Can Axolotls Live With Turtles?


So you’re thinking about getting two new pets, one of which is an axolotl. They’re adorable and fascinating, but one question comes to mind: “Can axolotls live with turtles?”

No, axolotls cannot live with turtles as turtles are aggressive whereas axolotls are peaceful but also gets aggressive due to some factors. Nevertheless, they cannot share the same habitat as a turtle’s shell is enough to kill the soft-bodied fragile axolotl when provoked.

Why Can’t My Axolotls Live With My Turtles?

Apart from the reason discussed above, there are other factors that we will have to attribute to your axolotls’ inability to live with your turtles which include,

– Different Living Requirements

Turtles need a basking area of 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit with a water temperature of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and an ideal pH of 7 to 8. In contrast, axolotls prefer a water temperature of  60 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit with a pH of 7.4 to 7.6. 

The difference in their water parameters will make it unable for them to stay together. Even if they do, your axolotls will be stressed out and eventually die because they are sensitive and fragile creatures that need to be cared for properly. However, your turtles might not die as a result of the stress as they have a way of escape it might affect their health.

When it comes to light requirements, axolotls prefer dim light making them most active at night when there is no sunlight, and their tank needs to be away from sunlight to avoid algae growth.

Or sudden changes in the pH level and temperature of the water turtles, on the other hand, prefers sunlight and love their tank to be directed to the rays of light as most turtles tank have UV light on their tank.

Axolotls prefer to live in brackish water(a mixture of fresh and saltwater), while turtles prefer to stay in dechlorinated fresh water.

– Different Territorial Behaviour

These two creatures have different behavior and makeup. Axolotls are peaceful and fragile to the extent of getting injured if you handle them unnecessarily. Still, turtles possess hard shells that serve as a form of protection, and with the shell injures the axolotls as they possess permeable skin. 

Besides, turtles are aggressive, attacking their tank mates at will, and are messy as they pass out a lot of waste( unlike axolotls), which could contaminate the tank and affect the health of the axolotls as axolotls are neat creatures.

– Feeding Mode

Axolotls are carnivores that need meat for their consumption and are not as messy as turtles, but turtles could be carnivores(feed on meat), herbivores(feed on plants ), or omnivores(feed on both plants and meat) and are messy eaters that require their tank to be cleaned every day.

– Ability to Tolerate Tank Mates

Axolotls have bad sight and consider everything small that moves in the tank as food and everything big that moves in the tank as a predator or threat to them, and this leaves them stressed out, unable to eat

And always looking for a way of escape which could be dangerous to their health status, while anything that moves in the water always gets the attention of the turtles, and it might try and nibble, injuring your cute axolotls. Housing both of them together will not profit both you or the pets.

– Feeding Diet

The diet of these two creatures varies as turtles’ food has more carbohydrates than protein which could lead to hormonal and nutritional imbalance and digestive issues causing impaction and might lead to the death of your axolotls if eaten in excess by your axolotls.

Can My Turtles Feed On My Axolotls?

Yes, your carnivore and omnivore turtle can feed on your axolotls’ kif kept in the same tank, and that will be the baby axolotls, but most time injures the adult axolotls in the process of wanting to consume them. 

A  herbivore turtle will nibble on the baby and adult turtles, injuring them. You shouldn’t keep them together as the impossible might happen as your adult axolotl might end up being eaten by your carnivore turtle due to hunger or aggressiveness.

Can My Axolotls Feed On My Turtles?

No, they will not. However, Axolotls always end up with stones or pebbles in their throat or stomach as they are greedy and fond of swallowing anything that can get fit into their throat and will not hesitate to swallow your soft-shelled baby turtle once it can enter into their cute largemouth, leaving the adult turtle alone and adult axolotls can only do that.

Once you notice one of your axolotls has swallowed a baby turtle, make sure you attend to it immediately because it might end up dying as a result of that as their digestive system is not strong enough to digest a shell as they still choke or have impaction as a result of feeding on worms with hard exoskeletons not to talk of a shell.

Can My Turtles Be Housed With Other Creatures?

Yes, they can. Though they do not love to have company, they can still be housed with snails, lizards, warmouth, rosy barb, 10 to 14 inches long Oscars, green sunfish, large goldfish, giant gourami, frogs, and cichlids.

Can My Axolotls Be Housed With Other Creatures?

Yes, they can share the same tank with other creatures though they prefer to stay on their own as they are not social animals. Such creatures include guppies, small shrimp, Amano shrimp, apple snails, ramshorn snails, dusky millions fish, golden barb, frail gourami, danios, and white cloud minnows among others.

Do My Axolotls And Turtles Need Company?

No, your pets do not require any company be it other pets or you caring for them. Unlike other pets, these two creatures do not like to be stroked, cuddled, or handled, and that is why so many people do not like to keep them as pets; they prefer to be left alone; as a matter of fact, they are happy when left alone.

How To Keep My Axolotls And Turtles Together?

Suppose you are still desperate to keep these two creatures together or you have issues getting another aquarium tank on time. In that case, you can adopt this method temporarily until you get a perfect tank for your turtle, but remember that you are responsible for every of your decision. However, it is going to cost you a bit of a resource.

  • Make sure your tank is large enough to accommodate both creatures.
  • Provide a basking area for your turtle in the tank and many hideouts for your axolotl.
  • Use dechlorinated water, regulating the pH and water temperature to that of your axolotl, as the turtle can still survive temporarily with that temperature. However, make sure you adjust it to that of the turtle once you get a new tank.
  • Get a compatible specie of turtle to stay with your axolotl. A carnivores specie will be preferred as axolotls are carnivores too, and that will prevent your axolotl from feeding on carbs.
  • Ensure that they are of the same size; the turtle must not be bigger or smaller than the axolotl, and the axolotl must not be bigger or smaller than the turtle.


When it comes to finding a companion for your axolotls, some creatures should never cross your mind, and that includes turtles, as they will stress the life out of your turtle. The bottom line is both creatures are not fond of one another, and they should not be housed together.

Written by Justin Michaels