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The Mollies have been beloved in the aquarium hobby for decades. For over a century the Common, Sailfin, and Mexican Sailfin Mollies have held the position of being some of the most popular fish because of their many good qualities. These are undemanding, brightly colored fish with a good temperament. What more could you ask for!
Mollies are strictly American fish, found particularly around Central America and the Southern United States. While there are many fish in the genus found in the wild, three have been kept in the aquarium hobby for decades. These are the Common or Short-finned Molly Poecilia sphenops, the Sailfin or Topsail Molly Poecilia latipinna and the Mexican Sailfin Molly Poecilia velifera, also called the Giant Sailfin or Yucatan Molly.
The first Molly was introduced to the hobby 1899 and hybrids began being produced in the 1920's. While all three species possess amazing wild coloration, hybridization and cross breeding haven given us a multitude new variations.
One of the most beloved is the Black Molly, a striking fish with pure jet black coloration. Some of the most unusual types of mollies are the Balloon Mollies, which were bred to be extremely short and round. In most aquarium stores you will find Mollies in orange, rust, silver, black, green, gold and combinations of some or all of these.
What's in the name?
These are generally active fish with a lot of personality. They are always entertaining to watch as they explore their surroundings and swim around the aquarium. Experienced aquarists, and even an informed beginner should have no trouble keeping Mollies happy and healthy.
The Molly is very easily bred, and if their few requirements for the aquarium are maintained they will breed prolifically. Indeed, the aquarist should plan for a lot of offspring if females are kept. Females will nearly always be pregnant at the time of purchase, and can have several broods with stored sperm. Furthermore, if males and females are both kept, the aquarist should plan for a monthly reproduction with at least some fry surviving each time.
Mollies got their common name from the fact that they used to be in the genus Mollienesia. Now however, Mollies are members of the Poecilia genus and there are currently 40 recognized species. The Common or Short-finned Molly Poecilia sphenops was described by Valenciennes in 1846. The Sailfin Molly Poecilia latipinna was described by Lesueur in 1821, and their close relative the Mexican Sailfin Molly Poecilia velifera was described by Regan in 1914.
Mollies are American fish, originally found only on the continents of North and South America. However they have been introduced to a number of other countries, including Colombia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and even parts of Eastern Europe. These species are members of the Poeciliidae family, all of which can hybridize with one another.
The Common or Short-finned Molly P. sphenops is found from Mexico to the northern part of South America. The Sailfin Molly P. latipinna is found along the southeast coast of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico. The other large finned Molly, the Giant Mexican Sailfin or Yucatan Molly P. velifera is endemic to southeastern Mexico. It comes from the coastal area of Yucatan, Mexico.
These fish are not endangered. The Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera is not on the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species and the Common or Short-finned Molly P. sphenops is listed as Data Deficient (DD). Only the Sailfin Molly Poecilia latipinna is listed, but with a status of Least Concern (LC) as it has a large population size found in many subpopulations that occur to a large extent, and so is thought to most likely be relatively stable.
The Molly was introduced to the hobby in 1899, and the popularity of this fish grew very rapidly. The Common Molly P. sphenops and the Sailfin Molly Poecilia latipinna represented two basics types, distinguished by either short or long fins. A black variety of the Short-finned Molly P. sphenops, called the Black molly, is a very popular aquarium fish that is sold throughout the world
Of the two Sailfin species, the Sailfin Molly P. latipinna is the more common in the hobby as they are easily obtained, inexpensive, and prolific breeders. The Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera is rarer in the hobby because it is not as easily obtained as the P. latipinna. It is also more difficult to breed and the tank bred offspring rarely have the impressive dorsal and tail fins of wild caught or pond bred specimens.
Hybridized specimens began appearing as early as the 1920s. As the Mollies rose to the top in popularity they were selectively been bred to produce a multitude of strains with different fin shapes and color patterns. Wild fish are now more rare in the hobby and most the fish sold in aquarium stores are usually countless generations away from their wild caught ancestors. A vast number of the available Mollies are commercially bred in the Far East and Eastern Europe.
In the wild these fish will inhabit a variety of water bodies, from estuaries to ditches, with one species even inhabiting the lakes in caves. They are however, most frequently found in loosely vegetated coastal streams. The Sailfin Molly P. latipinna is one that is particularly associated with brackish habitats where there is large quantities of algae and other types of phytoplankton. Divers on the reefs near the Molly’s natural territory will even occasionally encounter Mollies that have swum out to sea for a short trip.
They feed on a variety of zoobenthos and detritus, including plant matter, worms, crustaceans, and insects. The Sailfin Molly P. latipinna feeds mainly on algae, however, with rotifers, small crustaceans and aquatic insects making up a smaller part of its diet. Though not a schooling fish Mollies do enjoy the company of their own kind, so will often shoal in groups.
Scientific Name: Poecilia sphenops
Social Grouping: Groups - Although they are not a schooling fish, Mollies enjoy lots of company!
