How Can I Breed Black Mollies?

Like all mollies, the black molly is a live-bearing fish. Mollies breed readily and are a good choice for novice fish owners.

  1. Provide a favorable environment

    Mollies need a tank that provides three to five gallons of water per adult fish. They prefer a slightly alkaline pH of 7.5 to 8.2 and do best if you add a tablespoon of aquarium salt for every five gallons of water. For best results, change out 20 percent of the water in the tank daily. Keep the tank heated to between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Have the right equipment on hand

    To protect the fry (baby fish) after they are born, you need an aquarium net breeder, a breeding trap or a second tank in which to isolate the youngsters until they are big enough not to be eaten by adult fish. Alternately, you can place aquatic plants in your aquarium to provide hiding places for the fry.

  3. Obtain a pregnant female

    You can buy black mollies at most pet shops. If the female you purchase is already pregnant, you don't need to buy a male, as a female can produce several broods of fry from just one insemination. If you decide to buy both male and female mollies, buy at least twice as many females as males.

  4. Feed the pregnant molly well

    Feed your pregnant black molly with a good-quality flake fish food. You can supplement the flake food with a few brine shrimp, freeze dried blood worms or live black worms daily.

  5. Isolate the pregnant female

    When your pregnant molly looks very fat, either put her in a tank set apart for raising fry or in an aquarium breeding net or breeding trap. Once she has given birth, remove her from the isolation area and place her back in the main tank. If she gives birth in the main tank, don't panic. As long as you have provided plenty of hiding places for the fry, some are likely to survive.

  6. Raise and release the babies

    Feed the babies powdered flake fish food. They are ready for release into the main aquarium population when they have doubled their length at birth.