolotl need an aquarium?
Yes, and this is where the cost begins to really kick in for most owners who choose to own an axolotl. The cost of the aquarium that is needed is going to be pretty vast, unfortunately. The pet itself is the cheap part – the tools, and the living conditions, are much more costly per day.
You have to look into the tank and make sure you choose something that is a minimum of 20 gallons. We recommend that you buy a tank suitable for an adult axolotl, even if you get a baby to begin with. Babies can survive in a 10-gallon tank, but it means having to get rid of that tank and replace it. Better to bite the bullet, then, because it will not take long for your axolotl to reach adulthood and thus need extra space.
This is where your costs begin to start adding up. You could be looking at a minimum of $80 and an average of $200-250 for a good quality aquarium at 20-gallon or more. If you want to give your axolotl an even better living standard, though, expanding to a 30-gallon-plus solution might be better. It adds to the cost, but if you are going all-in with an axolotl you want something suitable, right?
The tank has to be properly filled and filtered, too. The filters need to be managed, maintained, and eventually replaced. Try to remind yourself of this, as filters alone can break the $50 mark without really breaking a sweat.
You also will need to buy some extra plants and hiding spots that your axolotl can use to play some games. The axolotl loves to hide, so having lots of plants that it can hide within is going to make it feel much happier when in the tank. It depends on how wild you go, but this will naturally add to the cost.
Many pet stores which sell axolotls can also give you a tank that has everything they would need for the one cost. Again, though, this can easily exceed $300, so it might be worth shopping around to see if you can save money. Do not discount the idea of buying a preowned tank; many get rid of near-pristine tanks.
Remember, too, that your axolotl is going to need some lighting in that water so that it feels safe and so that you can see it. Make sure you invest in lighting too which is yet another cost that you need to add on.
One thing you must do is to dechlorinate the water, which is going to cost you a fair amount just in dichlorination. It can cost you as much as $150 per year just for this, so please remember this is vital to the happy living in the aquarium for your new friend.
What about the cost of caring for an axolotl?
The next barrier for many comes from the actual cost of ownership of having an axolotl in your life. They often need you to put a lot of money into care. Thankfully, they have pretty manageable food costs, so the cost of ownership is not too much. Most believe a set fee of $50-75 should cover your annual food costs. If only it was so cheap to eat for humans, right?
They tend to eat things like earthworms and bloodworms. Brine shrimp is something they enjoy eating, too. So, try and get used to feeding them a good variety of different meals as and when they can have them.
Sadly, the cost of caring for an axolotl is hard to predict. They are quite hardy so illness is rare, but if they do get ill, you can find the bills are massive. Do not let this put you off, though, as just about any pet that gets ill comes with high medical bills.
Making your decision
As you can see, then, owning an axolotl is not something that is cheap. It is not always easy, either. They can be great fun to be around, and their calm and relaxing nature makes them wonderful pets. That being said, the humble axolotl can cost you more than $400-500 to buy, set up, and care for. The annual costs are going to be around $100-200 to cover things like dichlorination, food, and medical care.
Take all of this into account, though, and it is easy to see that an axolotl is actually a pretty cheap exotic pet to keep. They need a fraction of the usual care of an exotic animal, and while their habitat is not cheap it is affordable.
If you are serious about owning an axolotl, then you could cover your setup and living costs for $500. Shop around, though, and you might spend even less. Look around, see what you can buy to avoid excess costs, and be ready to commit to having a rather wonderful pet around your home.