Can Axolotls Live Together? How Many Tank Mates?

The aquatic pets can live together. But, the tank or aquarium needs to be spacious enough to deliver comfortable living. Furthermore, axolotls living together must be of similar size and sex. If axolotls are of different sizes, as prey animals, the bigger ones will fight and bite the smaller ones.

Do axolotls eat each other?

axolotl tank mates

Axolotls eat each other since they are not social animals and prosper by living alone. So, if an axolotl can fit in the head of another one, it will get nibbed or eaten.

Often, an axolotl’s aggressive and cannibalistic behavior ceases once it has four fully formed limbs. A mature axolotl may only eat a smaller one. On the other hand, a young axolotl often displays more cannibalistic traits towards other young mates by nibbling gills and limbs.

Sometimes, the instinct to nibble and kill remains with an axolotl forever. The behavior can also be triggered and observed when axolotls are starving. An adult axolotl should be fed 2-3 times per week and young ones fed every day.

Axolotls eating each other should worry you as there is a possibility of dealing with serious infections. A bitten juvenile Mexican walking fish may be stressed and have a compromised immune system there be on the lookout for stressed axolotls signs.

How to introduce new axolotls in a tank

To introduce new axolotls in a tank:

Set up a spacious tank

Axolotls should be housed in a spacious tank since they produce plenty of waste and need enough space for growth and moving around easily.

A fully grown axolotl can reach around 10 inches. Without adequate tank space, your aquatic pet will experience stunted growth as an adaptation mechanism and be stressed.

Its minimum tank size should be about 20 gallons for a mature axolotl. So, for three axolotls, a 60-gallons tank is appropriate.

Lots of space in the tank is also necessary to accommodate the addition of different decorations elements, including gravel, caves, driftwood and safe aquatic plants for your Axolotls tank The additions can help divert the attention of axolotls from each other.

Apart from the tank size, the water temperature should be about 65 °F,  which is excellent for keeping your pets comfortable and discouraging the attack and growth of harmful bacteria. Therefore, avoid exposing the tank to direct light for more than 5 hours.

Provide plenty of hiding spots in the tank

The pets are bottom dwellers and prefer little to no light exposure. On the other hand, axolotls are nocturnals, suffer from poor eyesight, lack eyelids, and are light sensitive. For that reason, axolotls spend most of their day hiding under or behind ceramic shelters, caves, or rocks. 

Ensure the materials for hiding do not have sharp edges which may pierce the glossy sensitive skin of axolotls. An injured skin is more susceptible to absorption of toxins from its water and or your skin during handling. 

Quarantine new axolotls

Before introducing new axolotls into a tank, house them in a quarantine tank for a couple of weeks. This is to ensure the axolotls are disease-free and cannot spread any infection.

Since you are purchasing from a local breeder, confirm whether the new axolotls may need to be quarantined.

Provide the right substrate

Avoid providing axolotls in the tank with gravel. Instead, use sand since it is not bigger enough to choke and harm your pet when swallowed.

Apart from those considerations, also put new pets in separate sections of the same tank. This lets them familiarize themselves with their surroundings and mates before eventually mixing them after a couple of days.

Once you have put the aquatic pets together, monitor them closely to ensure they get along. If the axolotls bully and nibble each other, then house them individually.

How many axolotls can be kept together?

You can keep as many axolotls together in a tank as you want. However, for their health and safety, the number of axolotls living together will primarily depend on the tank or aquarium size.

The bigger the tank size, the larger the number of axolotls that can be kept together. Also, make sure that the axolotls are of the same size and sex.

Since an axolotl requires lots of space for growth, movement, and hiding, a minimum of a 20-gallon aquarium or tank should only house one pet. Keeping together many axolotls in an appropriately spacious tank will save you from frequently replacing lots of the water portion to maintain its quality.

Without adequate space, the watery environment will get easily polluted, necessitating tank water to change to more than usual. In addition, many axolotls housed together in a tank translate into more poop, which is dangerous since it often yields a spike in ammonia levels. Ammonia is notorious for causing burns, stress, infections, and poisoning. As a pet owner, you want to always know Axolotl ammonia burn signs and treatment in order to ensure your pet is safe and happy.

How big of a tank do I need for 2 axolotls?

For 2 axolotls, you need a 40-gallon tank. An individual axolotl needs a minimum of 20-gallon tank.

If the plan is to house two or more axolotls together in a tank, remember an axolotl can function and live comfortably without mates. Providing tank companionship for your water-dwelling pet may expose them to injuries, infections, and choking. 

Can you put a male and a female Axolotl together?

Yes, you can put a male and a female axolotl together. However, only do that for breeding purposes. Having males and females living together is not recommended by expert axolotl keepers.

Males tend to harass females and get them pregnant and carry eggs many times, which compromises the latter’s general well-being and health. Female axolotls can reproduce almost 1000 eggs at the same time and caring for young larvae is no mean task.

On the contrary, male axolotls cannot breed excessively as they only breed when ready. So, only have same-sex axolotls since keeping them is a light challenge. 

To put a male and a female axolotl together, you may avoid the bad behavior of bullying and biting by providing them with food away from each other. A fight between male and female axolotls mainly occurs during eating as they compete and mistake each other for the available food.

Employ a turkey baster for directing food into the mouths of your amphibian pet. When they know they are all getting their fair share of food, they will not be aggressive towards the food and each other.

Besides providing sufficient food, provide a spacious tank for housing a male and female axolotl together. With limited space, the lives of the pets become endangered by the faster degradation of the tank water quality. The shared small space can get littered quickly by the wastes of female and male axolotls.

So, feeling uncomfortable and stressed, the male pet may bully and bite a female axolotl.

 If you put a male and female axolotl together and they are not breeding, it may be due to:

  • A failure to properly recognize their genders, leads to the house of two females or two males together. Thus, understand how to recognize the gender of an axolotl. Females have rounder bodies for carrying eggs while males have prolonged, undeviating bodies. Females also have shorter tails.
  • The pets are not mature. Axolotls attain sexual maturity when they are more than 6 months old. It is advised you breed them when they are at least 1 year old.
  • Poor water and environmental quality. For instance, ensure the water temperature is appropriate for encouraging breeding.

There are a few things to keep in mind. First, axolotls are individual pets that like to bite each other when there is no sufficient personal space. On that account, putting a lot of axolotls in a smaller tank should be avoided to not risk their health and life with inappropriate living conditions. Furthermore, avoid providing other tank mates such as fish, small shrimp, and small snails.

Secondly, axolotls biting each other, as long as there is no infection, may not be bad after all. These organisms are legendary with their ability to regenerate bitten body parts such as the brain and heart.

Lastly, add things like hiding spots and aquatic plants in the tank of your axolotl. That can help provide a captive environment mimicking the natural environment for ensuring your pet feels at home. Also, avoid putting axolotls in one tank and, if necessary, adhere to the guidelines supplied above for their safety and proper health.

READ NEXT: Can Axolotls Go on Land and Breathe Out of Water?

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