How To Feed Molly Fish: The Complete Guide

Disclosure: When you purchase something through my affiliate links, I earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you own molly fish but have no idea how to feed them – you have come to the right place. As I kept asking this myself in the past, I decided to dedicate an entire article to this topic.

Here, I’ll discuss how to properly feed adult, pregnant, and baby molly fish, in a step-by-step approach. You’ll also learn what molly fish usually eat and how often to feed them.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into it.

Also Read: Molly Fish Care Guide

How To Feed Adult Molly Fish

Adult molly fish thrive on a varied diet of both plant-based and protein-based foods. They should be fed 1-2 times daily, ensuring no leftover food after 5 minutes.

Let’s delve into the particulars of feeding adult molly fish:

  • Variety is key: Provide a balanced diet of flake food, frozen food, and live food. For instance, alternate between spirulina flakes, bloodworms, and brine shrimp.
  • Monitor portion sizes: Each feeding session should not exceed what the molly fish can consume in 5 minutes to avoid water contamination.
  • Consider plant matter: Molly fish appreciate plant-based food, including boiled peas and cucumber slices, promoting their overall health.
  • Frequency of feeding: Molly fish should ideally be fed once or twice a day, maintaining a consistent feeding schedule.
  • Avoid overfeeding: Overfeeding molly fish can lead to obesity and other health issues. Be vigilant about their dietary intake.

How To Feed Molly Fish Fry

Feeding molly fish fry requires a diet of microscopic food for the first few weeks, gradually introducing crushed flakes or specialty fry food.

I personally suggest doing that several times a day. Here’s how to optimally feed molly fish fry:

  • Start with infusoria: For the initial days, molly fish fry should be fed infusoria – a form of microscopic aquatic organisms.
  • Introduce crushed flakes: After a few weeks, start introducing crushed flake food or specialized fry food to the molly fish diet.
  • Multiple feedings: Molly fish fry should be fed small amounts multiple times a day, up to 5 times, as they have a high metabolism.
  • Sufficient quantity: Ensure there’s enough food for all the fry, as competition can leave the weaker molly fish fry malnourished.
  • Proper cleanup: Regularly clean the aquarium to remove any uneaten food, preventing water contamination.
Molly fish fry

How To Feed Pregnant Molly Fish

Molly fish during pregnancy need a nutrient-dense diet, high in protein and vitamins to ensure the fry’s development and overall health.

Smaller, more frequent meals are recommended throughout the day. Here’s a comprehensive feeding regimen for expectant molly fish:

  • Nutrient-dense diet: Molly fish in pregnancy require foods high in protein, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms, to aid the development of the fry.
  • Vitamin-enriched food: Opt for foods that are fortified with vitamins, promoting not only the health of the molly fish but also her developing fry.
  • Feeding schedule: It is advised to feed pregnant molly fish smaller portions more frequently – ideally, 2-3 times per day.
  • Prevention of overfeeding: Despite the increased nutritional needs of pregnant molly fish, it’s important to avoid overfeeding as it can cause health complications.
  • Dietary balance: Ensuring a balanced diet, which includes vegetables, contributes to the overall health of the expectant molly fish.

Also Read: Molly Fish Tank Mates

What Do Mollies Eat?

When it comes to feeding molly fish, there is a variety of options you can choose from. Here is a simple table summarizing it:

Food TypeAmountFrequency
Flake FoodEnough to consume in 2-3 minutesTwice daily
Pellet FoodA small pinch (2-3 minutes of consumption)Twice daily
Live FoodAs much as they can eat in 5 minutes1-2 times per week
Freeze-Dried FoodQuantity consumed in 2-3 minutes after rehydrating1-2 times per week
VegetablesSmall pieces (blanched)Once a week

1. Flake Foods

Flake foods are a widespread dietary option for molly fish due to their nutritional content and ease of consumption. Here’s how they benefit a molly fish’s diet:

  • Comprehensive Nutrition: Flake foods are enriched with essential vitamins and nutrients, ensuring a well-rounded diet for molly fish.
  • Simple Consumption: Their size and texture make flake foods a convenient dietary choice, as mollies can easily consume them.
  • Diverse Flakes: Flake food varieties, including spirulina flakes, fulfill molly fish’s requirement for plant-based nutrients.

My recommendation: TetraMin Tropical Flakes (link to Amazon)

2. Pellet Foods

As a molly fish keeper, I often rely on pellet foods because they’re packed with nutrients that are important for the fish’s health and can adapt to various feeding habits.

