Molly Fish Care Guide

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:04 am

Molly fish are a mainstay of surface water fishkeeping and have long been popular among fish keepers. These fish are well-known for their little care needs and diverse range of possible species. Even though they are simple to care for, we always inspire owners to build a strong knowledge and understanding of this species.

This will keep them happy and healthy and save you time and stress. Sometimes known simply as mollies, the molly fish is a freshwater fish native to Mexico or the continental United States. It is a resilient and easy-to-care-for fish. Mollies, which are members of the Poeciliidae family, may be found in aquatic rivers and streams and on rare occasions in saltwater.

They have an exotic appearance and will offer variety to any tank. The orange molly fish is widespread in the aquarium sector due to its ease of care, and it is strongly related to the guppy.

The genus mollie or mollienesia, initially classified, contains many of the most gorgeous and strange livebearer fish varieties. The swordtail mollie is undoubtedly among the most unusual fish species available. On the other hand, Mollies are the most challenging of all popular livebearers to maintain, and they’re the most gentle of the livebearers.

When they are chilled or otherwise subjected to stressful conditions of any kind, they develop a disorder known colloquially as “shimmies.” In reality, it is not a contagious agent but rather a complication of stress symptoms.

Black Molly Fish

Black Molly Fish

The black molly fish, sometimes described as the prevalent black molly, would be a tough fish that is ideal for beginning anglers. It thrives in water temperatures ranging from 68 to 82℉ and requires a tank more significant than 30 gallons. Black Molly tastes best when the pH is around 7 and 7.8.

 The black molly fish is a gentle type that seldom fights with other fish and develops to be around 3 inches long. These fish are mainly coated with black scales; however, they may have patches of various colors all over their body. As you would expect, these mollies are all black! The fins may have some yellow and orange streaks, but the entire body is black.

Pregnant Molly Fish

When you understand how to determine whether a molly fish is pregnant, you’ll see that it’s not difficult to recognize a pregnant molly fish. There are a few visual clues that she is pregnant if you know where to look. If you wish to breed mollies, you must be aware of and remember these warning flags.

Her belly will have noticeable black lines. If you have light-colored mollies, this is a fantastic indicator. Black patches around the anal vent are also a sure indicator that she’s pregnant. These dark specks are the babies that you can see.

She consumes more than she usually does. This is a little more difficult to detect if you don’t realize how often they consume in general. Not everybody is standing there watching how each individual eats.

Molly Fish Babies

Mollies are livebearers, which means that when they conceive a child, the offspring are alive rather than eggs, as most juvenile fish are. One thing to remember about molly fish babies is that they have been vulnerable. Mature mollies do not cease feeding on these juvenile mollies.

Female mollies may give rise to their young after roughly 60 days of pregnancy. They can procreate between about 40 and 100 offspring. Mollies who are juvenile or during their first several pregnancies prefer to have a lesser number of fry rather than a more significant number.

Whenever a molly queen is about to give birth, she must be isolated from the main of the tank. This may be conducted in the same tank with a mating net or container or in a separate storage tank.

Molly Fish Colors

Over generations, all confined Mollie fish varieties have interbred, resulting in a wide range of shade variations and fin forms. Common variants include completely black mollies and tailfins with orange-bordered caudal fin.

No other freshwater mollies come close to the velvety black hue of the dark Mollie. There are also albinos with red eyes, natural lyre tails in practically every color, and even chocolate, dust, gold, and orange variations.

They feature a lyre-shaped rear fin, and molly fish colors are generally white, black, and yellow. Balloon belly molly is still a friendly breed that enjoys the company of other fish of equal size. It barely develops to around 3 inches in length, yet it desires an aquarium bigger than Thirty gallons.

Molly Fish Types

Molly fish are indeed a fantastic addition to any tank, but which kind should you get. Many Molly breeds are tough fish that can survive in various conditions, so there’s a good chance you’ll discover one that can fit in your aquarium. However, certain breeds have unique requirements that you should ensure you can meet before purchasing one.

We picked the most common molly fish types seen in aquariums across the globe.

