Thank you for visiting! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon and other stores/partners are affiliate links. Aquarium Store Depot earns a commission if you make a purchase.
“How big of a tank does an axolotl need?” is the most asked question by novice axolotl keepers. And understandably so. Because axolotls are very easy to care for, but only when you understand their basic needs, i.e., their recommended tank size, water parameters, water temperature, and food.
Therefore, if you’re someone worried about the recommended minimum tank size for your axolotls, know that an Axolotl tank size should not be less than 20 gallons for adult axolotls, and for juveniles, it should be at least 10 gallons.
Let’s explore more about this topic in this article. Also, I’ll share 5 of my best recommended tanks for your axolotls pets.
Minimum Tank Size for Axolotls
The minimum tank size for a mature axolotl is around 20 gallons, and for juveniles, the minimum recommended aquarium size is approximately 10 gallons. If you’re going for a smaller tank (10 gallons), I suggest changing the water proactively to avoid health issues of your axolotls and consider upgrading in the future.
Therefore, if you can accommodate, it is always recommended to choose a 20 gallon or 30-gallon tank because the ammonia and nitrate levels in these tanks would be controlled. Also, your axolotls would get enough room to explore and play around.
Studies also claim that axolotls kept in larger tanks in captivity proved to live longer than those in smaller tanks.
Best Tank Size for Axolotls
When it comes to choosing the best axolotl tank size, always remember; the larger tank, the better. Thus, your goal should be at least a 40-gallon tank size.
One thing to keep in mind is axolotls prefer staying underwater their entire lives. Therefore, you should provide a larger tank for axolotls to move around and hide in safe, secure places. If you don’t give them enough space, it will result in their stunted growth and adverse health conditions.
40 gallons or larger tank would also allow you to keep plants and other decorations in the tank. While filling up the tank, it is advisable to leave some space at the top of the tank and install robust filtration systems. I always recommend installing canister filters for the best axolotl experience.
Best Tank Size for Two or More than one
Housing two or more two axolotls can be challenging and lead to aggression and other behavioral problems in your axolotl.
The best tank size for two axolotls or more than one axolotl is at least 55 – 75 gallons. Anything below 55 gallons is a big no-no. If you have other animals in your axolotl aquarium, the requirement may increase. But as an avid aquarist, I don’t recommend keeping two or more than two axolotls in your axolotl aquarium. Firstly, because it overcrowds the tank and it demands to be cleaned frequently. Secondly, axolotls are usually distant pets, and they can go through a lot of stress.
If you really want to keep other fish with your axolotls, go for the fish that are the same size as your axolotls, as small fish might fall easy prey to your smiley pets.
How To Set Up The Tank?
An axolotl spends its entire life in its tank. Therefore, it’s imperative to provide your axie with the correct tank setup.
Here are some of my recommendations to plan ahead of time before getting your axie from aquarium stores.
Buying the Right Tank Size
When it comes to axolotl care, tank size matters.
As mentioned earlier in this article, a 15-20 gallons tank for a single axolotl is the minimum recommended tank size. However, if you plan to keep two or more axolotls in a single aquarium, I recommend getting a 55-gallon – 75-gallon tank to meet all your axolotls’ requirements.
Filtration is the essential step to keeping your axolotl happy.
Axolotls are voracious eaters. And so they make a lot of mess while eating. Choosing the right filter ensures the water quality and parameters remain optimal. I always recommend getting a filter with an adjustable flow rate knob to handle more than just the tank size. At the higher end, an OASE Biomaster is an excellent filter to choose.
The Best Canister Filter
The top choice among professional aquascapers. German engineering and equipped with an intregrated heater.
Apart from installing filters, I also advise removing any uneaten food from the tank every day to keep the water clean and your axolotls free from excessive nutrient related stress.
For axolotls, choosing the right substrate is a highly debatable topic. Many axolotls owners do not encourage the use of substrate at all as it can cause impaction. Again, you cannot keep the bottom of the tank bare if you’re opting for plants and other decorative items. Therefore, I always suggest adding larger rocks that do not fit the axolotls’ mouths, so they don’t ingest them and cause potential harm.
Plants and Decoration
Plants are essential to keep your axolotls busy and your tank beautiful. But, investing in plants that float is an excellent option for an axolotl tank. I always discourage getting plants that need to be planted into the substrate because no matter what, your axolotl will dig them out, and it would be a nuisance to clean the mess.
You should be particular about axolotls by now that they like their water in an ideal state. Therefore, a heater is not necessary, but a aquarium chiller is sometimes an essential part of an axolotl tank regardless of your location.
The ideal water temperature for an axolotl tank is around 16-18 degrees or 60-64 degrees Fahrenheit, and water chillers provide just the right temperature in hot, humid places for a healthy axolotl.
If you are not opting for plants, lights are not necessary. But for some reason, if you plan to install lights, I suggest going for dimmer lights that mimick their natural habitat and don’t overwhelm their sensitive eyes.
It is recommended to go for a lighting system with a dimming option.
Keeping tank mates with your axolotl is a big no-no. Axolotls are solitary creatures that remain distant throughout their lives. Even with other axolotls, you have to keep an eye on their behavior as axolotls are usually seen fighting with other species and ultimately losing their limbs.
Axolotls are peaceful animals; they cannot climb or cause other problems for you. But they can sometimes leap out of their tanks. Additionally, your children and curious pets might harm your smiley pets.
Therefore, you should always invest in the security of your axolotls. I advise getting a screen lid for your aquarium. Screen lids also help easy evaporation and keep the water cool in hot temperatures.
The 5 Best
Since we know that the minimum but ideal axolotl tank size is at least 20 gallons, let’s explore the five best axolotl tank options for your convenience.
