12 Compatible Molly Fish Tank Mates (With Pictures)

Mollies are unique, hardy fish with peaceful temperaments and are a popular choice for most beginner aquarists.

Mollies are a great fish to start out a freshwater community tank. But how do you determine what fish to pair with mollies?

This guide cover 13 suitable Molly fish tank mates along with a few of their care and housing needs!

12 Compatible Molly Fish Tank Mates

Here are a few of the best tank mates for Mollies:

Guppies

guppies

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Moderately peaceful; varies by individual
  • Tank Requirements: Minimum of 5 gallons
  • Water Requirements: 74-82° F, 6.8-7.8 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 2 years

Guppies are very flashy fish, unique for their bright and varied coloration. Unlike many captive fish species, male guppies are smaller than their female counterparts.

Like mollies, they are small and quick, meaning they will get along well, enjoying friendly competition for food, but they should mostly stay out of each other’s way.

Guppies are similar to tetras and betta fish in appearance. Male guppies are more colorful, growing to a max length of 1.5”, whereas the females are grey and not as flashy but grow larger, about 2.5” in length.

Platys

 

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Requirements: 13+ gallons
  • Water Requirements: 72-78° F, 7.0-8.3 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 3 years

Platys are small, fast, and colorful fish that are friendly and fun to watch. They have fan-shaped tail fins and come in a variety of colors, from black, blue, brown, red, gold, and green. There is even a cool variant of platy that has a unique black pattern on its tail that resembles Mickey Mouse’s head!

These freshwater fish are ideal for beginners and are best suited for 10 gallon tanks. Fortunately, they eat the same food as Mollies, making them even more ideal as tank mates. Platys grow up to be 1.5-2.5” in length. Like guppies, the females are larger than the males.

Danios

zebra danio

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Generally peaceful but may nip fins
  • Tank Requirements: 5+ gallons per danio (best kept in groups of 5-6)
  • Water Requirements: 70-75° F, 7.0-7.8 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 2-3 years

Danios are a hardy schooling fish that comes in many varieties, one of the most well-known being Zebra danios (also known as zebrafish). Danios are slim little fish with forked tails, and most of the varieties have great color and horizontally striped patterning. They’re very fast and prefer to be kept with a few other danios in a community tank.

Interestingly, danios mate for life! This means that if you purchase multiple danios, you might want to prepare for the possibility of baby danios very soon!

Tetras

cardinal tetra

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Requirements: 10+ gallons
  • Water Requirements: 75-78° F, 5.0-7.5 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 8 years

Tetras are a slim little freshwater fish, best known for the neon varieties that add eye-popping color to the tank. They are social like danios and prefer to be kept in schools. They shouldn’t be kept with any fish with long fins as they are known to nip, so even though angelfish, gouramis, or other long finned fish could be good tank mates for mollies, they are not compatible with danios. Some species are more aggressive than others, and they need at least 20 gallon tanks.

Though tetras are omnivores in their natural habitats, they do well on flake food when kept in captivity. However, they would likely appreciate a snack of brine shrimp or bloodworms occasionally. For this reason, they might not be the best tank mates for shrimp.

Gouramis

gourami

  • Care level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Requirements: 10+ gallons for dwarf species, 30+ for larger species
  • Water Requirements: 75-80° F, 6.8.7.8 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 4 years

Gouramis are really special and beloved by both beginning and advanced fish keepers. The dwarf varieties are easiest to find at most pet stores, and they are the most sociable. Larger varieties may be more visually attractive with bright colors and interesting patterns, but they are also more aggressive and may not be as suitable as tank mates as their dwarf counterparts. All varieties of gouramis are hardy fish that will live upwards of 4 years.

Gouramis have an adaptation that makes them especially hardy. Their natural habitats in Asia are shallow waters with very little oxygen. For this reason, they have special organs called labyrinth organs that helps them breathe oxygen at the water’s surface. This adaptation helps them thrive in community aquariums.

Swordtails

swordtail

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Requirements: 15 gallons
  • Water Requirements: 70-82° F, 7.0-8.0 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 3-5 years

Swordtails are a freshwater fish species that are originally from central America, and in their natural habitat come in an olive green color. They are now available in a wider array of colors, most commonly red or orange. They are very hardy fish, and are most identifiable by the long extension on the bottom half of their tail fin. Swordtails are peaceful, active community fish, making them great companions for mollies.

Angelfish

angelfish species

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Generally peaceful, can be aggressive during eating
  • Tank Requirements: 30+ gallons per angelfish
  • Water Requirements: 78-84° F, 6.0-7.5 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 10 years

Angelfish are probably some of the most well-known hobby fish, popular due to their distinctive body shape and color as well as their graceful, hypnotizing movements. Angelfish are native to tributaries of the Amazon River in South America. Their natural habitat includes shallow, slow moving water with vegetation and hanging trees that create shady hiding spots.

The biggest issue that hobbyists often face with angelfish is the tendency for smaller more aggressive fish to nip their fins. This means it is crucial to research the compatibility between angelfish and other fish in the aquarium to make sure that they are all compatible. Angelfish are peaceful, but can become territorial during breeding.

