Can Axolotls And Pleco Fish Live Together?

Generally, axolotls are solitary and do well by themselves, and they even prefer to stay in isolation even when forced to share a tank with another axolotl or fish species. However, you may be wondering if you can keep axolotls and pleco fish together because their tank seems empty.

Keeping plecos and axolotls together is a bad idea as the two are incompatible for several reasons. They have different sizes and require different water parameters and dietary needs.

Now, let’s dive deep into why you should not keep plecos and axolotls together.

Cute Reptiles as Pets
Cute Reptiles as Pets

Can Axolotls and Pleco Fish Live Together?

Can Axolotls and Pleco Fish Live Together? Source Getty Images / Canva.com

No, axolotls and pleco fish are not compatible animals to keep together due to several reasons. Firstly, there is a size difference between the two animals as pleco fish can grow much larger than axolotls. Furthermore, they have different water as plecos prefer warmer water while axolotls prefer cold water.

There is also a difference in diet requirements as plecos are omnivores while axolotls are carnivorous. Another thing is that plecos can also latch on your axolotl, thereby destroying their slime coat.

4 Reasons Why Pleco Fish Can’t Live with Axolotls

Here are some reasons why you should not keep axolotls and pleco fish together.

Habitat Difference

Axolotls and pleco fish require a different habitat to stay healthy and active. Firstly, axolotls prefer slightly colder water while pleco thrives in tropical waters. The ideal water temperature for axolotl is between 60-65oF (16-18oC), while plecos require a water temperature between 72-82oF (23-28Co).

Another thing is that axolotls and plecos require a specific water hardness to grow well. The ideal water hardness for axolotls is between 7-14dGH, while plecos are between 20-35 dGH. This shows keeping any of them within their acceptable range can be quite detrimental to their health.

Size Difference

Another main reason to avoid keeping plecos and axolotls together is their size difference. Axolotls are quite small when compared to plecos. Axolotls can only grow to about 12-14 inches, while pleco fish can grow to about 2 feet.

Axolotls require small tanks
Axolotls require small tanks – Image Source Getty Images / Canva.com

This shows plecos need a larger tank and space to survive and can even take away space from your axolotls to live freely.

Pleco Fish Will Attack Axolotl

Plecos and axolotls also have a slight difference in their dietary requirements. Plecos are omnivorous creatures, while axolotls prefer meat-based foods. This means you will need to feed each of the two animals separately and take more time to keep them happy.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that plecos can feed on almost anything that comes their way. Therefore, they will try to eat off the slime on your axolotl’s bodies. This can then cause damage to your axolotl’s body as they don’t have a thick protective coat.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/hrl3kncLwuA
Axolotl be attacked by pleco fish / Source: pets and aquarium fish lovers

Axolotl Are Impacted If Swallowing Pleco Fish

Another important reason not to keep axolotls and pleco fish together is that plecos have spines, making them stronger than axolotls. This means axolotls may not survive as much as plecos if kept together. Furthermore, your axolotls can get impacted if they mistakenly swallow baby plecos.

This also makes it a bad idea to house baby plecos with adult axolotls.

What Happens when Keeping Axolotls and Pleco Fish Together

Pleco fish is a perfect example of a fish that you should avoid keeping with your axolotls due to several reasons. Plecos are notorious for chewing on everything they can find, especially at the bottom of the aquarium.

This means they will suck off the slime coating off your axolotl. This can leave a huge wound on your axolotl body and make them sick. Another thing is that your axolotl can get impacted if they mistakenly swallow plecos due to the presence of spines on their body.

What Fish Can Live with Axolotl?

A perfect companion for axolotls is coldwater fishes. However, axolotls can feed on anything that moves around them, and they will try to eat the fish. Therefore, the best companion for axolotl is another axolotl of the same size.

When keeping two axolotls together, you need to ensure enough space for them. This helps to ensure they don’t show aggression to each other because they won’t fight for space. However, you may need to separate them if they become aggressive to each other.

Some of the best tank mates for axolotls are

  • Guppy fish
  • White cloud mountain minnows
  • Zebra danios
  • Apple snails
  • Small shrimp

Axolotls And Their Tank Mates

What fishes to be axolotls tank mates?

In this section, we will highlight some of the popular species that many try to keep with axolotls. We will then indicate whether there are suitable tank mates or not.

Axolotl And Ghost Shrimp

Yes. You can house axolotls and ghost shrimp together in the same tank. Ghost shrimps are usually small and have delicate bodies, making them a suitable food for your axolotl as they don’t pose any risk. Furthermore, ghost shrimps help clean and maintain the water parameters in your axolotl’s tank.

Axolotl And Betta

No, you cannot house axolotls and Betta together in the same tank. This is because both species have different habitat requirements as betta fish prefer warmer water temperatures while axolotls prefer cool water temperatures.

Furthermore, betta fish can attack axolotl due to anxiety caused by a change in temperature.

Axolotl And Snails

Yes, you can use axolotls and snails together. However, not all snails are compatible with keeping with axolotls. This is because axolotls are carnivorous and will try to eat the snails in the tank and can get impacted if they swallow some snail species.

A suitable snail for axolotl is adult apple snails, as they are too big for the axolotl to swallow. You can also keep axolotl with ramshorn snails because they have soft skeletons, and your axolotl cannot get impacted if they eat them.

Axolotls And Frogs

Although keeping axolotls and frogs looks like a cool idea, it is not great. Both axolotls and frogs don’t get along with each other. Furthermore, they require different housing conditions as frogs live in a tropical environment while axolotls require cold water to stay healthy.

Another thing is that the bigger animal between the two species will cause a problem for the other. For instance, a bigger axolotl will feed on the small frog while a bigger frog will bully and cause health problems to the axolotl.

Apart from causing harm to the axolotl, frogs can lead to the spread of the dangerous aquatic fungus to the axolotl.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can axolotls and suckerfish live together?

No, axolotls and suckerfish are not ideal tankmates. This is because sucker fish can cause nasty injuries to axolotls and can even eat their tank mates. Furthermore, axolotls can get impacted by the sharp spines on suckerfish bodies if they mistakenly try to eat suckerfish.

What algae-eating fish can live with axolotls?

No, axolotls cannot live with algae-eating fish. Most algae-eating fish have the same water requirements and can pose a problem to your axolotl like a pleco. Furthermore, some algae-eating fish are usually bigger than pleco and can chew off your axolotl slime coat from your axolotl’s body, causing problems.

Can neon tetras live with axolotls?

No, tetras and axolotls should not be kept together due to several reasons. For instance, tetras require warm water while axolotls require cold water. Another thing is that axolotls will feed on tetras if you keep them in the same tank.

In Conclusion

Now, you should understand that keeping axolotls and plecos in the same tank is a bad idea. Plecos usually grow larger than axolotls and take up all the space, making your axolotl suffer. Furthermore, plecos require different water temperatures from axolotls.

Plecos can also attack your axolotl leading to stress and health problems. We hope all the reasons we stated above help to clarify why you should not keep axolotls and plecos together.

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