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Did your molly fish just give birth to young fry and are curious about what to feed them? Well, this is a common concern for beginners aquarists.
In this article, we will discuss what to feed your Molly fry at different stages of their development and provide some feeding recommendations to ensure that your tiny fish become healthy adults.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
What should I feed my baby molly fish?
Typically, you can feed your molly fry (baby molly fish) various foods throughout its development, like infusoria, baby brine shrimp, high-quality crushed flakes, freeze-dried foods, worms, and pellets. Some of the foods must be fed before others, depending on your molly fry’s age.
If you want to feed the fry as an experienced aquarist would then read below to learn about the sequence of foods you should feed the molly fry according to their age:
1. Infusoria (From Day 1 to 7)
For the first week after fries are born or in the early days of their lives, molly fries are too small to eat anything bigger than their mouth opening, which makes Infusoria a perfect choice. Think of Infusoria as a term for those small organisms that the molly fries or other fry, in general, can be fed upon.
They are an excellent food for fry, as they contain all the necessary nutrients for rapid growth and development in the initial days.
It is possible to culture infusoria at home using banana peels, milk, straws, lettuce, or other items.
This microscopic food is ideal for newborn mollies to become healthy adults.
If you want to learn more about how to culture Infusoria you can check out this video:
2. Baby Brine Shrimp (Between Days 7 to 21)
Between days 7-21, your Molly fry should be big enough to eat baby brine shrimp. Baby brine shrimp are small, nutrient-rich crustaceans that can be easily cultured at home. They are a great source of protein with a high protein content of 71% and other essential nutrients needed by a growing fry.
Many people prefer to freeze the brine shrimp to kill off or prevent any bacteria and parasites.
You should definitely include this protein-rich food in your molly fry diet.
3. Freeze-Dried & Frozen Foods (From Days 21 to 35)
When your molly fry is 3 weeks old, it can be offered a variety of freeze-dried or frozen foods, such as daphnia, bloodworms, and Vinegar eels. These foods are high in protein and other essential nutrients and will help the development of the fries.
To feed freeze-dried or frozen foods to your fry, thaw the food according to the package instructions but make sure you break it down into small pieces that can fit into a fry’s mouth in small amounts to the fry tank.
4. Worms (From Days 35 to 56)
Around the fifth week of their lives, you can offer your molly fries worms, such as black worms, white worms, grindal worms, and earthworms.
Worms are one of the most popular food choices when it comes to feeding both adult fishes as well as fries, as they contain the essential nutrients that the fish or fries need.
To feed worms to your fry, cut the worms into small pieces and add them to the fry tank.
5. High-Quality Flakes & Pellets (From Days 56 to Onwards)
When your molly babies are big enough (around week 8) that you think they’re not fries anymore, it’s time to feed them some high-quality flakes and pellets. You can crush and sprinkle a small amount of the flakes into the aquarium, or it would be best to turn the big flakes into a fine powder; you can use either a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle to grind it up. These specially formulated foods are designed to provide a balanced diet for fish.
You can go with a high-quality product like Fluval Bug Bites which have high protein content and essential vitamins and minerals for the fry’s growth.
6. Egg yolk (From Day 1)
The egg yolk can be used as an emergency food if no other food is available. It is a protein and fat-rich food that also contains other nutrients which are good for fry health. However, it is recommended to not only feed the egg yolk, but also to provide live food and other nutritious foods as well.
It is very easy to prepare egg yolk food at home. The process starts with hard boiling an egg. The next step is to remove the egg white and shell because only the yolk part of the egg is essential here. Make a paste of it which you can store in the fridge.
If you want to learn more details check out this video:
Things To Remember While Feeding A Molly Fry
Few things to keep in mind to ensure the health and well-being of your fish.
- Clean any uneaten food: It is important to remove uneaten food from the tank as soon as possible. Uneaten food can foul the water in your aquarium, which isn’t good for fish or fries. Make sure to use a net or a skimmer to remove any excess powdered food.
- Don’t overfeed: Overfeeding your molly fry is something you should avoid at all costs. It’s important to provide your molly fry with a balanced diet and only feed them as much as they can eat in a few minutes. A good rule of thumb is to feed your molly fry with small amounts of food throughout the day rather than one large meal.
- Have a regular feeding schedule: Consistency is the key; hence establishing a regular feeding schedule for your molly fry can help ensure that they receive the proper nutrition and assist in fast growth. Try to stick to the same feeding times each day.
- Crush or ground the flakes: Molly fries are small and have small mouth openings; thus, eating large or regular flakes is difficult for them. To make it easier for them to eat, consider crushing or grinding the flakes into a smaller size.
Do Baby Mollies Need Special Food?
Mollies fries don’t necessarily need Special food. In fact, they can eat the same food as adult mollies; it just has to be grounded into a fine powder, making it easier for the fires to eat.
Hence you should offer the molly fry the food that’s a little more finely ground! By doing so, you can ensure that your Fry Mollies get all the nutrients they need to grow into healthy adult fish.
How Often To Feed Molly Fry?
Generally, it is recommended to feed molly fry small amounts of food several times a day; you can stick to the rule of feeding them about 4-5 times a day. Baby mollies eat a lot because they are growing, so you’ll need to add a pinch of food a few times a day to ensure they’re getting enough to eat.
To determine the optimal quantity of food for your fry, try conducting a series of tests through trial and error. Begin by adding a reasonable amount of food and observe their consumption.
If there are significant leftovers in the water, you have provided too much; conversely, if they finish the food quickly, you need to give them more. Continually adjust the amount of food until you find a satisfactory balance.
It is recommended to remove any uneaten food quickly to avoid food rotting in the aquarium.
How Long Can Molly Fry Go Without Food?
It is not recommended to leave Molly fry without food for an extended period of time. The fry are small and do not have stored energy to survive without food. They have high nutritional requirements and can become weak or unhealthy if they do not receive adequate nutrition.
However, in some cases, in a well-established aquarium, the Molly fry can survive for a few days if there is enough natural food available, such as algae, daphnia, and seed shrimp.
For some reason, If you will not be available to feed your molly fry, then you can try adding an automatic feeder like EHEIM Everyday Fish Feeder or even finding a temporary home for them or seeking assistance from a professional aquarium hobbyist.
So that’s it for today’s article. We hope you know what to feed molly fry after they are born, as they grow and develop into adult fish.
In a nutshell, during the first week, Infusoria is the best choice to provide the necessary nutrients needed in the initial stage of development and are small enough for fries to consume. As the molly fry grows, you should gradually feed other foods such as baby brine shrimp, freeze-dried and frozen foods, worms, and high-quality flakes and pellets.
It is also a good idea to consider using egg yolk as an affordable and nutritious option for feeding molly fry.