Most freshwater fish are often omnivorous, and there’s a good chance that they eat both meat and plants. People have found this evidence in the wild, but it’s hard to know if they do the same in the aquarium. And mollies are among the most popular fish among aquarists, leaving the owners to question what to feed molly fish. Are Molly Fish Omnivorous?
Molly Fish are omnivorous freshwater fish that feed on plants and animals. Your fish will eat anything they can find in the tank that fits their mouth. You will often find them enjoying all the veggies and meaty diet you provide them and the algae present in the tank.
Do many people want to learn more about Are Molly Fish Omnivorous? Then, this post will be the ultimate guide to resolving all queries.
What Is Omnivorous?
The term “omnivore” comes from the Latin word for all and eating. So, omnivores’ animals eat both plants and other organisms, while those with a more strict diet don’t qualify as omnivores.
And the omnivore diet is a type of eating pattern that includes meat, vegetables, and other edible plant material.
Are Molly Fish Omnivorous?
Yes, Molly fish are omnivorous as they eat both vegetables and meat. Therefore, you can feed them a variety of meats and vegetables to ensure a well-balanced diet.
Your Molly fish’s diet needs to include protein from eating meat or other sources and the fibers they get from a vegetable diet.
It would help if you fed these fish both kinds of diet on alternate days. The change in the diet and variety of food types will make these molly fish happy and look forward to eating part of the day. It is up to you what type of vegetables and meaty diet and how often to feed your Molly fish.
You can feed them vegetables once every other day as an extra treat. However, it’s not good to replace any protein in their diet.
Therefore, the number of vegetables offered should be a small pinch per day to prevent unbalancing the diet. They can obtain nourishment from vegetables or meat sources; therefore, molly fish are omnivorous creatures.
Are All Species Of Molly Fish Omnivorous?
Most species of Molly thrive best on an omnivorous diet with varying percentages of meat depending on their age and size.
Smaller fish that are feeder fish have a diet of mostly vegetables. At the same time, you can give more meat to larger species.
The reasons for this vary from one species to the next. Still, most owners believe that while some may not need meat due to what they consume naturally (algae), others require a higher protein content than what vegetables can provide.
In general, most species of mollies are omnivorous and will appreciate both meaty foods and vegetable-based food. So feed them whatever you feel their diet suits best.
What Can You Feed Molly Fish?
Molly Fish can eat both plants and meat. You’ll want to feed them a diet that primarily contains the food they would naturally eat in the wild, mostly plants with some animals as supplements if needed for nutrition.
Veggie Diet For Molly Fish
A veggie diet consists mainly of live or frozen marine and freshwater plants. Some veggies that are good for Molly fish are:
- Algae (green, red, and brown)
- Kelp or seaweed in small pieces
- Alfalfa pellets
- Zucchini slices are cut into one-inch segments about three-quarters of an inch thick; then, freeze these to avoid rotting.
- Broccoli slices are cut into one-inch segments about three-quarters of an inch thick; then, freeze these to avoid rotting.
Meaty Diet For Molly Fish
A meaty diet consists mainly of meats that are high in protein. Some examples are:
- Micro worms
- Vinegar Eels
- Beef Heart
Commercial Foods Best For Molly Fish
A commercial diet is a mix of both plants and meat. If you are new to fish keeping and lack time to prepare a proper diet, this is the way to go. Some examples of commercial foods are:
- Hikari Algae Wafers
- New Life Spectrum Cichlid Flakes
- Veggie Mealworms or other worms in small pieces
- Marine Blend Seaweed Krill Krumbles Frozen Spirulina
- Hikari Brine Shrimp
- Spirulina Algae Wafers
- TetraMin Plus
However, every fish has a unique taste, and all the fish may not like the same food. So, always choose the commercial food that Molly enjoys eating. If you notice that your Molly isn’t eating, be sure to try different things or consult a fish vet.
What Are The Benefits Of Vegetables To Molly Fish?
Molly fish that eat a diet primarily consisting of vegetables or plants have the following benefits:
- A more balanced diet with no deficiency in any macro and micronutrients. This means they are less likely to get diseases from an imbalance like scombroid, which occurs due to an excess of protein.
- A more natural diet means less likelihood for a fish to experience health problems from artificially produced food sources like commercial pellets or frozen foods. However, many artificial ingredients can cause health issues such as obesity and cancer over time, so it’s best to start them off with the least processed food possible when they are young.
- Fish that eat a diet of vegetables are more likely to have higher levels of vitamin C. Their skin will be healthier, and they’ll produce less waste because the food is easier for their digestive tract to break down.
- An increased lifespan with better health in general- Molly fish can live up to 3 to 5 years on a predominantly vegetable diet as well but are quite weaker without a proper balanced diet.
What Are The Benefits Of Meat To Molly Fish?
Molly fish need a balance of protein and fat for proper development. Protein is the building block for lean muscle tissue, and it also aids in digestion. Besides this, some benefits of a meaty diet in molly fish are:
- Allows for a higher level of fat-soluble vitamins.
- Increases the levels of protein-digesting enzymes.
- Meat prevents or reduces fish malformations like scoliosis and other bone diseases in Molly Fish.
- It keeps their gills moist by preventing bacterial overgrowth.
