Although mollies are one of the most commonly kept species of fish within the freshwater side of the fish keeping hobby, more and more people are starting to realize that you can acclimatize them to saltwater.
This has resulted in a number of people reaching out and asking for advice on acclimatizing different types of livebearers to live in saltwater.
Our hope is that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible who are looking to start acclimating mollies to saltwater.
We don’t actually recommend that you try this process if you are new to the fish keeping hobby though as this process can have a moderate fatality rate even for people experienced with the process.
Can Mollies Live In Saltwater?
Although mollies are usually thought of as freshwater fish, they can be acclimatized to saltwater over time in the correct acclimatization setups allowing them to live in saltwater.
Once the mollies have been acclimatized they can actually thrive in saltwater tanks and actually reproduce in the tank.
Offspring to mollies that have already been acclimatized to saltwater tend to do much better in marine tanks but it can be more difficult to get the mollies ot breed in a saltwater tank than a freshwater tank.
Is It Easy To Get A Molly To Live In Saltwater?
It can be challenging to correctly acclimatize mollies to living in saltwater tanks and we really don’t recommend it for beginners.
If you have built up some experience within the fish keeping hobby, you can try the process that we will explain later in the article but even then, you have to realize that it is a learning process and you will have fatalities while perfecting the method.
How Do You Acclimate Mollies For Saltwater?
There is an easy to follow six step process to acclimate mollies for a saltwater tank based around the following steps:-
- Get A Tank That Is Large Enough For The Process!
- Add Your Initial Freshwater To The Tank!
- Attach An Acclimatisation System To The Tank!
- Keep Your Saltwater Topped Up!
- Start To Add Water Changes!
- Add Your Acclimatized Saltwater Mollies To Your Saltwater Tank!
One thing that you are able to do to increase your success rate is to get yourself a cheap acclimatization drip box as they make the process so much easier.
Although people have been able to successfully acclimate their mollies with a DIY acclimatization drip box, it does mate the process much harder.
Get A Tank That Is Large Enough For The Process!
You will need an acclimatization tank for the process as you need to slowly increase the salinity in the tank over a number of days or even weeks so your main community tank is usually not suitable.
With mollies, something as small as a 5 gallon tank should be able to work but you can actually use buckets for the acclimatization process.
If you do want to use a bucket end our guide on prepping a quarantine bucket should be able to help you get the bucket ready.
Add Your Initial Freshwater To The Tank!
Although most people use tap water in their acclimatization tank, we usually recommend that you try to take some of the water from your community tank or main tank to put into the acclimatization tank.
This will usually help remove issues with water parameters or chlorine from the tap water and it can make the process much easier.
If you do need to use tap water then be sure to use a tap water conditioner to try and deal with the chlorine prior to putting your molly into the tank.
Attatch An Acclimatization System To The Tank!
Depending on the acclimatization system you choose to use for the process, you may need to set the system up differently.
The acclimatization drip box that we touched on earlier in the article is very easy to set up but there are a number of other systems on the market.
No matter the system you use the label of the product should explain how to set it up to drip the salt water into your freshwater acclimatization tank.
Once the acclimatization tank has been hooked up to your quarantine tank, fill the acclimatization system with salt water and set the drop rate with the adjustable valve.
Keep Your Saltwater Topped Up!
Remember that your saltwater in the acclimatization system is constantly dripping into your tank so you can run out surprisingly quickly.
Remember to keep the saltwater in the drip system topped up to make sure that you are able to keep the process on track.
Start To Add Water Changes!
As the saltwater drips into the fresh water tank, the water volume will start to increase so remember to consistently remove water from the tank when needed.
This will allow the acclimatization system to keep dripping with minimal issues for the acclimatization process to run smoothly.
Add Your Acclimatized Saltwater Mollies To Your Saltwater Tank!
Track the salinity levels of your tank with your mollies in as it increases and then once it reaches a similar salinity level to your saltwater tank, move your mollies over.
How Long Does It Take To Acclimate Mollies To Saltwater?
It will usually take between one and two weeks to fully acclimatize your mollies to your saltwater tank when using a correctly setup acclimatization system.
Although some people do claim to be able to put their mollies through the acclimatization process faster than this, we always recommend that you go with safety instead of speed.
The faster you try to get the mollies through the process, the higher the risks are to your mollies and the more likely it is that there will be fatalities.