One of the commonest questions about axolotls is on whether they can survive out of water. In this article, we tackle that question from all angles.
Can axolotl survive out of water? The answer is no. When out of water, axolotls are unable to breathe well. They also start drying up. An axolotl may sometimes manage a short duration of time (ranging from minutes to a few hours) out of water. But it can’t really survive for long outside water.
Therefore whenever you have an axolotl out of water at any point, its life is in danger.
Do Axolotls Have To Stay In Water?
In exploring the can axolotl survive out of water question, we need to start by finding out whether they always have to stay in water.
In other words, can you have an axolotl out of water? Can axolotl live without water? Or does it always have to be in water?
The true position is that axolotls have to stay in water. Whenever an axolotl is fully out of water, it is life is at risk.
Why is that, you may ask. For instance, do axolotls breathe out of water? And the answer is ‘yes’. For the most part, axolotls draw oxygen using their gills (and their skin as well) out of the water they happen to be in.
Their lungs are not properly developed, to facilitate optimal breathing when outside water.
Therefore when an axolotl is out of water, it is unable to breathe fully. This can lead to its death in a short while.
Moreover, when an axolotl is out of water, it starts drying: which can ultimately lead to its death within a short while.
It is worth noting that an axolotl has to be always moist, for it to stay alive on a long term basis. Yet once it is out of water, it starts drying.
Therefore axolotls always have to stay in water.
Do axolotls die easily once they are out of water? The answer is ‘yes’. They die easily from inability to breathe properly and from drying up.
And that is why they should always stay in water.
This should also answer the can axolotls live on land question. By asserting that axolotls always have to stay in water, we essentially rule out the possibility of them being able to live on land.
Why Do Axolotls Have To Stay In Water?
In answering the can axolotl survive out of water question so far, we have established that they really can’t. We have seen that axolotls always have to stay in water.
This logically leads to another question: on why exactly axolotls have to stay in water.
The simple answer is this: when axolotls are out of water, they are unable to breathe properly. And when axolotls are out of water, they start drying up.
Now being unable to breathe properly and drying up imperils the axolotls’ lives.
Let us look at the deeper science behind all this.
The key mechanisms through which axolotls breathe (via gills and by drawing in oxygen directly through the skin) only work well when they are in water.
True, axolotls do have lungs. But these lungs are not fully developed, as in other amphibians. You have to remember that axolotls never grow past the larval stage. They are neonetic animals, and never go past that stage.
As such, their lungs never develop fully. If their lungs were to develop fully, they would be able to breathe properly when out of water. And it would be possible for them to survive out of water.
Unfortunately, the state of axolotls’ lungs is such that they really can’t depend on them for long.
Their main breathing mechanisms are via their gills and through their skins. That sort of breathing only takes place properly while in water: which is why axolotls can’t survive out of water for long.
An axolotl’s wellbeing also depends on its slime coat being moist. But when it is out of water, the slim coat starts losing moisture. It then begins drying. And this also predisposes the axolotl to death – unless it gets back into water fast.
What Happens If You Take An Axolotl Out Of Water?
This is a natural extension to the can axolotl survive out of water question.
And the simple answer is this: if you take an axolotl out of water, it will soon or later die.
The whole thing is similar to how taking a fish out of water tends to cause its death, soon or later.
Sure, the axolotl is not a fish. It is an amphibian. But taking it out of water causes it to die, soon or later.
Whereas the axolotl may be an amphibian, and not a fish, its main breathing organ is its gills. And those will only work well while in water.
Therefore if you take an axolotl out of water, it will continue using the oxygen in its bloodstream. But this will soon be depleted. Lung breathing won’t sustain it for long, as its lungs are not very well developed.
Therefore the axolotl eventually dies.
The death may not be instant. But if the axolotl stays out of water, it eventually loses its life.
How Long Can Axolotl Survive Out Of Water?
Earlier, while answering the question on what happens if you take an axolotl out of water, we saw that the axolotl ‘eventually’ dies. But how long is ‘eventually’ in this context?
In other words, exactly how long can axolotls stay out of water, before succumbing? How long can axolotls stay on land? For instance, can you hold an axolotl out of water for a few seconds, without endangering its life?
The true position is that the duration of time an axolotl can stay out of water depends on how strong it is.
There are some axolotls that will succumb within as few as five minutes once they are out of water.
Then there are others that have been known to last as long as three hours out of water, before eventually succumbing.
Therefore this question, on how long can axolotl survive out of water, is not one for which we can give a standard answer.
