How To Breed Molly Fish (The 6-Step Guide)

Last Updated on 2023-09-14

Mollies are livebearers. Thus, they are capable of reproducing and producing offspring by methods of internal fertilization, which takes the form of fry fish. Tiny fish called “fry” are miniature versions of full-grown species. However, depending on the sex combinations of the parent fishes, the resulting fry may look very different from the parents.

Due to their calm demeanor, Molly fishes are ideal for aquariums with other species. It is recommended that they be kept in aquariums or tanks of a comfortable size, as this will facilitate breeding. Mollies can have babies very easily and might already be pregnant when you buy them from the store. 

This article will take you through the fundamentals of molly fish breeding so that you are aware of what needs to be done at each stage. If you are interested in giving it a shot, read on.

How To Breed Molly Fish

Molly fish are a kind of tropical freshwater fish that do not reproduce in their natural habitat. The only way for them to survive outside of their natural environment is if they are captured in a fish tank by an aquarist. 

If you’re thinking about starting your own Molly fish breeding operation, here are some things to think about:

1. Choosing a Variety of Molly Fish

Without a special aquarium or breeding tank, you can successfully breed Molly fish at home. Molly fries requires water to survive because without it, they will perish. If you want to ensure a successful breeding cycle, it’s best to start with Molly fish that are well-suited to your area and readily available.

2. Setting up The Environment

The eggs of Molly fish can be killed by extreme temperatures or direct sunshine; therefore, it’s best to keep the tank out of those areas. Also, if you want to breed Molly fish outside, your best bet is to put them in a container with sand rather than on pavement, where they are more likely to dry out.

3. Acquiring Molly Fish Eggs

Molly fish eggs can be collected by coaxing a pregnant Molly fish onto your palm and carefully removing the eggs. The Molly Fish egg-hatching process can be sped up by placing the eggs in a container with a lid to prevent them from drying out and shaking the container violently every few minutes.

4. Feeding and Taking Care of Fry

You can raise Molly fish at home and give them Artemia to eat. Fries from the Molly fish species require a high protein diet to reach full maturity. When Molly Fish Fry matures into an adult, however, they can be fed live foods like white worms and blood worms. Don’t deprive Molly Fishes access to these foods because you can be putting their lives in danger.

5. Indoor Breeding

The breeding tank can be readily assembled using any container, such as an aquarium, a lid, and some pebbles for the bubbling apparatus. To ensure the survival of the Molly Fish Eggs after they hatch, fill the container with clean water. To avoid suffocating the fry, remember to provide the tank with new air periodically.

6. One Time Spawning

If you take your time and do everything properly, breeding Molly fishes at home is not hard at all. After one round of breeding, you can return the fish to the tank, assuming you’ve made enough room for them. Overcrowding could lead to the death of Molly fish fry since they need oxygen to survive.

Couple  of White  Molly  fish in mood of Love.

How Old Do Molly Fish Have To Be To Breed?

Molly Fishes, depending on species, size, and age, can reach sexual maturity anywhere from six months to a year. Breeders in the aquarium hobby business consider Molly fish, which achieve sexual maturity in a year, as a long-term investment because the fish are used for breeding. When the Molly fish reach sexual maturity, you can begin breeding them.

It will take exceptional diligence going forward with tank upkeep if you want to start breeding Molly Fishes as soon as feasible. But after they reach sexual maturity, female Mollys can reproduce every two months. Therefore, if you put any thought into it, that’s the way it should be.

How Many Mollies Do You Need To Breed?

It’s probably common knowledge that livebearers don’t produce eggs but instead give birth to fully formed fish. Having a male molly in with your females and keeping an eye out for courtship behavior is all it takes to get your mollies reproducing. In the act of copulation, male mollies will pursue after females, and you may even see the male molly positioned beneath the female.

It’s recommended that you keep no more than one male fish for every three female fish in your aquarium (a male-to-female ratio of 1:3). Female mollies will be overburdened if more males are introduced into the population due to the males’ persistent pursuit of them.

It is always possible for a female molly fish to become pregnant, regardless of whether or not there are any male mollies around. Even when men are unavailable, females may store sperm for longer periods and fertilize eggs. Thereby answering the age-old question of why your molly fish was already pregnant when you bought it from the pet store.

How Long Does It Take Mollies To Breed?

Molly fishes began the process of fertilizing their eggs, which marked the beginning of the breeding season. It is the amount of time that it takes for mollies to give birth to their young.

Mollies often continue their reproductive cycle for between three and six weeks after mating (20 to 40 days). Mollies are responsible for giving birth to fry fish, and they will wait until the young are able to swim and feed themselves before releasing them.

How do Mollies Mate?

