Mollies are one of the most popular fish in the hobby. It’s not surprising that many people want to learn what the best molly fish tank mates are so they can make the best community setup possible.
Mollies are social fish that love to have company. Fortunately, they are rather polite, so finding proper animals to put in their tank shouldn’t be a difficult task.
However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some rules you need to be aware of.
When looking for suitable molly fish tank mates, you need to consider their living environment. All fish in a tank need to prefer the same water parameters.
Also, mollies are omnivore fish, so tiny fish might end up being a good snack for them. Finally, some fish are just too aggressive and would love bulling a defenseless fish such as molly.
So, with that out of the way, here are 17 best molly fish tank mates you can hardly go wrong with:
Platies are friendly and social fish that love the company of others – just like molly fish. This is what makes them the bestest of friends ever!
Not just that, but platies live in similar water conditions as mollies, and they prefer the same type of diet. The two even look similar, which can make your entire school look amazingly beautiful!
These fish grow up to 2 inches in length, so they are just the perfect size for a molly. Also, they are pretty calm and peaceful, so don’t expect there to be any hassle.
The only issue might be the platies reproductive rate. These fish will want to mate – all the time. As their gestation period is around four weeks, you can see new platies almost monthly.
As such, I would advise that you don’t keep too many males in your tank.
2. Neon Tetras
There are many types of tetras out there, and most would make amazing molly fish tank mates. However, my vote has to go to neon tetras for many reasons.
Neon tetras are some of the most popular freshwater fish. They are affordable and easy to find. Also, they are rather hardy, making them beginner-friendly.
They live in similar water conditions, and they won’t give you too much headache. What is good for one species will likely be good for the other one.
The biggest concern here is that mollies are somewhat larger than neon tetras. Despite popular opinion, these tiny fish can become quite defensive when they face larger animals.
Fortunately, most mollies rarely grow longer than 3 inches, which is rarely enough to trigger the aggression in neons. I’ve never had any issues keeping the two together.
Guppies are some of the most peaceful aquarium fish you can find. They are so calm that they are often the target of fin-nipping fish, such as cichlids or bettas.
These fishies are friendly slow-swimmers that enjoy the company of other peaceful fish. This is what makes them a perfect choice for mollies.
Guppies are some of the easiest fish to care for. However, some people have still reported having issues with keeping them alive.
So, if you notice your guppies are dying but your mollies seem to be doing just fine, maybe it’s time to change the breeder or the pet store. Many guppies have genetic issues due to inbreeding.
Also, just like platies, guppies have a rather fast reproductive rate. They are live-bearing fish, and before you realize, you might end up with lots of fry inside your tank!
4. Zebra Danios
Zebra danios are social fish that aren’t as common in community tanks as some other fish from this list due to their fin-nipping traits. However, as most types of mollies don’t have long fins, the two can usually coexist in harmony.
These fish look a bit like neon tetras due to their red bellies and bright stripes on the lateral line. However, they are a bit larger and belong to an entirely different fish family.
Zebra danios are relaxed animals that don’t require lots of special care. They live in the same water parameters as mollies, so you can keep them together without any worries.
They are very active, though, so be very careful about other fish and animals you put in the same tank with them. While mollies will tolerate them, other fish might not be as happy to have them around.
Everyone can recognize an angelfish! These beautiful fish with triangular bodies and long fins are some of the most distinct animals you can find.
Angelfish live in the same conditions as mollies, so you can easily keep them together. Also, while they are known for their territorial behavior, mollies can defend themselves without any trouble. This is what makes them a perfect pair!
Just like mollies, angelfish love planted tanks. However, they are known to nibble on plants, especially if they aren’t fed properly. Make sure you have some fast-growing aquarium plants such as anubias that can resist the occasional munching.
Another thing to keep in mind is that angelfish prefer large, tall tanks due to the shape of their body.
Endlers are yet another tiny fish species that are surprisingly compatible with mollies. These guppy cousins are very colorful, even more than their more famous relatives.
While they are mostly known for green metallic sheen, these fish actually come in a wide variety of colors, such as blue, purple, yellow, red, and orange.
These fish are very active, and you’ll always find them exploring every inch of the aquarium.
