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Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall?

This is a discussion on Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall? within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hello everyone, I am completely new to axolotls but I plan on getting one in around August. I have a ...

Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 10th July 2017   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall?

Hello everyone,

I am completely new to axolotls but I plan on getting one in around August.

I have a 20 gal tall (24 in. long x 12.5 in. width x 16 in. height). Water will be filled close to the rim. I will be using a HOB filter with a rock or something to displace water and reduce water movement, a possible air stone to aid in evaporation. Sand substrate and live plants with an aquarium light on one side of the tank. Will have approximate 2 hides, possibly 3. The tank will be fully cycled prior to putting the axolotl(s) in.

I was wondering if my tank is suitable for 2 juvenile axolotls (2-3 inches), and eventually (as they grow) 2 adult axolotls? Would 2 juveniles try to eat each other if I don't keep them divided?



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Old 12th July 2017   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall?

In my opinion, 20 gallons should be fine for 2 adults. I would recommend keeping a bare bottom tank till they're about half grown around 4-5 inches, just to lower the risk of ingesting the sand and it constipating them. That said, if it's fine aquarium sand (the stuff I use is Pettex fine sand for aquarium planting, though I think it's a UK brand) it should pass through with ease when they're big enough, or as is normally the case, just be spat out.

As long as you have a lid the water should be fine up high, though juveniles do like to sometimes jump, so if they keep hitting it drop the water a bit to avoid injury.

I find padding the flow of the filter with a piece of filter sponge (the black stuff) either in the intake or output helps reduce flow if your Axi's become stressed by it. Helps with most types of filter, just find somewhere to shove it and rinse it every so often. Some tall rocks to catch the pour of water will help with a HOB filter though, so good call.

I've got to admit though, most Axi's are not keen on light, some find it fine but every one I've met cant stand the lights on. I've got a blue moon light that seems to be less aggravating, but Claptrap still goes in his house when that's on too. I keep low light plants (like Anubias) as a result and open the curtains in the day time so they get some light.

In my experience rearing juveniles (had three batches find loving homes so far) cannibalism rarely occurs past the 3 inch stage if at all. If they're kept full, with plenty of space and in small numbers they're usually fine. The only time I ever had one get eaten was when I housed a juvenile with some much smaller and younger babies, Nim spat it back out anyway, but still. Though you may still get some chomps here and there, you can divide them to feed while young if they do keep getting bitey with each other. Lonestar once lost a leg to Claptrap when they were tiny and it grew back with 6 toes, yeah, she's special :)

All in all it sounds like you're pretty much sorted!

I would recommend reading up on good diets for them though, the woman I got Claptrap off of fed him and the parents solely on bloodworm. While they love it, they should be on something much more nutritional, preferably earthworms.

I wish you luck :)




Last edited by Genny; 12th July 2017 at 00:33. Reason: Wanted to clarify the biting part.
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Old 12th July 2017   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall?

A 20 tall is only 2 feet long - not enough floor space for 2.
A 20 long is OK, a 30 long/breeder is better.



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Old 20th July 2017   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall?

Thanks for posting this! I've been wondering the same thing and I appreciate the answers!



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Old 21st July 2017   #5 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall?

Thank you guys for your help!
I've decided to go for one axie and possibly get a longer tank in the future for a 2nd. Plus juvies can't be sexed and I don't want to chance getting a male and female and get eggs.



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Old 21st July 2017   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall?

A 2 long would be better. You can put drift wood, shelves, and ornaments in a 20 tall to expand the floor space up the water column.



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Old 24th July 2017   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall?

Thanks Michael, I was going to reuse my brothers old diy turtle stand that he no longer uses as a second platform for the axie to be able to sit and chill. I'll post a pic when I get back from my sister's wedding and set up the tank :)



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Old 4th August 2017   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I house 2 axolotls in a 20 gal tall?

Yes, i have` `2 in a 2o and they do just fine.



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