Can Mollies and Swordtails Live Together?

Swordtails make excellent companions for mollies. They both have similar temperaments; quiet and energetic communal fish. Additionally, swordtails are temperature and water condition adaptable, which explains why they’re a great fit with Mollies. 

If you’re a first-time hobbyist looking for a good combo of fish to keep in your tank, Mollies and Swordtails are good options as tank mates.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about both; mollies and swordtails.

Can Mollies and Swordtails Live Together?

Swordtails and mollies are beautiful and well-known freshwater species. They’re both laid-back species. Their attractiveness and low-maintenance nature make them excellent selections for new hobbyists.

Swordtails, like mollies, enjoy a slight salinity in their freshwater habitats. Male swordtails can be hostile against one other, but they’re pretty calm and will get along, just like Platys and Mollies.

Swordtails are temperature and water condition adaptable. The optimal pH level would be neutral, with 7.0-8.4. They can survive temperatures ranging from 64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for Mollies.

Most like-minded species get along with swordtail fish. They’re calm and docile, so mollies are a great fit.

However, they should never be left alone. While swordtail fish are not a shoaling species, they enjoy being with other fish. Before heading out on their own, these fish like to gather in groups.

On the other hand, as shoaling fish, they require the company of others to feel at ease. At the absolute least, you should keep a group of four fish: the larger the group, the better.

Additionally, you must retain more females than males. Four females to one male is the recommended ratio.

Red Swordtail Female

Can A Molly And A Swordtail Crossbreed?

This could come on the top of the list of your concerns. You can’t help but wonder if both fish breeds will cross-breed or not.

The short answer is no. There are a few reasons why your Molly and swordtail can’t cross-breed.

First Reason

They can’t interbreed because they’re members of distinct families. Even though they’re both livebearer fish, mollies are from the Poecilia family, while swordtails are from the Xiphophorus family. They’re not allowed to cross-breed outside of their species.

Second Reason

The majority of fish die due to these animals’ interbreeding. Female mollies are believed to die after being fertilized by a swordtail. As a result, their incompatibility is highlighted, and cross-breeding should be avoided at all costs.

Third Reason

You could notice that one of your fish becomes pregnant while at the aquarium together. This explains why some owners may believe that they could interbreed.

Still, it’s essential to remember that both mollies and swordtails can retain sperm for an extended period and get pregnant by utilizing the sperm from the original mate.

Ways to Help Swordtails and Mollies Settle In a Tank

  • Add a teaspoon of tank salts before placing them in their tank. Mollies and swordtails enjoy a slight salinity in their freshwater tanks.
  • When you bring all three freshwater species home and introduce them into your freshwater tank, be careful to acclimatize or prepare them for their new environment.
  • Assure a seamless transition into their new home with a lower risk of suffering from shock and dying on you.
  • Avoid fish that are aggressive or loud. Swordtail fish are unable to defend themselves against predators. They become cautious and hesitant in the presence of more active fish.
  • Ensure that the top of the tank with the light intact is firmly in place. Because, like many other fish species, swordtails are known to leap out of aquariums if given the opportunity. This is not something you want to happen to your recently acquired fish.
  • ​​To keep your swordtails and mollies healthy, feed them dry meals, flakes, and a variety of frozen items. They’re both available in a range of hues and variations.
  • There’s a chance of some aggression. The only time swordtail fish seem hostile is when there are a lot of males in the same tank. Males can be territorial; therefore, it’s critical to maintain a higher female-to-male ratio to keep the peace.

What Species Live Well With Mollies and Swordtails?

Mollies are generally laid-back fish. They’re calm and get along well with others.

If you want to make a multi-species community tank, you have a variety of alternatives. Mollies and swordtails get along with almost everything!

The best course of action is to keep them in a tank with other common sociable fish. Here are some fantastic swordtail fish tank mates to think about:

  • Angelfish
  • Platys
  • Cory Catfish
  • Rosy Barb
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Kuhli Loach
  • Otocinclus

There are a few things you may want to make sure you know to ensure a smooth experience.

First, you need to avoid any fish with a reputation for being hostile. Also, try to maintain fish of the same size. Larger fish may harass or even consume your molly.

Second, you must choose fish similar in size and temperament.

How Many Mollies/Swordtails Should I Keep Together?

Mollies prefer to stick together most of the time, so keep them in groups of four or more.

If you intend to keep more than four mollies, acquire at least a 20-gallon tank.

It’s important to remember that male mollies are known to harass and upset females. Females should consequently control a shoal to discourage aggressive behavior.

As a result, while setting up your fish tank, it’s critical to consider both sexes. We advocate a three-to-one female-to-male ratio.

Females are more likely to mate with the most dominant male. Put the couple in the breeding tank and observe the mating ceremony! Males will court females before she allows them to fertilize their eggs.

Because male mollies are aggressive breeders, increasing the number of females should deflect the males’ attention away from them.

This way, no single female will receive undivided attention.

Female mollies will become stressed if this ratio is not followed, and they will stop feeding and starve to death.

Swordtails, on the other hand, are neither schooling nor shoaling fish. However, they prefer to be in groups of 4-5 people.

The number of swordtails you want to acquire depends on the size of your tank. However, please keep track of their numbers. This is because the amount of swordtail fish in a given tank affects their behavior.

Swordtail fish are active and happy when they’re in a group. This keeps them comfortable, engaged, and disease-free. As a result, depending on the size of your tank and the gender of your swordtails, the ideal amount is 4 to 6 swordtails.

In Summary

When starting your tank, choosing fish with similar temperaments is one thing to bear in mind. This is where swordtails and mollies come in.

They can live together despite the tiny differences they have. However, they can’t cross-breed, guaranteeing a hassle-free start for your tank. Just make sure you keep the proper ratio of males to females.