Molly Fish Care: Can Mollies Live with Tetras? (2021)

Can Mollies Live with Tetras?

Aquarium owners are always on the search to find fish that can co-habit in their tanks. Molly fish care takes a long way to make the water-scape far more pleasing when there are multiple fish species to watch swimming around.

Questions are often asked on the best types of fish to mix, and while tank owners know that it probably isn’t the best to mix large and small fish, it leads to the question.

Can mollies live with tetras? Mollies can live with tetras easily. Both species share very similar tank requirements, such as the pH and the temperatures. Second, they are very close in size, have the same docile nature, and there are no dominant species as one is not much larger than the other. 

However, you can find on occasions that there may still be some hostility between the two fish species. Here, you can learn as much as possible to help minimize these risks and maintain a peaceful aquarium setting.


Molly fish care: Mollies Living with Tetras

Your mollies and neon tetras can happily co-habit in your tank. You often Mollies classed as the most compatible tank-mate for tetras, or vice versa.

However, molly fish care can be challenging most of the time because both species have distinct personalities. You will find both peaceful, yet some mollies and tetras have manifested a few violent tendencies.

In certain situations, you may find the rise of violent behavior between the two happening naturally, and you can see external stimuli forcing them into aggression between each other. Any tank owner searching for tank mates shouldn’t take it for granted that mollies are automatically the right choice to live with their tetras.

Here are a couple of reasons why they get along, and where you can also make adjustments to your tank, so it meets the criteria, and thus leads to a happy tank.

Mollies Living with Tetras

Fish Size Differences

Neon Tetras can grow to two inches and are small relative to other popular aquarium fish. That’s one reason they’re so popular, and they don’t take up much space, and you can keep them in large numbers.

Molly fish care can be a challenge for small fish because of the opportunistic eating nature of most fish. Whatever fits in their mouths can be a suitable meal. Most of the time, these opportunists are larger fish.

Mollies are larger than tetras; however, the size difference isn’t too far apart. Mollies grow to an average size of 4 inches. The male molly is 3 inches, and the more prominent female molly can grow to 6 inches.

You can typically expect your mollies to be around the 4-inch size, which reduces any chance of your mollies attacking and eating your tetras. If you see there is little size variation between the two, then chances are they will get along.

Tank Requirements

You will need a fish tank that holds around 10-gallons because of the small size of tetras. With this, you will need to make sure the water temperatures are 68 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

Tetras are partial to vegetated tanks, as these can help them remain hidden if they sense any threats.

For tetra feeding, they are omnivores, who will eat both meat and plant matter. A regular diet can comprise flakes, pellets, dried or live, and frozen foods.

Tetras have little concern over the substrate in your aquarium and all in; they are an easy fish to care for.

What is essential to know is that any of these requirements don’t clash with those of mollies.

Mollies also need a 10-gallon tank, love planted tanks, which have temperatures ranging from 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, with pH levels ranging 6.7 to 8.5.

For food, mollies are also omnivores, and meals will be very similar to your tetras.

Fish Temperament

Mollies are very peaceful shoaling fish, which should be kept in groups with a minimum of 5 or 6. However, you can discover the males may not be as gentle as female mollies and can fight to establish a hierarchy.

Lack of females can also induce conflict, yet keep them balanced in numbers, and male mollies will remain peaceful.

Mollies can be seen as active and social, so they are happy to tolerate other species’ in the same tank. Tetras also are not aggressive fish and are peace-loving like mollies.

One thing to remember is that tetras are known as fin nippers occasionally. While they don’t always show this behavior, it is worth remembering.

Can Mollies Eat Tetras?

Mollies eating tetras are one concern tank owners may have. Should a molly wish to eat a tetra, they probably could, yet it won’t happen in most cases.

When mollies are fed sufficiently, they will take little interest in eating a tetra, and likewise, the other way around will also be accurate aside from fin nipping.

Can Mollies Eat Tetras

How to Ensure Mollies and Tetras Co-Habit Peacefully

While both species are peaceful, there could be incidents, so as a tank owner, there are a few things to do to help assure your tank remains peaceful.

Here are a few things you can try to help maintain a peaceful aquarium.

Avoid Overcrowding Tanks

Fish of any species don’t like to be in a full tank. Overcrowding leads to hostile environments, especially if aquariums are small. You can find tetras fin nipping here, and should they do so, mollies may retaliate.

For a combination of the two, your 10-gallon tank won’t suffice, and you are better looking at a 20-gallon tank as a minimum.

Introduce More Female Mollies

Adding more female mollies can cure many issues, as the males will have lots to occupy their minds. The ideal ratio of males to females is one male to three female mollies. Even as though they are a shoaling species, these shoals should be mostly females.

Plants and Vegetation

Mollies and tetras both love tanks with an abundance of underwater foliage to use as cover in case of threats. Mollies ignore tetras once they cannot see them.

Feeding Fish Properly

All fish need to be adequately fed, and your mollies and tetras are no different. Starvation can be the key motivator for stress in fish, and it is why tetras can begin fin nipping when hungry.

Feeding fish twice per day can help avoid this scenario; however, not every tank owner can be around to carry out this task. Automatic fish feeders can save you the trouble and keep unrest in your fish tank.

Like many species, feed fish the amount of food they can consume in two minutes. If all the food is consumed inside this time, you can increase the portion size slightly.

Use Aquarium Dividers

Should you have issues and no matter what you try you find your mollies and tetras not getting along, you can use a tank divider. Doing so creates a physical barrier between your fish.

If you don’t wish to go down this route, you will need to take out your tetras as they will be the ones under threat the most.

Use Aquarium Dividers

Neon tetras will probably get along with mollies. Both species are relatively docile and rarely seek to oppress other types of fish. However, if the tank is too crowded or the fish are starving, they may become aggressive.

To avoid that, provide them with a tank which is at least 20 gallons. Make sure that you feed your mollies and neon tetras twice a day while keeping the portions sufficient. If hostility still takes place, your best choice would be to isolate the tetras.

If you have a well-balanced tank, there is no reason you can’t have both fish species living together in your aquarium without issue.

The above is all you need to put in place, and before you know it, you will have a harmonious grouping of two fish in your tank rather than one.