Do Mollies Need Live Plants

Wondering if your mollies require plants to lead healthy lives? The answer is no, mollies don’t need live plants in the aquarium. While they will snack on plants if they are available, tropical fish food provides enough nutrients to keep them healthy without live plants. 

To find out more about the best plants to provide for your mollies and get answers to questions that might be on your mind, keep reading. We’ll discuss all the information regarding mollies and their need for plants right below.

Sailfin Molly

Why Don’t Mollies Need Live Plants?

In the wild, mollies will nibble on live plants for a quick snack. Live plants provide nutrients, vitamins, and a small amount of calories to keep a fish happy and healthy.

In an aquarium, fish don’t need to hunt for food – we provide it all for them. Tropical fish flakes are carefully created to provide a variety of nutrients to completely satisfy your fish.

But there’s more to it than plants just providing food.

See, mollies prefer an aquarium environment that mimics their natural habitat, so you’ll need a lot of plants, rocks, and sand to achieve that goal. For reference, the places where mollies tend to thrive in in the wild include:

  • Tropical rivers
  • Lakes, swamps, and ponds
  • Coastal streams
  • Deltas
  • Marshes
  • Estuaries

What all those bodies of water have in common is that, more often than not, there’s loose vegetation surrounding them in varying degrees. So, mollies like to be in the presence of different types of live plants, and they often use them as shelter.

Another cool fact is that live plants can provide cover for baby mollies so that they can grow in protected surroundings. It keeps bigger fish from bothering the younglings until they’re old enough to not be messed with!

Where Should I Position Live Plants in the Mollies Tank?

The best way to go about this is to situate the plants along the perimeter of the fish tank. Putting them in the corners is a good option, too.

Just remember that you shouldn’t place the plants in the middle of the aquarium where they could get in your fish’s way while they’re swimming. Mollies require a lot of open space to swim freely with no obstacles to slow them down or interrupt their great time!

What Types of Live Plants Should I Put in a Mollies Fish Tank?

Mollies will appreciate a mixture of tall and short live plants, and, thankfully, there’s a wide selection of each that you can get on the market.

Here are a few suggestions for plants with different heights and sizes to include in your aquarium:

  • Anubias
  • Aquatic grasses like Sagittaria or Vallisneria
  • Najas
  • Java fern
  • Anacharis
  • Java Moss
  • Hornwort

Molly Fish

Do Mollies Like Floating Plants?

Yes, floating plants can be an awesome addition to your fish tank because mollies like to nibble on their roots.

However, you must remember to pick floating plants with strong roots, or else they’ll die quickly. Here are a few options you could choose from:

  • Amazon Sword
  • Dwarf Sagittaria
  • Aponogeton Crispus

Where Can I Get Live Plants for My Mollies?

Live plants are pretty easy to come by once you settle on a few favorites.

Your first option is to head over to your nearest aquarium supply store and browse its selection of live plants. In most cases, you should find plenty of plants suitable for your mollies at an affordable price.

Another route is to order live plants online, either through Amazon or other stores that specialize in fish tank equipment and supplies.

You’ll likely come across many great deals shopping from these online sources. Plus, they could save you a lot of hassle if you don’t have a store near where you live.

What Are Some Factors to Consider When Buying Live Plants for My Mollies?

Because plants have different requirements, you’ll need to make sure the one you’re buying will thrive in your fish tank. So, here are a few things you should keep in mind before ordering live plants:

  • The plant’s compatibility with the water in the tank (think about water hardness, pH level, and temperature)
  • How much light the plant needs in comparison to the lighting system you already have (and if you’re ready to make adjustments)
  • The plant’s size and if it can fit in your tank (also consider the size after the plant grows)
  • Substrate type (and if you’ll have to change the one you have in the tank to match the plant’s needs)

One last thing you should investigate before purchasing live plants for your mollies is if they’re from a trustworthy seller. See, plants can carry any number of bacteria or germs and transfer them to your tank; so you must ensure that your fish won’t be harmed.

A good way to know this is to check other customers’ reviews on online sellers and go for those who have high ratings and positive comments.

What Other Items Do Mollies Need in Their Tank to Mimic Their Tropical Habitat?

Besides live plants, mollies will always welcome any additions that could make their aquarium feel like home.

If you want to improve your fish’s time inside the tank, you’ll want to provide:

  • A suitable substrate (sand or gravel)
  • Plenty of rocks, driftwood, and other accessories that provide good shelter
  • Caves

To Wrap It Up

“Do mollies need live plants?” You might ask when you’re setting up an aquarium to keep those tiny beings in.

After reading this article, you now know that live plants are not required, but they certainly are nice to have. They make for a decent food source, a great hiding place for some privacy, and somewhere to keep younglings extra safe. Plus, let’s not forget that plants can boost the quality of the water in the tank.

Going for a mixture of tall and short plants is always recommended. Just make sure that whatever types of plants you get can fit seamlessly into the environment inside the tank.