You may, however, safely hold an axolotl out of water for, say, a few seconds while changing its tank water.
That should take seconds, and won’t put your axolotl’s life in danger.
In search of clarity, one may ask, can axolotl survive out of water for seconds? And the answer is mostly yes.
Can axolotl survive out of water for minutes? The answer is that it depends on how many minutes. Most axolotls may be able to survive for, say, five minutes out of water without dying.
And can axolotl survive out of water for hours? The answer is that this is unlikely. True, there have been rare reports of exceptionally strong axolotls surviving out of water for as many as three hours. But most average axies wouldn’t manage such feats.
Can You Train Your Pet Axolotl To Survive Out Of Water?
In answering the can axolotl survive out of water question, we saw that the answer is a categorical no.
This therefore means that you really can’t train your axolotl to survive out of water.
In any event, such an endeavor would be a cruel one.
Further, keep in mind what we just said, in the course of answering the how long can an axolotl survive out of water question.
We said that at best, some axolotls are only able to stay out of water for as few as 5 minutes before succumbing.
So what you need to ask yourself is whether that feat (of getting the axolotl to stay on land for 5 minutes) is worth the effort.
All in all, it is advisable not to attempt training your axolotl to survive out of water. That is because, in this case, you would be largely working against nature.
Sure, you may have some ‘fans’ gawking and wildly enquiring on the spectacle of axolotl getting out of water will he survive for long.
But the whole thing is simply not a worthwhile pursuit.
It is not viable, even in axolotl minecraft games. For instance, if you pose the can axolotl survive out of water in minecraft question to gaming enthusiasts, most of them will tell you that it is not possible.
You may even go further and ask, how long can axolotls hold their breath on land in minecraft? Or generally how long can axolotls live on land in minecraft? You will see that even in minecraft, axolotls don’t survive out of water.
Now if the imaginary axolotls in minecraft are not trainable to survive out of water, why should you try it with real life axolotls?
Can Axolotls Jump Out Of Tank?
It is possible for axolotls to squirm and jump out of its tank, if it doesn’t have a strong lid.
Indeed, some of the people who pose the can axolotl survive out of water question turn out to be individuals who have come home to find their axies on the floor, having jumped out of their tanks!
What happens thereafter may depend on how strong the axolotls is, and how soon you discover that it has jumped out of the tank.
Remember, while answering the how long can axolotls be out of water for question, we saw that it largely depends on the strength of the axolotl.
Then, while answering the how long can axolotl stay out of water question, we saw that some succumb in as few as five minutes. Others are able to last as long as three hours, before eventually throwing in the towel.
Therefore if your axie jumps out of tank, and it is not particularly strong, it may die before you even discover that it has jumped.
But if your axolotl jumps out of tank, and it is the strong type (or you discover that it has jumped before too much time lapses), then you may get it back into the tank before it succumbs.
My Axolotl Jumped Out Of Tank – What To Do?
If your axolotl jumped out of tank, the first course of action is to get it back into water as soon as you make the discovery.
Remember, while answering the can axolotl survive out of water question, we saw that they can’t. And that they soon or later die, once they are out of water.
You therefore need to find out whether the axolotl in question is still alive, or already dead.
If it is still alive, get it back into the water. Then investigate what may have caused it to jump out. Take the necessary corrective actions, if possible.
Further, invest in a proper lid for your axolotl tank, to ensure that the axolotl doesn’t jump out again.
Keep in mind what we said earlier, while answering the can axolotl survive out of water question. We said that, even in the best case scenario, the axolotl may only survive out of water for a few hours.
Therefore if you don’t get a proper lid, the next time it jumps out, you may come to find it already dead.
But a strong lid can keep your axolotl from jumping out of the tank.
Final Verdict – Can Axolotl Survive Out Of Water
Axolotls can’t survive out of water for long.
That is because the mechanisms through which they breathe only work well when they are in water. Therefore when axolotls are out of water, they are unable to breathe well: eventually leading to their deaths.
Moreover, when an axolotl is out of water, its slime coat starts drying up – further putting its life in danger.
Even the strongest of axolotls will normally not be able to survive out of water for more than a few hours, before succumbing.
This has implications, if you are considering adopting an axolotl as a pet. It means that you need to make arrangements for it to always be in (good quality) water.
And if you already have an axolotl, ensure that the lid on its tank is strong enough.
Otherwise the axolotl may, at some point, squirm and jump out of the tank, then find itself out of water – where it may not be able to survive for long.