Can angelfish live with mollies?

In this article we will discuss angelfish and mollies.We will also discuss their relationship and other tank parameters which are suitable for them to survive together in aquarium settings.

Overview 

  • Can angelfish and mollies live in the same aquariums?
  • Key specifications of angelfish and mollies
  • Where are angelfish and mollies found?
  • How long do angelfish and mollies live?
  • What tank size do angelfish and mollies need?
  • Are angelfish and mollies aggressive in nature?
  • What do angelfish and mollies eat?
  • Are water parameters same for angelfish and mollies in aquarium conditions?
  • Do angelfish and mollies need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?
  • Do angelfish and mollies need the same light intensity in their tanks?
  • Do angelfish and mollies need similar substrates in their tank?
  • Is it easy to care for angelfish and mollies togethers in the same aquariums?
  • Are angelfish and mollies both perfect community fish?
  • Are angelfish and mollies beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference 

Can angelfish and mollies live in the same aquariums?

Angelfish and mollies make great tank mates as they have similar tank preference, food habits and water parameters.They really go well with each other and are a perfect companion to each other.

Mollies know to protect themselves in community tanks,so they won’t feel intimidated by larger or aggressive tank mates.

Key specifications of angelfish and Mollies

Key specificationsAngelfish Mollies
Scientific nameTypes



Family 
Pterophyllum GenusFreshwater angelfishAltum angelfishLeopold’s angelfish

Cichlidae
Poecilia sphenopsSailfin MollyPlatinum lyretail MollyDalmatian MollyBalloon MollyGold Doubloon MollyPoeciliidae
Temperament Semi-aggressive Peaceful/Community friendly
Diet OmnivoresOmnivores
Habitat South America90 different speciesNorth andSouth America40 species

Where are angelfish and mollies found?

Angelfish are found in quiet, slow moving water,dimly lit areas, overhanging vegetation of tropical South America.

Mollies are native to America,mainly North and South America and can easily adapt in different water conditions, from brackish waters to high hydrogen sulfide levels.

Mollies are mostly found in warm and slow-moving tropical rivers with slightly alkaline pH.

How long do angelfish and mollies live?

Angelfish can live up to 10 years in captivity,if they are kept in a right size aquarium,given nutritions, balanced diet meals and optimal water conditions.

Mollies have a very short lifespan between 2-5 years in captivity.Their lifespan depends on the tank environment and water conditions.

Mollies are very sensitive to poor water conditions and can have various infections due to dirty water conditions.

What tank size do angelfish and mollies need?

Tank size for angels

  • Angels are bigger in size and need a bigger,taller and spacious tank of 40-45 gallons to house them.
  • An 80 gallon tank will keep a small school of angelfish together.
  • Angels need an open swimming area  and lots of hiding space in their tank.
  • Taller aquariums are best for angels as they can nicely accommodate their body shape.
  • Angels do well in bigger and spacious tanks.
  • Minimum tank size for angels is 30 gallons
  • Angels don’t do well in smaller and crowded aquariums.

Tank size for mollies

  • Mollies can do well in small to medium sized tanks due to their small size.
  • Mollies need a minimum tank size of 10 gallons.
  • A 30-gallon tank is required by large mollies.
  • Larger and spacious tank is always better for a group of mollies.
  • A 29 gallons tank is required to house a small group of mollies.
  • A 45 gallons tank is required to house a large group of mollies.
  • One inch of mollies need a gallon of water.

Are angelfish and mollies aggressive in nature?

Angelfish are normally peaceful cichlids but get aggressive towards their own kind during breeding season.

They are called opportunists by some fish keepers,as they tend to eat anything in their vicinity,which can easily fit in their mouth.They also show aggression to establish their hierarchy in aquariums.

Mollies are peaceful,friendly and easygoing community species.They are not aggressive at all,but in overcrowded tanks and with aggressive tank mates they become aggressive.

Male mollies are known to show aggression during breeding time. Among all mollies black mollies have a very peaceful temperament.If you see male mollies chasing female mollies then nothing to worry,it’s very normal.

But always maintain a proper male to female ratio in their tanks to avoid such behavior.

What do angelfish and mollies eat?

Both angelfish and mollies are omnivores and have similar food preferences.Make sure they are not fighting over food resources in the aquarium.

Angelfish are omnivores and bottom feeders.Being an omnivore they too accept a wide range of food.

Food preference for angelfish:

  • Hikari vibra bites
  • Tubifex worms
  • Tropical flakes
  • Shrimp pellets
  • Freeze dried bloodworms (most favorite)
  • Fluval bug bites
  • Color flakes
  • Tropical granules
  • Zucchini
  • Algae wafers
  • Frozen mysis shrimp
  • Cichlid flake and protein rich pellets

Mollies are omnivores and accept a wide range of food.In wild mollies are known to eat invertebrates,plant matter and algae.They are Voracious eaters and great algae eaters

Food preference for mollies:

  • Algae
  • Vegetables (nicely blanched spinach,lettuce and zucchini)
  • Prepared food (Hikari micro wafers)
  • Live food
  • Frozen food
  • Carotenoid for pigmentation

Are water parameters same for angelfish and mollies in aquarium conditions?