Not just that, but you can keep several of these fish in a 5-gallon tank! Yes, they are that small and adaptable.
Due to their tiny size, endlers’ fry might become a tasty snack for a larger fish, even for mollies.
Corydoras are peaceful bottom-dwelling fish that don’t really care about other fish in the tank. They are a part of the aquarium’s clean up crew, together with shrimp and snails, and they’ll make sure you don’t have to clean the tank as often.
These catfishes like being kept in small groups of 3-4, but don’t mind larger groups. The one thing they don’t like is to be kept alone.
At the same time, they prefer to reside at the bottom of the tank, so they won’t disrupt the mollies’ space. Even if you have a male molly during the mating season, they are unlikely to fight your little cories.
You aren’t likely to have any problems while keeping cory catfishes. They are so easy-going that you can hardly go wrong with them.
However, if you’re expecting to have happy, playful fish that will engage with your mollies, this isn’t a fish for you.
8. Tiger Barbs
One of the fish that you won’t easily find on many ‘best tank mates’ lists are tiger barbs. These semi-aggressive fish have trouble adapting to community tanks due to their troublesome temperament, but this isn’t a problem for mollies.
Tiger barbs are easy to care for and are very adaptable. They don’t mind changes in water parameters and are even okay with somewhat brackish waters, which might come in handy when pairing them with fish such as mollies.
They love large groups and it’s advisable to keep them in large schools. When you add molly fish to the mix, you’ll get a perfect companionship!
Just be wary of other tank mates in the tank. Tiger barbs are territorial and they love to nip on fins of slow-swimming fish. Avoid pairing them with guppies, angelfish, or other similar species.
9. Ram Cichlids
A part of the dwarf cichlid family, ram cichlids are one of the few cichlid species fully compatible with mollies.
Still, it’s important to note that there are four types of ram cichlids you can get:
- The German blue ram cichlid
- The golden ram cichlid
- The Bolivian ram cichlid
- The electric blue ram cichlid
My favorite molly tank mate out of these is the German blue ram cichlid, as this fish is rather docile and peaceful – at least for a cichlid.
One thing you need to be mindful of is the size of the tank. Rams, just like most other cichlids, are rather territorial fish. If they don’t have enough space, they’ll clash with other tank inhabitants.
This can be avoided by providing them with plenty of hiding spots, such as caves or rock formations.
Swordtails are one of the best molly fish tank mates you can find. Just like platies, the two look very similar. However, the two are rather different in many ways.
Easily recognized by their long, needle-like tails, swordfish are active fish that require large tanks and lots of space. They love living in fairly large groups, and mollies are their perfect companion.
Swordtails prefer planted tanks. Aquarium plants that flower are a great choice, as they’ll complement these colorful fish nicely.
Just be careful, as swordfish are known jumpers. They often jump out of the tanks, which will usually be fatal. Use tank covers to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
11. Dwarf Gouramis
Dwarf gouramis are excellent companion fish that can go well with many other species, but especially mollies. They are (mostly) peaceful fish that are just the perfect size, unlike their larger namesakes.
Gouramis are colorful fish that can be found in numerous shades. Combine them with brightly colored mollies and you’ll get a perfect tank. However, this doesn’t come without hardships.
Surprisingly, while larger gouramis are rather friendly, dwarf gouramis, especially males, tend to be territorial. They are known for bullying other fish in the tank, and most tank mates would be freaked out by them.
Not mollies, though! These courageous fish don’t really care about semi-aggressive tank mates, making them excellent companions.
To stay on the safe side, make sure your tank has lots of hiding spots and plants that can keep gouramis occupied. Just stay away from floating plants! Gouramis have a labyrinth organ, so they need to go to the surface to breathe.
Aquarium minnows are a fairly large group of fish known for their active yet peaceful temperaments. They are fairly good community fish that can be kept with many species, such as tetras, plecos, guppies, and – you’ve guessed it – mollies.
Most minnows aren’t as colorful as other fish from the list, but they are beautiful nonetheless. While they are rather small, mollies don’t pose a threat for them.
These fish love well-planted tanks, with lots of rocks, driftwood, and hiding spots. Adding aquarium plants that grow on driftwood can be a great touch, as it’ll give your tank a gorgeous appearance.
