Written By : M Samy

Do axolotls like or need company ?

Do axolotls like or need company ?

Axolotls are solitary animals that only seek company during the mating season, but it is possible to have them share a tank or live with other species if you provide them with a sufficiently large tank and enough food and hides to avoid triggering their cannibalistic behavior and food or territory related conflicts with each other .

How to get axolotls to live together?

To avoid conflicts when you put two or more axolotls in the same tank, you must respect some conditions and be always vigilant of what is happening in the tank in order to intervene if necessary, here are the points to take into consideration when you cohabit several axolotls together:

do axolotls like or need company ?

1- A large enough tank for your axolotls 

While axolotls can live with enough water to just cover their body, they need a lot of space so that they can swim freely and let the water flow over their body and gills.

You will need to choose a suitable tank that is large enough to hold your axolotls, a 40 gallon Breeder can only accommodate two adult individuals.

2- A highly efficient water filtration system

Two or more axolotls in the same tank will produce more waste, will need more dissolved oxygen in the water and will therefore cause the production of more ammonia.

You need to install a good water filtration system, a powerful enough filter that will work continuously and most of all collect their poop and food more often.

You will need to clean the media at least 3 times a month and replace 25% of the water in the tank more often (at least 2 to 3 times a month).

You may need a bubbler to better oxygenate the tank water and a chiller to face possible temperature increases.

3-Enough hides for all your axolotls

To avoid conflicts between axolotls in the same tank, you will need to provide some tank decorations and at least one hide for each axolotl and leave enough empty space on the bottom of the tank so that they can rest at the same time and to have enough space to drop their food at mealtime.

4-Enough Food for all the tank mates

Axolotls that live together will fight over an earthworm or a piece of meat when they are hungry and you don’t give them enough to eat.

Make sure you give enough food for all your axolotls and above all that they all eat the same thing to avoid creating jealousy, to make one of them bigger than the other and to avoid making them aggressive and awakening their territorial instinct.

5- Choose axolotls of the similar age and size

If you want a companion for your axolotl, it is recommended to bring individuals born from the same parents, which are the same size and especially the same kind.

Axolotls can quickly become cannibals if they’re triggered and  feel that they can hunt and swallow one of their fellow animals, so avoid introducing baby axolotls into a tank where there are already adults.

Axolotls can also fight over hiding places and the best places to sit, but when they are of the same size, they will avoid conflict to avoid injury.

6- Choose axolotls of the same gender

Unless you want to breed hundreds of baby axolotls (usually around 300 hatched eggs), you should only put together in the same tank axolotls of the same gender 

Otherwise, you must watch your axolotls and be ready to install a tank divider and divide the tank in two equal parts to separate the male from the female axolotl during the mating season, of course in early spring

And if you want your axolotls to reproduce, you will have to install live plants and take the male out of the tank at the end of the fertilization process, or collect the eggs and hatch them in a different container.

7- Avoid introducing a female axolotl in a tank full of adults

Never introduce a female axolotl during the mating season in a tank where there is more than one male axolotl, they will surely fight over who will deposit his sperm cones and fertilize the female.

8- Quarantine the sick individuals 

You must also be vigilant and monitor the health of your axolotls and you must always be ready to remove from the tank any axolotl that shows symptoms of illness so that it cannot contaminate the water or transmit it to its other tank mates.

Can I keep other species with my axolotl?

There are many other species of fish, crustaceans and snails that you can keep with your axolotl. Certain precautions must be taken in this case, not only must you know which species you can have cohabit with an axolotl but also the precautions to take to avoid bringing back tank mates that will attack your axolotl and its gills or cause impaction in your axolotl if it hunts them and swallows one.

Does an axolotl feel lonely in the tank?

Axolotls do not get bored when they are alone in a tank and what you call “social behavior” when talking about axolotls is not what you think.

Axolotls put in the same tank are tolerant of each other just because they were born in a limited space, lived with other axolotls when they were small and mostly because there is enough food and hiding places for everyone.

This endangered species live alone in their natural environment in the canals of Lake Xochimilco and each one chooses its own territory and never ventures into the territory of another axolotl under penalty of being attacked.

The only time axolotls can meet is during the mating season in February when the females release pheromones into the water to attract male axolotls to fertilize their eggs.

The adult males will of course fight each other and the strongest one will ensure his offspring by depositing sperm cones on the bottom of the lake and the female will inhale them in her abdomen and fertilize the eggs.

After the end of the nuptial dance and the fertilization of the eggs, the female will chase the males away from the place where she will lay her eggs so that they are not eaten.

As soon as they hatch, a few days later, the baby axolotls will be left to fend for themselves and their mother axolotl will leave to find another territory.

The baby axolotls may stay and live close to each other until they become adults , are discovered by a hunting fish or food runs out and cannibalism begins.

Is it better to get two axolotls or one axolotl with other species?

In my opinion, it would be better to keep only one axolotl especially if it is your first aquarium, you can bring other small freshwater fish like White cloud minnows, Small shrimp and some mini snails.

You will be able to keep the situation under control and once you have learned how to take good care of the axolotl and the tank, you can then consider getting more axolotls and why not become a passionate breeder to help save this species and not deprive future generations of its incomparable smile.

Final Thoughts

Under good housing conditions, axolotls can tolerate the company of other axolotls but do not need them. An axolotl can live on its own for its entire life without feeling lonely.

The only time male and female axolotls may really want company is in the spring, during the mating season.

Females will expect an axolotl male to show up in the tank and fertilize her  eggs while male axolotls, under the effect of sex hormones, will naturally visit all corners of the tank hoping to find a female to pass on their genes.

M Samy pet blogger and author at famillypet

About Author

Hey! M. Samy here , Welcome to my Blog I'm an animal lover, especially pets and Really concerned about their well being ; I've been around and caring for all my life and Now ; a full-time Pet blogger at your service . My motto here at Famillypet is: "Pets First" ... Read More