4 Best Axolotl Tank Mates And Some Species To Avoid

You have some axolotls in your tank, and it’s time to introduce some buddies to your pets. Yet, what are good tankmates for axolotl?

Axolotls are not friendly mates. Yet, some ideas may work for them. Let’s scroll through this guide until the final line and discover the best axolotl tank mates!

Best Axolotl Tank Mates

It’s better to leave axolotls alone. They don’t even get sad because they are not community species.

If you want to raise different creatures in the same tank, consider carefully whether they can get along well.

Some people claim that axolotls can live with the species listed below. You can try to see if they work with your tank.

Small shrimp

Amano and ghost shrimp are great additions to any fish tank. Those feeders are excellent at clearing leftover food and searching the substrate for meals.

The bodies of ghost shrimp are almost transparent. Therefore, they can conceal themselves in the tank, particularly if the tank has live plants.

Axolotls can find them if they want to because of their strong sense of smell.

Amano shrimp are tiny and have no risk of impaction, making them harmless food for your axis. Some owners even give their axolotls Amano shrimp as a treat sometimes.


Guppies are usually smaller and lack hard exoskeletons. They may get along with axolotls as long as the axis doesn’t have culinary interest in these tiny fish.

Can axolotls eat guppies? Unfortunately, yes. The guppies are small enough to pass through the gastrointestinal tract of adult axolotls.

However, guppies can reproduce quickly and in great numbers. As a result, we do not advise keeping them in the same aquarium.

Although it may seem like they’d be a fantastic food supply for axolotls, their dense population will stress the axolotls out.

Be careful with the guppy population

Mini snails

Axolotl adults can safely consume cold water snails like ramshorn, apple, and bladder snails.

However, it’s essential to consider that their exoskeleton could shatter and harm your axolotl’s intestinal lining.

Since snails are bottom feeders, they can help the aquarium environment by removing food scraps and maintaining the substrate clean.

However, it’s preferable if you continue with your aquarium maintenance duties and don’t just rely on these bottom feeders to collect food scraps.


Axolotls can have peaceful minnows in their tanks because they are cool-water species. These fish are axolotls and can also eat minnows safely since they lack shells and spines.

Your axolotls will indeed attack these fish, so you may want to think about raising them in separate aquariums. Luckily, minnows are fast and can escape from attacks.

Minnows are peaceful creatures

What Tank Mates To Avoid?

Above are the possible species to keep in the axolotl tank. Besides, you need to note some fish that can’t coexist with your axolotls.


Baby goldfish are small but can reach a maximum length of 12 inches. Then, an adult goldfish can be the same size as an adult axolotl.

When axolotls try to eat them, they may end in choking or impaction. Goldfish also nibble at the axolotls’ fins and grills, causing injuries and stress.

Additionally, because goldfish generate a lot of waste and axolotls have a high bio load, the water in the aquarium will suffer.

Cory catfish

Cory catfish are tiny. Fish owners might mistakenly think they make good axolotl tank mates because of their size. Sadly, cory catfish pose a severe risk to axolotls.

Cory catfish’s pectoral and dorsal fins have defensive spines that make them dangerous.

When an axolotl tries to consume a cory catfish, it may get puncture wounds that could become infected or eventually lead to death.

The defensive spines of cory catfish are dangerous

Otocinclus catfish

Otocinclus catfish are small fish and seem safe for axolotls. Yet, they pose the same threat to your fish as cory catfish. The defensive spines are a big headache.


Can you put a pleco with an axolotl? The answer is no. For various reasons, pleco fish and axolotls are not the most compatible creatures to cohabit.

First, the size gap between the two species keeps you from raising them together. Pleco fish can grow to a size of about two feet, making them much bigger than axolotls.

Their water needs are also very different from one another. Although pleco fish prefer warm temperatures, axolotls usually live in cold waters.

Besides, they cannot coexist because of variances in their eating habits, personalities, and other traits.

Avoid pleco fish at all cost

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can axolotls and fish live together?

Yes, but there are always threats in this habitat. You risk your axolotl being attacked by fin-nippers or having small fish killed.

When consuming prey that is too large for its gastrointestinal tract, your axolotl may suffer from impaction.

2. Can axolotls live with turtles?

No, because turtles have different caring requirements from your axolotls. The aggressiveness and unpredictability of turtles may hurt the axis.

3. Do axolotls live well with other axolotls?

Yes, but only when they are adults. Younger axolotls typically engage in cannibalism, which can cause limb loss and other issues.

Be ready to have 1500 babies because reproduction will occur if males and females live together.


Axolotls can hardly live with other fish. Your pets may suffer from impaction or injuries. Meanwhile, they will consume smaller species in your tank.

Your axolotls like to live alone. But if you want them to have mates, consider their compatibility carefully. Otherwise, all of your pets will suffer.

You can learn more tips for caring for your pets right here:


If you have any problems, do not hesitate to contact us. We will always be glad to help. Thank you for reading!