Can Neon Tetras and Mollies Live Together?

Neon tetras and mollies, both are very popular fish among aquarists. They are also a good beginner fish; if you are wondering to keep them in your tank then it’s a very common question to ask “Can neon tetras and mollies live together?”.

Neon tetras and mollies are popular community fish and can be kept together. Moreover, they are ideal tank mates for each other; neon tetra and molly require similar tank setups, water conditions, and diets. So, keeping them on the same tank also creates a color variation to the tank.

In this article, I am going to explain why neon tetras and mollies can live together in the same tank and how you should take care of them to offer them the best living conditions.

Are Mollies And Neon Tetras Compatible?

Mollies and neon tetras are perfectly compatible and can live together peacefully. Both mollies and neon tetras are small fishes and won’t bother each other and can live in a similar tank setup.

I have been keeping neon tetras with mollies, guppies, and zebra danios for months. They are doing just fine. 

My tank has a lot of hiding places that let the livebearer fries thrive as well. Both neon tetras and mollies are omnivores and will eat each other’s fries. But as I am not trying to breed them in the same tank; it’s perfectly fine for me.

There are several reasons for which neon tetras can live with mollies peacefully. Let me explain those reasons from my 

Neon Tetra & Molly Fish Can Live Together For the Following Reasons:

Requires Similar Tank Conditions:

To keep your fish in ideal tank conditions, you need to be aware of certain things such as water pH level, temperature, your tank size, etc. 

If you are intending to add another fish to your aquarium always try to gather the info and match them with your existing fish, if yes, then you can keep them together in the same water environment.

Tank SetupNeon TetraMolly
Tank Size:Minimum 10 GallonsMinimum 10 Gallons
Tank Setup:PlantsPlants
pH Level:~7 pH~7 pH
Water Temperature:~75 °F~75 °F

As you can see from the table, neon tetra and molly require the same tank setup and water conditions. Although their pH level and water temperature requirements are slightly different it won’t be a major issue.

If your aquarium is adequately planted then you will need certain lighting, a basic rule is to add 1 to 2 watts of lighting for a one-gallon tank. You will also need a water heater to maintain the proper temperature for your fish.

Both Are Peaceful In Nature:

Aquarists have been keeping neon tetras and mollies together in their community tanks for ages. The main reason behind this is their peaceful nature.

Neon tetras are regular schooling and they usually don’t show any aggression. Again, mollies are even more peaceful. My mollies even get scared and hide when someone enters my room.

In my years of fishkeeping hobby, I have never seen or heard anything like neon tetras bullying mollies and vice versa.

This is the main reason, you can confidently put neon tetras and mollies in the same tank without any issues.

Similar Eating Habits:

As I mentioned earlier, both neon tetras and mollies are omnivorous fishes. Both neon tetras and mollies are not picky about food. Basically, you can throw any sort of fish food in your tank and they will happily consume it.

However, I will always suggest you feed them high-quality foods and keep different types of food in their diet.

As omnivores, they need foods from both plant and animal sources. So, it’s a good idea to feed them fish pallets, flakes, live foods, algae wafers, and frozen worms in turns.

Won’t Fit in Each Other’s Mouth:

Mollies and neon tetras have small mouths. This is a good thing. Omnivorous fishes will eat anything that will fit in their mounts.

Mollies can grow up to 3 inches whereas neon tetras can get up to 1.5 inches. As the size difference is minimal and they have small mouths, they won’t eat each other. This is a great reason which makes them ideal tank mates.

Pros and Cons of Keeping Neon Tetras & Mollies Together:


  • Requires similar tank condition
  • Both are omnivores
  • Both have small mouths
  • Easy to care
  • Hardy fish
  • Peaceful in nature


  • Neon tetras could eat mollies fries.
  • Increases bioload
  • Can catch diseases from each other

Some Useful Tips To Take Care of Neons and Mollies:

  • Change 10 – 15 percent water every week
  • Set the heater temperature to ~75 °F
  • Offer varieties of food such as high-quality pallets, brine-shrimp, frozen bloodworms, algae wafers, etc.
  • Keep the lights on for at least 6 – 10 hours.
  • Make sure the filtration frequency is four times the volume of the tank. (for example, 60-liter tank needs a minimum of 200 liter/ hour filter performance) 

Which FIsh Can Live WIth Neon Tetras and Mollies?

Neon tetras and mollies both are peaceful community fish and ideal tank mates for each other. However, if you would like to keep more fish in your tank then there are more ideal tank mates for neon tetras and mollies.

Here is the list of fishes that can live with neon tetras and mollies:

  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Zebra Danios
  • Swordtails
  • Rasboras
  • Cherry Shrimps
  • Amano Shrimps
  • Otocinclus etc.

Final Thoughts:

There you go! Neon tetras can live with mollies. I have kept them together for a long time. My neon tetras and mollies are very peaceful.

Most aquarists I know never had any issues keeping these two types of fish together. However, in several forums, I have heard some people faced minimal levels of aggression between these two types of fish. 

But it was nothing serious. Well, don’t be surprised if you see a little bit of fighting and aggression between neon tetras and mollies as all fishes are different and their personalities depend on a lot of variables.

Both neons and mollies are super hardy and beginner-friendly fishes. Keep your fishes in an ideal environment and give them enough space to thrive and I guarantee that you won’t face any problems keeping mollies and neon tetras together.

Asif Iqbal

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