Guppies and mollies can live together. Both species are peaceful and have similar environmental and feeding needs. Guppies and mollies tend to be friendly with each other most of the time. Since they rarely attack each other, these two types of fish can comfortably co-exist in the same tank.
However, there are some things that you need to consider before keeping these two fish together. Let’s talk about them now.
Comparing The Needs Of Guppies And Mollies
Guppies are tropical freshwater fish that belong to South America.
They are omnivorous and eat algae, insect larvae, and other meaty food in the wild.
Guppies are peaceful and get along with almost all breeds of fish.
The molly is also a tropical fish with its origins in Central and South America.
In the wild, mollies eat plant matter, algae, and invertebrates.
They are semi-aggressive fish. However, mollies do not attack guppies unless it is to defend their fry or their mate.
In the wild, both guppies and mollies live in brackish water.
Both need similar aquarium temperatures between 24°C to 28°C.
They adapt well to new environments and thrive in slightly salty but clean water.
Their feeding requirements are similar. So, fish owners can use the same type of food for both guppies and mollies.
However, this also means that they may compete for food.
That is why you should ensure that there is enough food for all the fish in the tank to maintain a peaceful environment.
Similar Traits Of Guppies And Mollies
Although mollies and guppies belong to different species, they are from the same genus – Poecilia.
So, their temperaments are quite similar.
The exact behavior pattern will, however, depend on the specific breed.
Nonetheless, these two types of fish are generally compatible with each other.
Both mollies and guppies are livebearers. It means that neither lay eggs. Instead, they give birth to live fry.
Since both the fish are prolific breeders, you can expect to have a lot of fry in your aquarium when you keep guppies and mollies.
Do Guppies And Mollies Get Along?
Both guppies and mollies are community fish with an easygoing nature.
They are active and like to socialize. Both enjoy living in tanks with plenty of plants and free spaces to dart in and out.
Compatibility issues may arise when food is insufficient, or there isn’t enough space.
Although rare, when the two species fight, the larger molly may kill the guppies. Females of both types do not usually fight.
Interestingly, guppies and mollies sometimes interbreed. It happens in tanks that have only one type of fish of a species.
The lack of access to the opposite sex of the same species encourages them to mate with the other species.
The hybrid fry of guppies and mollies are usually smaller than the parent mollies and as colorful as guppies.
The ability to interbreed can occasionally lead to mating battles in large tanks.
When male guppies pester female molly fish, the female tends to strike back and fatally wound the guppy.
Since mollies are more temperamental, they may also bully guppies by chasing them and nipping their fins.
Challenges Of Keeping Guppies And Mollies Together In The Same Tank
There are bound to be at least a few challenges when you have different types of fish in the same aquarium.
Although guppies and mollies get along quite well, this combination is also prone to issues.
Let us look at some of the problems they present.
Since guppies and mollies are omnivorous fish with similar nutritional needs, feeding the community is easy.
Although these fish will eat almost anything, their primary food should be plant-based.
You can feed them vegetable flakes or pellets and supplement them with live and freeze-dried food occasionally.
When you have both mollies and guppies in your aquarium, you should carefully monitor the feedings to ensure that all the fish are fed well.
Competition for food can trigger aggressive behavior and cause significant stress to smaller fish.
Population Explosion Due To Interbreeding
Both mollies and guppies are fertile fish. So, if you keep fish of different sexes in the same tank, you will end up with a lot of fry.
Since the fish will give birth every thirty days, your tank can quickly become overcrowded.
Too many fish will affect the water quality, apart from leading to competition for food and space.
To keep things under control, it is a good idea to separate the females until they drop the fry.
Since both adult mollies and guppies tend to eat their fry, separating the female will also allow you to ensure that the babies survive.
Creating The Perfect Environment For Guppies And Mollies To Thrive Together
If you decide to keep guppies and mollies in the same aquarium, the following things will help you create a favorable environment for the fish to flourish.
- Choose a Large Tank: Since mollies and guppies are active breeders, the population will quickly get out of control when there are fish of both sexes. Prepare for this by starting with a large tank with ample space for all the fish. Also, ensure that there are enough hiding spaces for the smaller fish if you won’t be separating the fry from the parents.
- Add a Lot of Plants: Plants improve the oxygen level and keep the tank clean. Additionally, they provide places for the fry to hide until they are too big to be eaten by the adult fish. It will also give the smaller fish a lot of space to hide when attacked or chased.
- Control the Temperature: Guppies and mollies are freshwater, tropical fish that enjoy warm environmental conditions. Use a water heater to regulate the temperature of the tank. It will ensure that the fish aren’t stressed out by sudden temperature fluctuations.
- Control the Population: Keeping fish of both sexes together will cause the population in the tank to explode. Unless this is your intention, choose fish of the same sex for your tank. Also, separate pregnant females before they drop their fry, so you can control the population in the tank.
- Monitor Feeding Closely: Guppies and mollies always appear to be hungry. However, too much feeding can adversely affect their health and quickly make the water filthy. Feed your fish once or twice every day and watch them while they eat. Give them a balanced diet of vegetable and meat-based matter and make sure that none of the fish are left out.
Under the right conditions, guppies and mollies can thrive together in the same environment.
Nonetheless, you should be careful about controlling their population and meeting their water and food requirements.
When everything is well-balanced, and the fish have enough food and space, guppies and mollies will be friendly tank mates.
Together, they will liven up your aquarium with activity and color, and form a beautiful sight.