What Do Mollies Eat?


Mollies are omnivorous freshwater fish that are kept by both novice and experienced aquarists. These attractive live-bearing fish are normally included in community aquariums and they will readily accept commercial flake food. Mollies will graze on algae in a tank and should be fed live foods to condition them for breeding. Aquarists can also offer vegetables and freeze-dried foods to their mollies.

Commercial Fish Foods

Mollies will accept both commercial flake and pellet food. These fish will readily eat mixed flakes, but vegetable flakes are a good option for mollies, which will also graze on algae wafers. A mixed flake food that has a spirulina base will be appreciated by mollies. Uneaten food will pollute the aquarium and these fish should only be offered the amount of flake food that they can comfortable eat within a five minute period.

Live Foods

Brine shrimp eggs are harvested from the Great Lakes in North America. These eggs are washed and dried and each batch is typically tested for hatchability. The brine shrimp nauplii that hatch are rich in omega acids and represent a highly nutritious food for mollies. Bloodworms and live daphnia will be eagerly accepted by mollies, as will white and grindal worms. Tubifex worms can also be fed to mollies. These worms are gathered in stagnant water bodies and must be well rinsed in running tap water before being offered to the mollies.


Mollies tend to be more herbivorous than carnivorous and will readily eat algae and diatoms in an established aquarium. The jaws of these fish are designed for scraping away filamentous algae. Mollies also possess an extended digestive tract and digestive enzymes that break down plant material and a number of vegetables should be included in their diet. These fish prefer to graze throughout the day and blanched spinach, which is held in place by a plastic produce clip, can be fed two or three times per week. Mollies will also enjoy shelled, boiled peas and soft vegetables such as courgette.

Freeze-Dried Foods

Freeze-dried foods are readily available from an aquatic dealer. Bloodworms, tubifex worms and brine shrimp are all available in freeze-dried form. Freeze-dried foods should not replace live or vegetable foods, but can be offered once or twice a week, or at times when live foods are not available or when it is not convenient to offer vegetables. Freeze-dried foods tend to float and should therefore be placed in the current created from a power head or filter to spread them around the aquarium.

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