Why Do Mollies Die After Giving Birth? Reasons & Solutions

The longer I kept mollies in my fish tank, the more often I noticed how the females died after spawning. Because childbirth is a stressful process, I initially dismissed it as a natural occurrence. However, I have seen cases where the females are perfectly capable of surviving after delivery. That’s when I started digging deeper into the subject.

Molly fish may pass away soon after giving birth. This is mostly due to the difficult labor stresses, which are secondary to the prolonged delivery time, unpleasant atmosphere, and unsuitable water conditions. Another cause of their death may have been a newly discovered illness e.g swim bladder disease, fin rot, or ammonia.

Many people believe that after giving birth, Molly fish will die. The truth is that many factors can contribute to this unfortunate event. Although not all Molly fish die after giving birth, many do. This could be because of stress or disease, a lack of proper diet and food during pregnancy, overbreeding, or other factors. Furthermore, it could be the result of something we do wrong or uncontrollable factors that cause the animal’s death.

Is it Natural for Mollies to die after Giving Birth?

Not at all. If you take proper care of your pregnant molly fish from the start, the chances of death are very low.

You must comprehend the significance of even the smallest detail on your molly fish during pregnancy. They can become far more sensitive than usual. This is understandable because pregnancy can make anyone weaker than they expect.

What Causes Mollies to Die After Giving Birth

Why did my Molly Fish die after Giving Birth?

Lack of Oxygen

Because of a shortage of oxygen in the environment, molly fish die after giving birth. Because the eggs she is carrying are developing inside her body, Molly fish require a lot of oxygen during pregnancy. If your Molly becomes swollen and bloated, you should investigate her living conditions.

Lack of Oxygen

Labor Difficulties

Pregnant mollies do not always have the same experiences as pregnant humans. Their bodies are completely different. There is no placental connection, for example, between the fertilized eggs and their parents. Furthermore, female mollies do not raise their young. In fact, they are very prone to consume them.

However, mollies and humans have one thing in common. Giving birth is a traumatic and physically demanding affair for both species. This is also seen in other livebearers. Some of them will lose a lot of weight after having birth.

Humans die all the time as a result of labor-related stress. This also occurs in mollies. It isn’t the most visible cause. Despite the hardships of the birthing process, most mollies are strong enough to survive. However, some succumb to the hardship.

Duration of Birth

This is another thing that mollies and humans have in common. The length of the childbirth process varies. Some mollies reproduce quickly. Others take far longer. The procedure is expected to take between one and twenty-four hours. Naturally, the more strain the molly fish is forced to bear, the lengthier the delivery procedure.

Right Before Giving Birth

Some fish can withstand that stress. Others, though, cannot. Female mollies find it difficult to catch food and protect themselves when giving birth. Such stressful circumstances can result in death, especially if the female is already unwell or shares a tank with aggressive tank mates.


Molly fish die as a result of stress after giving birth. This is due to their susceptibility to their living environment, necessitating a great deal of attention and care. Molly women often experience stress during pregnancy because their living environment changes dramatically. When a mother is agitated, she becomes more vulnerable to ailments such as Dropsy sickness, fin rot, and so on.

molly stress

Typically, Molly fish die after giving birth because their mothers are anxious owing to overfeeding, a lack of oxygen in the tank, and other factors.

Lack of Care During Pregnancy

Molly fish die after giving birth owing to a lack of sufficient prenatal care. To keep healthy, mothers demand a lot of attention and specific meal varieties. These fish die after giving birth if their living area is dirty, if Molly’s mother’s nutrient intake falls, or if contaminants in the water increase.

Because Molly fish are vulnerable during pregnancy. Molly fish die after giving birth because Molly women require special nutrition and care to stay healthy while pregnant.

Molly-mother needs a lot of attention to keep healthy. Molly fish owners must respond quickly if their fish begin to demonstrate strange behavior.

Diseases or Infections

Some fish are simply weaker than others. They have anomalies and deformities that exacerbate pregnancy complications. These complications, such as fry being caught in the delivery canal, can lead to death after birth. You have no control over inherited defects.

Pre-existing ailments will also make it difficult, if not impossible, for a female molly to handle the pressure of giving birth. Diseases like fin rot and flukes, after all, weaken the fish, forcing them to lie listlessly at the bottom or hover in place.  This is due to the diseased fish’s inability to move. After giving birth, a molly fish in this condition is unlikely to survive and thrive.

You can read this post: Why is My Pregnant Molly Hiding? 

How to Keep Mollies from Dying after Giving Birth?

A Molly will frequently mate throughout her life and is capable of laying up to 100 eggs in a single coupling. This means that your female Molly may pass away very shortly after giving birth if you don’t take adequate care of them, which is unfortunate.

Help with your fish’s Delivery

It’s not always possible to have a stress-free delivery. Making the fish comfortable, though, can simplify and make the process run more smoothly. Provide the molly with a location to hide so that it can give birth without being concerned about attackers.

The addition of several plants will give the fish a variety of hiding spots, which is one possibility. Despite the risks, you ought to think about employing a breeding tank, particularly if the fish are kept in a community tank.

Help with your fish’s Delivery

I also advise removing any and all distractions to speed up the process. Place the tank if possible away from busy areas. Additionally, you ought to avoid the area as much as you can while spawning. The birthing process might be delayed by your presence.

Prevention and Treatment of Diseases

A filthy, neglected tank is the source of numerous diseases and infections. Enhancing the tank’s environment will weaken the impact of different diseases while also boosting the molly’s immune system’s ability to defend itself. For this reason, you ought to keep the tank as spotless as you can. Eliminate uneaten food and decomposing organic waste, including fish and plants that have died.

Prevention and Treatment of fish Diseases

Don’t forget to provide a balanced diet for your mollies. They consume both plants and animals because they are omnivores. You shouldn’t feed them too little or too much. Bloodworms, brine shrimp, lettuce, and zucchini are common components of a healthy diet, in addition to flakes and pellets. That will maintain the stability of your molly fish and keep it healthy enough to fend off illnesses.

Lessening Male Aggression

Add a few more female fish to the aquarium if you don’t want to move your molly fish to a separate tank to keep it away from the male fish’s attention. The male mollies will be distracted by this.

To give the female fish more places to hide, you need also to add extra plants and decorations. Add a partition to the aquarium if the male fish’s hostility won’t stop. This will prevent the molly males from approaching the fish females. 

The Bottom Line on Why Do Mollies Die After Giving Birth?

Stress is the leading factor in molly fish pregnancy deaths. When the strain is too strong, it is doubtful that female mollies will survive after spawning. For example, when the birth process takes too long or happens too frequently. Important contributing aspects to this phenomenon include the water quality and the other tank mates.

Keep the ideal circumstances in place to stop post-delivery death in female mollies. Start with a breeding tank and move the pregnant molly as delicately as you can. That will discourage hostile fish, such as male mollies.

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