When they mate, mollies don’t pair up. The males will try to fertilize any females they come into contact with, even if they have already been fertilized. Once the female is fertilized, she will keep the eggs in her body for 60 to 70 days until they hatch.

When the eggs hatch, she’ll give birth to 10 to 60 live fry at a time. About half an inch long, the babies will be. She can keep the sperm of the male inside her body for many months, so she can have more fry from the same mating. Some aquarium owners have seen babies that were born from matings that happened six months ago.

Numerous births involve the delivery of both a fully formed egg and a fully formed embryo. This is nothing to worry about, and when the fish mate in a tank, the unformed eggs can be thrown away.

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Do Mollies Reproduce Fast?

The female molly can lay up to 100 eggs and can have babies as often as once a month. It’s unfortunate that mollies will also consume their own young, but this can only be prevented by eliminating the adults.

As the female Molly gets ready to have babies, she will start to look for darker places in the aquarium and become more shy. This is a good time to take her out of the aquarium where other adult fish may be living so she can give birth, and then to take her out again after she has given birth to save the fry.

It will take your fry about one to two months to get big enough to go into your standard aquarium. The molly fish fry must be bigger than the adult fishes’ jaws.

How Long Are Molly Fish Pregnant For?

Mollies reproduce by having the sperm fertilize the eggs inside the female’s body, where the eggs grow and hatch. As a result, mollies don’t lay eggs. Instead, their young hatch inside their bodies and then swim out after they are ready.

Molly’s pregnancy lasts about 60 days. A female molly can keep sperm in its body for a long time, so it can get pregnant every 30 days. Still, there are types of mollies that give birth after 50–70 days. One example is the Dalmatian molly fish, whose babies are ready to live like adults when they are born.

How Many Babies Do Mollies Have?

Breeding mollies is a breeze. Having both sexes in the same tank will cause rapid reproduction. However, people couldn’t help but wonder if the creatures actually push all those babies out at once, given that they can have as many as a hundred offspring at once.

Female mollies only produce offspring during a specific time frame that can span for several days. Baby mollies will begin to emerge from the birth canal one by one at that moment. At some point, the female molly will give birth to anything from 40 to 100 baby fish. There’s a good chance that labor won’t last more than a few days.

Can Molly Fish Give Birth Without Males?

Breeding success is high for molly fish. Births are possible every 30 days for these creatures. There could be as many as a hundred new fish in your tank each month, depending on how fertile your fish are. Nonetheless, lone female mollies are unable to start a pregnancy. Their eggs must be fertilized by a male fish in order to produce live offspring, which they then deliver. Without a male molly fish, a female cannot conceive.

But what about the pregnant molly fish that live in tanks without male mollies, or the pregnant molly fish that live alone in an aquarium? Sperm retention is the most common reason. Females have the capacity to retain sperm in their ovaries for up to eight months. As a result, once the eggs have been fertilized, the presence of the male is no longer necessary.

How To Care For Molly Fry

There’s not much hope for the fry to make it to adulthood if we just leave them in the tank with the adults. The grown fish, including the mother, will eat the fry before they have a chance to mature.

So that the fries have the best chance of survival and development, you want to take action. The following are the three most important aspects of caring for baby molly fish:

Put the Mother Fish in A Tank by Herself

Before the mother fish gives birth, she must be separated from the other fish. There are three options for separating you from her during birth to ensure that as many fry as possible are saved.

  • Developing the main tank with vegetation and hiding spots.
  • Setting aside a special tank for the pregnant molly
  • Put in a breeding box in the main tank.

Make a Good Environment for The Fry.

The best environment for the fry to develop should be provided regardless of how the mother fish is separated from them. So, what factors comprise a suitable environment for fry development? 

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Building a filtration and tank system
  • Conditions of the Water
  • Temperature
  • Add some plants to your tank
  • Lighting

Giving the Fry Food

They need to be fed as soon as possible after birth, when fries are at their most vulnerable. You can find specialized molly fry food at your local pet store or aquarium. Baby brine shrimp or finely powdered high-quality flakes are good substitutes for fried food. Keep in mind that they are tiny and only require tiny snacks.


Should You Get a Molly Fish for Your Aquarium?

For their resilience, mollies have gained widespread acclaim. Due to their low maintenance needs, they are ideal for first-time fish keepers. These fish are so common that you can buy them cheaply at any pet store.


you should have no difficulty while trying to breed molly fish if you follow the guidelines laid out in this article. It’s not hard to breed molly fish, but you’ll need a few things to make sure they thrive, like a properly stocked aquarium. If you don’t want your adult fish to eat your fry, you shouldn’t keep them in the same aquarium with them.

Fry are not difficult to maintain or raise; however, they do need clean water and frequent tiny feedings in order to help them grow quicker and stay healthy. All in all, managing and raising fry does not involve a lot of effort.

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