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Can Axolotls Live With Goldfish?

Many times I’ve got asked this question – “what are the ideal tank mates for axolotls?”

Maybe you have also wondered if axolotls make good tank mates to other smaller animals or if certain fishes such as goldfish can do well with axolotls in the same tank. 

It might interest you to know that axolotls are not the “social” type of animals. They are solitary in nature and can do excellently well alone.

Therefore, while it is completely unnecessary to worry about what tank mates to add to your axis aquarium, adding some will make their habitat look more like the wild. 

On this note, can axolotls live with goldfish? Firstly, these are two different animals with different needs and tank requirements.

This is to tell you that when planning to add a tank mate to your axis, you should ensure that naturally, the two animals can stay (live) together under the same condition with no health issues.

Except you are just raising one to be food for the other. To learn more about adding tank mates to your axis tank, read onto the end. In the end, you’ll have all your concerns addressed.

Can Axolotls Live With Goldfish?

No, axolotls can’t live with goldfish. Although both species are quite peaceful and prefer cool water, axolotls shouldn’t live with goldfish.

This is because goldfish have a bad reputation for being fin nippers. Even when the goldfish is small, there is still the tendency for both to fight. Your axolotl may try to eat it.

Secondly, these species of animals do well at different water temperatures.

The ideal water temperature for axolotls which is 60 – 64 degrees Fahrenheit will likely slow down the metabolism of the goldfish.

Nonetheless, fancy goldfish are the only kind of goldfish that may work in an axolotl tank.

These fish are as slow as your axolotl, giving it (your axolotl) an opportunity to defend itself if the goldfish attacks. With time, the goldfish will quickly learn to avoid the axolotl.

2 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Keep Axolotl and Goldfish Together

In the previous sections, we have discussed why axolotls should not be housed together with goldfish. Let’s explain these reasons in detail.

  1. They Can Hurt Each Other.

Goldfish are known to “nip at” or “rip off” the fins and gills of the axolotl which causes stress and injury to your pet.

Keep in mind that stress and injury in your axolotl will predispose the animal to infectious disease, depressed immune system, and other health complications. 

Therefore, to avoid this, do not keep your pet axolotl in the same tank with your goldfish as tank mates. One will kill the other.

  1. The Basic Living Environment/Condition is Not the Same

Differences in Water Temperatures:

Both axolotls and goldfish live in a cool water environment. But the ideal “cool water” for goldfish will definitely be a hot environment for axolotls to thrive. Axolotls do well in temperatures ranging from 60 °F to 64 °F. 

On the flip side, goldfish can’t flourish in water that’s below 65 °F. They prefer water temperatures ranging from 68° to 74° F.

Also read: Axolotl Temperature (Tips to Maintain an Ideal Temperature)


Unlike axolotls, goldfish are diurnal, meaning that they are most active during the day. Because of this, they need bright lighting to maintain a day and night cycle.

This bright light during the day helps their eyes to develop, display more vibrant colors, and provide them with essential vitamins.

Axolotls on the other hand do not prefer bright lighting as they are nocturnal. In captivity, a tank that is too bright will cause stress to the axies.

This also explains why axolotls and goldfish can’t make excellent tank mates.

Also read: Are Axolotls Blind?


Goldfish are typically very active and need a strong filter because it produces a Lot of ammonia (wastes).

Goldfish produce a lot of bioloads, meaning that they produce a lot of waste. So without proper filtration, these waste items will pile up in the water and can cause health issues to the fish.

Speaking of axolotls, they do not need filtration, especially if you are changing the water frequently.

However, if you must use filtration for their water, ensure it doesn’t cause a strong current as this also stresses them. In a nutshell, a filter won’t clean up much of that ammonia. You still need a regular water change.


Ideal pH for goldfish and axolotls is 7.4. However, goldfish will do fine when the ph is high but axolotls can’t. But what is pH?

pH is a measure of how acidic and basic water is. Ammonia toxicity is directly proportional to the pH which higher pH levels will have higher concentration of ammonia. 

High ammonia concentration will affect the health of Axolotl. This means that it makes the ammonia issue even more threatening for axolotls when kept with goldfish.

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

Best Tank Mates for Axolotls

Although axolotls can thrive healthily without tank mates, the best tank mates for axolotls are the ones that are harmless or poss no health risk to your axies. 

On that note, best tank mates for axolotls include:

  • Other axolotls.
  • Guppy fish.
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows.
  • Apple snails. But this tank mates should only be added to adult axolotls’ tank. Not suitable for babies.
  • Zebra danios.

Read more about the characteristics of these “axolotls’ ideal tank mates”, in one of our articles – Best tank mates for axolotls.

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Axolotls make a great pet. They are relatively easy to care for, but they are not recommended to breeders who are entirely new to keeping aquatic animals as pets.

These set of breeders might find it difficult navigating through their strict requirements. 

Axolotls are not the social kind of animals and they can thrive alone in a pond. This means that while you can still get your axies a tank mate, it is really unnecessary. 

That said, if you must add a tank mate to your axolotl’s tank, ensure that the animals are not those types that can harm your axolotls. Goldfish are not suitable for axolotl.

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