Do Mollies Eat Their Babies? (How to Protect the Fries)

Do you observe that the number of Molly babies is decreasing in your Aquarium or fish tank? Are your Molly babies missing and you are worried about what happened to them? Is it possible that their mother’s Mollies eat the baby mollies?

Yes, mollies eat their babies. Weird but true. Molly fish eat everything that fits in its mouth. When a molly fish has finished reproducing, it can eat the young. Although it doesn’t happen right away, they can consume their fries once they have finished their rest. That is why it is recommended to remove the fry as soon as the molly is done giving birth.

Read this article and I will answer all your questions.

Do all Types of Molly Fish Eat Their Babies?

Although there are different types and colors of Molly fish their habits and nature are the same. All mollies either Black Molly fish or Balloon Molly fish eat their babies. Molly fish are not good parents. Parent mollies consider young Molly fry as a live feed. Parent mollies don’t have any emotional bonding with their babies. Molly fish habitually eat everything that fits in its mouth. They don’t care for their babies rather they eat them like a normal diet.

Do all Types of Molly Fish Eat Their Babies

How to Protect Baby Mollies from Parent Molly Fish?

If you think that Molly fish will take care of their baby mollies, this will not happen. Thus you must take care of your baby mollies by protecting them from their parent mollies and other fish in the aquarium or fish tank. The best way to protect baby mollies is to separate them from their parents and other fish quickly after birth. You must observe your pregnant Molly fish closely and prepare everything for example:

Breeding Box

Put your pregnant Molly in the breeding box. When pregnant Molly will give birth to baby mollies, Molly’s fry will fall into another section of the box and the parent Molly will leave behind.

Breeding Box

Fish Net

If you want to use a Fish net then you have to hang the net in the separate aquarium that you have prepared for baby mollies. You have to carefully take mother Molly out.

Fish Net

The separate Fish tank or aquarium must include everything that baby mollies need to live comfortably.

How do I know that my Molly is Ready to Give Birth?

If you want to check when your Molly fish will give birth observe it closely. You will see the following things:

  • The size of Molly fish increases it would get bigger and rounder.
  • It would get slower in water.
  • Near the anal vent of Molly fish, a blackish spot would appear And this spot will grow bigger near the birthing time.

Breeding Cycle

Molly’s fish breeding cycle is fascinating simple and easy. They don’t lay eggs they give birth to babies. They have a gestation period of 8 weeks. Molly fish are very productive fish they can give birth to baby mollies after every 30 days, this means they give birth to baby mollies 12 times a year. It also depends upon favorable conditions and no male mollies in fish tanks or aquariums. Molly fish breeding cycle starts in the warmer months of spring and summer, this is because they need temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Molly fish can give birth to 20 to 100 baby mollies per pregnancy. If you want that your Molly fish give birth to healthy baby mollies you must follow some tips that are:

  • Maintaining a healthy Tank
  • Giving Molly fish healthy, good quality, and nutritious food.
  • Giving a natural environment to Molly fish so that mollies will not take stress a become healthy.

Related Post: How Long Does Molly Fry Take to Grow & Reach Full Size?

How Long you Should keep the Baby Mollies Separate from Parent Mollies?

Mollies are friendly and happy fish. You will see them active and playful sometime after their birth. The baby mollies will grow big within 4 to 6 weeks of birth. You will notice that they are not tiny. If their size is bigger than the parent mollies’ mouth then you can put them in an adult Molly fish aquarium. But if they are still tiny keep baby mollies separate for some more time.

Baby mollies turn into an adult in approximately 4 months. After 4 months of time, you can definitely put them in another Molly fish aquarium.

How to keep Baby Mollies Safe?

The safety of baby mollies is the most important thing. It is important to prepare some necessary things before their birth. So, you will not panic after their birth. Maintaining these necessary things keeps Molly fry calm, relaxed, and comfortable.   The things you should do are:

1. Size of Aquarium

For the safety of baby mollies, the aquarium size is also important. There should be enough room for fish to swim freely. As the number of fish increases the gallons of water also increase.

2. Providing a Separate Tank

Providing a Separate Tank for baby mollies is very important to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. A separate tank or aquarium is important for their physical and mental peace.  If they will live with adult Molly fish their life will be in danger. Moreover, the adult Molly fish will disturb baby mollies and because of this baby mollies develop aggressive attitudes and stress, which is not good for their health. So a separate tank or aquarium is a must.


3. Clean the Aquarium

Providing a clean environment is a basic need for all fish. Therefore you must clean the water in the breeding box or aquarium and change the water regularly. Changing water regularly is important because clean water keeps baby mollies safe and protects them from infections. Moreover, clean water reduces the chances of growth or presence of bacteria in aquariums or fish tanks. Be sure that the water you are putting in the aquarium or fish tank is of good quality. Don’t worry about baby mollies because Changing water is not dangerous for them.

Clean Aquarium

4. Preparing a Natural Habitat for Baby Mollies

                       If you want to keep the baby mollies safe and healthy. If you want to nourish them properly for healthy growth you have to give them a natural habitat so they will be happy and they will have strong immunity. Some important things you must do before putting baby Mollies in the aquarium are:

  • Water Maintenance

Maintaining water is very important for baby mollies’ health and growth. You have to check the water quality before putting it in the aquarium or fish tank. You should install an automatic water heater with a thermometer to maintain the water temperature.

  • Plantation

Planting live plants in aquariums is very important for Molly fry. Mollies like hiding in these plants.

  • Ornaments and Decorations

Decorating an aquarium with ornaments or decorations is very important as mollies like hiding in them.

  • Proper light

You should place the aquarium where there is enough sunlight. Always remember not to put Aquarium in direct sunlight, this is not good for Molly’s fry.

5. Preventing Disease

Maintaining a hygienic environment in the aquarium or fish tank is very important for Molly fry because they have less immunity to fight against diseases. Many microorganisms like fungi and parasites are very dangerous for baby mollies because they can cause different diseases to baby mollies. To prevent these diseases you must keep the water clean. Methylene blue is a preventive chemical that helps baby mollies to heal from these diseases. Always be careful and use chemicals only if you see any symptoms of disease in Molly fry and follow the dosage instructions properly.

Preventing Disease

After following all of the above mention tips now you can put your baby mollies in the aquarium or fish tank, but your work is not finished yet. The aquarium is set but now is the time to start caring for baby mollies. Only setting home is not important, for the proper growth of baby mollies, you have to take care of them. For their proper growth, you have to give them a natural habitat with a clean environment, and healthy nutritious food and you have to be vigilant and observe them properly so that you can protect them from diseases.

The Bottom Line on Do Mollies Eat Their Babies?

It is weird but it is true that Molly fish eat their babies. You will not like it but you have to separate baby mollies from their parents to protect them. This is the only way you can see baby mollies growing, happy and healthy. So, don’t worry you have to give time to baby mollies but taking care of them is not difficult.

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