- It helps maintain a proper pH balance and good bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus.
- Good protein content to help the molly fish grow properly.
- Contains nutrients needed for proper development and growth, such as calcium.
Do Molly Fish Eat Their Babies?
It is not uncommon for Molly fish to eat their babies. That means that if you have a large population of Molly’s, they will eat the young ones. This is an issue in tanks with little hiding places because it does seem like there are more hatchlings than there should be.
The best way to prevent this is by adding some plants into the tank and not overfeeding your Molly. This will have them looking for food outside instead of eating their young ones. It may also help if you add a little more hiding places in such tanks to go off on their own and find food.
How Much Should You Feed A Molly Fish?
Feeding a Molly fish is relatively easy. The first thing you need to do is find out how big your Molly Fish might be and then decide on the appropriate feeding routine.
You can also feed them live food to ensure they get enough variety in their diet, as Mollies are not that picky about their food type. However, do not let molly eat too much, resulting in overfeeding and obesity.
Below is a chart that will help you figure out how much to feed your Molly fish:
Baby Molly: twice per day with worms, brine shrimp, or similar sized live foods that they can finish within 2 minutes or feed them food equal to the size of their eyes.
Adult Mollies: once per day with worms, brine shrimp, or similar sized live foods similar to the size of their eyes or that they can eat within 2 minutes;
Old Mollies: can often go up to four days without food in between feedings, but it is best to feed them once a day and provide them both a meaty and veggies diet on alternate days. Please do not feed them anymore than the size of their eyes or what they can finish in 2 minutes.
You first need to determine how big and old your Molly Fish is and then decide on the appropriate feeding routine.
When Should You Feed A Molly Fish?
Feeding your fish is one of the most important things you can do to keep them healthy and happy. It may be even more important than cleaning their tank- as a dirty tank can lead to illness while overfeeding will kill them.
Molly fish should have food often and in small amounts. The best way to do this is by feeding them three times a day, but be sure not to give too much at once, or they may suffer from constipation.
If you feed your Molly fish every other day, make smaller food portions each time instead of giving one large portion.
Moreover, the best time to feed a Molly fish is morning. This will give them enough time to digest their food before bedtime, which helps with waste and prevents constipation.
If you’re feeding your mollies a mostly vegetable diet, they’ll need about four times as many veggies per day as if you were feeding them meat and vegetables.
On the other hand, if you feed Molly fish just one meal of meat or vice versa at the end of the week, it’s probably not going to do much harm because their digestive systems are familiar with a varied diet.
Do Mollies Eat Their Poop?
Molly fish can eat their own poop, but it is not good. If you cannot feed your Molly, then feeding them the feces may be necessary for them to survive. However, if they do this too often, they will develop a bad taste and possibly become sick with intestinal parasites or other diseases due to food poisoning.
Yes, Molly fish eat algae as these fish are omnivores and are not picky about their food. Therefore, they can survive off of the most basic forms of sustenance.
The diet for a Molly is up to them and their owner’s preferences. Still, you should note that if there aren’t enough algae in the tank, they will have no choice but to start eating other things like fruit or vegetables; however, they can survive off of algae.
While the occasional algal cell may attach to their gills or on their skin for them to nibble on, they will not purposely go out to find it.
Now, getting to the point, you cannot depend on algal growth or diet for molly fish to attain all its growth stages.
Algae is only a snack they nibble on as it is right there in front of them; it doesn’t give them all the nutrition for growth.
Feed them proper food, and do not expect molly fish will naturally help you get rid of algae present in the tank.
Do Mollies Eat Other Fish?
Molly Fish are omnivores meaning that they will eat both plant and animal matter. As long as the fish fits in their mouth, molly fish will eat those fish without hesitation. So, they eat other fish, but they also have a vegetarian side, making them omnivores.
Mimicking their natural habitat in the wild is best for your Molly fish, and you should feed it both vegetables and a meaty diet to keep your other fish safe in the tank. You can even give it some commercial foods as long as it is good for the fish.
Shrimp, bloodworms, and krill pellets are a few examples of commercial foods you can give to Molly Fish, and they will enjoy them.
It’s not usually necessary to feed your Molly Fish with other fish because there are plenty of vegetable sources in their diet already, such as cucumbers or lettuce.
It entirely depends on the age of molly fish you have. Adult molly fish can handle hunger a little longer than molly fry. Hence, the chances of death to occur are higher in the babies.
Your adult molly fish live without food for nearly two weeks and sometimes even more. But molly fish fry will start to have a hard time after the 2nd day and will die on the third.
But this doesn’t give you the window to experiment or go on vacation without feeding your fish. Just because they can sustain hunger for so long doesn’t mean it won’t affect them.
Your mollies will suffer a lot during that period and even after getting food to eat. This is because their gut, stomach, liver, and body will start to give up before realizing it.
In conclusion, your molly fish is omnivorous and will eat anything you drop in the tank. In the wild, many species of Molly will consume plant matter (algae) and invertebrates such as insects or worms. In captivity, you can feed most Mollies commercial foods with live plants like lettuce provide essential vitamins.
But it is up to you to decide what is best and most sustainable for your Molly. I hope this article was helpful to you in determining what is best for your Molly.
Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoyed reading. You can now make an informed decision as well.