Axolotl Shedding: What To Do And Why! (2024)


Do you notice your axolotl’s skin peeling off, white slime or gunk floating around in the tank, or mucous peeling off its body? If so, you may wonder why this is happening and whether it is a cause for concern. As an axolotl owner, it is essential to understand why your pet’s skin is shedding and what you can do about it. So, do axolotls shed?

When axolotls shed their skin, it is not their skin but their slime coat that is peeling off. The slime coat is a mucous membrane that covers the surface of the axolotl’s skin.

A peeling slime coat indicates that axolotl’s environment or health is wrong. Therefore, if you notice your axolotl slime coat shedding, it is crucial to address the underlying issue.

Read on to learn more about axolotls and shedding.

Before you scroll further down this guide, check out these other animal-related articles: Does a Cane Corso Shed? and Do Belgian Malinois Shed?.

What Is the Slime in My Axolotl Tank?


The slime you see in your axolotl tank is the axolotl’s slime coat, which can shed strands and blobs and float around in the water.

The presence of slime shedding can indicate that something is amiss with your axolotl’s environment or health. Typically, the shedding process links with water parameters, such as temperature and chemical levels.

When an axolotl begins to shed its slime coat, it usually means you need to change its tank to avoid further harm to your pet’s health and well-being.

For instance, if the temperature is too high, it can create a stressful environment for your pet, leading to slime coat shedding. Alternatively, too much ammonia in the water may indicate a need for better filtration in your tank.

It’s worth noting that if you house your axolotl in a crowded tank, it may also experience stress and frustration, which can trigger slime coat shedding.

Axolotls are solitary creatures and prefer to live in isolated environments where they can thrive.

Should Axolotls Shed?


No, shedding is not a regular occurrence for axolotls. They have delicate skin meant to remain intact to protect and maintain their health.

In addition, axolotls are amphibians and not reptiles, so shedding should not be considered a specific aspect of their biology.

The skin of an Axolotl has a slime coat that serves as a protective layer. This slime coat reduces drag, allowing them to swim more efficiently, and is their first line of defense against injuries and illnesses.

In addition, it lowers the risk of injuries, protects against bacterial and fungal infections, and provides a soothing effect on any wounds that may occur.

Axolotl Skin vs. Axolotl Slime Coat


Axolotl Skin

Axolotls, like most animals, have skin that serves as a vital physical barrier and a crucial part of their immune system.

In addition, an axolotl’s skin and mucous membranes act as a first line of defense against external threats and pathogens in their environment.

The skin of an axolotl plays a crucial role in protecting the animal from harmful microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Additionally, it provides structural support and helps encase and protect the animal’s internal organs, ensuring everything remains intact and functions correctly.

Axolotl Slime Coat


The slime coat is a crucial mucous membrane that serves as a protective layer and is on the surface of an axolotl’s skin.

It provides a slippery substance that helps regulate the animal’s temperature and protects it from harmful substances, germs, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The slime coat also helps keep axolotls moist and comfortable.

If an axolotl’s slime coat is damaged or begins to peel off, it can indicate underlying issues in the animal’s environment.

This peeling usually appears as a white sheen on the surface of the axolotl’s body, which can be alarming for owners.

In such cases, it is essential to investigate the potential causes of slime coat shedding to determine the source of the problem.

Common causes of slime coat shedding may include issues with the water temperature, chemical levels, or filtration system in the tank.

The 7 Reasons Why Axolotls Shed



Axolotls are cold-blooded animals, which means they rely on the temperature of their environment to regulate their bodily functions. Therefore, they love cold water, with an ideal temperature range of 60-64°F.

If the water temperature is too high, it can cause stress and discomfort to the Axolotl, leading to a breakdown of their slime coat.

That can result in the appearance of shedding, which is not a standard process for axolotls and can be a sign of poor health.

To keep your axolotl healthy and happy, monitoring the water temperature regularly and ensuring it stays within the ideal range is essential.

If the temperature is too high, you may need a unique aquarium cooler to reach a safe level.

By maintaining the proper temperature in your axolotl tank, you can help prevent the breakdown of their slime coat and ensure that they stay healthy and comfortable.

Water Parameters


In addition to ammonia and nitrites, high levels of nitrates and phosphates can also harm axolotls and damage their slime coat.

It’s essential to regularly test and maintain appropriate levels of all these parameters in your axolotl tank.

It’s also essential to ensure that the water in the tank is well-aerated and has sufficient water flow to prevent stagnant areas and ensure enough oxygen in the water for your axolotl to breathe.

A lack of oxygen can stress your axolotl and contribute to the shedding of its slime coat.

Finally, providing a safe and suitable environment for your axolotl, with appropriate tank size, hiding places, and tankmates, is essential.

Overcrowding and stress can also contribute to the shedding of the slime coat.


Chlorine can be harmful to axolotls and other aquatic creatures. A dechlorinating agent or letting the water sit for a few days before adding it to the tank effectively removes chlorine from tap water.

However, it’s essential to ensure that the water in the tank is free from harmful substances to maintain the health of your axolotl.