  • Balloon Belly Molly derives their title from its signature shape, which gives them the appearance of being overweight. They feature a lyre-shaped rear fin and are generally white, black, and yellow. Balloon belly molly is a friendly species that enjoys the company of other fish of similar size. It barely develops to around 3 inches in length, yet it desires an aquarium bigger than Thirty gallons.
  • Black Sailfin Molly is a stunning fish with long flowing fins darker than the typical Black Molly. It is a calm breed, but you must avoid housing them near fish that chew fins, or they would become a target. Black Sailfins are a resilient breed that may grow four inches long and are ideal for beginners. Despite their significantly greater size, they are happy to live in a mate30pro tank and enjoy having a variety of locations to explore.
  • Marble Lyretail Molly is an eye-catching black and white molly fish that may grow around five inches long. For their long dorsal fin to mature, they need a tank more significant than 30 liters with ample free-swimming area. Marble Lyretail Molly also demands a tiny bit of salt and water; thus, they should be housed with species that can withstand the salt.
  • Creamsicle Sailfin Lyretail Molly has a white bottom and a gold top, making it look like creamsicle ice cream. It has enormous orange mottled fins and is willing to share the tank with other fish. This breed is ideal for novices since it is visually appealing and isn’t picky about surface temperature or pH.
  • Platinum/gold coloration and long dorsal fins distinguish the Platinum Lyretail Molly. Tall fins would only develop when there is adequate water to grow in; we suggest a tank more significant than 30 liters with lots of swimming space.
  • The Platinum Lyretail Molly seems to be a calm fish, but they demand salt in the water, so they pair them with fish that can live in saltwater. Although it is more susceptible to temperature changes and pH than other species, it is a tough fish. Will you advise maintaining the water temperature around 75 and 82 ℉ as well as the pH around 7.5 and 8.5.

Small Mollies

Shortfin Mollies are small mollies, growing up to 3 cm long, and they lack the flashy finger of the other party’s fish. Inside the Shortfin Molly family, there are also Balloon Mollies, which have chubby bodies and curved backs.

Molly fish are a prevalent kind of tropical aquarium fish. Mollies are perfect for novices since they are simple to care for and enjoyable to maintain. These vibrantly colored fish tank classics give rise to living young, allowing you to explore your variants.

Black and White Molly Fish

Black and White Molly Fish

The Dalmatian Lyretail Molly is a black and white molly fish like a Dalmation dog. Compared to the typical Dalmatian Molly, this type is often whiter with tiny black spots, and it is typically not as big, frequently only reaching around three inches.

They are resilient, suitable for novices, and like aquariums bigger than 30 gallons. Like many other breeds, they are docile fish that only turn aggressive when attacked.

Molly Fish Care

 Molly fish care is something that almost everyone can accomplish. They don’t take a lot of effort to maintain healthy, making them an excellent option for anybody looking to get began with fishkeeping. 

 Your mollies should flourish as long as it follows the recommended care instructions shown below! Dry industrial flakes or pellets are another fantastic feeding alternative to explore for convenience. Look for nutritionally complete items made by well-known manufacturers!

While they don’t need much space, they need a clean habitat and good water conditions. Poor water quality may result in “molly illness,” a disease called after mollies due to its prevalence. If the mollies get molly illness, they will be less active and may exhibit unusual motions such as wriggling. It’s their method of protesting an unfavorable situation.

If the mollies start acting like this, it’s time to examine the water quality. These aquarium fish may recover from molly illness relatively quickly. They would be happy and prospering once the water requirements are restored to normal.

Molly fish are susceptible to various freshwater fish illnesses, including itch. This may be determined by closely inspecting their scales and observing changes in their daily behaviors.

Molly Fish Food

Molly fish eat plant-based meals predominantly. While they are not known to be huge algae eaters, they like snacking on it regularly. They may be seen scraping it off stones, wood, or glass using their mouths. Aside from algae, these fish eat blanched vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and zucchini.

