Do mollies eat their babies? It’s a common question that hobbyists and new aquarium owners may ask when they see fry swimming around in the tank.
Though it can seem like a good way for an adult fish to regulate population size, there are several reasons why this behavior should be avoided.
In this blog post, we will explore some of these underlying causes and provide five proven tips on preventing mollies from eating their eggs or young fish. Keep reading to learn more!
Do Molly Fish Lay Eggs or Give Birth?
Do Molly Fish Have Babies? Mollies are livebearers. This means that they do not lay eggs, as many other aquarium fish, but instead give birth to fully formed young.
As such, the female can often be seen carrying around a brood of fry in her mouth or belly area before she gives birth. The process resembles that of mammals giving birth.
Do Mollies Eat Their Babies?
Do molly fish eat their babies? Unfortunately, yes, they can. This behavior is rare among livebearers but can occur in times of stress or overpopulation.
Male and female mollies may also eat their fry if they feel threatened or if the breeding tank is overcrowded and resources are scarce.
Reasons Why Do Mollies Eat Their Fry
There are a few different reasons why mollies may eat their eggs or young fry, some of them being:
- Territorial aggression – adult molly fish may mistake the babies for prey and attempt to eat anything that fits into their mouth to protect their territory.
- Overpopulation – if the tank is too small or has too many fish, the adults may think that eating the eggs or young fry will reduce competition for resources.
- Nutrition deficiency – some mollies may consume their eggs or young fry as a source of nutrients, especially in tanks with inadequate nutrition.
- Stress – stressful environments, such as those with low oxygen levels, can lead to mollies eating their fry to reduce population size.
Can Molly Fish Live with Their Babies?
Does Molly Fish Eat Fry? Yes, mollies can live with their fry, though in some cases, it is better to separate them.
If the tank is overpopulated or resources are scarce, mollies may turn on each other and start eating their young as a result of stress and competition for food.
5 Proven Tips To Prevent Molly Fish from Eating Their Babies
1. Provide ample space – ensuring that your tank is large enough for the number of mollies you plan to keep. This helps prevent overpopulation and territorial aggression.
2. Avoid overcrowding – this is closely related to the first tip, but it’s still worth mentioning. Overcrowding can lead to increased stress on the mollies, which may result in them eating their eggs or fry.
3. Feed a balanced diet – ensure your mollies have a balanced diet that includes all the necessary nutrients they need. This will help ensure they don’t turn to their eggs or young fry as a source of nutrition.
4. Reduce stress – try to maintain optimal water conditions in the aquarium to reduce stress on the mollies. This includes keeping the water temperature and pH levels stable and providing adequate oxygenation.
5. Remove fry – if you notice that your adult fish are eating their eggs or young fry, it is best to remove the fry from the tank immediately. They can then be housed in a separate tank until they are large enough to be re-introduced into the main aquarium.
In conclusion, mollies can occasionally eat their young fry under certain circumstances. It’s important to provide ample space and resources in the aquarium, feed a balanced diet, reduce stress, and remove any young fry that may be in danger.
By following these tips, you can help ensure the safety of your molly fish’s offspring!
How Many Babies Do Mollies Have?
How many babies do mollies usually have? Female mollies typically give birth to between 40 and 100 fry mollies, with the average being around 50–70.
The female size can also affect the number of young produced; larger females tend to have more fry mollies than smaller ones.
Additionally, the female’s age can also impact as well; older mollies may make fewer fry.
How Often Do Mollies Have Babies?
Molly fish typically give birth every 4–6 weeks, depending on the conditions in which they are kept.
Keeping the fish tank clean is vital, providing plenty of food and hiding places to encourage healthy reproduction.
Additionally, it’s best to ensure that there is only one male molly per tank; otherwise, the male mollies may harass the female too much, producing fewer young.
The molly’s gestation period is usually around 28 days, though this can vary depending on the tank’s temperature and other environmental factors.
To ensure that female mollies can give birth regularly, it is crucial to provide them with a comfortable environment and plenty of food.
Additionally, separating males from females is wise to avoid excessive breeding.
When breeding aquarium fish, timing is of the utmost importance – if you’re too late to get the gravid female out before eggs are laid, then it’s time to act fast!
Gently scoop up any fry in your fish tank and move them into a different environment, such as a breeding box or netted area.
This ensures they can finish growing safely away from being bullied by their parents or other tank inhabitants.
Molly Fry Survival Rate
The survival rate of molly fry can vary depending on the conditions in which they are kept.
Overall, the survival rate of molly fry is generally quite good, and it is upwards of 50% if they are provided with a suitable environment and plenty of food.
If the tank is well-maintained and resources are plentiful, then it’s likely that most of the young will survive to adulthood.
However, some fry may only make it if there is overcrowding or adequate nutrition. It’s essential to be vigilant and remove any fry that may be in danger, such as those with low oxygen levels.
How Big Are Molly Fish Fry at Birth?
Newborn molly fry is typically around 3-4 mm in size. They are born with fully-formed eyes and fins, but their bodies are still relatively small.
