Do Mollies Really Eat Algae?


Mollies are one of the most popular aquarium fish species originating from the Poeciliidae family. It is especially recommended to beginners in this hobby since molly fish is known for its easy to care personality and wide variety of species to choose from. Even though raising them is not difficult we still advocate to get the necessary knowledge about their living conditions and caring requirements. In this article, we would like to talk about their diet and answer some of the most searched questions regarding this topic – do mollies really eat algae?

Mollies do really eat algae. Generally, molly fish is not considered an “algae eating” fish and won’t get rid of as many algae as the other species but it still enjoys consuming algae from plants and rocks.

If you are willing to raise a fish in the aquarium it is essential to know everything about their diet and feeding requirements. It is pretty common for algae to grow in the tank and it is usually induced by lighting and imbalance of nutrients. The majority of fish species are able to eat and get rid of it easily and we are here to talk about the contribution mollies make in this process. Let’s start!

Do Mollies Eat Green Hair Algae?

As we have mentioned above, mollies are able to consume a significant number of algae in your aquarium. Although they are not as good as other species when it comes to this process it is still a considerable benefaction for the tank.

Yes, Mollies can eat green hair algae that grows on the leaves of plants. Generally, they like to feast on softer algae which greatly helps you to manage algae problems.

However, you need to take into mind that it is not a part of their main diet and you should supply them with other nutrients as well.

Mollies are always hungry since they don’t have a stomach and they love to eat algae wafers also. It is extremely important to control their feeding process and give your mollies at least one day off in order to avoid obesity.

Do Mollies Really Eat Algae?
Do Mollies Really Eat Algae?

Can Algae Eaters Live With Mollies?

Yes, other algae eaters will love to get along fine with Mollies, but you have to be very selective in this process.

Why Does Your Aquarium Have Algae?

We have highlighted above that the growth of algae is usually caused by an imbalance of nutrients and lighting in the tank. It is quite difficult to prevent this as your plants require essential nutrients and proper lighting to ensure successful growth.

If you provide too much light to your plants and not enough nutrients, algae will take advantage of that abundant light and multiply. It will behave exactly like that on the opposite occasion when you give a lot of nutrients and not enough light to the plants.

As you can see, algae get benefits either way and it is very hard to prevent this. Your plants are going to need a different amount of nutrients and lighting as they flourish and finding the right balance is nearly impossible. Therefore, there is nothing you can do to prevent algae growth in the tank and you have to build your hopes on fish that is capable of eating it.

Is Algae Good or Bad?

As we have concluded above, it’s almost impossible to avoid having algae in your tank so we would like to talk about whether it is a good thing or not. The majority of people think that algae are bad but it also carries several beneficial qualities.

For example, they are able to produce oxygen and convert organic nutrients and light into new algae which help to get rid of waste effectively. Also, algae are less complex lifeforms compared to other plants and they will withstand tough conditions easily.

Does Molly fish eats algae?
Is algae good or bad for Molly?

There is a lot of fish who will gladly feast on algae and it is a pretty convenient way to filtrate your aquarium and clean the water. Also, algae might be attractive by its appearance to some people but most of them think that it obstructs a viewing area in the tank.

We want to repeat once again that no aquarium is 100% free of algae as it always grows in different amounts. There are some ways to take control of it and reduce the growth significantly. So, instead of thinking about how to get rid of them entirely, you need to pay attention to the advantages that algae offer and utilize necessary actions to decrease the amount of it.

Tips to Avoid Algae Overgrowth

Above, we have informed you regarding the major causing factors of algae growth. Next, we would like to note some beneficial ways you can use to prevent algae overgrowth –

  • Reduce lighting – If you place your aquarium in the direction of direct sunlight it will definitely enhance the growth of algae. So, it’s important to avoid this, and also, you should not exceed the recommended norm when using artificial light. Our suggestion would be to use a timer to control the light better.
  • Water Changes – It is extremely important to perform regular water changes in the aquarium to avoid not only the growth of algae but several harmful chemicals. In order to keep the nutrients low, you should change at least 20% of the water every week. This way, you will also get rid of nitrates that fertilize plants.
  • Reduce Feeding – If you provide more food than allowed it will increase the phosphate levels in the water. You have to control the feeding process accurately and make sure not to overfeed your fish. Also, it’s necessary to remove any leftover food since it helps to dirty the water and grow algae.
  • Test Your Water – It is highly recommended to test your water source. You have to check the nitrate and phosphate levels and if the amount of these substances is too high it’s time to use some chemicals to remove them. Also, you can apply filtered water but first, explore it carefully not to include harmful nutrients.
  • Keep Live Plants – Live plants are known to absorb the majority of nutrients that help algae overgrowth. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep as many of them as possible to maintain a low level of nutrients. Also, we recommend removing algae by your hands in case they grow on the glass, rocks, or other surfaces of your aquarium.
  • Keep Algae-Eating Fish – You already found out from this article that mollies are algae-eating species and they will definitely help you get rid of them. However, there are some species that feast on algae even more than mollies such as catfish, plecos, platys, guppies, Siamese algae eater, Siamese flying fox, different types of snails, and so on. If your tank has a lot of algae then these above-mentioned species are a very good solution for you.

There are different kinds of algae that can grow in the aquarium and if you successfully utilize these steps, you will prevent overgrowth and maintain a comfortable environment for your fish.

Final Thought

This is a pretty important topic in the aquarium hobby as the majority of beginner aquarists have no idea how to deal with the excessive growth of algae in the tank. Mollies are a very convenient choice to get rid of this issue since they are willing to consume a big number of algae.

Additionally, we have provided some beneficial ways to control the growth of algae and use its beneficial qualities for maximum effect.

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