Molly (Poecilia Sphenops)
Native Location: Central America
Size: 11 cm (4.5 inches)
Temperature Range: 22 – 25.5℃ (72 – 78℉)
Preferred pH Range: 7.5 – 8.5
Minimum Aquarium Size: 38L (10 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Dwarf Gourami, Cherry Barbs, Platies
Care Level: Beginner
Mollies are adaptable, and staple addition to many freshwater aquariums. They are known for their low maintenance care.
Their diet consists of plant-based consumption. Though not considered algae eaters, it will become a light snack for them. Mix things up during feeding time with some live foods and dry flakes/pellets. Mollies will get along with many other species of fish, so long as they are peaceful. Larger fish will take a liking to bullying, or even eating your Mollies. Other tank critters such as shrimp and snails will get along swimmingly with these fish. They are shoaling fish so keep them in the company of at least six other Mollys. But, go for as many as you can comfortably fit within your aquarium if possible. Doing this will keep them calm and stress-free. Plus it is a beautiful sight to see these fish move as one unit and explore the vastness of your tank.
The only time you may see aggression is when keeping males, they will chase and harass females. This behaviour will only become more prominent through the breeding season. Although bred captively, Molly enjoys a tank that mimics their native tropical rivers. Don’t be afraid to add plenty of live plants in a sand or gravel substrate. Plants like Anubias and Java fern are great plants to consider, as they are vegetation which provide varying heights of coverage. Also, add rocks and driftwood.
There are several varieties of Molly, their appearances, including colourings, range on a spectrum. Males and females are easy to differentiate. Males are smaller and their anal fin is pointy. Female anal fins are broad and fanned. They also grow to be larger than males and have a visible gravid spot, this is where they hold their young until their eggs are ready to hatch. Mollies will breed several times throughout their lives. And will likely not need help from you. They are livebearers. Meaning the female will hold the eggs inside her body, until ready to hatch. Where after she will release fully formed and swimming fry in the water.