Can 2 Axolotls Live Together?

Axolotls are increasing in popularity as aquarium pets. As a result, many new axolotl owners are asking if they should have two axolotls in their tank so that their pet or pets have company. Let’s consider this fascinating amphibian and its social habits.

Are Axolotls Social Creatures?

No, axolotls, like most amphibians, are not social creatures. Most social interaction will revolve around reproduction activities.

Will My Axolotl Get Lonely?

No, they are fine when living by themselves. A tank companion is not necessary. They can live with other axolotls as long as their personalities are compatible.

Can 2 Axolotls Live Together

The Axolotl Personality

Each axolotl will be unique and as a species, they exhibit various kinds of behaviors. Some may be active while others may appear relatively quiet.

Some pets will interact with owners, recognizing when you are near while still others will prefer to remain alone, perhaps hiding. It’s important when pairing axolotls in the same tank that one or both are not aggressive.

Can 2 Axolotls Live Together?

Yes, two axolotls can live together even if they do not feel the need for company. But successful cohabitation isn’t automatic.

Axolotls have cannibalistic characteristics, so it’s crucial when placing two axolotls into the same aquarium, that they be the same size, so they won’t be tempted to eat each other.

Ideally, you may also want to place two axolotls of the same sex together to avoid undesired pregnancies. Other considerations should include the size of your aquarium and proper feeding.

Are Axolotls Dangerous When Living Together?

It’s important to remember that axolotls are predators when placing them in the same aquarium. They will prey on anything they see moving.

This is true even if you wiggle your finger in the tank, although should they “bite” your finger, it won’t hurt as they do not have a serious set of teeth.

Teeth are tiny and used principally for grabbing prey and sucking up things or smaller creatures into their mouths for digestion. 

Do Axolotls Eat Other Axolotls?

If you house two axolotls of the same size, they should not pose a danger to each other, however, if you place a smaller axolotl with a larger one, chances are that the small amphibian will end up on the dinner menu.

If one of the axolotls can fit the other in its mouth, it will be eaten. If the aquarium mate is too large to be swallowed, have no fear.

Swallowing is crucial to feeding as the teeth of the axolotl are not sharp but soft. They do not use their teeth for killing or chewing prey. Teeth are used almost exclusively for gripping and grabbing.

Do Axolotls Eat Other Axolotls

Once an axolotl has gripped its prey, it will suck it into its mouth and swallow it whole. If the prey is too large, an axolotl will regurgitate it. Larger axolotls will try to swallow smaller ones.

If you plan on breeding axolotls, the babies will need to be separated from the adults when they measure approximately 2 centimeters in size. This is when they will be viewed as prey.

If you do decide to keep two axolotls of the same size together in your aquarium, you should still observe their behavior to make sure that they are compatible and can coexist successfully.

In some cases, one of your axolotls may be more aggressive and attempt to swallow and eat the gills or a limb of its tank mate.

If you notice one of your pets is missing a leg, the other tank resident probably ate it. Luckily axolotls can regenerate organs. But you will need to separate the two, placing the aggressive pet in its aquarium.

Can Male and Female Axolotls Live Together in the Same Aquarium?

Keeping male and female axolotls together in the same aquarium is not a recommended idea. Your female will be pregnant constantly which will take its toll on the female’s health.

Male and female axolotls should only be kept together in the same aquarium for short periods for breeding.

If a male and a female are kept constantly together, your tank will be filled with babies. Should you want to breed your axolotls, once eggs have been laid, the adult axolotls should be moved to individual tanks.

If you want to continue breeding, wait at least a month after the eggs have been laid before permitting breeding again.

Do Two Axolotls Need a Large Tank with Lots of Space?

There are numerous ideas regarding how much space an axolotl needs to be happy and healthy. The minimum recommended tank size for a single axolotl is considered to be ten gallons, although most pet parents opt for larger aquariums of at least twenty gallons. 

This larger size helps with keeping the tank cleaner and is more appropriate for the axolotl’s needs. Axolotls are much larger than your average goldfish meaning that elimination will feature larger stools.

20 gallon axolotl tank for two axolotls

If stools are not removed quickly, they will disintegrate and cloud the water as well as pollute the water with ammonia. This means you’ll be changing the water more often. 

If you have two axolotls in your tank, the aquarium will get faster even quicker. Consider getting a tank that allows 20 gallons for each axolotl hosted. The tank size will not influence personalities. Even if the tank is quite large, an aggressive axolotl will remain aggressive.

Is My Axolotl Cannibalistic?

Yes, your pet is a cannibalistic predator. Larger axolotls will eat smaller ones. They will sometimes eat the limbs or gills of tank mates. If an axolotl is not fed properly and is hungry, it will try to eat another axolotl. 

These amphibians eat meat, so if they do not have access to small prey, they will attack rather than starve, and they can eat limbs or gills if they are unable to swallow their tank mate. An aggressive aquarium mate may try to eat the other axolotl even if it is fed regularly and well.

How Can I Introduce My Axolotl to a New Buddy?

When introducing a new axolotl into your aquarium, follow these recommendations to do so successfully.

1.) Your tank should be large enough to hold at least 20 gallons of water for each axolotl.

2.) Choose two axolotls that are the same sex.

3.) Decorate your aquarium with lots of plants, caves, and decorations to provide your axolotls have several hiding places. Plant decorations should not have sharp, rough, or hard edges as their skin is soft and thin making them susceptible to cuts.

4.) If you have just received your new axolotl, quarantine it for several weeks to verify that it does not have disease or parasites.

5.) Once you have placed both axolotls into your aquarium, observe them closely, in the beginning, to evaluate if they get along together.

Can I Keep More than 2 Axolotls in the Same Tank?

You can place as many axolotls as you want in a single tank if your axolotls are

      • the same size
      • the same sex, and if 
      • the aquarium has 20 gallons of space for each axolotl.
Susan R Elliston

I have over 11 years of experience as a vet working with a wonderful variety of species of innocent and lovely animals. Whilst I still work two days a week for a local practice, I realized that I could help more people by sharing my knowledge and experience with my readers.

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