Care Guide For Mollies – Breeding, Feeding, and Tank Mates
One of the most popular aquarium fish found at pet stores are mollies because of their wide selection of colors, energetic behavior, and ease of breeding. If you are looking for a livebearer (or fish that bears live young) that is bigger than a platy but smaller than a swordfish, then mollies strike a happy medium. While molly fish are fairly easy to care for, beginners sometimes struggle with them, so find out the secret to caring for mollies and successfully breeding them in your home.
What are Molly Fishes?
The livebearer is prolific in all water habitats. They can be found from the Southern United States to Columbia. They can grow to about 4-5 inches (10-13cm) long and have a slimmer body than platies. They are very good at cleaning aquariums.
What are the different types of mollies? The most common species in the aquarium trade include Poecilia sphenops (short-fin molly) and Poecilia latipinna (sailfin molly). Hybrids can be selectedly bred to produce black mollies such as lyretail, balloons and gold dust.
Mollies are very popular because they come in a multitude of colors, patterns, and shapes.
Does mollie need salt in water? Some fancy mollies are raised in countries where salt water costs less than fresh drinking water. Fish farms raise fish in brackish water with high pH and high GH (or hardness) to keep them healthy. These brackish-bred moles can become ill if their water parameters change. They may be transported to fish shops, wholesalers, or home aquariums that use completely freshwater setups. Although your mollies will not be affected if you have hard water, they could develop problems if you have water that isn’t mineral-rich. To increase the beneficial minerals of your fish tank, Wonder Shells or Seachem Equrium can be added to people who have soft tap water.
How to Set up an Aquarium for Mollies
Depending on the type of molly fish, we recommend getting an aquarium that holds at least 20 gallons of water, but a 29- to 55-gallon tank is more suitable for larger species. An aquarium heater is required to bring the temperature up to 75-80degF (24-25degC) in most homes. Because of their high tolerance for salt they prefer pH, KH, or GH levels.
How many mollyfish should I get? Mollies are known for their love of breeding, so it is a good idea to have at least two to three females per male. This ratio allows the girls to get a break from the boys’ constant attention. The gonopodium is a stick-shaped male anal fin, while the gonopodium of a female anal fin is fan-shaped.
Female (left) and male (right) sailfin mollies
Are mollies known to nip other fish’s fins In general, mollies can be peaceful fish. However, they can be very active and may eat anything that isn’t edible. They may not like slow-moving, long-finned fish as mates.
What other fish can you keep with mollies We have had great success keeping them with cory cats, danios and tetras as well as barbs, loaches, barbs or other livebearers. Avoid putting larger mollies with smaller animals like cherry shrimp because they will most likely get eaten.
What do Molly Fish Eat?
Mollies do not eat picky food and will happily eat whatever you put in their aquarium. They are omnivores so provide them with a healthy mix of vegetables and proteins in the form of Repashy Soilent Green gel foods and high-quality pellets, flakes and pellets. If your mollies have strings of normal-colored poop hanging down from their bodies, it is possible that they are being overfed. You might need to reduce their portions. If they seem to be outcompeting other fish, you might consider feeding them fish foods that are scattered throughout the tank. This will give them a chance for other fish to eat.
Balloon Moles are bred with a rounder appearance. To check if they’re being fed too much, you can look at the amount of waste that they produce.
How to Breed Mollies
Hobbyists joke about how all it takes to multiply livebearers is water. It is important to ensure that you have at most one male and one woman, and to wait 30-60 days for the baby fish. A new female may only give birth to a handful of fry, but a veteran mom can produce more than 50 offspring at a time. As adult mollies predate on their young, you can increase their survival rate by giving them lots of dense aquarium plants, such as Pogostemon.stellatus “octopus” and water sprite.
Baby Moles may start life with very dull colors but they will quickly acquire vivid hues from their parents.
Compared to the tiny fry that hatch from eggs, livebearer fry start off much bigger and able to eat crushed flakes, Easy Fry and Small Fish Food, Repashy gel food (in powder form), and live baby brine shrimp. It can take between four and nine months for a baby mole to reach its juvenile size and be ready to be rehomed, depending on how much food was eaten and the temperature of the water. Learn more about how to sell your extra mollies in our article on How to Breed Aquarium Fish for Profit.