Heavy Metals


Heavy metals can be toxic to axolotls and cause damage to their slime coat, gills, and other organs. They can also negatively impact their immune system and overall health.

Therefore, it’s essential to test your water regularly for heavy metal content and take steps to remove them if they are present.

That may involve using a unique filtration system or adding certain chemicals to your water. Avoiding tank decorations or heavy metal materials is also a good idea.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections can cause damage to the slime coat and lead to shedding in axolotls. Fungal infections are due to poor water quality, such as high ammonia or nitrate levels.

They can lead to various symptoms, including a fluffy or cotton-like appearance on the skin, lethargy, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing.

If you suspect your axolotl has a fungal infection, it is essential to seek veterinary care and address any underlying water quality issues to prevent further health problems.



Chronic stress can negatively affect axolotls, just like it can on humans and other animals.

Therefore, ensuring that your axolotl lives in a suitable environment with good water quality, a proper diet, and enough space to swim and explore is vital.

In addition, you can help keep your axolotl healthy and happy by providing a stress-free environment.

Being Out of Water

Axolotls are fully aquatic animals relying on the water to breathe, move, and regulate their body temperature. Being out of water for even a short amount of time can cause them a lot of stress and harm.

Therefore, handling them only when necessary, always with wet hands, and avoiding keeping them out of the water for more than a few seconds is essential.

FAQs About Axolotls Shedding


Why is my axolotl’s skin peeling?

Peeling skin on an axolotl can be caused by several factors, including poor water quality, improper diet, improper temperature, and insufficient humidity. Here are some possible causes and solutions:

Poor water quality

You should regularly monitor ammonia and nitrite levels and perform water changes as needed. A lack of filtration or an overstocked tank can also contribute to poor water quality.

Improper diet

A diet that lacks essential nutrients can lead to poor skin health. Therefore, ensure your axolotl receives a varied and balanced diet that includes high-quality pellets, worms, and other live foods.

Improper temperature

Axolotls require cool water temperatures between 16-18°C. The slime coat can break down if the water temperature is too warm, leading to peeling skin.

Insufficient humidity

Axolotls require a humid environment, as their skin can dry quickly. Therefore, ensure the tank is covered and moist, and provide a damp hide for your axolotl.

If you suspect that your axolotl’s skin peeling is due to any of these factors, take steps to correct the issue as soon as possible.

However, if the problem persists or you are unsure of the cause, consult a veterinarian knowledgeable about axolotls.

Is it normal for axolotls to shed skin?

If you notice excessive or abnormal shedding, it could indicate an underlying issue such as poor water quality, improper diet, or other health problems.

In such cases, it is essential to investigate the cause and take appropriate action to ensure the health and well-being of your Axolotl.

Why is my axolotl slime coat coming off?

An axolotl’s slime coat can come off for several reasons, such as poor water quality, high water temperature, exposure to harmful chemicals or heavy metals, bacterial or fungal infections, stress, or injury.

The slime coat is an essential protective layer that helps prevent infections and regulate the axolotl’s body temperature.

If the slime coat is coming off, it is a sign that something is wrong in the axolotl’s environment, and you should make immediate arrangements to avoid further health issues.

Do axolotls shed their gills?

No, axolotls do not shed their gills. Gills are an essential respiratory organ for axolotls, requiring them to extract oxygen from the water.

Suppose you notice changes in your axolotl’s gills, such as discoloration or abnormal growth. In that case, you must consult a veterinarian or an experienced axolotl keeper to identify and address any underlying health issues.

What does a sick axolotl look like?

A sick axolotl may display a variety of symptoms, some of which include:

  • Lethargy or lack of activity
  • Loss of appetite or difficulty eating
  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal swimming or floating behavior
  • Erratic movement or problem maintaining balance
  • Cloudy or swollen eyes
  • Abnormal coloration or markings
  • Skin lesions or sores
  • Difficulty breathing or gasping at the water surface
  • Gills that are red or appear inflamed
  • Fungal or bacterial infections
  • Open wounds or bleeding
  • Excessive mucus or slime production

It’s important to note that these symptoms can indicate various health issues, and it’s best to consult with a veterinarian experienced with axolotls if you notice any concerning changes in your pet’s behavior or appearance.

Axolotl Shedding: Take Action If You See It


The slime coat is a crucial protective layer for axolotls, as a barrier against harmful substances and regulating body temperature.

Peeling or shedding the slime coat is often a sign of an underlying issue, such as poor water quality, inappropriate tank setups, high temperatures, or fungal infections.

Therefore, it is crucial to monitor the water parameters, provide appropriate tank setups, and maintain a healthy diet to prevent slime coat damage and maintain the overall health of axolotls.

If you find this guide, “Axolotl Shedding: What To Do And Why,” informative and helpful, you can check out these other animal-related articles from our team:

You can learn more about axolotls by watching “11 Axolotl Facts You Need To Know – AMAZING UNKNOWN AXOLOTL SECRETS REVEALED!!!” down below: