Skip to Content

How Much To Feed Your Molly Fish: A Simple Trick

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 and wonder how much you should feed them – you have come to the right place. I personally asked this question myself a few years back.

Molly fish are quite hardy fish, however, it is still important to feed them properly to prolong their lifespan and ensure proper health and breeding.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

How Much Should I Feed My Molly Fish?

Generally, a molly fish should be provided with a moderate amount of food that it can fully consume within 2-5 minutes, and this should be done once or twice daily.

Overfeeding can induce health complications and contaminate the tank. Let’s delve deeper into these guidelines:

  • Emphasizing Quality: Molly fish thrive on a diet abundant in fiber, veggies, and certain proteins. As such, offer them top-quality flakes, pellets, or live food they can readily consume within the suggested time.
  • Avoidance of Overfeeding: Feeding your molly fish excessively can instigate health problems such as obesity and trigger disease development. Always make sure the food is eaten up within the provided timeframe.
  • Importance of Cleanliness: Food that remains uneaten can dirty the tank, resulting in a decline in water quality. This could potentially generate a harmful environment for your molly fish.
  • Considering Size: The quantity of food given can vary based on the size of your molly fish. Larger fish will need more sustenance compared to their smaller counterparts.
  • Making Adjustments: Keep a close eye on your molly fish’s behavior and overall health. If they appear sluggish or show signs of illness, modify the feeding amount or the frequency as needed.

Also Read: How To Feed Molly Fish

How Often Should I Feed Molly Fish?

As a rule of thumb, molly fish should be fed once or twice daily. Due to their small stomach sizes, they require regular feeding but in moderation.

Here is what you should know:

  • Limited Stomach Capacity: Given the small stomachs of molly fish, they can’t process large volumes of food at once, making regular, small meals more fitting.
  • Indicators of Hunger: Molly fish often swim to the tank’s surface when they’re hungry. Use this behavior as a cue to identify feeding times.
  • Established Feeding Schedule: While molly fish can be fed at any hour, maintaining a consistent feeding schedule can contribute to their overall health and wellness.

What Is The Feeding Frequency For Molly Fish Of Different Ages?

For molly fish, feeding frequency changes with age; young fish need more frequent feeding than adults, often 3-4 times a day.

Here’s why the frequency changes:

  • Young Molly Fish: Juvenile molly fish are growing and need more nutrients, so they require frequent feedings.
  • Adult Molly Fish: Adult molly fish can be fed less frequently, usually once or twice a day, due to their slower metabolism.
  • Aging Molly Fish: Older molly fish may require adjustments to their diet and feeding frequency based on their health and activity level.

How Does Water Temperature Affect The Feeding Frequency Of Molly Fish?

Higher water temperatures increase the metabolism of molly fish, requiring more frequent feeding, while colder temperatures slow down their metabolism.

Here’s how temperature impacts feeding frequency:

  • Warm Water: In warmer water, the metabolism of molly fish increases, leading to an increased appetite and the need for more food.
  • Cold Water: In colder water, molly fish’s metabolism slows down, reducing their appetite and the need for frequent feeding.
  • Monitoring Temperature: Constant monitoring of the tank’s temperature is crucial to adjust the feeding frequency of your molly fish accordingly.

How Does Breeding Impact The Feeding Schedule Of Molly Fish?

Breeding molly fish require more nutrients, hence may need a slight increase in the quantity and frequency of feeding, including a diet high in protein.

Let’s explore how breeding impacts feeding:

  • Increased Nutritional Needs: Breeding molly fish require additional nutrients, hence might need more food or more frequent feedings.
  • Protein-Rich Diet: A diet rich in protein is essential during breeding, hence consider adding more protein sources to their food.
  • After Breeding Care: Post-breeding, monitor the molly fish and adjust feeding based on their health and behavior.

What Is The Recommended Feeding Frequency For Molly Fish In Crowded Tanks?

In crowded tanks, molly fish should still be fed once or twice a day, but care should be taken to ensure all fish get their share of food.

Let’s understand the specifics of feeding in crowded tanks:

  • Equal Distribution: Ensure all molly fish get their fair share of food. You might need to distribute food in different parts of the tank.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Overcrowding can lead to competition for food and stress among molly fish. Consider the size of the tank and the number of fish it can comfortably support.
  • Monitor Health: In crowded tanks, monitoring the health of your molly fish becomes more critical. Adjust feeding frequency or quantity based on their health and behavior.

Also Read: How Often To Feed Molly Fish

What Are The Risks Of Overfeeding Molly Fish?

Feeding molly fish excessively can precipitate several adverse effects, such as obesity, illness, degradation of water quality, and potentially even death.

It’s imperative to feed them in suitable portions. Let’s examine why avoiding overfeeding is important:

  • Risk of Obesity: Overfeeding can induce obesity in molly fish, spawning health problems and shortening their life expectancy.
  • Disease Susceptibility: Too much food can cause digestive complications, rendering molly fish more prone to illnesses like swim bladder disease.
  • Degraded Water Quality: Food that remains uneaten and decomposes in the tank can impair water quality, harming the overall health of molly fish.
  • Enhanced Waste Production: Excessive eating amplifies waste production, adding to water contamination and fostering conditions favorable for detrimental bacteria.
  • Higher Mortality: These issues combined can escalate mortality rates among molly fish, highlighting the seriousness of overfeeding.

How Long Can Molly Fish Survive Without Food?

Molly fish can typically endure a period of up to one week without food, although it is advisable to avoid prolonged periods of fasting and not exceed a few days without feeding them.

Here’s what to consider in these scenarios:

  • Starvation: Molly fish can survive without food for a while due to their ability to utilize stored energy, but starvation can lead to weakened immunity and health problems.
  • Temporary Absence: If you’re away for a few days, your molly fish should be fine without feeding, but it’s not ideal for long periods.
  • Automatic Feeders: If you’re gone for an extended period, consider using automatic fish feeders to keep your molly fish fed. My recommendation: Petbank Automatic Fish Feeder (link to Amazon).

Do Male Or Female Molly Fish Eat More?

Male and female molly fish exhibit similar food intake patterns, and therefore, both genders should be fed according to their size and activity levels, without any notable distinction.

Consider these points about their eating habits:

  • Size and Activity: The size and activity level of the molly fish, rather than gender, influences how much they eat. Larger, more active fish will require more food.
  • Breeding Females: Females that are breeding may require more nutrients and hence might consume more food.
  • Monitor Individually: Each molly fish may have unique dietary needs. Monitor each fish’s behavior and adjust feeding accordingly.


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

  • Molly fish should be fed moderate amounts of food that can be consumed within 2-5 minutes, once or twice daily, to prevent overfeeding and related complications.
  • Overfeeding molly fish can lead to obesity, diseases, poor water quality, waste production, and increased mortality rates.
  • Molly fish can survive for about a week without food, but extended periods of fasting should be avoided to maintain their immunity and overall health.
  • Feeding frequency for molly fish varies with age, with young fish requiring more frequent meals and adults needing feeding once or twice a day.
  • There is no significant difference between male and female molly fish in terms of food intake; both genders should be fed based on size and activity levels.