When Can You Start Breeding Molly Fish? Tips For Breeding Them!

Molly fish are an excellent fish for beginners. They have a beautiful bodies with vibrant colors. They are easy to breed and can thrive well even in minimum tank conditions. So, many aquarists are now more interested in breeding and keeping this fish. If you too want to breed your fish, then the first question pops up in your mind is- When can you start breeding Molly fish.

Molly fish will reach sexual maturity at around six months of age. But it is not good to breed them until they get at least a size of two inches. Breeding Mollis smaller than two inches can result in an extremely high mortality rate for the fry (baby Molly’s). Moreover, the type of Molly you have and your goals also influence the time to start breeding. For example, if you want many offspring,  it’s best to breed at least two males with three females.

In this post, I will try to share my knowledge gathered from various Molly fish breeding forums. I hope this post will serve as a Molly fish breeder’s guide and help answer the question, when can you start breeding Molly fish?

What Type Fish Is Molly Fish?

Molly fish are freshwater aquarium fish. They belong to the large family of Poecilidae and live in Central America, South America, Caribbean Islands, U.S., Canada, Asia & Africa. These fish thrive best when provided with an environment that resembles natural habitats so they can reproduce quickly.

Molly fish are beautiful fish with long, round bodies which are dark in color. They can grow up to four inches long and have vibrant shades of orange or pink with black spots on their body. Usually, these fish are one of the hardiest species available for aquarium lovers to keep as pets.

What is Molly Fish Breeding?

Breeding Molly fish involves collecting some of the male Molly fish’s sperm for artificial fertilization. First, you can collect the sperms from just spawned (within 24 hours) live catch at an aquarium shop. Then, transfer it to a separate aquarium for raising the fry.

Molly fish will not breed in a community tank. Breeding Mollies requires at least males. Hence, it would be best to have a separate tank with suitable plants, vegetation, and space to prevent the males from fighting. This will ensure the safe and successful breeding of fish.

Breeding Process In Molly Fish

Molly Fish needs to find a mate within the same tank. Males build bubble nests that act as spawning sites for Molly Fishes eggs after mating has occurred. The male will defend his territory and chase off other males who get too close while trying to fertilize the eggs of Molly fishes. Molly fish will lay between 40 to 100 eggs. If conditions are right, the Molly fish will breed once a month.

Molly fish species usually breed by two processes laying eggs and giving life-birth.

Egg Laying Molly Fish

Molly Fish lays eggs in a bubble nest. Therefore, Molly fish will need to find a mate from the same tank when laying eggs. They usually spawn once every two weeks, and they can be fed brine shrimp or blood worms after spawning has occurred. This fish will usually lay an egg in conditions where the water temperature is between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius.

You can breed Molly fish breed all year round as long as there is a mate within its tank. Otherwise, it will lay eggs, but there will be no males to fertilize them. Some species of Molly fish that lay eggs are Molly fish (Poecilia sphenops), Molly Fish (Poecilia latipinna)

Life-Bearing Molly Fish

Molly fish give live birth by dropping their young into the water, where they will live off of their egg sack for a day or two before becoming free-swimming. They usually breed once every month, and they can be fed brine shrimp or blood worms after spawning has occurred.

Molly fish species that give live births include Molly Fish (Poecilia sphenops), Molly Fish (Poecilia latipinna)

How Long Does It Take For Molly Fish Eggs To Hatch?

Molly fish can have their first spawn after being in an aquarium for about three months. But they cannot reproduce until they are at least six months old. Their eggs will hatch within three days in water that is at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Molly fish fry is too small to eat and must be feed infusoria or rotifers for the first few weeks until they can grow more extensive enough to eat baby brine shrimp. Molly fish fry that is born in colder water will take longer to hatch.

You can save Mollies’ diploid eggs for up to two years before they lose their ability to reproduce hybrid fish or cross-breeding, then it is best not to keep the eggs in the tank containing other species of Molly. Likewise, you should not keep Molly fish Eggs.

When Can You Start Breeding Molly Fish?

Molly Fishes typically reach sexual maturity between six months to one year, depending on Molly’s species, size, and age. Molly fish reaching sexual maturity in a year is a long-term investment in the aquarium hobby business where the breeders use the fish for breeding purposes. So, you can start breeding Molly fish after they mature.

If you would like to start breeding Molly Fishes as soon as possible, it will require exemplary dedication from this point on regarding your tank maintenance routine. However, Molly females can spawn roughly every two months once they reach sexual maturity. Thus, it would be if you plan accordingly. 

What Does Molly Fish Need To Breed?

Usually, Molly fish are easy-going fish and do not require much to breed. But some things that are necessary for successful breeding are:

Separate Breeding Tank

Molly fish can breed very quickly if they are in a separate tank. These fish only need to be together for mating, so separating them during pregnancy and after pups is necessary. They will preferably breed in the tank they were born in. So, if you want to produce more Molly fish, it is important to use different breeding tanks.

