Do Mollies Eat Algae? {Is Algae Good or Bad For Them}

Have you noticed that your Mollies have been eating algae lately? Are you worried about your Mollies eating algae?

Below, I will explain what you need to know about Mollies eating algae.

Do Mollies Eat Algae? Yes, Mollies do eat algae. Mollies will eat all kinds of algae, including the ones from plants, rocks, and water.

Do Mollies Eat Algae

Mollies will typically not eat as much algae as other fish.

Is Algae Ok For Them To Eat?

Naturally, algae are not considered a significant diet of Mollies, but they eat it, and it’s okay for them too. When you study the feeding pattern of Mollies, you will see that they are omnivorous fishes.

This implies that they can survive on both plants and other animals. However, Mollies feed mainly on algae and plant matter. They eat vegetables and spirulina to stay healthy. Mollies are placed in the aquarium; they get rid of the algae on the rocks.

But you won’t expect them to eat much of the algae in the aquarium because they are not as efficient as most algae-eaters.

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Knowing that algae are very low in nutrition, for Mollies to be healthy eating them, they have to eat many algae on the rocks.

These algae serve as extra food supplements to the Mollies, and once all the algae are from the aquarium, you will have to feed the Mollies with more food supplements.

If the Mollies in the aquarium are not quick to eat up all algae present on the rocks, another fish or sea creature can be added to the aquarium to help remove the algae in the rocks.

These fishes and other sea creatures are efficient algae eaters.

Some fishes and sea creatures you can introduce into the aquarium are guppies, shrimps, snails, and several more. With these algae eaters in your aquarium, you can be sure that the algae population in your aquarium will be reduced.

Do Mollies Eat Hair Algae?

Mollies eat hair algae just like many other fishes do. Hair algae are one of the types of algae you will find on the rock in an aquarium. They may not be the best algae-eater in the market, but they will always do a great job.

Some of the top examples of Hair algae eaters remain Amano shrimp, siamese algae eaters, nerite snails, rosy barbs, guppies, platies, and Mollies. These fishes will eat up the algae you have in your aquarium.

Guppies, for example, can also find training to identify and eat hair algae.

There are cases where the level of black beard in the aquarium is higher than the number of Mollies.

You can resolve this by increasing the number of Mollies in the aquarium. The faster fishes in the aquarium eat up the algae present there, the cleaner and healthier the aquarium will become.

Molly fish will eat all the algae belonging to the below alga group:

  • Euglenophyta (Euglenoids)
  • Chrysophyta (Golden-brown algae and Diatoms)
  • Pyrrophyta (Fire algae)
  • Chlorophyta (Green algae)
  • Rhodophyta (Red algae)
  • Paeophyta (Brown algae)
  • Xanthophyta (Yellow-green algae)

Do All Mollies Eat Black Beard Algae?

Yes, all Mollies can eat the Black Beard Algae, popularly called Brush Algae. However, this algae is tough to get rid of. Black Beard grows in dense tufts or clumps of dark green to black, hair-like strands.

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The exciting thing about Black Beard Algae is that they grow on almost all hard surfaces, such as woods and decorations. Therefore, to remove these algae from the rocks and water in the aquarium, you have to introduce external creatures like shrimps or Mollies.

These algae eaters will feed on the algae in your aquarium, to the very last one. Black Beard Algae, when eaten, serves as a source of food for the creatures in the waters like Mollies, which are mainly consumed for nutrients. Sadly, Black Beard Algae nutrients are insufficient, which implies that the Mollies have to take much of the algae to gain more nutrients.

Do Mollies Eat Algae In Reef Tank?

Mollies eat algae in reef tanks just like they eat other algae located elsewhere. They have a unique feature that allows them to eat algae in reef tanks. This is because Mollies are adapted to survive naturally in saltwater

When trying to understand how Mollies can eat algae in reef tanks, you must remember that they naturally live in brackish waters. Because the waters in their habitat are partly saltwater and partly freshwater, Mollies are then adapted to hunt for their food in both fresh and salty water.

The Sailfin Mollies is an excellent example of Mollies surviving in both sea and freshwater. They easily transition from freshwater to saltwater through the process called drip acclimation. This usually takes about 3 to 4 hours, and once it’s complete, the Mollies can now switch to the water type they want. Other kinds of Molly fish that go through the process of drip acclimation includes:

  • Dalmatian Molly Fish
  • Dalmatian Lyretail Molly
  • White / Silver Sailfin Molly
  • Black Lyretail Molly
  • Gold Dust Molly
  • Balloon Belly Molly Fish
  • Marble Lyretail Molly
  • Harlequin Sailfin Molly
  • Platinum Lyretail Molly

Do Saltwater Mollies Eat Algae?

All saltwater Mollies eat algae as a source of nutrients. They eat the algae on the surface of the sea and other parts of the saltwater they find. For this reason, Mollies can be used to clean up the algae in the water.

Even though it would take a lot of time for the Mollies to eat up all the algae in the water completely, they are still very efficient.

In fact, these highly hardy fishes are gradually being used for recycling in water in freshwater tanks, as well as that of saltwater tanks

In saltwater aquariums, Mollies are faster at eating all the saltwater algae. These mollies in a saltwater aquarium help to remove a variety of undesirable algae in the aquarium.

This has seen many researchers take an interest in these fish species for recycling polluted water in the water body. They are also used to create specialized biofilms which stimulate algae growth.



Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.