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What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

This is a discussion on What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls? within the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; So what kind of fish can you keep with axolotls? From what I read just feeder fish and guppies?...

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Old 11th September 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

So what kind of fish can you keep with axolotls? From what I read just feeder fish and guppies?
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Old 11th September 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

I personally wouldn't put any fish in with axolotls.
See this thread.

They dont really need feeder fish.

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Old 12th September 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

I have mine together with 7 guppies atm and they just ignore eachother.
Was meant as food but seems like they are staying
The fish stay up at the surface, going down to eat sometimes and then they avoid the axies by miles.

Might not work for everyone but it seems to be working here
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Old 12th September 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

just take a look at the link in my siggy.
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Old 12th September 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

I often put some feeder fishes like guppies or white cloud mountain minnows into my axies tanks and they donīt stay there for long time. The guppies mostly are gone through the first night, and the minnows often stay there some days. My axies love these feeder fishes and they hunt them when a fish comes closer.

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Old 13th September 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

None, if you don't want anybody to get hurt.
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Old 13th September 2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

To be truthful is it really worth the risk?

I know people put in guppies.

But its not worth risking your beauitful axolotls.

It took me a very long time to find my two babies, they have beauitful long gills i wouldn't risk it myself.

Fish are dirty poopy things anyway,

Hey but thats just me i'm sure people who have fish in with there axies watch to see if the fish are attacking their gills,
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Old 15th September 2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

Here are my experiences.

Minnows are excellent. They are completely harmless to Axolotls, and don't seem to bother them. Axolotls love to eat them. Put in 50 and 40 will be gone in a week. 10 will, for some reason, survive much longer.

Guppies are also excellent. Harmless and don't bother the Axolotls. Axolotls love to eat them. Put in 50 and all 50 will be gone in two days.

Ghost shrimp are excellent. Harmless to Axolotls (wont go anywhere near them). They're too fast for an Axolotl to catch, and should survive in a large tank with them. They look nice, and the best benefit is that if you use fish flakes that eventually sink and look ugly on the bottom of the tank to feed your other fish, the shrimp will clean up the bottom by eating the leftovers.

Mollies are excellent. They wont harm or bother the Axolotls. Put 10 in and 10 will survive. Axolotls will likely only be able to catch and eat them if the fish are dead. Look great in the tank, easy to take care of.



Very important though. Only drop in fish that have been bought from a reputable seller. Otherwise, you need to follow that quarantine procedure that you can find elsewhere in the forum. Fish from stores like Petco have been well taken care of however, and are not a health risk to an Axolotl. I put those right in the tank and all is well.
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Old 15th September 2010   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

I personally would quarantine any fish and so on for a good month, regardless of where they came from.


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Here are my experiences.




Very important though. Only drop in fish that have been bought from a reputable seller. Otherwise, you need to follow that quarantine procedure that you can find elsewhere in the forum. Fish from stores like Petco have been well taken care of however, and are not a health risk to an Axolotl. I put those right in the tank and all is well.
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Old 15th September 2010   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

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I personally would quarantine any fish and so on for a good month, regardless of where they came from.
I would too, UNLESS you know specifically how those fish are kept, fed, and medicated. Petco (at least the one around here) is one of the stores that I know keeps all their fish species separate and under the right environments, feeds them appropriately, and keeps them medicated against all diseases. I suppose they have to, as they sell some of the fish (minnows, specifically) for the sole purpose of being instant feeder fish.
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Old 15th September 2010   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

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I would too, UNLESS you know specifically how those fish are kept, fed, and medicated. Petco (at least the one around here) is one of the stores that I know keeps all their fish species separate and under the right environments, feeds them appropriately, and keeps them medicated against all diseases. I suppose they have to, as they sell some of the fish (minnows, specifically) for the sole purpose of being instant feeder fish.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I've worked at Petco and know how their systems are setup. The best case scenario is that one case (9 or so tanks) share all their water and have minimal mechanical filtration meaning that all fish are potentially sharing diseases. Worst case scenario the whole store's aquatic system is shared and all the fish are swapping water and microbes. Oftentimes with African clawed frogs, known asymptomatic carriers of Bd, chytrid fungus. Feeder goldfish almost always have their own setup with no shared water, which is good.

With regards to their feeder fish, the are shipped in, not quarantined but dropped in with the other feeders. They usually only last long enough to have a few dozen left by the time the next shipment comes in. Death rates are usually between 10-100 per day between the feeder gold fish and rosy minnows. I did dead counts every weekend for two years. And our store was known locally for having one of the best aquatics department. Petco fish should definitely be quarantined, but the sad fact is you are likely to lose most of your feeders.

I'd also advise against mollies as these are sub-tropical fish and do best at higher temperatures. Sustained temperatures below 78F can be fatal to them. Take a look at the Fish with Caudates article.
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Last edited by Abrahm; 15th September 2010 at 13:54.
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Old 15th September 2010   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

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Originally Posted by Abrahm View Post
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I've worked at Petco and know how their systems are setup. The best case scenario is that one case (9 or so tanks) share all their water and have minimal mechanical filtration meaning that all fish are potentially sharing diseases. Worst case scenario the whole store's aquatic system is shared and all the fish are swapping water and microbes. Oftentimes with African clawed frogs, known asymptomatic carriers of Bd, chytrid fungus. Feeder goldfish almost always have their own setup with no shared water, which is good.

