Is Chasing Behavior Normal For Mollies? How To Lessen Aggression

Mollies are adaptable and are well-liked by fish enthusiasts. They are appealing and easy to care for. However, they tend to chase other mollies in the tank and can cause harm in the process. 

It is normal but it is not just male mollies who show aggression towards another male mollie. Female mollies have chasing behavior too. 

What Makes Mollies Chase Other Molly Fish?

When There Is Not Enough Food

An aggressive molly can chase another and keep them away while feeding, this is a selfish character of mollies, notably when there is not enough ration of food. The one being chased will be fearsome of the aggressive molly and may stay away and stop feeding. 

This is true not just with this species when they are hungry, and will chase other fish to have more food. 

It is not healthy for other molly fish, and you may need to separate the aggressive one or the weaker fish. 

They Want To Show Dominance

Mollies will want to be the dominant figure in the tank, and they will not let any newcomers have other ideas.

They will immediately puff their muscles and show dominance by chasing the new fish, even nipping their fins. It may also happen to other older molly fish in the tank.

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Because of Breeding

When it is breeding time, the male will chase the female to mate. There will also be another male who will compete for the female’s attention. Both males will chase each other, and see who will win in the end. 

The male who will chase away the other male mollies will mate with the female molly, and once the female molly gives birth, the problem starts when the male chases the little fish to feed on them. 

It is best to separate the male from the female molly once the female got pregnant.

Female mollies may also chase another female molly to keep them away from the best available male molly. 

There Are More Male Mollies Than Females In The Tank

There should be a right equation of female over male. The population in the tank should not have more males, but an equation of two females over one male would suffice. 

The male mollies can become aggressive to one another if they are vying for the attention of one female. 

Inadequate Tank Size

When there are too many fishes in the tank, and the tank is small in size, aggressive behavior can also arise. Some molly fish will start attacking other mollies to fight for space or the territory. 

They need to move inside the tank freely, and if there is no space for everyone to swim around, chasing behavior can occur. 

When you are acquiring a fish tank for mollies, be sure that you have done some research about it, so you will not have any issues later on. 

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Stressed With Their Environment

Mollies will chase and bullies other fish just because they feel stressed with their surroundings. The pH or temperature of the water may not be ideal, ammonia levels may be high, or the wrong water parameters occur. When you notice your molly having this kind of behavior, immediately analyze what is happening and do something to stop it. 

Fin-nipping behavior can be unusual if it happens frequently and if it is causing disruption inside the fish tank. 

To Protect Its Babies

Female mollies will also chase other mollies in order to protect their offspring. They will not let others feed on their babies and will try their best to protect them. 

It is wise to separate the female mollies, who are expecting and about to give birth. Place them in another tank, so they can move around and live comfortably with their babies. 

It is a highly stressful occasion for a female molly to give birth, let alone chase after other mollies who will feed on their babies. 

How To Lessen Chasing Behavior Of Mollies?

  • Prepare a bigger tank for your mollies – Make sure you have the correct male to female ratio, and prevent each molly from attacking or chasing each other. It is better to have a bigger tank with ample space to keep a few fish than to place a lot of fish in a small-sized fish tank. 
  • Provide adequate feeding – Learn the correct feeding pattern for your mollies. Inadequate feeding will make them hungry and can start the chasing behavior. Overfeeding them can make them lethargic, and may have a negative impact on their health. 
  • Immediately separate the pregnant molly – When it is time for the pregnant fish to give birth, remove them and place them in another tank where they can give birth peacefully and with no stress. 
  • Reduce the population of your mollies – When you notice your mollies chasing each other often, it may be time to get another tank and separate them. This way you are reducing the population on your fish tank while providing an ideal space for your mollies to move around. 
  • Present necessary hiding place and decors – By providing such, you are giving your mollies some space to hide and ward off other mollies who may have a chasing behavior. You are keeping non-aggressive mollies safe. 
  • Check the ratio of your female mollies over male ones – When you place mollies inside the tank, make sure that there are more female mollies compared to male mollies. The ratio should be two females with a male molly. 
  •  Separate aggressive mollies – Once you see the first sign of aggression, you may separate the molly and place them in another tank. This will ensure to keep them on time-out and let the other fish live in peace for a while. 
  • Remove the weaker mollies – Aggression also happens when there are weaker mollies who don’t fight back. They will hide away from the watchful eye of the aggressive molly, and the weaker fish can even die from stress or hunger if they decided not to feed and hide the whole time.
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