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Axolotl Eating Fish: 5 Things You Should Know

Axolotls are unique aquatic salamander species getting more popular as a pet. One of the common questions that most axolotls’ owners tend to ask is whether axolotls can eat fish.

This question usually arises if you want to house axolotls with fish or feed your axies with fish.

Axolotls are voracious eaters who can eat anything that fits their mouth and swallow whole. They usually feed on worms, insects, brine shrimp, small fish, salmon pellets, etc.

However, axolotls cannot feed on larger fish species or fish that can defend themselves.

In this article, we will help clarify everything you need to know about axolotl eating fish, from what fish species can axolotl eat to the tips of feeding axolotl with fish.

Do Axolotls Eat Fish?

Yes, axolotls can eat fish. Axolotls are voracious eaters who can eat anything that fits their mouth and swallow.

Axolotls can eat a wide variety of fish like raw, frozen, and canned fish with relish. However, you should avoid feeding them dry and freeze-dried fish as it can lead to impaction.

Furthermore, both baby and adult axolotls can eat fish once it can fit their mouth.

However, it is recommended that you avoid feeding your baby axolotls with fish as it can cause impaction, or the fish may feed on them.

What Fish Can Axolotls Eat?

Axolotls can feed on guppies, mollies, danios, goldfish, or smaller, slow-moving fish. This is because these fish species can fit into their mouths, and axolotls can easily catch them with relative ease.

Furthermore, you can also use tweezers to feed smaller fish to your axolotls without any issue.

Fish Species Shouldn’t Feed To Axolotls

Although you can feed axolotls with smaller fish, some fish may be small for axolotls but are very fast.

Axolotls may not be able to catch them, making them an unsuitable fish species for your axolotls.

Some fish species that you can avoid feeding your axolotls are betta fish, tetras, and other schooling or fast swimming fish.

These types of fish should not be given to your axolotl’s life. However, you can consider using a tweezer to help feed your fish altogether.

Also read: Can You Put Axolotl And Betta Fish In The Same Tank?

Axolotl with big fish
Axolotl with big fish

How Much Fish Can Axolotls Eat?

Generally, you should only offer fish to your axolotls as a treat or supplemental diet. This is because most fish do not offer the complete and balanced nutrition that your axolotls need as an adult.

Therefore, fish should be combined with other foods to give your axolotl balanced nutrition.

Pros and Cons of Axolotl Eating Fish

Here are some of the pros and cons of feeding your axolotl with fish


  • Fish helps to add variety to your axolotl’s diet.
  • Feeding axolotl with fish helps to provide several beneficial nutrients like proteins and fish fats.
  • Feeding axolotl with fish allows them to use their hunting instincts. 
  • Your axolotls may enjoy it.


  • Some fish can cause internal damage to your axolotl.
  • Some fish can secrete toxins.
  • Fish can get stuck and can cause choking or suffocation.
  • Your axolotl can get impacted feeding on fish.
  • Some feeder fish may carry bacteria and fungi that can be fatal to your axolotl’s health.

Tips When Offering Fish To AxolotlHere are some tips that you can follow if you plan to offer fish to your axolotl.

Opt For Fish-Based Pelleted Food Instead of Fish

You can easily reduce or eliminate bacterial, parasites, or fungi transfer risks from feeder fish to axolotl by using a fish-based pellet.

Pellet foods can help ensure your axolotl gets a balanced diet rich with essential vitamins and minerals and provides fish protein.

If you don’t have live foods available, you can also use fish-based pellet food as a backup or emergency food source.

All you have to do is try to soften the pellets before you feed your axolotl to help prevent abrasion.

Also read: 4 Best Axolotl Food Pellets

Breed Your Own Feeder Fish

It is possible for feeder fish sourced from pet stores or the wild to be infested by parasites, fungi, or bacteria.

This is why breeding your feeder fish is a great tip if you plan to feed your axolotl with live fish.