With regards to their feeder fish, the are shipped in, not quarantined but dropped in with the other feeders. They usually only last long enough to have a few dozen left by the time the next shipment comes in. Death rates are usually between 10-100 per day between the feeder gold fish and rosy minnows. I did dead counts every weekend for two years. And our store was known locally for having one of the best aquatics department. Petco fish should definitely be quarantined, but the sad fact is you are likely to lose most of your feeders.

I'd also advise against mollies as these are sub-tropical fish and do best at higher temperatures. Sustained temperatures below 78F can be fatal to them. Take a look at the Fish with Caudates article.
That's a depressing story.

And I feel like an idiot for plugging the wrong company. Their fault though, as they all have such similar names. There are three big ones here. There's Petco, Petsmart, and Pet Supplies Plus. The latter one doesn't sell live animals here. The former two are the ones I get confused. And I would have remained confused, had I not looked in my wallet and seen my card. It's Petsmart that I buy from, not Petco. They were nice enough to give me a tour of their facility, and I was impressed with how they keep their live animals, from the fish to the crickets. I have no experience with Petco, so ignore the previous statement about them that I made. I have no idea whether they're any good or not.

P.S. No Molly fatalities in a year of 20 degree water.
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Old 17th September 2010   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

personally I would not. Its up to you.

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Old 18th September 2010   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

You can take a look at this link: Caudata Culture Articles - Fish with Caudates


Edit: Oh, that was already been said.
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Old 19th September 2010   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

Hey i've actually kept tropical fish with my axolotl. Infact they get on very well with each other.
1 Pleco.
2 Clown louch.

I keep the tempture rougthly 20c - 23c and there all happy, The two clown louch are rougthly 3inches at the moment & the Pleco is 3iches also.

Just keep the tank large and they pritty much just stay away from each other and everything is fine. Its been like this for about 6months now.
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Old 19th September 2010   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

I always though plecos and Axies are a disaster together?
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Old 19th September 2010   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

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Originally Posted by xblind2itallx View Post
Hey i've actually kept tropical fish with my axolotl. Infact they get on very well with each other.
1 Pleco.
2 Clown louch.

I keep the tempture rougthly 20c - 23c and there all happy, The two clown louch are rougthly 3inches at the moment & the Pleco is 3iches also.

Just keep the tank large and they pritty much just stay away from each other and everything is fine. Its been like this for about 6months now.
20-23c is not a good idea for your axolotl and probably not warm enough for the other two. They may seem okay but sooner or later a disaster will happen, either with your fish or your axolotl will get unwell due to the temperature or the fish... Please separate your axolotl from your fish and put him into a colder tank. Basically, it is a stupid idea even if it has worked for 6 months. You will be surprised at how stressed your axolotl is right now. Please remove him...

Also, I hope you realize how large Pleco's grow to. It can be 67 cms and above. Your Pleco sooner or later will suck onto your axolotl and do a lot of damage. Not a good idea. Why risk it?
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Old 19th September 2010   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

Anyway, a warning about those fish you CAN keep with Axolotls (minnows, guppies). If you go that route, you're going to be dropping a decent amount of money on it. Minnows are cheap at 10-30 cents each, but Axolotl stomachs are bottomless when it comes to live fish. They will literally eat 3x their weight in fish each hour as long as they can catch them. I bought 50 minnows a literal 10 minutes ago, and I've already lost 10 between the two Axolotls (not even sexually mature Axolotls!).

If you want fish that look good and are difficult for the Axolotls to eat, choose Mollies. They're the only fish I've had that can survive those two salamanders. And in the non-fish category, ghost shrimp. They're really cool looking, and generally way too quick for the Axolotls. Both eat freshwater fish flakes.
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Old 20th September 2010   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

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20-23c is not a good idea for your axolotl and probably not warm enough for the other two. They may seem okay but sooner or later a disaster will happen, either with your fish or your axolotl will get unwell due to the temperature or the fish... Please separate your axolotl from your fish and put him into a colder tank. Basically, it is a stupid idea even if it has worked for 6 months. You will be surprised at how stressed your axolotl is right now. Please remove him...

Also, I hope you realize how large Pleco's grow to. It can be 67 cms and above. Your Pleco sooner or later will suck onto your axolotl and do a lot of damage. Not a good idea. Why risk it?
Agreed! that is in the upper limits of an axolotls temperature range wich can open him up to all sorts of problems, stress, infection and a large (or even small plec) is gonna be nothing but trouble (have you not seen some of the horrific injurys from plecs on this site? they just latch on and eat the axies skin! they have large sharp spines too that can puncture through an axie!)

White cloud minnows and guppies are the only fish that I would say are safe I would recommend both however both have down sides, Guppies are very messy poop machines (especially the girls) but breed very easily so you will always have a constant supply and minnows are very clean but do not breed so readily. Either one makes a great snack for an axie! Never tried mollies (i would have thought theyd be similar to guppies) but might grow a little large to go down easily!

I have also used zebra danios (was a little worried about nipping, but it was all fine!) but they are fast and not as easy to catch (also need to be kept in groups of 6 or more which is difficult if an axie is constantly picking them off!)

You can never have enough shrimp tho!

QUARRANTINE ANY FISH FIRST, 30 DAYS MINIMUM!!!
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Old 21st September 2010   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: What kind of fish can you keep with axolotls?

I completely agree with Ed. Cloud Minnows and Guppies are the only choices, but even these carry risks. If they aren't bred for feeding, they will most likely have parasites. You can avoid this if you treat them with formalin for 6 weeks before feeding them to your axies, however.
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