How Long Do Mollies Live (3 Factors to Extend Their Life)

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Molly fish

You know by now how to take care of molly fish. But now you might have some questions about their longevity. To make sure that it is actually worth buying and caring for your molly fish.

With this article, you are going to learn more about how long mollies live if they are healthy. We are also going to talk about the three factors on how to extend their lives so that you can enjoy your mollies for even longer.

How long does molly fish live?

Before you can know exactly how long molly fish live, you need to know that there are a couple of things that play a role in how long they actually can live.

In the wild, they live a lot longer, because they have the perfect habitat. And, this is why it is important to make sure that you are taking correct care of your molly fish. If their environment is perfect, then the mollies can live between 3 and 5 years.

How long does it take molly fish to grow?

If mollies are fed the right nutrient food, they will grow into adults within three to four months. This is also the time that they are ready to breed with other mollies.

There are a couple of things that can change this period. The generics of the fish, and the food that you are giving the mollies.

The size of the fish tank is also something to take into consideration. The smaller the tank, the longer it will take for the mollies to reach full size. 

Three things to do to extend their life

The good news is that there are many things that you can do to extend their lifespan. But these three things that we are going to mention are the things where you will get the most success at.

This is important to always consider these things because it will not only extend their lives but ensure that they are healthy as well.

1. Ways to feed them

If you want to make sure that you are extending the life of your mollies, there is one thing that you always need to consider. That you are feeding them food that is as close to what they eat in nature as possible.

These are the most important things about feeding your mollies that you should always remember.

  • Food quality

Don’t compromise on the food quality. This is one of the biggest mistakes that mollie owners are doing. They are buying the first fish food that they can find for the mollies. And, then they don’t understand if their fish gets sick and dies because of poor fish food quality.

Make sure that you are feeding your fish the best quality food you can find. This is the best thing that you can do for your mollies to extend their lifespan.

There are two different foods that you can give your mollies.

Commercial food, and homemade food.

Commercial food will include:

Fish flakes


Freeze-dried brine shrimp


Frozen bloodworms


Spirulina tablets


And veggie tablets.


Homemade food is the food like soft-boiled vegetables like cucumbers, green beans, carrots, spinach.

  • Not overfeed them

Another mistake that people are making, especially if they are new to taking care of mollies. Feeding them too much food, too often.

Mollies don’t need to be fed more than once a day, in a small quantity. They must be able to eat all the food within 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Optimal water parameters

The second thing that is essential for mollies, for ensuring that your mollies are living longer, is to have optimal water parameters. Having the wrong water quality and temperature for your mollies, it can result in early death.

>> Related post: How to Master the Nitrogen Cycle of Your Aquarium

It is important to make sure that you know what the water parameters for your mollies need to be. If the water in your aquarium has these parameters, then you can know for sure that your tank and water is correct for your mollies. This is the perfect condition for your mollie fish.

  • Temperature: 70 °F to 82 °F (21°C to ~28°C)
  • Water pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Water hardness: 15-30 dGH (One dGH is equivalent to 17.9 PPM)

>>Related post:

  1. Fish Tank Water pH – The Full Guide for Beginners
  2. Basic Killer Tips on Aquarium Water General Hardness

It is also important to make sure that you are testing the water on a regular basis to ensure that the water parameters stay as close to these readings as possible.

>> Read our full article on top rated aquarium test kits

3. Optimal environment

Besides the water that needs to have the right parameters, there are a couple of other things that you need to consider to ensure that your mollies live as long as possible. This is the environment that they are living in. With the environment, there are a couple of things that you need to look at and need to consider.

  • Incompatible tank mates

Sometimes people are placing other fish in the tank that isn’t compatible with mollies. This can cause mollies to get kill or to stress too much.

These are some fish that you can add to your mollie tank successfully.: Guppies, Platies, Danios, Yoyo Loaches, and Zebra Loaches, Dwarf Gourami, Harlequin Rasbora,Cherry Barbs, Corydoras Catfish, Rosy Barbs, Tetras.

  • Overstocked tank

Another thing that can influence the optimal environment is if you have too many fish in your tank. You should remember that with a specific size tank, you can only keep a specific number of fish. Having too much fish will mean that you are shortening the lifespan of your mollies.

For each molly in the tank, you will need to have 5 gallons of tank space.

  • Inadequate male to female ratio

No matter what, you should always have more females in a tank than males. If there are more males, they are all going for the same female. The female is starting to stress and this can cause death. Or the males can start hurting each other.

It is important to remember, that no matter how many fish you have in your tank, that it should be at least four female mollies to one male.

  • Lack of hiding spaces

You always need to have some hiding spaces(plants or decorations) in your aquarium. Mollies like to hide when they are stressed, or when there are babies that need to hide from adults that are looking for a snack. The more hiding places you have, the better.

  • Too much light

Yes, having too much light can be a problem for mollies and can shorten their lifespans.


Now you know that mollies can live up to 3 and 5 years if you are putting them in the perfect environment. They might live longer in the wild, because they are getting the right food, and the water is perfect for them.

This is why you need to ensure that you remember the three factors to extend the life of the mollies. Then, you will be able to enjoy your mollies for a long longer. Mollies are great fish, and with this guide, you will have happy and healthy fish for a long time.

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