Molly Fish – Care, Types, Breeding, Habitat & Details

Molly fish is considered to be one of the favorites for beginner aquarists. They have a modest size, bright color, and easy to care.

Thanks to these qualities, they are easy to maintain both in large aquariums and in smaller ones and the variety of colors and species will allow the breeder to choose pets to his liking.

Quick Stats

Scientific Name: Poecilia sphenops
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Color Form: Various
Lifespan: Up to 5 years
Size: Up to 4.5 inches
Diet: Omnivores
Family: Poeciliidae
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Tank Set-Up: Freshwater, planted tank
Compatibility: Peaceful community aquarium

Molly Fish Habitat

Molly Fish belongs to the genus Carpine-like, viviparous. The family has about 30 species of these wonderful creatures, but to a greater extent, this is the merit of breeders who are engaged in breeding and crossbreeding of different breeds.

In nature, Molly lives in fresh or brackish stagnant water. The bottom of the reservoir should be with silty soil and overgrown vegetation. The birthplace of fish is the south of America and Mexico.

Under natural conditions, the appearance of the fish is less bright than that of relatives brought up under artificial conditions. The body is short, dense, with a large fin.

The color is usually yellow with interspersed black spots on the sides. The sizes do not exceed 6 cm.

It is difficult to say for sure how much time mollies live in their natural habitat because predators often eat them, but in aquariums, life expectancy is 3-4 years.

Molly Fish Types and Description

At the moment, 33 species are described, not including their hybrid counterparts. Some reach 10-12 cm, while others are closer to natural size, but the colors and overall appearance vary.

The most popular varieties of Molly Fish are:

  • Red Mollies: The color corresponds to the name. They can reach 12 cm in size. The fish is nimble, often worn around the aquarium at high speed. For maximum color disclosure, it is necessary to feed live food.
  • Tri-Color Molly: These mollies can grow up to 7CM in length. These fishes love a large number of shelters from plants but they also do not mind swimming. Therefore, it makes sense to plant only the back of the aquarium. Color is also more pronounced when there is live food in the diet.
  • Orange Mollies: Closest to the natural look – both in size and in color. The main color is orange, with black spots and a tail fin. Breeders cross this species most often to get the maximum number of all kinds of colors.
  • Blue Mollies:  Their second name is Tuxedo mollies, a beautiful fish with blue sides and a silverback and abdomen. It grows up to 10 cm. It is peaceful and loving, therefore it is easily crossed with other species.
  • Micropoecilia: Three-centimeter mini version. Requires flocking, at least 10 pieces. Otherwise, it can die quickly. Topdressing with a crushed bloodworm is required to reveal the color. The fish has an elongated body of silver-green color with stripes on the back. The fins are large, bluish.

Some Beautiful Varieties of Molly are:

  • Lyretail Molly: Outwardly, it is easy to confuse with a female swordtail fish. They are almost identical in size and color. The body is yellow or orange, the caudal fin is blunt black. Dimensions – up to 12 cm.
  • Yellow or gold Mollies: Sizes from 8 to 10 cm. Body-color corresponds to the name but turns into red closer to the tail. Unpretentious and non-aggressive.
  • Sailfin Molly: It has a natural size. The body is elongated, with a rectangular, large dorsal fin. The head and front of the body are yellow. The blacktail turns into a redfin.
  • Red Sunset Molly: It is rare, but this does not become less popular. The color stretches from head to tail, from yellow to bright red. The fins are transparent orange with black contours.
  • Black Molly: A popular and interesting molly fish. Sizes 6-10 cm. They have natural habits, like to swim quickly and at the same time hide among the vegetation. The abdomen and nose are light, while the rest of the body is black with a tinge of blue. The fins are black at the base and transparent at the end.
  • Gold Dust Molly: They have a characteristic feature: at the end of the tail, there are black spots resembling the outlines of a famous cartoon hero. The body is either silver or orange, the fins are transparent. It is better to keep in a small group of 5-6 individuals.

It is difficult to describe all species with a variety of breeding variations within one article.

But all the fish of the Cyprinidae family are united by their peaceful nature and non-conflict, they easily get along with all peaceful neighbors, even larger than themselves.

Males are always brighter than females, and lively food is necessary for color saturation.

Molly Fish Care

Molly fish maintenance and care will not be difficult even for beginners. It practically does not require special conditions.

You can keep these things in mind:

  1. Soil is suitable for a natural-looking ground or you can use artificial pebbles as well.
  2. Water parameters: 15 – 30 dGH, ph 7.0–8.3, temperature – 22–25 C.
  3. The back of the aquarium should be planted with tall plants, and the front should be left free for maneuvering.
  4. Water change once a week, 10−20% of the total.
  5. The total volume of 40 liters;
  6. Filtration and aeration is required.

With large volumes of cans, the last point can be omitted, but if you want to extend the life of pets, it is better to use special equipment.

Usually, three females are brought into one male, on average 1–3 liters of water is required per fish, but subject to all the above conditions for keeping fish of percussion.

Molly Feeding and Diet

It is imperative to use live food in the diet if you want to see all the beauty of the colors of Molly. This is the main rule and the secret of a happy and long life of pets

You can include:

  • bloodworm
  • daphnia
  • tubule
  • Larvae

For mini-breeds, it is necessary to grind before serving live bait, because it is difficult for small fish to swallow large pieces.

You can still use dry food in cereal. It must be balanced. There are mixtures for Molly on sale, and they need to be bought.

Fish is fed twice a day, in small portions. Residues are best removed to prevent rotting and fluid contamination.

Molly Fish Tank Mates

The family of Molly belongs to the good-natured inhabitants of the aquariums. They do not enter into conflicts and do not offend smaller fish. The only ones to avoid are predators, especially large breeds:

Molly will coexist peacefully with the rest of the breeds for a long time, without violating anyone else’s peace and borders. Caution is required when you are keeping eels and shrimp.

Great Molly Fish Tank Mates are:

Sometimes there are minor conflicts with swordtails, but this is due to the nature of the latter.

There are cases when these couples crossed and gave birth to beautiful offspring, so it is difficult to predict the behavior. It is important to observe their cohabitation, and it is worth interfering only in rare cases.

Molly Fish Breeding

Spawning takes place several times a year. At the time of birth, it is better to plant a pregnant fish in a separate aquarium, otherwise, the fry will become food for other inhabitants.

Up to 70 fries are born at a time. They swim in a flock and do not leave their limits. Children are timid, so it is better to return the female to the general aquarium one day after birth.

The fry is fed mainly by adult food, only the first 5-7 days should be given a boiled yolk or chopped daphnia.

As sediment, you can safely use a three-liter jar, without soil is also fine. But vegetation is worth adding, for example, hornwort.

Fry will hide there to relax. Water parameters are the same as in the general aquarium, only the temperature can be increased by a couple of degrees.

The reproduction of this fish is not very hard.

The main thing is to monitor the females in order to leave them in time from the rest of the family, and follow the rules of feeding the fry so that as many cubs as possible remain intact.

Molly is an excellent pet, so you can safely start them both during acquaintance with aquariums, and with the advent of experience.

They will delight their master with bright colors and cheerful habits. It is very interesting to watch them, and the simplicity of keeping and breeding even allows you to do this for commercial purposes.

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