Can Axolotls Live With Koi?

Can Axolotls Live with Fish

Yes, they can live together as koi are docile fishes but can get aggressive regarding food or space and are bigger than axolotls, so it is advisable to get them in separate tanks to prevent any loss. 

However, Thompson from Atlanta, Georgia, experimented with 21 koi fishes and three axolotls and came out with an awesome result of them not bothering one another, but this might not work for you as the temperature of Atlanta is not the same everywhere and whenever you want to keep them together make sure they are of the same size.

Why Should I Not  Keep My Axolotls And Koi In a Separate Tank?

Axolotls and Koi have some differences and similarities that can make it difficult  for them to get along, and they are,

– Water Level

Koi fish needs a shallow water level to survive, whereas axolotls need deep water to survive as they might try escaping from the tank, and this might inflict injury on them

– Escape Traits

Axolotls are full of escape tactics they will fully try out as Koi aquariums or ponds are always open, unlike an axolotl pet which is always covered with a lid. They might eventually escape after several trials.

– Feeding Mode

These two creatures have different feeding modes as axolotls are carnivores, and Koi are herbivores which will make a hungry axolotl inflict injury on the Koi with its teeth which are meant for gripping food. Koi will always be restless and look for a way of escape from its predating tank mate.

– Voracious Feeding Habit

Both Koi and axolotls are greedy and voracious, and this can make them compete for food and inflict injury on each other if any of the creatures should feed on the food meant for its tank mate or finish the food while the other one is hungry.

– Temperament

Both aquatic animals are peaceful but can get aggressive based on the wrong water parameters; They exhibit this nature simultaneously as they share the same condition for the needed water parameters.

Do not be surprised that these two harmless pets can kill themselves if they become aggressive.

– Health Risk

Fish are carriers of microorganisms and parasites, which will affect your axolotls’ health as their bodies are sensitive and cannot fight diseases as much as a fish. Ich is a fungal infection carried around by fish, and they can transmit it to axolotls, leading to the death of your pets as they might show mild symptoms or none at all.

Bacterial infections are the second-most common diseases that affect fish in the aquarium; They can easily transfer their tank mate to axolotls, which might become a life-threatening disease for your pet. Such bacteria infections are Aeromonas,  Edwardsiella, and  Pseudomonas, which can cause Septicemia in axolotls.

– Swimming Speed

Koi fish are fast swimmers, unlike axolotls which are slow swimmers; their speed could fright the axolotls and leave them in shock most of the time, which could leave them in shock, most time not be healthy for them. 

– Size

Koi are larger than axolotls and could bully your axolotls, causing them to undergo stress which might affect their appetite and health. So, even if you are housing both together, ensure they are the same size but not smaller than your axolotl, as they might feed on them by swallowing your koi fish alive.

– Strength

Koi are much stronger than axolotls and can hit them to death when provoked or looking for a way of escape from the tank.

Can Axolotls Be Housed In A Koi Pond?

No, you will rather house koi fish in an axolotl tank as ponds are not suitable for raising your axolotls since they are best raised in captivity with a closed aquarium tank as they always find a way to escape out of the pond, which might lead to their death as they cannot survive staying out of water beyond one hour.

However, in the wild, when they leave a source of water they quickly locate another source of water in the space of 20 minutes, which might be difficult for them to do so in the space of one hour when in captivity.

Another important reason axolotls cannot stay in a pond is that the water parameters in a pond are unstable, unlike in a tank that can be easily regulated. This greatly affects axolotls as they are sensitive creatures that can die due to a change in water parameters.

The pond can contain parasites that greatly affect your axolotls as they are highly susceptible to diseases and dirt. The pond might even contain toxic chlorine for your pet. Nevertheless, there are still benefits that can be derived from keeping axolotls in a pond, and we will discuss them in the next outline.

What Are The Benefits My Axolotl Will Derive From Being Housed In A Koi Pond?

There are certain benefits your pet will derive from being housed in a pond though there are limited benefits as  most of the benefits are not based on their health, and they are,

  •  Your axolotls will have access to varieties of plants that can serve as a shade to them or even make the water beautiful with the colors of the flower showing in the water if trees with colorful flowers are planted over the pond.
  • They have access to natural food sources such as bugs and worms as they come across them readily in the pond.
  • It helps their growth as they have the same feeling in the wild, especially if the water parameters are replicated in the pond, which helps speed up their growth.

What Can Serve As A Perfect TankMate  For My Axolotls?

Some peaceful fish can perfectly match your axolotls when considering housing them with other fishes. However, that should be because of space, as axolotls are solitary animals that love to stay alone.

Other peaceful fishes include

  • Other axolotls of the same size.
  • Apple snails
  • Minnows
  • Ramshorn snails
  • Guppy fish
  • Bladder snails
  • Small shrimps
  • Amano Shrimp
  • Golden skiff
  • Zebra danio
  • Golden Barb
  • Green swordtail.

You should try as much as possible to avoid housing your snails with the following creatures.

  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Golden pencil fish
  • Goldfish
  • Cory Catfish.
  • Flying minnow
  • Glowlight rasbora
  • Harlequin
  • Honey gourami


Koi can be housed together with axolotls, but it is advisable to follow the quote “Prevention is better than Cure,” as their housing together has not been recommended by any vet yet and might not even be recommended in the future as axolotls enjoy their privacy.

Written by Justin Michaels