Molly

fast facts

About Molly

Group
Brackish water
Size
Small
Temperament
Non-aggressive
Aquarium Size
Medium (30 gal)
Swimming Region
All
Fish Water Condition
Suitable Tank Mates
Platys, Swordtails, Guppies, other small livebearers
Difficulty Of Care
Monthly care- suited for the beginner aquarist
Molly General description


The Molly is one of the most popular species of livebearers in aquarium culture. They are a relatively hardy and adaptable species and are excellent for most beginner aquarists and community aquariums. The molly has a short, rectangular body and upturned mouth, somewhat similar to that of the swordtail. The male molly is much slimmer in shape than the female and has a modified anal fin which is used in mating.


Mollies are one of the most popular species of livebearers in aquarium culture.


Origins


The molly originates from Central America.


Color


Mollies come in a range of colors like black, orange and white and also come in various spotted colorations.


Maintenance and care

In the wild mollies inhibit brackish water environments like estuaries and prefer hard, slightly base water conditions in the aquarium. Mollies also benefit when a little sea salt is added to their aquariums. A relatively adaptable fish, mollies are also able to survive in marine aquariums and freshwater aquariums. Mollies are very active swimmers and their aquariums should be heavily planted with abundant open swimming spaces.


Mollies are a relatively peaceful species of fish and are suitable additions to most community tanks. However, they are known to start harassing fish like goldfish or angel fish that have long flowing finnage. For this reason, mollies should either be kept with other livebearers of comparable size like swordtails, or larger more assertive fish that will be able to scare them away if they get too rambunctious.


Feeding


Mollies are herbivores and can be fed on a diet of vegetable based flakes and algae.


In the wild mollies inhibit brackish water environments like estuaries and prefer hard, slightly base water conditions in the aquarium.


Breeding


Like most other species of livebearers, mollies are extremely prolific breeders and can quickly overpopulate a large sized aquarium with sufficient plant growth. When breeding mollies it is important to use a heavily planted aquarium or to separate pregnant females into dedicated breeding tanks. Mollies will readily devour their young on sight and the fry should be provided with lots of hiding places in order to survive. Molly fry, like all other livebearer fry, are free swimming at birth and can be fed on crushed flakes or algae. While mollies often need no great encouragement to start breeding, a little sea salt added to the aquarium can often help in stimulating the breeding process.


Aquarium varieties


Sailfin Molly, Shortfin Molly, Black Molly, etc.


Photo credit: Marrabbio/Wikimedia; h080/Flickr

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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