Here’s why I consider pellets essential:

  • Nutrient-Rich: Pellets, like flakes, are a treasure trove of essential nutrients that maintain the health and energy of my molly fish.
  • All-Inclusive Feeding: Thanks to their sinking nature, pellets cater to both top and bottom feeders, making sure every molly fish gets a fair share.
  • Controlled Feeding: The density of pellets curbs overfeeding, giving a satisfying meal for molly fish.

My recommendation: Tetra Goldfish Variety Pellets (link to Amazon)

3. Freeze-Dried Foods

Freeze-dried foods, especially bloodworms, are a safe and nutritious food option for molly fish. Here’s how they contribute:

  • Safe and Nutritious: The freeze-drying process retains the nutritional value and eliminates potential pathogens, making them safe for molly fish.
  • Protein-Rich: Foods like bloodworms are high in protein, contributing to molly fish growth.
  • Convenient Feeding: These foods are easy to store and handle, simplifying the feeding process.

My recommendation: The Tetra Bloodworms (link to Amazon)

4. Live Food

Providing molly fish with live food offers numerous advantages, including a high protein supply and the emulation of their natural feeding patterns.

Here are the reasons why live food is important for molly fish:

  • Protein Supply: Live foods like daphnia and brine shrimp are high in protein, which is necessary for the growth and vitality of molly fish.
  • Natural Diet Imitation: Providing live food imitates the natural feeding habits of molly fish, boosting their overall well-being.
  • Dietary Diversity: Including live food in their diet helps maintain dietary diversity, which is crucial for the health and interest of molly fish.
  • Immune System Support: The nutritious value of live food helps strengthen the immune system of molly fish, thereby reducing their vulnerability to diseases.

My recommendation: Clscea Aquarium DIY Brine Shrimp Incubator (link to Amazon)

5. Vegetables

The health of molly fish can be significantly boosted by including vegetables in their diet. These plants are rich in fiber and essential nutrients, providing several benefits:

  • Fiber Contribution: Vegetables such as peas and cucumbers are potent fiber sources, facilitating molly fish digestion.
  • Nutrient Provision: The essential nutrients present in vegetables help establish a balanced diet for molly fish.
  • Dietary Diversity: By adding boiled or blanched vegetables to their diet, molly fish can enjoy a variety of food types, enhancing their feeding experience.

Also Read: What Do Molly Fish Eat?

How Much Should Molly Fish Be Fed?

Molly fish should be fed an amount they can consume within a 2-5-minute window.

The precise quantity depends on the size and number of fish; larger or more numerous fish require more food.

Also Read: How Much To Feed Your Molly Fish

What Is The Ideal Feeding Frequency For Molly Fish?

Fish StatusFeeding Frequency
Molly Fry4 to 5 times/day
Adult Mollies1 to 2 times/day
Pregnant Mollies1 to 3 times/day

The optimal feeding frequency for molly fish depends on their age or whether they are pregnant:

  • Molly Fry: Molly fry should receive small amounts of food 4 to 5 times per day to support their high metabolic rate and rapid growth.
  • Adult Mollies: Adult molly fish should be fed 1 to 2 times per day, making sure they consume all the food within a few minutes.
  • Pregnant Mollies: Pregnant mollies should be fed 1 to 3 times a day, with careful monitoring of their intake to avoid overfeeding and related health problems.

Also Read: How Often To Feed Molly Fish

Pregnant molly fish

What Happens If You Overfeed Your Molly Fish?

Overfeeding your molly fish can lead to serious health issues:

  • Obesity in Molly Fish: When molly fish are overfed, they can become obese, which might affect their swimming ability and overall health. This could shorten their lifespan, which is typically up to 5 years.
  • Deteriorating Water Quality: Excess food that isn’t consumed by the molly fish decomposes in the water, increasing the levels of harmful chemicals like ammonia and nitrite.
  • Increased Disease Risk: Overfeeding molly fish can weaken their immune system, making them more susceptible to diseases such as fin rot and ich.

Also Read: Molly Fish Tank Setup


If you are in a rush, here is a brief summary of what I discussed earlier:

  • Adult molly fish require a varied diet of plant-based and protein-based foods, with portion control to avoid overfeeding.
  • Molly fish fry should be fed microscopic food initially, gradually transitioning to crushed flakes or specialized fry food, with multiple feedings per day.
  • Pregnant molly fish need a nutrient-dense diet with smaller, frequent meals and a balanced diet including vegetables.
  • Flake foods offer comprehensive nutrition and easy consumption for molly fish, fulfilling their plant-based nutrient requirements.
  • Pellet foods are nutrient-rich, suitable for both top and bottom feeders, controlling overfeeding and providing a satisfying meal for molly fish.