Angelfish and Axolotl

In this post, we will learn more about the relationship between Angelfish and Axolotl. We will discuss the axolotl biology and tank requirement, as well as if they can be set up with Angelfish. 

Angelfish and Axolotl

Angelfish and Axolotl is not a match. It is extremely discouraged to keep them in the same tank. They require very different water temperatures and will not thrive in each other tank requirements. Additionally, even if there were not the temperature requirements difference, Angelfish would very likely nip at the axolotl gills and hurt them. Thus, we reinforce, Angelfish and Axolotl should never be placed together.

What you should know about Axolotl

The Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a salamander, an amphibian part of the order Caudata/Urodela. Axolotls are endemic to Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco, both located in central Mexico. Unfortunately, wild populations are increasingly rare, precisely because of the systematic destruction of their habitat by human action.

Keeping these amphibians is relatively easy, the overriding issue is respecting their basic maintenance requirements. They will probably provide you with rewarding experiences when keeping these fantastic amphibians.

Axolotls are sensitive to very high or even medium water flows. They prefer calm waters, but very well oxygenated and clean. In this case, we must create some mechanism so that the current caused by the filtering system is blocked preventing current.

Practically all filters currently have flow control, in the case of systems without flow control, we can direct the linear flow of the pumps to the corner of the aquarium or even to the glass, this way there will be oxygenation and filtration without so much current.

What are the Axolotls tank requirements?


Axolotls tolerate a wide range of pH, from 6.5 to 8.0, the ideal is between 7.4 to 7.6. However, ammonia at alkaline pH is extremely toxic, at acidic pH, it chemically transforms into less toxic ammonium. For this reason, it might be safer to keep them with the water pH slightly acidic, between 6.6 and 6.8.


Nitrite, as well as ammonia, in biologically stable systems, will normally be under control, however, water tests are always welcome to confirm this balance in our systems. Nitrate must be removed through partial exchanges weekly or at most fortnightly. Another possibility to remove nitrate is using a plant filter, there are several online projects available in forums or articles.


Probably one of the factors that kill the most Axolotls in aquariums. These amphibians require cold water with an ideal range between 60 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. At temperatures above 73 °F, the tendency is for them to feed more vigorously, unfortunately in a short time the Axolotl may suffer from acute stress, stop eating, and quickly die.

The first symptoms of heat stress include refusal to eat and the development of spots on their body, loss of mucus is relatively common in these cases too.

Many enthusiasts maintain cool areas with air centres to prevent premature loss of their Axolotls. In some regions, it is possible to use coolers, mainly in regions with subtropical temperatures.


Unfortunately, Axolotls have the habit of snapping the substrate out of curiosity, in many cases, they end up swallowing it, which can bring fatal consequences to them. A safe particle size would be a substrate with the size close to the head of an axolotl, the issue is that debris will accumulate due to the large particle size. Thus, keeping an axolotl safe substrate will require more substrate cleaning.

Fine sand, refined sugar style can be used, however, they will probably swallow the sand, the difference is that it will hardly bring more serious consequences such as blockage in the intestine, being a great option.

Aquarium size

Adult axolotls can easily reach 10 inches or more, for this reason, if you are going to keep a group, they must have enough space. They become particularly aggressive among them when stressed, and can cause serious damage to their aquarium companions. 

What do Axolotsl eat?

Axolotls are carnivorous animals. Thus, it is important to provide a meat-based diet to them. They enjoy small crustaceans and worms, as well as smaller fish and amphibians, as well as Daphnia.

Axolotl relationship with other species

One of the success factors in keeping Axolotls is creating an environment destined for the species. Keeping fish can be a risky idea for both of them. Usually, the feather-shaped gills are attacked and gnawed by fish in the aquarium, fish can become potential prey of the axolotl, for this reason, planning is essential.

Do axolotls like to be touched?

Axolotls are sensitive organisms that do not like being touched. If you insist on touching or training them for touch, it is important to have a few things in mind. It is better to let them get closer to your hand, not chasing them throughout the tank. Also, always remember to wash your hands before touching them to avoid contamination.

Can I put fish with my axolotl?

Yes, it is possible to keep fish species with axolotl. However, they must be chosen very carefully. Keep in mind that axolotl has branched gills, which could be eye-catching for some fish species.

Axolotl best tankmates

–       Other axolotls;

–       White Cloud Mountain Minnows;

–       Guppy fish;

–       Zebra Danios;

–       Apple snails (adults).

Animals to avoid as axolotl tankmates

–       Goldfish;

–       Cory catfish;

–       Otocinclus catfish;

–       Shrimp.


In this post, we learnt more about the relationship between Angelfish and Axolotl. We also discussed the axolotl biology and tank requirement, as well as if they can be set up with Angelfish.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish and Axolotl

Can axolotls live with angelfish?

No, Angelfish and Axolotl have very different temperature requirements. Axolotl is a cold-water organism, while Angelfish are warm-water organisms. Additionally, even if there were not the temperature issue, Angelfish would very probably hurt the Axolotl by nipping at their gills.

Do Axolotls recognise their owners?

Yes, it is possible to train the axolotls. After some training, they will start processing some signals. However, they do not appreciate being touched.

Why is my axolotl floating upside down?

It is possible that your axolotl is still gut immature and is still adapting to a protein-rich diet. This is because juvenile axolotls may accumulate some air in their abdomens until they learn how to administrate it. It is important not to try making them release the air.

How often should you change the water in an axolotl tank?

It will depend on the filtration system you have and also on the number of animals in the tank. The general rule is to change 25-30% of the tank water weekly or biweekly.

Should I put sand at the bottom of my axolotl tank?

Although there are other best substrates to use in Axolotls tanks, sand might be used in axolotl tanks. However, they will likely swallow it. Thus, it is important to get an axolotl safe very fine sand, that will not accumulate and block their guts.

How long do Axolotls live for?

Axolotls lifespan is around 10 years when in ideal tank conditions. If kept under not ideal conditions, they can easily develop stress anorexia and infections.


Can Axolotls Live With Angelfish?

Biology of Axolotls.

Mark. 2021. Axolotl tank mates – 5 suitable (and 5 bad ones!).