Freshwater mollies are almost entirely planted or algae eaters in nature; thus, they must be given a lot of spirulina, even finely chopped cooked spinach, to be healthy. If your tank lacks algae, you must supplement it with “spirulina” flakes, a particular operating Mollie food, or tiny quantities of chopped cooked spinach. They adore eating algae blooms in the tank and will graze on it indefinitely, seeking tasty spots to chew on.

Sailfin Mollies come in a multitude of colors. Although these fish reproduce quickly, children kept in aquariums may only acquire the “sailfin” if the aquarium is big enough. They may potentially be a little shorter, at just 3.5 inches long. However, when reared in a side yard pond, stunning, jeweled wing fins will emerge at about five months.

A usually high snack is also welcomed. Mollies will eat daphnia, bloodworms, and brine shrimp, both live and frozen. Live meals give much-needed excitement during meal times, in addition to nutritional advantages. It’s a beautiful idea to incorporate it into the molly fish food now and then.

Molly Fish Breeding

For those interested, the molly fish breeding procedure is incredibly intriguing and enjoyable. Not just that, but they have a lot of offspring! Throughout their lifespan, healthy mollies may produce new fry multiple times. It often happens without the assistance of people.

These fish are known as livebearers. Instead of depositing eggs, the female would carry them in her stomach until the kids were ready to hatch. Then she throws fully developed, free-swimming fish into the water! It is essential to raise mollies in a supervised condition if you would like to increase the life expectancy of the fry. Make a second breeding aquarium with slightly higher temperatures, up to 78 degrees F.

Females were more likely to mate with the most dominant male. Put the couple in the mating tank and observe the mating ceremony! Males will pursue females before she allows them to fertilize their eggs. When your female is pregnant, she will quickly grow in size.

The kids develop within her for roughly 35 to 45 days. Put her in a mating box when she is ready to give birth. Mollies have no protective instincts, and many will try to devour the babies. Breeding boxes hold the female while the fry escapes through the bottom.

A healthy adult molly may give birth to up to 100 babies at once! Infusoria or powder fish food may be fed to the fry. When they’re a little larger, switch to infant brine shrimp until they’re old enough to eat regular meals.

Dalmation Molly Fish

These fish are tiny, reaching just Five inches in length, and males have substantial dorsal fins; wild variants are gray with lines of black dots. They are pretty famous in the hobby, and as a result, several colors and fin variants have been produced.

Dalmation molly fish comes in black and white. Water pH must be around 7.0 -7.8, and liquid temperature will be between 70oF and 82oF to maintain these fish in confinement. The tank should feature a gravel bottom, plants, and open swimming spaces.

They may be housed in community aquariums, among other calm fish; however, various molly types should not be raised together to avoid hybridization. It is helpful to maintain them within groups of three females or one male. A Twenty-liter tank is sufficient for a solo Sailfin Molly, but a bigger tank is required for a bunch.

These fish are omnivores, but they are primarily herbivorous, only consuming occasionally proteins. They mainly eat algae and rotifers, and tiny crustaceans in the wild. In domestication, they may be given vegetable-based dry meals, blanched spinach or asparagus, and prawn or bloodworms occasionally.

Molly Fish Size

Molly fish are pretty minor. A fully mature fish of this type may reach a size of 3-5 inches (8-12 cm). Because of their tiny size, they are prey to several predators and may easily be maintained in a fish tank. Sailfin mollies may grow to be significantly larger. The golden molly may grow to be around 5 inches long. So the average molly fish size is about 8-12 cm.

Golden Molly Fish 

The golden molly fish has a vibrant black and yellow color palette that will make her stand out in every tank. It has small fins but needs a lot of swimming room; thus, an aquarium bigger than 30 gallons is recommended. It’s a robust fish that may grow to be five inches long and can withstand a wide variety of temperatures.

Golden Molly Fish

The Golden Sailfin Molly is a vividly colorful fish that prefers hard water aquariums. They are brilliant gold in color, as the name implies, and are among the bigger mollies, attaining 6 inches long when completely grown.

They are a resilient species that tolerate temperature fluctuations, but they need a tank bigger than Thirty gallons to swim appropriately.

