Are Mollies Live-bearers?

If you are wondering if your mollies are live-bearers or not, this article is the right answer to your question. Research has been carried out to help suit your curiosity.

So, are Molly’s livebearers? Mollies are live-bearing tropical fish that are quite easy to breed. However, many aquarists do not have difficulty in breeding mollies, they rather find it difficult to stop them from breeding.

Livebearers are of greater advantage to aquarists because the newborn fish is usually larger than a newly-hatched young.

What Are Livebearers?

Livebearers are aquarium fish that retain eggs in their body and give birth to their fry. In clearer terms, they don’t lay or hatch eggs, they rather give birth to their young lives. Moreover, there are several aquarium fish that are livebearers, these include Mollies, Guppies, Swordtails, and Platies.

Moreover, livebearers fry is easy to care for, and they have a lower rate of mortality. However, some livebearers are unusual in their parental care. Such as pipe fish and seahorses. Such that, the males are those who care for their fry.

Moreover, mollies are livebearers that are not picky about food, because they eat many available fish foods, such as live foods, flakes, freeze-dried foods, and frozen foods.

Feeding Molly fish

Mollies are not difficult to feed. However, there are few tips you need to consider in feeding them. Also, before stating these tips, you need to bear in mind that, a varied diet that consists mainly of flakes is sufficient for mollies. However, you can supplement it with freeze-dried foods or live foods. Some feeding tips are;

  • Vegetable pellets and fast-sinking protein. As this will enable them to be picky in their diet.
  • You can also serve vegetable pellets and slow-sinking protein on the metal surface to chase off invaders.
  • Also, you can pack some flake food rich in vitamin, that promote growth, immune system, and improve color.
  • You should ensure not to overfeed the fish, but rather feed them little at a time. Popularly, it is widely said that the size of a molly fish tummy is the same as the size of one of its eyes. Moreover, you should feed them slowly, and see to it that they have finished a present meal before serving them more.

How Many Babies Do Mollies Have?

Generally, female mollies give birth to a large number of fry at the same time. Also, for the first time, they can produce at least a dozen fry, which is little when compared to many other females.

Moreover, as she gets pregnant many times again, the number of fry continues to increase in number. Although, some prolific females release up to 80 fries or more per time.

Also, some females release their fry in two batches. As some give birth to the remaining fry second half a week after the first batch was released.

Do Mollies Beat Their Babies?

If adult mollies are present in the same tank as the babies, they can eat up their fry. Usually, the fry is normally trapped under gravel. However, there is a successful way to go about keeping your fry alive.

Also, you should provide a lot of covers for them in the aquarium tank. Such as mini jars/pots on the substrate, a floating plant, a densely planted area or stacked flat marbles.

However, this is to ensure that the fry survives until adulthood. That is, until they are large enough to fit into the adult molly mouth.

Another step you can take to prevent adult mollies from feeding on their fry is separating a pregnant female to a different aquarium tank until she gives birth. However, isolating pregnant females tend to stress them.

How Do I Know If My Molly Fish Is Pregnant?

A female molly who is pregnant will appear distended, and boxy in shape. Also, research has shown that some female molly loose appetite before one or two days of delivery.

Moreover, some of them also stay in isolation from other mollies present in the same tank. However, this quiet behavior of them often makes panic owners diagnose a disease for their fish.

Unlike most fish owners, you don’t have to panic about this. Because many livebearers exhibit this attitude while they are pregnant, and they usually recover after giving birth.

Moreover, another sign you will want to watch out for is the colored spot located at your female molly abdomen.

Also, for a transparent fish, it is easier to distinguish the gravid spot on her abdomen. Meanwhile, this spot gets darker as she gets closer to delivery, and the spot position will be closer to her cloaca.

How Long Are Molly Fish Pregnant for?

Sometimes, female mollies tend to store up sperm inside them without allowing it to develop into a fry. Yes, female mollies can do this. Although, this can happen when the fish realizes that her living condition is not suitable for a gestation period, and is also not the right environment to develop a fry.

Moreover, this states the reason why a fish keeper may find out a purchased molly fish is already found with pregnancy a few days after taking it home. Especially when there are no male mollies present in the same tank with it, or the female molly was not tested positive before purchasing her from the fish store.

How Long Does It Take for A Molly to Give Birth?

Molly’s gestation period is four weeks after mating. However, after they give birth to their young, there is still a probability they get pregnant again. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you if your molly fish keeps getting pregnant over again, and appear to have the “permanent pregnancy” situation.

However, you can manage this frequent pregnancy by placing the female molly in a separate tank.

Other Related Questions

There are other related questions that many people have always seem to inquire answers for, concerning mollies. Some of these questions include;

What Are Balloon Mollies?

Balloon mollies are man-made species that exist as a result of selective breeding of molly fish with scoliosis (bent spine). Meanwhile, balloon mollies lifespan is usually short due to the following factors;

  • The compact position of balloon mollies internal organ in comparison to another non-balloon variety.
  • The inefficiency that is often seen in their misshapen causes wear and tear to them during movement, or while swimming.
  • Lastly, they have major difficulties while giving birth.

Do I Need to Add Salt to My Aquarium Water or Not?

A lot of people wonder and ask questions concerning the addition of salt to aquarium water. Moreover, the point of discussion had been if the addition of salt will have a negative effect or not. However, for black and sailfin mollies, they can tolerate a little addition of salt to their water.

Also, the appropriate measure is one tablespoon per gallon size. Moreover, some people have said that salt causes irritation tin he fish skin. Regardless, adding salt can be used in managing certain diseases, such as ich.

But, if you are using salt, you should add aquarium salt to the fish tank, and not marine salt, which has minerals in it, or kitchen salt – this contains nitrium.


Apart from the fact that mollies are livebearers, which makes them a better option for breeding for aquarists, they are also ovoviviparous, i.e. the fry doesn’t have egg stage and does not derive its nutrient from the mother.