AZTEC AX    L    TLS

We Believe in Axolotls


Tank Mates: ONLY Other Axolotls

Axolotls with Other Axolotls


Axolotls enjoy other Axolotls as tank mates once they are longer than 4-5 inches in length. Axolotls younger than 3 inches tend to have a survival mechanism where they will eat anything moving, even other Axolotls which can inflict serious damage. For this reason, young axolotls, less than 4-5 inches in length, shouldn't be kept together in confined spaces. When having more than one Axolotl together, make sure your Axolotls are fed daily and have an adequately sized tank (rule is an inch per gallon with adult Axolotls being 10 inches) and lots of hiding spots. If you have juvenile Axolotls, you may put up a divider until your Axolotls are the appropriate length to be place together.


Axolotls also do not mind being housed alone or with other Axolotls. Male and female Axolotls can be housed together and will get along, as well as males with males, and females with females. However, it is not recommended to house male and female Axolotls together unless you are prepared to breed your Axolotls. Also, it is not recommended to breed siblings due to possibly having genetic defects as well as offspring will be more acceptable to disease. Juvenile Axolotls are difficult to sex accurately, but the sex of your Axolotl may become more distinguishable at around 2 years of age (can become mature anywhere from 6 months to 2 years). The male Axolotls has a longer, but narrower head than the females. The males will also have a swelling of the cloaca (large lumps behind rear legs) which the females will have a tiny bump, if one at all.


Pictures of Axolotls with Other Axolotls....

 

Axolotls should NOT share their living space with other animals. Here are a few common types of asked about tank mates and why they should not be kept together...


Fish

Fish tend to eat the external gills of the Axolotl and fish smaller than the Axolotl’s mouth may be eaten by the Axolotl. Fish like Otos can easily be fit in the Axolotl mouth and choke when the Otto deploys its dorsal spikes. Often fish carry diseases and parasites which can be transferred to your Axolotls. Some fish can also be very aggressive like Cichlids. Plus, most fish such as tropical fish have different temperature requirements. Goldfish have an overlapping temperature range but they are omnivorous who eat just about anything including nipping at a adult Axolotls or trying to eat a smaller one. They also produce a massive amount of waste which makes is hard to keep goldfish with any other animal. Also, goldfish are a poor feeder food as they very high in saturated fats.


Plecostomus

Plecostomus also known as algae eaters, algae suckers, or plecos have bony rough plates covering their bodies and have the ability to force spines out from behind their gills that could injure to your Axolotl. They also have strong and dangerous defensive spikes on the pectoral and dorsal fins. Plecos can be very territorial and also are bottom dwellers like the Axolotl which could be problematic. They have also been known to eat the slime coat off the Axolotl and usually have different temperature requirements.



Salamanders

Salamanders range in size from the minute salamanders (1.1 inches) to the Chinese Giant Salamander which reaches 5.9 feet and weighs up to 143 pounds. Most are about 4 to 8 inches long.  Most salamanders are terrestrial. If the environments needs of different species don’t match up, they should not be kept together. It is hard to regulate the needs of both creatures in one environment. Most salamander have toxin which they release through their skin when stressed and some salamanders contains a powerful poison called tetrodotoxin.


Newts

Newts may be either fully aquatic or semi-aquatic (terrestrial but will return to the water each year to breed). Many newts produce toxins in their skin which is secreted as a defense mechanism against predators. Newts may also try to eat the external gills on Axolotls since it resembles food and any newt that can fit in the Axolotls mouth may be eaten by the Axolotl. Plus, some newts such as Pachytriton and Paramesotriton are quite territorial also. Some newts do live with Axolotls in the wild but there is no way to compare the small artificial habitats we provide with what animals experience in the wild. Even the largest aquariums provided are not even close in comparison to the large volume of water and massive territory a natural habitat will provide. There will be no way for  newts to escape any stressful situation in this artificial habitat which can lead to increased risk of disease and even death.


Frogs & Toads
Frogs and toads do not make good tank mates for your Axolotl. 80% of frogs and toads live in the tropics where temperatures are very warm to hot and humid which would not be approach temperatures for your Axolotl. Frogs and toads can also carry diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to your Axolotl. Due to frogs being popular in the pet trade, captive frogs are shipped from around the world and may carry diseases which Axolotls may have never encountered before. Different frogs from different areas will have different immunities to parasites and diseases. One species may harbor a parasite or disease with no ill-effects but if introduced to an Axolotl with no natural immunity, the Axolotl’s immune system may not be able to conquer the disease.


Toxicity also could be an issue with some frogs. Many secrete mild skin toxins to keep skin moist or when stressed that may not be dangerous to humans but could accumulate in a tank and cause problems if absorbed through the skin of the Axolotl.  If a frog will fit in the Axolotls mouth, the Axolotl may try to eat even the toxic frogs. Larger frogs may also try to eat smaller Axolotls and some frogs will even eat other animals no matter what their size such as Pacman frogs (Ornate Horn Frog), African Bull Frogs, and Cuban Tree Frogs. These are all very territorial and should only be kept alone. Pacman Frogs are also very poor swimmers.

Frogs and toads also can require different tank set ups such as aquatic (live in water), terrestrial (live on land), arboreal (live in trees), or semi-aquatic (live in half land and half water). A lot of terrestrial, arboreal, and semi-aquatic require a basking area with temperatures to warm for Axolotls. Common aquatic frogs are the Dwarf Clawed frog (1 - 1.5 inches long, too small and require temps of 75-80 °F) and African Clawed Frogs (4-5 inches, too small for adult Axolotls). Common terrestrial are the Pacman and African Bull Frog discussed earlier. Common semi-aquatic frogs are Oriental Fire Bellied Toads (2 inches which is too small, toxic, requires temperatures of 75-78 °F) and Leopard Frogs (3 inches in length, too small). Common arboreal are Green Tree Frogs (1.5 to 2.5 inches which is too small and poor swimmers) and White Tree Frogs (4-5 inches which is too small to be adult Axolotls, toxic, and poor swimmers). Having species together who normally do not co-exist may become stressed by the behaviors and displays of the other creature. These displays can be misinterpreted and may lead to fighting or constant stress which may lead to death.

Lizards

Reptiles do not maintain their own body temperature. They lose body heat across their skins because they do not have insulating layers of fat, fur, or features. They require temperatures of 70 to 85 °F and basking areas with the use of basking lights, spotlights, incandescent lamps, ceramic heating elements, or under tank heating pads with temperatures of 95-100 °F which will be too hot for your Axolotl.



Turtles & Tortoises

Turtles & Tortoises require very warm temperatures of 70-85 °F and basking areas of 90-100 °F while Axolotls like temperatures of 68°F and under. Also, turtles & tortoises also eat amphibians in the wild.