Axolotls are cold water animals and sometimes keeping their tank at a cool 64-70 degrees can prove to be difficult for some. So here is a list of methods to help keep the tank cool. I’m not saying that you have to do ALL of these things to keep your tank cool, use any combination that works for you.
DISCLAIMER: Like other aquatic creatures Axolotls like a consistent environment. Part of keeping a healthy lotl is to keep homeostasis in your tank….wildly fluctuating temps can stress out your lotl so use a method that keeps the tank consistently cool and if you need to drop the tank temp for emergency situations you still want to do it SLOWLY. A dramatic drop in temp can put your lotl into shock.
- Tank Placement: Many people don’t think about how important tank placement is. If you can (obviously situating a tank in the house can be limited) put the tank in the room that stays the coldest. I also recommend placing the tank under your a/c vent so when your air conditioning kicks on during the summer you’ll have cool air reaching the tank first (close that vent in the winter so minimal warm air blows on the tank when you are running the heat). Stay away from direct sunlight! Sunlight will heat up a tank easily (and also promote algae growth). Plus axolotls don’t care for bright light so having direct sunlight hit the tank is stressful in a number of ways.
- Aquarium Fans: This is one of the best methods of temp control. A fan blowing across the top of the water can lower the tank up to 8 degrees with the power of evaporation *science*. This method works better in dryer climates but is effective in both dry and humid conditions.
- Chiller: I put the chiller 3rd on the list because even though this is a sure fire way to keep your tank chilly no matter what it’s very expensive and for many people it isn’t an option. Chillers start out around $300.
- Makeshift Chiller (This only works with a canister filter) – *I’ll provide a how-to video in the future* – Take a round styrofoam bucket insert (Home Depot usually sell them) and cut a large enough hole in the lid for your intake and outtake tubes. The canister filter sits inside the cooler and you can pack cold packs or frozen bottles around the filter. The water filtering through your canister filter will be cooled slightly and the insulation of the cooler will allow the packs to stay for hours. It’s a subtle way to help keep the water cool, you will just need to rotate out cold packs daily.
- Cold Packs/Frozen Bottles – This is not something I recommend for long term. Using cold packs or frozen bottles (or ice) directly into a tank causes a more dramatic drop in temp and it is not a control means of keeping the water cool.
- Use LED lighting (if you use lights): If you have proper amounts of shading in your tank (floating or large plants, etc) and want a light for your axolotl tank use and LED light. They put off zero heat. Fluorescent lights put off some heat and incandescent lights (which benefit your plants the least) put off a ton of heat.