Can You Keep Axolotls with Fish?

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Research suggests that although Axolotls can be kept with fish, most fish tank mates are not compatible with them.

These salamanders are not good tank mates in general but there are a handful of fish with whom they can tolerate each other.

Axolotls have no problem with living a solitary life. In fact, it affects their health and lifespan in a positive way.

Therefore, there is no need to worry that your little salamander is going to feel lonely. If you want your tank to be a bit more colorful, however, then we can suggest a couple of tank mates in this article.

We are also going to explain why exactly they are not compatible with most species.

It is important to know about all the threats and stress factors that take effect when you keep them with certain incompatible species. After all, you want to see your little pet in good mood and shape.

Can You Keep Goldfish and Axolotls Together?

Keeping Axolotls with Goldfish is an attractive idea due to the fact that they thrive in the same water temperatures.

However, this fact alone doesn’t mean that you can actually keep them in the same tank. Goldfish are slow swimmers, while Axolotls are carnivorous salamanders.

The result would manifest itself rather quickly once the Goldfish enters the tank. Once the fish gets close, the Axolotl is going to grab a hold of it and eat it vigorously. Quite an expensive food for your little pet, isn’t it?

If the Goldfish swallowed by your salamander is big enough, it will most certainly cause a serious impaction.

Now this fish is not going to be eaten immediately, and in the meanwhile, it is going to nibble on your Axolotl’s fins and gills. All in all, it is not going to be pleasant for either of them.

Can You Keep Shrimp and Axolotls Together?

You should not buy shrimp for your Axolotl tank, except if your goal is to buy some expensive food for your pet.

These salamanders love to eat shrimp and they are not going to hesitate much to do so. If you buy a shrimp as a tank mate, they will live together for a short while.

But usually only until your Axolotl gets hungry, bumps into the shrimp and eats it. Shrimp are great pets and people love to keep them, but in this case, they are going to count as food.

It’s unfortunate that they can’t be tank mates because shrimps are great for cleaning up the bottom of the aquarium.

They constantly look for leftovers that would otherwise contaminate the water. Taking it into account that your Axolotl won’t eat them unless it’s very hungry, you can try keeping them together. However, it is going to be a challenge to constantly keep your salamander fed.

What Fish Can You Keep with Axolotls?

The two fish species that are able to live together with Axolotls are Zebra Danios and White Cloud Minnows.

What makes them compatible is that the same water requirements apply to all of them. Of course, your salamander is going to get excited and will try to catch them.

Fortunately, Minnows and Danios are really fast swimmers so your Axolotl is going to have no chance.

They are also small and peaceful fish that won’t threaten your salamander in any way. All three enjoy the same cold temperatures, allowing them to live and thrive comfortably together.

These fish might not be a threat for your Axolotl, but we can’t guarantee the opposite.

There is always a chance that he is going to eat your fish no matter which species you pick. If you insist on keeping them with tank mates, then you have to take this risk.

After all, you can always add some more Danios and Minnows to the aquarium, right?

Fish You Should Avoid Keeping with Axolotls

Water temperature requirements are very important when it comes to keeping fish or any water creatures together.

Therefore, you can’t keep Axolotls with fish that require higher temperatures. This might be bad news for those who planned to keep them with tropical fish.

Keeping them with big and aggressive fish should be also avoided at all costs. Many owners insist on keeping their pet together with fish and it never ends well.

It is indeed hard to imagine at first that these salamanders are not compatible with most of the fish species that people keep at home.

Both smaller and bigger fish have their own reasons why you can’t keep them together with Axolotls. Many smaller fish that can fit into their mouth will injure them with their sharp skeleton or fins. They simply won’t be able to eat these fish safely.

Therefore, fishes that have an exoskeleton or dangerous spines should be avoided. Otherwise, it will be fatal for both the fish and your Axolotl.


By reading this article and following our advice, you can minimize the risk of your Axolotl tank mates being eaten.

The reason why it is important to do some research beforehand is that these fish have to be compatible when it comes to water conditions.

In case they are not going to get eaten, they need to stay healthy. We have also explained why keeping them with smaller fish is not necessarily a safer option.

If you can’t guarantee the safety of the fish, then at least do your best for the safety of your Axolotl.

In the end, we can conclude that your best bet would be to buy another Axolotl. The best and safest companion for them is their own species.

By getting a male and a female, you might even be able to breed them and take care of the babies.

The rule of thumb is to buy two of these salamanders that are of similar size. The bigger one tends to nip at the smaller one.

However, this is usually not such a huge issue. Hopefully, the information you have learned here will prove useful on your Axolotl keeping journey.

Updated: August 31, 2022

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