Breeding your feeder fish will help axolotl owners avoid feeding their axolotls with feeder fish that may have fungi, parasites, or bacteria.

You need to ensure the parent fishes are healthy, and you are good to go.

Axolotl is eating fish
Axolotl is eating fish

Ensure That The Fish You Provide Are Small Enough.

You should note that fish can also bully axolotls if they are bigger than the axolotls. Bigger fish will nibble or bite your axolotl’s external gills and long tail.

However, you can prevent this by ensuring the feeder fish is small enough for your axolotl to swallow whole.

Ensure That You Feed Your Axolotl With Clean Fish

It is possible for feeder fish to carry parasites or secrete chemicals that can affect the water quality in your axolotl’s tank.

This can then cause health problems for your axolotl as they require good water quality to stay active and healthy.

A good thing to do is ensure that the feeder fish is clean and free from toxic materials before you feed them to your axolotl.

Also read: Full Requirements & Water Conditions for Axolotl in Captivity

Can Axolotls Eat Fish Food?

Yes, axolotls can eat fish food, especially meat-based fish foods. You can feed axolotls with fish pellets or other types of food.

However, since axolotls are carnivorous animals, you will need to avoid feeding them plant-based foods.

You should also ensure that you don’t feed axolotls with only fish food. It is recommended that you feed your axolotls with varieties of food like live foods and frozen foods combined with fish food.

Furthermore, you need to ensure that you use compact fish foods that will not expand once they get in the water.

This is because fish foods expand in water, leading to impaction for your axolotl.

Also read: What Can Axolotl Eat?

Aqueon Shrimp Pellets Sinking Food

Aqueon Shrimp Pellets Sinking Food for Tropical Fish, Goldfish, Loaches, Catfish and Other Bottom Feeding Fish, 6.5 Ounces
  • Ideal for bottom dwelling fish
  • Nutritious food ingredients that fish are naturally attracted to
  • Formulated so that fish utilize more of what they eat and create less waste
  • Supports a healthy immune system, brings out their true colors and provides the essentials for proper growth and vitality
  • Will not cloud water when fed as directed

Last update on 2022-12-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Keeping Fish and Axolotl Together?

Yes, it is possible to keep fish and axolotl together. However, you need to be careful when selecting the type of fish to use. The fish needs to be peaceful and can also stay in a cold and neutral pH water tank.

Furthermore, the fish needs to be fast enough to help avoid axolotls from catching them, and they should be bigger than your axolotl. 

You can also opt for slow-moving fish if they reproduce very fast to keep the population in check. This means axolotls will feed on them but they will be able to reproduce and will still be available in tanks.

However, you also need to consider that the long flowy gills of axolotl can look like food to hungry fish.

You should ensure you keep the fish well-fed and also be ready to separate the fish once you notice that there are signs of damage on your axolotl’s gills.

Some of the ideal tank mates for axolotl’s tank are:

  • Zebra danio
  • Golden skiff
  • White cloud mountain minnow
  • Orange-finned danio

Do Fish Eat Axolotl?

In the wild, axolotls have few predators and can be eaten by storks, herons, and large fish. Large fish like tilapia and carp can eat axolotl whenever they are hungry.

Zilla Reptile Food Munchies River Shrimp for

Zilla Reptile Food Munchies River Shrimp for Turtles, Salamanders, Axolotls, and Large Tropical Fish, 2-Ounce
  • Nutritious, dehydrated ingredients that can be fed with other diets or as a treat
  • Quick and easy way to provide reptiles with high protein foods that they prefer
  • No refrigeration required
  • Ideal for turtles, salamanders, axolotls as well as large tropical fish
  • For smaller sized animals, break River Shrimp into pieces before feeding

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Sentences

Axolotls can eat live fish or frozen fish but should not be made their primary source of food. This is because fish cannot provide a balanced diet to your axolotl.

Furthermore, fish can carry parasites and diseases which can spread to the axolotl leading to health problems.

It is recommended that you keep a varied diet for feeding axolotl.

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