1. Aqueon 20 Gallon Long
A classic 20 gallon aquarium in its 30 inch long variant. A very popular aquarium.
If you’re looking for a quality product with the best bargain, Aqueon’s glass aquarium tank ticks all the right boxes.
It is an ideal axolotl aquarium for all marine animals with clean silicon edges that provide an incredible housing experience to your adorable pets. The tank is also spacious enough to keep aquatic plants and other decor items in the tank. Be it gravels, rocks, caves, or other ornamental things.
So, if you’re planning to house one axolotl, aqueon standard glass aquarium tank is the right choice for you.
2. UNS 90L
This 20 glass tank offers a 20 gallon long format in a rimless tank. A great looking aquarium for your aquatic pets!
If you want a tank with remarkable clarity and perfect 45-degree edges, look no further than the UNS 90L rimless axolotl aquarium.
Many axolotl owners believe this tank to be an excellent alternative to plainer looking rimmed tanks from the 90s. Also, it features mitered edges so you can easily peek inside the tank life and enjoy your leisure time with your smiley pets.
These tanks are carefully crafted using 91% clarity Diamant glass, and these tanks give a crystal apparent effect with minimal residual green color.
For housing one axolotl, the UNS 90L tank is undoubtedly a beautiful aquarium spruced up with some lovely plants and shrimp for your axolotls.
3. Aqueon 40 Gallon Breeder
Your standard 40 gallon breeder tank. Great dimensions, easy to find, and well priced
If you want to go for a permanent, pleasant home for your pet axolotls, why not get a large one that suffices all your pet’s needs?
The Aqueon 40-gallon tank, is made up of high-quality glass that allows natural, bright light to enter the tank from all sides. It will enable creates a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing environment in your home interiors.
Aqueon also ensures that the tank withstands most applications and still maintains an ideal environment for your axolotls.
The reputable breeder designation of this aquarium indicates that the bottom is more comprehensive than other aquarium tanks, which makes it an ideal choice for axolotls that spend their entire lives underwater. It also allows more room for aquatic plants and other meaningful decors that keep your axolotls happy.
4. UNS 90U
The UNS 90U is a great looking 4 foot rimless tank. Great for showpiece aquascape tanks
So, you’re an axolotl lover wanting some more axolotls? Well, here’s a perfect axolotl tank size for you!
The 68-gallon rimless aquarium is ideal to house one or more adult axolotl and provide all the essential amenities to pet axolotls. Be it tank decorations, lightings, or other critical applications.
Unlike every other brand, the UNS 68 gallon aquarium tank features a golden ratio and provides dimensions suitable for aquascape.
So, if you’re looking for a nice aquarium to house more axolotl tank mates for your axolotls, I suggest investing in the UNS 90U 68 gallons rimless aquarium.
5. Aqueon 55 Gallon (And 60 Gallon Breeder)
This new 60 gallon breeder by Aqueon has the length and width of a 75 gallon tank, but at a shorter height. This is the most economical and effective 4 foot gallon tank for the saltwater hobby now.
What’s the bare minimum size for an axolotl tank? 55-gallons, it is!
This tank is ideal for adult axolotls, and this tank provides a beautiful, open view for ultimate visual appeal. This aquarium’s clean, simple yet edgy design adds a perfect oomph to your rooms.
I can guarantee that your axolotls would enjoy lots and lots of horizontal swimming space with this tank. Also, the spacious tank will allow suitable heaters, filters, chillers, and everything you need without disrupting your axolotl’s space. If you want good aquascaping dimensions, consider the 60 gallon breeder as an alternative.
Can this type or Mexican walking fish live in a 10-gallon tank?
Yes, juvenile axolotls can live in a 10-gallon tank. However, as long as your axolotl grows, it requires more room to move around freely and hide in places from its tank mates. Therefore, a 10-gallon tank would not be sufficient for a mature axolotl.
What size tank do I need for two of them?
For two or more axolotls, you need at least 55 – 65 gallon aquarium size.
Can I keep two in a 20-gallon tank?
Unfortunately, Axolotls are not social animals. Hence, they prefer to stay alone. A 20-gallon tank for 2 axolotls would be too small, and it would ultimately lead to aggression and other behavioral problems in your axolotl.
How big should the tanks be?
For axolotls, nothing is too large for a tank. The bare minimum aquarium size for adult axolotl is around 20 gallons. To house two or more two axolotls in the same aquarium, you need at least 55-75 gallons tank. And for young axolotls, the tank size should at least be 10 gallons and nothing less.
Can they live in a 40-gallon tank?
Yes, a 40-gallon tank would be an ideal aquarium size for an axolotl. It would provide your axie with space and other adventures.
Eye Candy (Large Tanks)
Want to see how a large 4 foot tank looks like with an Axolotl? It can be done and it can look amazing. Check out this amazing Paludarium made by MD Fish Tanks below.
Axolotls are happy animals, but they don’t like to socialize. Also, they are pretty demanding when it comes to their right aquarium size. The minimum size of an axolotl tank should be around 20 gallons for a mature axolotl. And for juveniles, it should be no less than 10 gallons. However, to keep two or more axolotls together, you should invest in a 55 or 75 gallons tank.
Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping – both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.
I am looking at buying a blue planet tank and an Aqua One Clearview Hang-On Filter 100. I am new to axolotl ownership and was wondering if this budget setup would do the job.
I would opt for a used canister filter you can purchase locally from FB Marketplace or an aquarium society. It’s not the best filter for axolotls – which produce a lot of waste.
Hi my son would like an axolotl for his Birthday this year and we have a tank that we previously had set up which holds 100 litres of water. My only concern is our tank is square shapes rather than rectangle. Do you see this being a problem?
Longer is always better given their adult size. It should work in the interim, but a longer tank would be better long-term