The biggest concern with minnows is that they prefer colder water temperatures than most other fish. This is usually fine with mollies, but it’s still something you need to think about before adding them to a pre-existing setup.
13. Kribensis Cichlids
Kribensis cichlids are yet another type of dwarf cichlids that can be a perfect companion for mollies. This one might be a surprise, as kribs are known for their aggressive nature.
So, how come kribs and mollies come along? Well, the main reason is that they don’t occupy the same space.
Territorial kribs are bottom dwellers, while mollies like to swim in the middle of the tank. They’ll rarely clash and get into territorial disputes.
Also, most types of mollies don’t have long tails that would tempt the fin-nipping behavior in kribs, so the two can coexist in peace. Of course, make sure you give them plenty of caves they can claim.
Be careful when feeding! Kribs are bottom eaters, so you have to make sure you include sinking pellets into your fish’s diet. Otherwise, active mollies might eat all the food before kribs can reach it.
Another member of the aquarium clean up crew, pleco is a weird-looking bottom dweller that spends most of its time sucking up any algae or leftovers from the substrate.
Unlike corydoras, plecos are not very friendly and dislike having other bottom dwellers around them – especially as they grow older. However, as they rarely swim above the bottom, they will rarely get in contact with active mollies.
As plecos are much larger than all other fish on this list, they require larger tanks. This is something you need to take into consideration before purchasing them.
Also, just like cories, they are not active fish. Don’t expect them to interact much with other fishies. They prefer to keep to themselves.
15. Harlequin Rasboras
Harlequin rasboras are shy and social fish known for their colorful appearance. They rarely grow larger than 2 inches, making them the perfect size for mollies, guppies, and other fish you can find in a community.
These stunning fish are a bit more sensitive to water parameters, so make sure the conditions are just right. Fortunately, they can survive in the same water as mollies, so keeping them healthy shouldn’t be too difficult.
While rasboras love decorations and plants, they also like to have lots of space to roam freely. As such, don’t overcrowd the tank with driftwood and fast-spreading plants such as water wisteria.
Keep in mind that harlequin rasboras like to live in large schools. You’ll need at least 6 of them to make sure they are happy. As mollies also like to stay in groups, you might end up needing a fairly big tank to fit them all.
16. Siamese Algae Eaters
Yes, it’s time we talk about another member of the clean up crew – the siamese algae eater.
Despite their appearance, these adorable fish that look like sharks are very peaceful and friendly. This makes them one of the best community fish you can find.
While Siamese algae eaters are omnivorous, they prefer herbivorous diets, so they are unlikely to be a problem for any small fish or crustaceans. Also, they aren’t likely to eat live plants – provided you’re feeding them properly.
Just like most fish I’ve mentioned, you should keep several Siamese algae eaters instead of just one. They like to swim in small schools and they can become stressed out or even territorial if you only keep one.
Finally, fish aren’t the only suitable molly fish tank mates you can find. Snails make great companions, too.
While most small invertebrates, such as dwarf shrimp, are too small to be kept in the same tank with omnivorous mollies, many snail species are just the right size not to be eaten. Also, their shell is rather thick, so they can withstand most attacks.
Some of the snails you can safely keep with mollies include:
- Assassin snails
- Mystery snails
- Ramshorn snails
- Nerite snails
There is just one thing to be careful about: Aquarium salt might kill freshwater snails. As you might be tempted to keep mollies in brackish water, be very careful if you want snails as their companions.
As mollies are one of the friendliest fish out there, finding suitable tank mates is essential for their wellbeing. Sure, you can keep mollies in species-only tanks, but this might be a waste of their potential.
With suitable molly fish tank mates, your freshwater aquarium can shine. There is nothing more gorgeous than seeing adorable, colorful fishies engaging with each other in a beautiful setup.
Of course, not all fish will be good for your mollies. Finding fish with similar temperament and requirements is essential. Otherwise, you’re just inviting chaos, and your fish will end up hurt – or worse.
Hi fellow aquarists, I’m Ava and I’ve been an enthusiastic aquarium hobbyist for over four years now.
I’ve been amazed by these beautiful creatures since I was a kid and I’m thrilled to be sharing everything I’ve learned over the years with anyone who’s as passionate about the topic as I am.