Plenty Of Space

Molly fish will not breed in a too-small tank. These fish should have at least 30 gallons of water to live comfortably and can even live in an aquarium as big as 100 gallons.


Molly fish need a strong filter to ensure that the water quality stays up and the tank remains clean. These fish will not breed if they feel stressed, so keeping them in unclean water is easy to prevent breeding. The stronger your filtration system, the better chance Molly fish have at breeding successfully. Also, Molly fish are susceptible to ammonia, nitrites, and elevated amounts of nitrates. Therefore Molly Fishtank needs a filter that can work hard.

Plenty Of Plants

Molly fish need plants in their breeding habitat because they like to build nests out of plant matter. Therefore, they will use any floating or even large gravel. But the best kind of Molly Fish plants for breeding are anacharis, water sprite, and Cabomba.

A Good Food Supply

Molly fish need a good food supply when breeding. They are usually omnivorous, but they prefer plant matter over animal protein during the Molly fish breeding season. Molly Fish likes to eat bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and tubifex worms – all of these are good Molly fish foods.

A Healthy Population Of Other Molly Fish

If you want your Molly’s to breed, you should make sure that there is plenty of other Molly fish in the tank. Male mollies need a lot of other Molly fish to breed, so having at least six other Molly Fish is necessary.

How To Get Molly’s To Breed?

Breeding Molly fish is not difficult, but it does take careful preparation before you try to breed Molly fish. This preparation includes setting a good tank with plenty of hiding places and rocks for Molly fish to build their nests in. In addition, it would be best to make sure that the tankmates and Mollies bond well and do not fight.

First Step For Breeding Molly Fish

Once your Molly fish are ready to breed, you should start setting up a separate breeding tank. Then, your Molly fish can lay their eggs without any fear of injuries in the tank.

A ten-gallon is usually big enough for this purpose. But keep in mind that Molly Fish likes to swim in schools of about five Mollies at a time. So, it would be best if you prepared yourself to handle the tank because there are higher chances that their tank will overcrowd soon.

Second Step For Breeding Molly Fish

When Molly fish are ready to breed, they usually show their readiness by chasing each other around and showing bright red bellies. This means it’s time to introduce them into the breeding tank. Molly fish usually breed in the morning.

You can finally tell that Mollies finished laying eggs when they eat them or cover them with plants and sand.

Third Step For Breeding Molly Fish

Once Molly fish lay their eggs, remove Molly pair from Molly Breeding tank, so they do not eat any of the eggs – which is kind of ironic considering how much Molly Fish love to eat egg fish. Molly fish eggs hatch in about two days, and Molly fry can be fed infusoria for the first couple of weeks – after which they will usually start eating flake food if you provide it to them using a feeding stick or by hand.

Fourth Step For Breeding Molly Fish

Once Molly fish is big enough, they will not consider Molly fry a tasty snack. After attaining certain age and size, these fish will be more selective in their diet. Thus, you can return them to their tank with their parents.

Fifth Step For Breeding Molly Fish

The next step in breeding Molly Fish is simply keeping an eye on the water quality. You also should make sure that all of your Mollies are healthy. In addition to this, it is necessary to remove dead or decaying plants before they rot and cloud up your tank. If everything goes right, Molly fish will continue to breed every couple of months.

Some FAQs

Can You Breed Molly Fish With Other Fish?

Yes, Molly fish will breed with other Molly Fish or Live Bearing Tropical Fish. Such as Platies, Guppies, and Swordtails. Molly fish can also breed with different Live Bearing Tropical Fish that are not in the same genus or species family as Molly Fish.

Can Molly Fish Breed With Goldfish?

No, Molly fish cannot breed with goldfish because they are from different Genus (Gasteropelecus versus Carassius). Molly Fish is also in the same family as Tetras.

What Kind Of Water Should Molly Fish Be In?

Molly fish require a water temperature around 72 degrees Fahrenheit and pH levels between seven and eight-point five. They also prefer a hardy environment that does not have sharp rocks, gravels, or currents in their tank.

Why Are Molly Fish Popular?

Molly fish are popular because they can live up to three years, sometimes four or five if well taken care of. They also do not require much maintenance. Their tank only needs an average weekly cleaning instead of daily cleanings like other types of tropical fish. Molly fish are also peaceful creatures that are very entertaining to watch.

Molly Fish Food & Feeding Schedule?

A Molly fish eats zooplankton, worms, and crustaceans in the wild habitat. They also eat commercial tropical fish food for pets and other Molly fish or Live Bearing Tropical Fish available at your local pet store.

Molly fish only require feeding once or twice a day. They have extraordinary jumping abilities. Thus, they need an aquarium with at least one gallon of water per Molly Fish.


In conclusion, Molly fish can breed at any age so long as they are healthy and active. Molly fish will get less fertile with age.  However, they can still successfully breed them if you meet their breeding requirement. Thus, they make great pets for all ages.

Hopefully, this post was informative enough to guide you through Molly Fish breeding and when to start it. Molly fish are a great addition to any family and can live for over six years if cared for correctly.

Thank you for reading, and good luck, Molly fish breeding!