Can Mollies Live in Saltwater? [Yes or No]

People have different thoughts on keeping marine fish in saltwater tanks.

You have probably heard myths that species like mollies can’t survive in saltwater. Or mollies can’t adapt to a salty environment. 

Can mollies live in saltwater?

Yes, they definitely can! You just need to follow 6 steps to get a comfortable territory for mollies. At first, shift them into a jar and turn on the heater.

Then adjust the airline hosepipe between the aquarium and the jar. Further, adjust the dripping rate and prepare clean water. Finally, set up the aquarium and observe their movements.

This is just a sneak peek. We are about to share the benefits. We’ve also mentioned 6 steps to acclimate them from fresh to saltwater. 

If you got a few minutes, read along-

Can Mollies Survive in Saltwater? 

Yes, mollies are indeed freshwater fish species. But there’s no doubt that saltwater won’t create any harm to your beloved molly fish.

Moreover, saltwater will enhance the beauty of the outer layer and stains of the mollies. 

Who doesn’t want to watch their fish glowing inside the tank? Plus, unlike the lonely clownfishes, mollies love to live in a group. So, it will be a mesmerizing scenario. Because

This coloration and patterning of saltwater fish manipulate the aquarist to move saltwater from freshwater.

So, are you tempted to put mollies in saltwater now? 

If yes, keep on reading to figure out how to do it!

How to Acclimate Mollies from Freshwater to Saltwater? 

There are dozens of ways to shift mollies from freshwater to saltwater. One method is directly placing them in the saltwater tank.

And the other one is much slower. This gives the fish time to adapt. 

We’ll discuss the second method with you. Because it has shown us a better result. But before starting the process, get these supplies-

  • A 5-gallon bucket
  • A length of airline hose
  • A 5-10 watt heater
  • An old towel
  • Fishnet

You can collect these supplements from the nearest fisheries store. 

You might think of upgrading your bio cube 32 light. But that’s not a good idea at the beginning of the process. So, go for the heater. 

Anyway, let’s shift our focus onto the acclimating process.

Step 1: Set The Heater And Adjust The Airline 

First, bring mollies from the tiny transport bag and place them into a clean jar.

Turn on your heater afterward to keep the environment warm for the mollies. Or else the water temperature will gradually drop. This will create discomfort for the fish. 

After that, grab the airline hose. Insert one side beneath the water surface of the aquarium.

Secure the airline properly, so it sticks to the base and doesn’t fall anytime soon.

Step 2: Adjust The Drip Rate 

Adjust the dripping rate of water through the airline hose now. Before that, suck the hose pipe to get the water moving.

But remove the pipe from your mouth before the saltwater reaches you.

Further, secure the airline hose by tying a knot. The tighter the knot, the slower the pace of the drip rate will be. For mollies, set the dripping rate to 2 drips/second.

Finally, grab the other edge of the hose and place it inside the fish jar.

Step 3: Arrange Clean Water

After running the water through the airline hose, remove half the water volume from the bucket.

Continue the process for at least 30 minutes till the bucket reaches the same salinity as the aquarium.

Meanwhile, turn off the ATO (Automatic Top-Off) system. It will fend off the freshwater from messing up the salinity level of the aquarium. Remember, uneven ATO can turn your chaeto into white too.

However, preparing clean water may take up to 3-4 hours. So, be patient till the tank and the bucket are fully diluted. 

Step 4: Set Up The Aquarium

Prepare the aquarium to acclimate our mollies into the tank now. 

First, turn off the aquarium lights. So that mollies can hide if they feel uncomfortable in the first place.

We suggest sprinkling a little bit of food. It distracts them from understanding that they’re already in the aquarium. 

Then, slowly pick them up using a fishnet and put them inside the tank. This way, your pets eventually won’t even notice the acclimation. 

Step 5: Replace the Water

Now, fill up the tank with saltwater we removed during the previous procedures. The saltwater we prepared will bring back the water level to normal. 

Thus, your mollies will get fresh saltwater, and gradually they will adapt to the tank’s territory. Meanwhile, don’t forget to turn on the ATO system back.

Finally, we are done with our saltwater acclimation!

Step 6: Keep An Eye!

Now, just observe the whole situation thoroughly. Keep an eye on their regular movements and activity.

We suggest keeping the aquarium lights off for at least a day or two so that mollies can adjust to the new environment. 

Also, feed them only when they are hungry. Furthermore, observe their breathing levels too.


Question: How do you do a molly salt bath?

Answer: Prepare a solution of salt and water first. For that, pour one gallon of water into a clean bucket. Then add 5-10 tablespoons of salt and smear to dissolve the salt.

Once your swirling is done, leave your molly in the bucket for half an hour.

Question: Do mollies need aquarium salt?

Answer: Yes, it is! Salt is considered a cheap, old, and non-toxic fish room remedy. It helps recover your fish from poor health conditions. Though fancy mollies eventually do not require any salty water.

Question: How do you save a dying molly fish?

Answer: To rescue your dying molly, prepare a salt-water solution fast. Pour 1 teaspoon of salt on each gallon of water and swirl properly.

Put your fish inside the jar and let it dive into the solution for one to three minutes. Meanwhile, keep an eye on its movements. 


That’s all for today. I hope you got your answer regarding mollies can live in saltwater. We’ve tried to explain the interests accordingly.