Can Betta Fish Live With Mollies? (How To Keep Them Together?)

Finding the right tankmates for our betta fish becomes challenging because of their aggressive and territorial behavior. Bettas are very territorial and make the whole tank their territory, and doesn’t like other fish to enter their kingdom.

However, your bettas can peacefully live with other fishes when provided with the right conditions. Also, you have to choose peaceful and calm creatures to add to your betta tank. Mollies are peaceful fish and a great addition to a community tank, but can they live with bettas? So, Can betta fish live with mollies? Let us find out.

Betta fish can live with mollies as they have similar water parameters requirements, and also they will enjoy each other food. However, consider creating plenty of hiding spots, keep them in at least a 30-gallon tank, and keep mollies with female betta to prevent issues like aggression.

This article will also discuss the things to consider when housing betta and mollies together. So, let us get into it.

Can we keep betta fish and mollies together in the same tank?

Keeping betta fish and mollies together in the same tank is possible.

They both have a similar water parameter requirement, which makes it possible to house them together.

Bettas are aggressive fish, whereas mollies are very peaceful, so some prevention is needed when planning to keep them together.

Also, bettas somewhere prefer to live on their own and don’t always enjoy the other fish’s company, so it is necessary to notice your betta fish behavior for some time when adding molly.

For some time, your betta will try to threaten your molly fish and show them that it is its territory and they are not allowed to swim anywhere.

But, after some time, it will become normal, and they both will live peacefully.

Usually, when you fulfill all their requirements and provide ample space, they will not likely show aggression.

However, if your betta fish continues to chase molly and try to fight with them, we recommend separating them from each other as it is only the choice your will be left with.

Also read: Can Betta Fish Live With Tetras?

What are the water parameters requirement of betta fish and molly fish?

When it comes to water parameters, mollies and betta have a similar requirements.

ParticularsBetta FishMolly Fish
Water temperature74-82 °F75-80 °F
Water pH level7 and 87.5-8.5
This table shows the ideal water parameters requirement of a betta and molly fish.

Betta requires a water temperature between 74-82 °F, and molly requires a water temperature between 75-80 °F.

Molly fish prefer a water pH level between 7.5 and 8.5, and betta fish prefer a water pH level between 7 and 8.

Water parameters won’t be an issue when housing betta and molly fish together in the same tank.

Now, let us know what water conditions they require to thrive.

Dietary requirements of molly fish and betta fish

There will be no issue with feeding your betta and molly fish in the same tank, as they both eat each other food.

Mollies are omnivores and require meat and plant-based food in their daily diet.

Betta fish are carnivore fish and require protein-based meat food in their daily diet.

Mollies will love to feed on brine shrimp, dried bloodworms, and larvae, which your bettas will eat.

And your bettas will also love to feed on your molly’s foods.

Spread the food all over the tank when feeding them to ensure that every fish gets the food.

What are the water conditions requirement of betta fish and molly fish?

Molly and betta are both freshwater fishes and will thrive living in clean water conditions.

Mollies prefer slightly salty water to thrive, and betta fish require fresh water.

However, you must know that adding aquarium salt to your betta tank will help them in their growth by increasing their immune system.

Also, some amount of aquarium salt will prevent your betta fish from illness.

So, adding some aquarium salt to your betta-molly tank is okay to ensure ideal water conditions for both.

Mollies and bettas both are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrite. Even a small amount of nitrite and ammonia can make them suffer from a life-threatening conditions.

You should always consider to keep a regular check on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels and make sure that ammonia and nitritre remains at 0 ppm, whereas nitrate should be below 20 ppm.

We recommend using the API freshwater master kit to keep a regular check on ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH level of the tank.

The temperament of betta fish and molly fish

Every fish comes with a different temperament. Some are peaceful, and some are aggressive.

When we talk about betta, we must know that they are also known as siamese fighting fish, and by their name, you can judge their temperament.

Bettas are aggressive and territorial fish.

Conversely, mollies are very peaceful creatures and will not likely interact with your bettas or cause any issues.

Yes, if you add only male mollies in the tank, you can encounter some aggression as they will fight each other sometimes to prove themselves as the alpha ones in the group.

So, adding two female mollies for every male molly fish is advisable.

Also, there can be fin nipping by mollies as they nip the fins of other fish with long and flowing fins.

However, fin nipping can be from both sides as molly also develops long and colorful fins.

So, you only have to worry about fin nipping from both sides.