Cichlids (Some Species)

keyhole cichlid
Doronenko [CC BY 3.0]
  • Care level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Known to be territorial and aggressive based on species
  • Tank Requirements: 20+ gallons
  • Water Requirements: 72-82° F, 7.8-8.5 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 10+ years

There are over 1,200 species of cichlids, so this is a very broad category to discuss. Cichlids come in all colors of the rainbow, from solid silver to blue-green spotted to red-mouthed!

Cichlids are native to the waters of Africa and Southern Asia, the majority of the species dwelling in large lakes. They are unique for their mating and breeding activities, which usually involve courting, nest creation, and protection of their young, unlike most other fish species.

Generally speaking, most cichlids species are friendly enough to be compatible with mollies, but to be sure it is important to check on the specific species. Some species that make good Molly fish tank mates are Dwarf Cichlids, Rams, Discus, Keyhole Cichlids, and Severums. 

They need at least a 20-gallon tank, as they can grow up to 8 inches in captivity.

Cichlids may be vegetarian or omnivores in nature, depending on the species, but un captivity they can be fed a combination of flakes, brine shrimp, and cooked chopped spinach.

Endlers

endlers livebearers

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Requirements: 5+ gallons
  • Water Requirements: 78-80° F, 5.0-8.0 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 2-3 years

These fish are not as well-known as some of the others on this list, but they should be! Endlers fish are typically crossbred with guppies and are considered by some to be a species of guppy. The males feature a really unique coloration with black, red, and iridescent blue-green scales. They are a similar size and sociability level as mollies, making them ideal tank mates.

Endlers only grow to reach a length of about 1”, so they should not be kept with tank mates who might prey on them, such as Oscars. Endlers are omnivorous and need a diet that provides algae and plant matter as well as brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Minnows

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Requirements: 30+ gallons
  • Water Requirements: 64-72° F, 6.0-8.0 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 3+ years

Though many people believe that the term “minnow” simply refers to any small feeder fish, this is actually not true. Minnows are their own type of fish, found in bodies of water all over the world. One of the most interesting minnow varieties is the White Cloud Mountain minnow, native to China. This minnow is silver and red, growing about an inch in length. Most other minnow varieties are a bit less flashy, brown or black with some grey or silver accents.

Minnows are very peaceful fish, but they are very small, meaning that for certain fish they may look like a tasty snack. They also require cooler water than some freshwater fish, so it is crucial to make sure that the water parameters align before introducing minnows to the tank.

Snails

ivory snail
By Chapulines – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Requirements: 1-2+ gallons
  • Water Requirements: 75-86° F, 7.0-7.5 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 1 year

Snails are great additions to most fish tanks, as they will not bother the fish at all and they help keep the tank clean!

They feed on all of the waste of the tank, and are able to protect themselves from any fish who might be curious about them by simply tucking into their shells.

There are many aquarium snail species to choose from for freshwater tanks, including mystery snails, inca snails, apple snails, and rabbit snails!

Shrimp

red cherry shrimp

  • Care level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Requirements: 5-10+ gallons
  • Water Requirements: 65-80° F, 6.0-7.6 pH
  • Life Expectancy: 1-2 years

These tiny bottom feeders will not bother any freshwater fish they are kept with, and will feed on waste much like snails. They are fun to watch and will add an interesting element to the bottom level of the tank.

Freshwater shrimp can be very sensitive to changes in water parameters, which is important to keep in mind.

Different shrimp species have slightly different requirements for alkalinity and temperature, so be sure to read up on these requirements and make sure they fit with the fish you already have in the tank.

Red cherry shrimp, amano shrimp, ghost shrimp, and grass shrimp are all good choices that will keep the tank clean and can be very beneficial to the tank community- as long as they are not paired with any fish who might prey on them!

A Brief Guide to Mollies

Mollies are highly rewarding fish to keep in a hobby aquarium. However, mollies are very sensitive and susceptible to sickness, so they require very specific water parameters as well as tank mates in order to stay happy and healthy.

Mollies are native to the shallow rivers of North and South America, where they thrive in shady spots with sandy substrate and plenty of plants. Mollies eat the algae from the sides of the aquarium, meaning that if you have snails or shrimp feeding on that same algae you will need to introduce more. This could be in the form of chopped up cooked spinach.

There are over 39 species of mollies, and they come in different colors, from black to red to blue, with beautiful patterns on their scales. They are generally very brightly colored and shiny. Groups of mollies can thrive in community aquariums for over 5 years!

Mollies are actually adapted to brackish water, but in captivity they can be kept in hard water with added salt, as long as all of the creatures in the community tank are also able to thrive in such conditions. The most important thing here is to maintain high hydrogen sulfide levels in the water.

Mollies are friendly, peaceful fish that generally get along with their tank mates well. They have been known to act territorial when around food and defending their homes, but as long as they have a large enough tank with suitable tank mates they will be just fine.

Mollies are live bearing fish, meaning they do not lay eggs but give birth to live young. These fish are social and like to be kept in schools. They will grow depressed and isolated if kept alone and should have at least a few other mollies in the same tank. They do best when kept in the company of other live bearers.

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