Do Mollies Like To Hide? {4 Reasons They Are Hiding}

Have you ever seen mollies hide? Do you think mollies hide because they are scared?

Well, this article will provide you with the necessary information you need to know about mollies, like why they hide?.

Do Mollies Like To Hide? Mollies will typically not hide unless there is something going on with them such as pregnant, stressed, suffering with an illness or aggressive tank mates.

Do Mollies Like To Hide

What Does it Mean when a Molly Fish Hides?

As a  fish owner, if you observe your molly fish is constantly hiding behind plants or decorations, you should probably check out the situation.

Molly fish usually hide when they feel intimidated by tank mates. It can also happen when they are new to the environment or when water conditions aren’t favorable.

To make molly fish happy and comfortable, you need to recreate a replica of the natural environment at the aquarium. You can do this by adding items like plants, ornaments such as rocks, driftwood, and so forth.

Common reasons why mollies hide include;

  • Aggressive Tank Mates
  • Poor Water Quality
  • Change Of Environment
  • Disease

Aggressive Tank Mates

Mollies are peaceful fish, always minding their business and staying away from trouble. Mollies want to pair with fish that are like them equally.

Mollies are not compatible with all species of fish, such as barbs and betta. These fish tend to be dominant and aggressive, making the Molly fish feel frightened and go into hiding.

Water Quality

Mollies can’t thrive in poor water conditions. Thou Mollies are pretty hardy and can adapt to various conditions. They can only tolerate so much.

As the caretaker of the fish, you have the responsibility of providing the best water quality. If the water conditions of your tank aren’t favorable, the fish will go into hiding.

Change of Environment

If you recently bought a molly fish and observed a strange behavior not lively like at the aquarium, you shouldn’t be concerned. Some fish act a little weird when they move them to new places.

Molly fish tend to hide in the new tank, but they start to come out from their hiding place once they get comfortable.

Overpopulated Tank

When you have a tank overcrowded with other fish aside from mollies, you are creating an uncomfortable environment for the fish. Mollies are peaceful fish, so even if one fish attacks them, they won’t react. They go into hiding to avoid the aggressive neighbors.


There are some beliefs that mollies go into hiding when they are about to die that aren’t true. When Molly feels weak, they tend to hide away to protect themselves from predators.

Are Mollies Shy?

Mollies can act very shy at times; if you notice your Molly fish go into hiding, it’s probably just nervous, especially when they are in a new environment.

They tend to hide for a week or more until they feel secure. When they eventually feel safe and don’t feel like any fish will attack them, they become less shy.

But if you want to draw your Molly fish out of hiding, try adding an algae wafer into the tank; this immediately draws their attention and helps them socialize with other fish in the tank. They will become comfortable as long as no fights happen.

Do Mollies Hide when they are Pregnant or Giving Birth?

Mollies feel the most vulnerable when they are pregnant. Sometimes they don’t get big, so they go into hiding to protect themselves from any attack. They only come out from hiding when it’s time to eat. This is a sensitive time for them; they are unusually extra shy.

YouTube video

Few signs alert you if your female Molly fish is pregnant. They begin to move slower in water, keep their distance from other fish. There is also a dark spot that appears near the anal vent.

The female Molly fish also go into hiding when they are about to give birth; they hide behind plants or decorations.

New Mollies Hiding is Normal?

If you notice your new Molly acting strangely, hiding in various places in the tank, you shouldn’t worry. When you take a Molly from the aquarium and put them in a tank with other fish, they feel scared and shy, hiding to protect themselves until they feel secure.

Molly fish may take longer to adjust to the new environment, but they stop hiding and become active and socialize with other fish once they do.

Is my Molly fish sick?

When a Molly fish is sick, it may be suffering from a disease; fish can also get diseases such as parasites or fungus. If your fish is sick, then it’s probably stressed for some reason.

If your Molly fish is acting a bit unusual, like has no appetite, hides, has sores, or wounds, these symptoms indicate the Molly fish is stressed.

Sick fish tend to do the following ;

  • Sick fish often show a colour change. They start to acquire a dull or pale colour
  • A sick fish may have swollen or bulging eyes
  • A sick fish may stay in a position for an extended period, like at the bottom of the tank.
  • Fish who are ill may have a loss of appetite
  • A swollen belly is another sign that the fish might be sick.

The first step to getting your fish better is by removing all stressors. Take away anything that will cause harm to the fish. Consult your veterinary doctor for suggestions to help make your fish feel better.

Male Molly Hiding and Swimming Frantically

It is unusual to see a male Molly hiding or swimming frantically. When your Molly fish starts exhibiting behaviors like this, it means they are stressed.

Suppose your fish starts to swim frantically without going anywhere, rubbing himself against ornaments like rocks or any abnormal activity caused by experiencing stress. Contact your veterinarian doctor to figure out what the problem is.

Avoid overcrowding the fish tank so that your Molly doesn’t feel threatened by other fish.


A molly fish can get shy, just like we humans behave when we are in a new environment that isn’t a problem. Molly fish are one of the most popular and easy fish to care for. However, it would help if you also tried to create a conducive environment for the fish to thrive better, avoid overcrowding the tank with many companions.


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.