However, this will happen if you are not providing them with their ideal living conditions.

Provide them with ample space and adequate water parameters and conditions, and they will live peacefully with each other.

Things to take care of when housing betta fish and mollies together?

All these are the things you have to take care of when adding betta fish and molly fish in the same tank:

  1. Provide them with ample space to live and swim comfortably.
  2. Create plenty of hiding spots for them.
  3. Ensure adequate water parameters.
  4. House small group of mollies with a betta.
  5. Consider adding female betta instead of male betta if possible.

Provide big-size tank

When keeping molly fish with betta fish, you have to ensure they both have ample space to live and swim comfortably.

When talking about betta, they require a minimum tank size of 5 gallons to thrive.

However, keeping them in a 10-gallon tank is a very good choice as it will ensure enough space for them to live and swim.

When keeping molly fish with betta fish, consider keeping them in a small group of 3-4.

An adult molly can reach the size of 4 to 4.5 inches. So, by following the one-inch one-gallon rule, which states that we should keep one inch of fish per gallon of water, you should provide a 20-gallon tank for four mollies.

A 30-gallon tank is required to house molly and betta together in a tank.

Also read: How Many Betta Fish In A 5-Gallon Tank?

Create plenty of hiding spots.

When keeping two fish species together, we should always create plenty of hiding spots for them to hide whenever they feel vulnerable.

Also, bettas require a hiding spot to rest and hide whenever they feel sick.

Mollies also require a hiding spot so that they can hide whenever they feel threatened.

However, creating lots of hiding spots for your betta-molly tank will make them feel secure and confident as they will know that they have a safe place to hide and rest.

There are plenty of hiding decors present in the market like caves, terra cotta pots, sunken ships, and other decor, of which the caves are the best hiding spots for your betta and mollies.

Also read: Why Is My Fish Hiding?

Ensure adequate water parameters.

To ensure that both your fish live comfortably, you must provide them with their ideal water parameters.

In the case of molly and betta, providing them with their ideal water parameters is relatively easy as they both have similar parameters requirements.

Set the water temperature to 78 °F and the pH level to 7. Maintaining these water parameters will fulfill their requirement.

House small group of mollies with betta

Mollies are schooling and shoaling fish, which require a group of their own to live happily and feel secure.

Consider keeping 3-4 mollies when keeping them with a betta fish.

Bettas are aggressive and territorial and can try to threaten your molly fish, and when there are more mollies, it helps them to feel confident.

Also, avoid adding only male mollies, as it can start aggression in the tank. 

Consider keeping three female and one male molly fish with your betta fish.

Consider Keeping female betta fish with molly.

There is no doubt that female bettas are aggressive but much less aggressive than male betta fish.

So, keeping female betta fish with mollies will lower the risk of aggression and fights in the tank.

You can also keep molly fish in a betta sorority, but you must consider a bigger tank for that.

Also read: Can Betta Fish Live With Goldfish?

How to deal with the molly fry?

Mollies are livebearers and give birth to fry.

When keeping male and female molly fish together, it is sure that they are going to breed, and female molly will produce lots of baby molly.

However, it is also possible that your female molly produces fry in the absence of male molly.

Yes, it is possible because female molly fish can store the sperm of the male molly and use them whenever they want to reproduce.

If your female molly has not given birth to the fry for a long time and there is no male molly in the tank, you don’t have to worry, as they will not give birth now.

However, most of the molly fry will get eaten by the parents and the betta fish.

If you want to save the fry from the mollies and betta, consider adding plenty of highly dense plants and floating plants so that they can hide from the adults.

And, if you don’t want more mollies, let them be on their own, as most of them will get eaten by the adults present in the tank.

Which molly species should not be kept with a betta?

These are the two species of molly fish you should avoid keeping with your betta fish:

  1. Black molly fish
  2. Balloon molly fish

These molly species are more aggressive and are bad fin nippers.

Adding them to your betta tank will create issues as they will fight each other until one dies.


You can house betta and mollies in the same tank, as they require similar water parameters.

Also, they both will enjoy eating the same types of food, like bloodworms, brine shrimp, pellets, and other dry food.

To prevent issues like aggression and chasing, provide them with ample space, ideal water parameters, and lots of hiding spots.

Also, consider keeping mollies with female betta fish as they are less aggressive than males, and it makes it more possible to house them together.

Reference: Wikipedia, Wikipedia,

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