They will gradually grow over several weeks until they reach adulthood. They can measure up to 6–7 cm (2.5–3 in) in length.
It’s essential to provide plenty of hiding spaces and food for the fry to continue growing without any issues.
Regular water changes and maintenance should also be carried out to prevent the fry from becoming stressed or sick.
Once they reach adulthood, mollies can live up to 3–5 years in captivity.
With proper care and maintenance, you can ensure that your molly fish will have a healthy, long-term home in your aquarium!
What to Do with Molly Babies?
What Do You Do When a Molly Fish Has Babies? Once the mollies have given birth, they must take certain precautions to ensure that the young fry is safe and healthy.
It’s best to remove adult fish from the tank if they seem to be harassing or eating their own young fry, as this can put the fry at risk.
If the adults are not harassing or eating their own young, you can leave them in the same tank
but monitor their behavior carefully. If they become aggressive or start eating their eggs/fry, then it’s best to remove them from the tank to protect the young.
When Can I Put Baby Mollies in Tank?
Once the fry is around three weeks old, you can start introducing them back into the main tank. At this point, they should be large enough that they won’t be in danger from any of the other adult fish.
It is essential to ensure that plenty of food is available for them once they are in the tank, as they will need lots of nutrition to continue growing.
Do Baby Molly Fish Need Oxygen?
Like all other fish, baby mollies need access to oxygen to survive and thrive.
Providing them with adequate oxygen can be achieved through an air pump or filter; this will ensure that the water remains well-oxygenated and maintains a healthy environment for the young fry.
It is also essential to check the water parameters regularly and ensure they are within an acceptable range; this will minimize the risk of any dangerous bacteria or parasites entering the tank and harming the fry.
How Do You Keep Mollies from Eating Their Babies?
Mollies can sometimes become overly aggressive and start to eat their eggs or baby fry.
To save molly fry and prevent this from happening, it’s essential to ensure that the tank is not overcrowded and that plenty of food is available for all of the fish.
In this video, you’ll learn more about molly fry, How to save Molly fish babies and how to care for them:
It’s also essential to provide plenty of hiding spaces, such as artificial plants or caves, to protect the fry from potential predators.
How to Care for Molly Fish Babies?
How to care for molly fish fry? It’s essential to provide them with a nutritious diet. To ensure that the fry is healthy and safe,
What Do Molly Fry Eat? mollies fry eat Live or frozen foods, such as baby brine shrimp or daphnia, which are excellent sources of nutrition for the fry; make sure only to feed small amounts at a time so that they do not become overwhelmed.
It is also essential to perform regular water changes to keep the tank clean and free from any harmful bacteria or parasites.
Feel free to check my guide on pregnant molly fish: “Molly Fish Pregnancy: Overall Care Guide & (5 Breeding Tips).”
Commonly Asked Questions About Do Mother Fish Eat Their Babies (FAQ)
Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?
No, guppies generally do not eat their eggs or young fry. However, they may become more aggressive and eat their eggs/fry if the tank is overcrowded.
Do Mollies Eat Guppies?
No, mollies generally do not eat guppies; however, if the tank is overcrowded, they can become aggressive and start eating other fish.
Do Female Fish Eat Their Babies?
Female Molly fish can sometimes become overly aggressive and start to eat their eggs or young fry. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to ensure that the tank is not overcrowded and that plenty of food is available for all of the fish.
What Do Baby Mollies Eat?
Baby mollies can eat various live or frozen foods, such as baby brine shrimp, daphnia, or other small invertebrates.
Do Mollies Eat Shrimp?
Yes, mollies can eat shrimp; however, it is important to ensure that the shrimp are small enough to swallow and not become stuck in their mouths.
Do Platies Eat Their Babies?
No, platies generally do not eat their eggs or young fry. However, they may become more aggressive and eat their eggs/fry if the tank is overcrowded.
Do Mollies Eat Algae?
Yes, mollies can and do eat algae. However, they should be one of many food sources as they need a balanced diet to remain healthy and grow properly.
Do Balloon Mollies Eat Their Babies?
Do balloon belly mollies eat their babies? No, balloon belly mollies generally do not eat their fry. However, they may become more aggressive and eat their eggs/fry if the tank is overcrowded.
Do Black Mollies Eat Their Babies?
No, black mollies generally do not eat their fry. However, they may become more aggressive and eat their eggs/fry if the tank is overcrowded.
How Fast Do Molly Fish Fry Grow?
Molly fish fry can grow at a rate of up to 1mm per day, depending on the tank’s conditions, the quality of food, and the overall health of the fry. It is crucial to provide them with a nutritious diet and plenty of hiding places to promote healthy growth.
So, do mollies eat their babies? If you have adult mollies in your aquarium and are concerned about them eating their babies, don’t worry! By following these five tips on why do mollies eat their young, you can ensure that your mollies will be healthy and won’t become a danger to their offspring. Do you have any other tips for keeping mollies safe and healthy? Let us know in the comments below!
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