When you get your first axolotl, your next instinct will always be to get more than one, so your axolotl can have friends.
This can easily be done, as long as it is done correctly, so that all the axolotls can live stress-free and happy lives.
Everyone usually agrees that keeping many axolotls together is better than housing them with fish or other creatures.
This is because keeping other fish or species with axolotls frequently presents significantly more difficulties and obstacles than just keeping them with other axolotls.
Should axolotls be kept together?
Axolotls technically aren’t the best tankmates, as they would rather be alone, and that’s often the best way to keep them.
After all, axolotls are solitary by nature, and other axolotls are prone to causing stress to one another.
They’re even capable and willing to cause injury to other axolotls or even cannibalize any small axolotls if they can fit in their mouths.
Tips for keeping multiple axolotls together
Tip #1: Larger tank size
It is always important to remember that every adult axolotl will thrive in at least 20 gallons of water.
Larger is always better and will also help reduce stress in tanks with multiple axolotls.
By getting a larger tank, you also reduce the need for water changes as they won’t be needed as often.
It is also recommended to use breeder-style tanks, as these have the most floor space, which is important for helping your axolotls get along.
Tip #2: Provide hides
When setting up a tank for multiple axolotls, it is important to keep in mind their preference for being alone.
Because of this, it is often recommended that you provide at least one hide per axolotl.
After all, these hides will help block out excess light and give the axolotls a place to feel safe.
It’s also important to provide a variety of decorations to create distance and comfort for the many axolotls.
Tip #3: Keep them well fed
Keeping your axolotls fed probably sounds easy to most, but when you have so many, it’s always possible for one to miss out on food.
This can start to cause stress and even begin to stir up issues among the axolotls.
After all, well-fed axolotls are much less likely to start causing trouble and can even help avoid nipping and cannibalism.
Tip #4: Avoid overcrowding
When you have far too many decorations, it can become a problem.
This is because it will start to become difficult for your axolotls to find places to be alone, and it will begin to hinder their amount of space.
As previously stated, it is also critical to use breeder tanks rather than long or tall-style tanks to maximize floor space.
The more distance they can get from each other when needed, the better.
How to choose your axolotls carefully?
Although an axolotl’s age may not be as important as its size, it’s still recommended that it be considered a factor.
It can be good to buy axolotls around the same age.
This is especially helpful when buying axolotls online or in bulk.
After all, it can be difficult to accurately compare the sizes of axolotls if you are not directly there with them.
Size can be one of the more important factors when choosing axolotls.
After all, axolotls that are too small are prone to getting swallowed, and those larger than them are known to bully.
When axolotls are close in size, you deal with fewer issues like cannibalism or bullying.
This makes size an important factor for a successful multi-axolotl tank.
Generally, they say to wait until axolotls are at least 5-6 inches in length before thinking about keeping them together.
This is because, at younger ages, they are found to be more ravenous and far more likely to bite each other.
It often helps to consistently feed small axolotls when they’re kept together to avoid excessive nipping and keep them together successfully.
It’s also good to keep in mind that if an axolotl is within 1 inch of another axolotl’s body length, this means they should be okay to mix.
Another very important factor for a successful tank is gender.
While baby axolotls may be considered a success to some, there are other reasons why it’s good to keep axolotls together of the same gender.
Axolotls will breed on their own twice a year, leaving you with many babies if you decide to keep both males and females together.
Males are also known to consistently push females to breed, which can cause harm to their health in the long run.
Generally, it’s just a good idea to get axolotls of the same sex to avoid excessive breeding and health problems.
Another thing to remember is that you can’t expect all your pet axolotls to get along.
If anything, it is unlikely they will get along in the long run, as you are always bound to run into some type of issue.
Some axolotls may be more aggressive or territorial, while others might just mistake a limb for food.
Despite the reasoning for the behavior, it’s best to separate and keep any axolotls that cause issues on their own.
It’s also a good idea to try to keep axolotls that are lazier and calmer together because they tend to cause less trouble.
It’s important to keep in mind that axolotls are known to cannibalize each other, so you’re bound to lose a few.
It will generally be impossible to avoid, although it can be prevented by choosing your axolotls carefully.
Smaller and weaker axolotls may be eaten if there are larger axolotls present with them.
Although it may seem obvious, your axolotls bullying each other is a better-case scenario than cannibalism.
Because while they might nip at each other’s limbs, gills, or tails, they have regenerative qualities to at least combat these injuries.
Yet it is still important to remember that the injuries will still cause stress and suffering to your axolotls, and everything should be done to prevent harmful behavior within your tank.
Keep an eye on any smaller or weaker axolotls, as these will be a bully’s first target.
While overbreeding may not be an issue for everyone, it’s bound to leave you with many babies to take care of.
Not to mention that excessive breeding can have a negative impact on a female axolotl’s health and stress levels.
It may even come as a shocking surprise to some that too much breeding can even be life-threatening to axolotls.
Another concern some people may have is the cleanliness of the tank.
After all, more axolotls mean more mess and even more ammonia.
Although this won’t become an issue as long as you use a proper filter for whatever size you have and do any water checks and changes when needed.
How to quarantine new axolotls?
It can be very important to quarantine any new axolotls you might be adding into a tank together.
This is especially the case if you decide to get them from any sort of large-scale breeding operations, like big box pet stores, where they’re known to pick up a variety of diseases and parasites.
No matter where you get them, though, it’s important to remember they can happen anywhere, and no axolotl is guaranteed to be disease-free.
It can be detrimental to your tank’s health if you decide to skip this step, and it’s important to prevent any parasites or diseases because while some are just annoying and creepy, others can become deadly.
What to do if you’ve already added them
There usually isn’t too much to worry about if you got them from a usually safe source.
Yet it’s important to remember how crucial this step can be when it comes to risking introducing hard-to-treat diseases into the tank.
If it’s already been a week or so, don’t even worry about it; just closely monitor your tank for any signs of a possible issue.
This may look like fin and tail curling, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, sores, lethargy, jaundice, redness, jagged or torn fins, and inappetence or difficulty eating.
If you’re still concerned, try using salt, antiparasitic medications, antifungals, or antibacterial treatments To ensure nothing has a chance to survive or multiply.
What will you need
- Quarantine Tank
- Tank Cleaning Supplies
- Aquarium Salt
- Water Test Kit
- Water Treatment Products
How to quarantine
To begin quarantining, start by monitoring your water parameters with a test kit.
Make sure to check daily if it wasn’t cycled or every few days if it was.
Try to ensure that your tank is fully set up and running before doing that.
Once you’ve finished testing your water, wait one or two days and bring it to treat for external parasites and infectious diseases.
Once the treatment is complete, it’s time to add in your aquarium salt.
After that, continue by performing water changes over the next few days to remove as much salt as you possibly can before treating for internal parasites and infectious diseases, which is also an optional step.
Once it’s been at least two weeks, it’s now been enough time to safely move in your new axolotls.