Molly Fish Temperature

The ideal molly fish temperature is around 72-78 °F (22-25.5°C). They will adjust to aquatic life more accessible with all of these water quality because this is the average temperature of freshwater bays where they are born. A heater is a must-have item that will keep water warm and consistent temperature.

How Long Do Mollies Live?

The usual lifetime of a molly fish is 3 to 5 years. Even if they’re not the longest-living freshwater fish, there is considerable leeway depending on the species. The kind of care you offer will also greatly influence their longevity. While mollies are tough, they are susceptible to illness in an unsanitary environment.

Some mollies species are more vulnerable to poor water quality than others, resulting in a substantially shorter lifetime. While your objective should always be to offer the finest care possible, you must learn all you can about the breed you own.

Molly Aquarium Fish

Poecilia sphenops is a fish species in the family Poecilia that goes by the popular name molly; to differentiate it from its genera, it is also called molly aquarium fish. From México to Colombia, they live in freshwater streams and coastal marine and brackish environments.

The wild-type fishes have a drab, silvery appearance. Many Poecilia varieties, most notably the sailfin molly, may generate viable hybrids with the molly. Male mollies are often somewhat aggressive. Mollies are among the most common feeder fish because of their muscular development rate, reproductive size, fertility, and brood quantity.

How Long Do Molly Fish Live?

How long do molly fish get? Molly fish have a life span of 2 to 5 years. This freshwater fish does not have a lengthy life expectancy. Their longevity is determined by the environment in which they are kept as pets. Mollies’ longevity is influenced by water quality since they are susceptible to sickness if the water quality is low. Females get a longer lifetime than males because males are shorter in length and are preyed on by predators.

How Big Do Molly Fish Get?

How big do molly fish get? It might take up to 2 months to get your fish to mature sufficiently to be put into a typical aquarium. The lips of the young should be more significant than those of a mature molly fish. Do not transfer the molly fish until you are sure they are prepared for the bigger tank.

How to Tell If a Molly Fish Is Dying

The question is how to tell if a molly fish is dying? There are many reasons for molly fish dying. We discuss some of them here. The first indicator that anything is amiss is that your molly isn’t behaving normally, although everything seems in order.

It may lose its hunger, hide, seem melancholy, remain at the bottom of the container, or shake or shimmy. If your gut tells you that’s not right, immediately check the temperature and moisture conditions. In most cases, a moisture change solves the problem, and everything returns to normalcy quickly.

Physical (and more noticeable) symptoms include difficulties swimming or resting on its back, white or black patches on its skin, sores, swelling, hooked scales, fin rot, crimson mouth, and anus, struggling for oxygen, and tumors. Check up the symptoms as soon as possible and administer the appropriate therapy. Don’t wait until the situation worsens.

Female Mollies have died after giving birth in certain situations, primarily due to fatigue. The struggle of labor, along with the guys attempting to pursue her before and after her pregnancy, produces a great deal of stress. She may withdraw, become hostile, avoid eating, or get ill.

Molly Fish Tank Size

Mollies thrive in tiny and medium-sized tanks because of their modest size. Most molly fish may thrive in tanks as little as 10 gallons.

That tank size guideline is adequate for up to 4 mollies, although a bigger tank is usually welcomed if you have the additional room. Increase the tank capacity by at least two or three liters per fish for a bigger group.

The sailfin molly is the lone exception in molly fish tank size. These fish grow somewhat more significant than the usual molly, necessitating a giant aquarium to avoid stress. A tank of Thirty gallons or more is recommended for sailfin types.

Molly Fish Behavior

Mollies are typically not hostile and are regarded as friendly creatures. Specific triggers, however, might produce violent molly fish behavior. An overcrowded tank or angry tank mates are two of these triggers. Selecting the ideal tank partners for molly will offer them a relaxing or stressful environment. Molly fish are gregarious and prefer to travel in groups, in addition to being a pleasant and tranquil species. If you retain more than a couple, the flock of molly fish is preferred to be primarily female since males may be oppressors and create challenging situations for the females.

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