Both angelfish and mollies share almost similar water preference in their natural habitat and aquarium conditions.

Water parametersAngelfishMollies
Water typeTemperature 
Breeding temperaturepHWater hardnessWater movement
Freshwater 80F (warm water)
80F-82F6.8-7.8 (acidic)3-8 dKHSlow moving
Freshwater 72°F-78°F(some species as high as 80 degrees)78-82F7.5-8.5 (slightly alkaline)20-30 KHSlow-moving

Do angelfish and mollies need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?

Tank plants for angelsAngelfish thrive well in densely planted aquariums.Anubias,Hornworts,jungle Vallisneria, Java fern,Amazon sword,Wisteria, Water sprite, dwarf tiger lotus,Ambulia.Amazon swords are very  important during breeding time
Tank plants for molliesMollies do well in densely planted tanks.Densely planted tanks will give them great space to rest and hide.Sturdy plants go well with mollies tanks like java fern, Sagittaria, anubias,vallisneria.Vallisneria and eel grass will tolerate high pH.

Do angelfish and mollies need the same light intensity in their tanks?

Angelfish do need light in their tanks to differentiate between day and night.Abrupt light changes stress them.They need light for at least 9 hours a day in their tank.Standard aquarium light will imitate the natural sunlight and will do the needful.

Mollies don’t need light directly in their tanks.They need everyday light for some 8 to 12 hours only.If the tank is mollies centric then 1 watt of lighting power per gallon of tank volume is sufficient to observe mollies.

Lighting intensity are more or less similar for both angelfish and mollies.

Do angelfish and mollies need similar substrates in their tank?

Angelfish are bottom feeders and need a substrate which are fine to medium grade.They do well in smooth surface gravels.

Some of them have the habit of digging their substrate too so a smooth substrate is fine for angels.Smooth substrate will not damage them while digging or during feeding at the bottom.

A normal sandy substrate layer or an aragonite sand substrate at the bottom of the tank will do well for mollies.

Aragonite is composed of calcium carbonate,which has the property to leach minerals.Make sure the substrate is smooth.

Similar preference of substrate for both angelfish and mollies.

Is it easy to care for angelfish and mollies togethers in the same aquariums?

Angelfish do well in well maintained tanks,where pH ,temperatures ,water movement ,food and other things are taken care of properly. They are easy to care for but may get aggressive towards other tank mates in overcrowded tanks.

Mollies are peaceful, easy-going, social, active and low-maintenance aquarium fish.They’re easy to keep and can adapt well in any setups. Though easy to handle, they are susceptible to bad water conditions if not maintained properly.

Both angelfish and mollies are easy to care for in one condition,if the tanks are spacious and water parameters are pristine.

Are they both perfect community fish?

Angelfish do well in community tanks but they might like overcrowded tanks.If you are planning to keep angelfish in a community tank then make sure that tank is spacious and bigger.

They get aggressive in small and overcrowded tanks.So it’s very important to add angelfish in a bigger and spacious community tank.

Mollies are considered as great freshwater community fish because of their peaceful,easy going,friendly and low-maintenance tank setup.

All they need is a great space to swim and compatible tank mates with them to live stress free in a community tank.Lagers and spacious tank will be better for a group of mollies in a community tank.

Both angelfish and mollies do well in spacious and bigger community tanks.

Are they beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?

Angelfish are good for both newcomers and experienced aquarist.They are hardy species and do well in a wide range of water parameters.You need to keep ammonia levels in check to avoid ammonia spikes in their tanks.

Mollies are good beginner fish but they are very sensitive to poor water conditions.

So they would be best for experienced fish keepers who are aware of proper tank management,tank cycling and regular water changes. They are recommended for both beginners/experienced fishkeepers.

Both angelfish and mollies are recommended for newcomers and experienced fishkeepers.

Summary

  • Both angelfish and mollies come from freshwater environments with almost similar habitats.
  • They both need a densely planted environment like their natural habitat in their aquarium.
  • Both have similar preference for light and substrates too.
  • Feeding habits and food choice is also almost similar.The fishkeepers don’t have to stress about this when keeping them together.
  • Mollies are peaceful,easy going and require low maintenance in their tanks and are perfect companions for angelfish.
  • Angelfish and mollies are recommended for both newcomers and experienced fishkeepers.
  • But mollies need proper water changes & one must know proper tank management to handle mollies as they are prone to poor water conditions.

Frequently asked questions

Among all mollies,which molly goes well with angelfish?

Sailfin mollies are bigger in size among all mollies and can perfectly go well with angelfish.

Can angelfish feed on mollies fry?

Angelfish are known to eat smaller sized fish and fish that can fit easily into their mouth in their vicinity.They will definitely feed on mollies fry and if you want to raise mollies fry then kindly keep them in a separate tank to avoid such situations.

Reference

https://www.buildyouraquarium.com/complete-freshwater-angelfish-set-care-guide/
https://theaquariumguide.com/articles/mollies-care-guide#Lifespan

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