What Do Black Mollies Eat? (Experts Opinion!)

What do Black Mollies Eat? Black Mollies are omnivores. As such their diet should be made up of both vegetable and animal matter. Black Mollies should be fed a balanced diet consisting of a good quality fish flake or pellet with the addition of some live or frozen foods such as daphnia or bloodworms.

Black Mollies were one of the first fish I ever bred. I have been keeping them for nearly 30 years now and literally hundreds of Black Mollies have passed through my fish room during that time. I once had a 40-gallon tank with over 200 Black Mollies in it!

Black Mollies are one of the least demanding and most instantly recognizable fish in the freshwater fish-keeping hobby.

What Food Should I Feed My Black Mollies?

Black Mollies are omnivores. Omnivores need a balanced diet made up of both animal matter and plant or vegetable matter.

As aquarists living in the 21st Century, we are extremely lucky. We can pop to our local fish store and choose from a number of different types of fish food, or we can probably choose from hundreds if we shop on Amazon.

Below I will look at some of my favorite types of foods to feed to my Black Mollies;

  • Fish Flakes: Most flakes foods on the market today are good quality and form the base of a varied diet for tropical fish, including Black Mollies. I have had great success with Fluvals Bug Bites Flakes and Tetra Flakes. Both seem to be readily eaten by the Black Mollies. I feed my Black Mollies flake foods twice a day at the moment.


  • Pellets: Black Mollies will be more than happy to eat pellets. A mini floating pellet seems to be their pellet of choice. I like to use a combination of Hikari Micro Pellets and Fluval Bug Bites. I find that when I feed either brand, some pellets float, whilst others sink slowly. This gives the Black Mollies choice of how they would like to feed. I currently probably feed pellet foods once a day, in conjunction with some flake food.

  • Wafers: Black Mollies relish either small floating wafers, like Tetra Color Crisps or sinking algae based wafers. If you put a couple of large algae based wafers into your aquarium, the Black Mollies will pick at them over the course of several hours.

  • Gel Foods: Gel foods, like the one made by Repashy, makes a great addition to your Black Molly feeding repertoire. Black Mollies will quickly learn to take bites out of a lump of Repashy you have dropped into their aquarium. If you are not familiar with Repashy, take a look at our article on ‘Feeding Repashy to Community Fish’.

https://youtu.be/c2qBxXIs58o

What Live Or Frozen Foods Can Black Mollies Eat?

Black Mollies will eat almost any live foods available on the market today. Bloodworms, blackworms, daphnia, or mosquito larvae will all be eaten with gusto. Whichever live food you choose to feed your Black Mollies, make sure you take the time to separate the food from the water in the bag they come in.

Tip the contents of the bag through a net to catch the live food, then add it to your aquarium. Never put the dirty water the live food was living in into your aquarium.

If you are feeding your Black Mollies frozen food, just pop a cube or two of your chosen type into the aquarium and your Black Mollies will pick at it, quickly finishing it off.

Do Black Mollies Eat Algae?

Black Mollies will eat some algae. Black Mollies are best known for eating hair algae like Black Beard Algae (see my article on ‘Do Black Mollies Eat Black Beard Algae?‘). They won’t eat many other types of algae.

Do Black Mollies Eat Shrimp?

Black Mollies will definitely eat shrimp if they get a chance. If you keep Black Mollies in an aquarium with Red Cherry Shrimp, for instance, the Black Mollies will pick off any babies and smaller shrimp they find.

Do Black Mollies Eat Plants?

Black Mollies are considered plant safe. This essentially means they can be kept in a planted aquarium without eating the plants. With that said, there may be an occasion when a Black Molly decides to eat a bit of foliage, but they won’t eat very much of it.

Do Black Mollies Eat Snails?

No, Black Mollies do not eat snails. Black Mollies are safe to keep in an aquarium where you also keep snails. If you are looking for a fish to eat the snails, try clown loach or dwarf chain loach. Many members of the loach family will eat snails.

Do Black Mollies Eat Their Babies?

Like all livebearers, Black Mollies show no parental care to their babies. Black Molly males and females will happily eat their own babies. Females will even eat their babies as they give birth to them.

If you are actively trying to breed your Black Mollies, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the chances of the adults eating the babies. If you are breeding in a community aquarium, provide as many places for the babies to hide as possible.

Out of sight is out of mind when it comes to babies being eaten. Another great way to stop adults from eating the babies is to put the pregnant female into a separate aquarium just before she gives birth, then return her back to the main tank and raise the babies separately.



How Often Should I Feed My Black Mollies?

Like so many other tropical fish, Black Mollies grow better and are generally more healthy when fed 3 or 4 small meals a day rather than 1 large meal. Feeding multiple times a day also helps when it comes to feeding a variety of foods.

I tend to feed my Black Mollies 4 times a day. 2 or 3 of those feedings will be a dry flake or pellet food. The last feeding is usually frozen or live bloodworms, daphnia or mosquito larvae.

Feeding your fish multiple times a day is also better for your aquarium filter. Instead of having to deal with heavy feeding, followed inevitably by all the fish pooping at once, the food and waste levels stay roughly consistent throughout the day.

In Conclusion

In answer to the question ‘What do Black Mollies eat?’ The answer is, as wide a variety of foods as possible. Feeding your Black Mollies a variety of foods gives them access to a variety of vitamins and minerals, meaning you end up with healthier, stronger fish which in turn means they are better equipped to fight off pests and disease and will inevitably mean they produce larger broods of healthier, stronger babies.


About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James
Editor

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