Can Mollies and Guppies Live Together?

Mollies and guppies are great tank mates. Mollies and guppies are actually considered to be relatives. Though mollies can be semi-aggressive, the two species can live together in the same tank with little to no problems. But there are a few factors to consider.

If you’re looking to get a fish tank soon and you’re considering combining different fish species, like guppies and mollies, you’re probably thinking about whether or not they can live together.

Sometimes, incompatible species can end up harming one another, which is why it’s important to ensure that the species you intend to get are somewhat similar when it comes to things like temperament, temperature needs, and diet needs.

So, can mollies and guppies live together? Read on for much-needed insights!

Can Mollies and Guppies Live Together?

Mollies and guppies can live together in harmony, but only in certain cases. Since mollies can be semi-aggressive, it’s important to keep their needs met to avoid them lashing out.

As long as you follow certain measures and build a safe and comfortable environment for your mollies and guppies, they can remain together in harmony.

As long as all your fish’s needs are met, then you have nothing to worry about. That being said, the things you need to pay attention to are:

  • Your fish’s temperament
  • The tank’s environment
  • Their mating

The two most common reasons why your mollies might attack your guppies are:

  • To defend their mate
  • To defend their fry

However, this does not happen very frequently, or at all, if you take the necessary precautions!

Marrabbio2 [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

Temperament Considerations

A molly’s temperament is pretty similar to a guppy’s temperament. That is a huge part of why they can stay in the same tank together!

However, there are some small differences. Once you understand what makes each species hostile, you’ll be far better equipped to care for them.

Mollies Temperament

Although mollies are considered semi-aggressive, they’re pretty peaceful in most cases. The one thing that might trigger a molly’s aggression the most is a crowded tank.

A general rule to follow is the 1 inch of fish per gallon of water rule. For instance, the baseline size for three mollies is 20 gallons. If you add another molly, you should add 3 gallons since a molly grows up to 3 inches.

If you don’t provide enough space for your mollies, they’ll start to get stressed and aggressive. And since guppies are much smaller (around 1 inch), mollies will usually target guppies in an overcrowded tank.

Another thing to consider is the ratio between male and female mollies. The males will normally compete over the females to mate with them. This can lead to serious aggression.

That’s why the ratio between females and males is best if it’s 3:1. In other words, for every male, there should be three females to avoid competition.

Guppies Temperament

Guppies are much more peaceful than mollies. The only case in which they express aggression is when there aren’t enough females to mate with.

For guppies, a 2:1 ratio between females and males is more than enough. This ensures the lack of competition, which will prevent any displays of hostility between the male guppies.

Guppies and mollies are fond of swimming in the middle or the top of their fish tank. With that in mind, a good telltale of trouble is if one of the two species is avoiding those areas.

That lets you know that there is a bully driving them away.

How to Avoid Aggression Between Mollies and Guppies

Now that you have a better idea of what ticks off your fish, let’s shed light on the circumstances in which your fish need to be to avoid any type of aggression!

Ideal Guppy Environment

Guppies usually live in freshwater rivers or streams. This means that they need a lot of places to hide within plants or rocks. So, when you get a tank, make sure to decorate it to give it a natural look and to provide plenty of hiding spaces.

As for size, the tank can’t be smaller than a 10-gallon tank. Guppies need a lot of space to swim around, so the bigger the tank, the better!

The pH level needs to be between 6.8 and 7.8 and the temperature between 72 Fahrenheit and 79 Fahrenheit. As long as these conditions are met, your guppies will be peaceful and happy.

Ideal Molly Environment

Mollies dwell in rivers and streams and can adapt a lot faster than guppies to their environment. So, it is much easier to maintain a suitable environment for them.

Just like guppies, mollies love having many plants and hiding spots in their environment to feel safe. Mollies and guppies are fond of the same types of plants such as moss or ferns, so it’ll be easy to decorate the tank for them both.

The main difference is that mollies prefer sandy plants while guppies have no preference.

As we said before, mollies can get very aggressive in an overcrowded tank, which is why you need to start off with a 20-gallon tank and go bigger the more mollies you add.

As for the pH level, mollies and guppies have the same preference, which is between 6.8 and 7.8.

As for the temperature, mollies prefer it to be between 75 Fahrenheit and 82 Fahrenheit. So the perfect temperature for both would be between 75 degrees and 79 degrees.

Red Molly Fish

What About Mating?

Not only can mollies and guppies live together, but they can also breed together!

Guppies and mollies normally breed every 30 days. Guppies birth 20-50 babies, while mollies birth 10-60 babies.

Optimal breeding conditions happen in warmer temperatures. So if you’d like to decrease the breeding, keep the temperature cold!

If your guppies or mollies did lay eggs and those eggs hatched, there is a huge chance they will actually eat most of the fry. With that in mind, if you’d like to keep those baby fishies, move them to a different tank as soon as possible!

Final Remarks

The key to keeping a peaceful environment between mollies and guppies is to satisfy both their needs when it comes to things like space, temperature range, pH level, and decoration.

As long as your mollies don’t feel overcrowded or in competition with your guppies, you’ve got nothing to worry about!