IUCN Red List: DD - Data Deficient
The Mollies are elongated, laterally compressed fish. There are two basic types distinguished by the dorsal fin, those with small fins and those with large ones. Along with the Platies, Guppies and Swordfish, they are members of the Poeciliidae family of Live-bearing Toothcarps, which are distinguished by having teeth in both their upper and lower jaws. The female is notably larger in all species and as the male fish matures, the middle rays of its anal fin becomes modified into a narrow copulatory organ with a strong hook, called a gonopodium.
24 Karat Gold Molly Photo Courtesy David Brough
Common or Short-finned MollyPoecilia sphenops
The Common Molly is the smallest of the three and has fins that are rounded and compact.The males are generally slim, elongated and smaller than the females which are notably plumper. In the aquarium the male will reach around 3 inches (8 cm), with the female closer to around 4 - 5 inches (10 - 12 cm). Their natural adult size in the wild is closer to 8 inches (20 cm), though this is unlikely in the aquarium.
Several subspecies and color varieties are known but their prominent natural color is a blue body, often with yellow or red fins. Males are generally more colorful than females.
The popular "classic" Black Molly, a selectively bred Short-finned Molly, appeared in 1909 in Europe. It was first developed in the United States in the 1930's. Its back was usually olive brown and the sides could be silvery with a green or blue luster marked with a series of brown or orange dots. Though it was first a small finned molly, it was later crossbred to produce a large finned molly in about 1976. The popular Lyretail Molly varieties also belong to this species. These selectively bred fish are not as hardy as the original fish, being more susceptible to disease and needing warmer water.
Sailfin MollyPoecilia latipinna
The Sailfin Molly, also known as the Topsail Molly, is one of the most attractive Mollies. It is similarly shaped to the Common Molly however is somewhat more laterally compressed. The dorsal fin is very large and much more rectangular in shape than that of the Common Molly. This fin can have dark rectangular spots for displaying. It can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) in the wild, but reaches only about 4 - 5 inches (6 - 12 cm) in the aquarium.
This species has many varieties with different color variations. The prominent wild coloration is a green body often with black dots, but can also vary with melanistic, leucistic, and albino, with speckled forms also common. The "Midnight Molly" is a selectively bred, all black variety, of the Sailfin Molly.
Mexican Sailfin MollyPoecilia velifera
The Mexican Sailfin Molly is also known as the Giant Sailfin Molly and the Yucatan Molly. It is shaped and colored nearly indistinguishably from the Sailfin Molly. These fish also have a large sail-like dorsal fin on the male, but differs slightly with small round light spots on the dorsal when displaying. They can reach 6 inches (15 cm) or so in the aquarium, which is about two inches shy of its size in the wild. Their prominent natural color is usually a green body often with dark dots, there is also often an albino strain.
Sailfin Molly Photo Courtesy David Brough
Distinguishing Molly species:
Nearly all of the Mollies sold to aquarists these days are hybrids of two or more of these three species. It's almost to the point that it is difficult to attach a Latin name to most of them. Identifying wild caught mollies is less difficult.
The fin size is one way to distinguish these fish. Mollies fall into one of two groups.The first group has the Common Molly with small fins, and the second has the two sailfin types with large fins.
Another easy way to distinguish between the short fin and sailfin groups is by the location of their dorsal fins. On the Sailfin Mollies the dorsal fin is situated in front of the anal fin, while on the Common Mollies this fin starts behind the anal fin.
Cremecicle Calico Sailfin Molly Photo Courtesy Ken Childs
Distinguishing between the two types of Sailfin Mollies is more difficult because their coloring is very similar. The Sailfin Molly P. latipinna may be distinguished from the Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera by having dark rectangular spots in the dorsal fin, while the spots on P. velifera are lighter in color and round. Often however, they can only be distinguished by the number of rays on the dorsal fin. The Sailfin Molly P. latipinna has approximately 14 rays while the Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera will have closer to 18 rays.
Selectively bred Mollies:
Most mollies available today are selectively bred and are often hybrids. The fish we see are usually beyond the point of being distinctly any of the three original species.
Cremecicle Lyretail Molly Photo Courtesy Ken Childs
The years of selective development of these three, however, has produced a myriad of fantastic colors and patterns. They range from the solid ebony of the Black molly, to the orangey rusted speckles of the Sunburst Molly and the spotted Silver Molly, to name just a few. It is from the "sailfin" species that albino coloring is obtained.
Body and fin shapes have also been selectively bred. These fish can now have a more stout body shape, lyre tails, and many other interesting features.
Most often the large-fin types are cross breeds of the Short-finned Molly P. sphenops and the Sailfin Molly P. latipinna. These cross breeds include the lyretail, moonfish, and flag.
The Lyretail Molly has all normal fins except for the tail, which is long with the outside edges being longer still. The tail tends to loose its lyre shape as the fish get older.
Cremecicle Lyretail Balloon Molly Photo Courtesy David Brough
There is also a Veiltail Molly which has a long tail and dorsal fin. Sometimes the fins on this fish are so long that they have trouble swimming. Both the Lyretail Molly and the Veiltail Molly are more difficult to breed due to having a very long gonopodium.
A very unique variety is the Balloon Molly. This fish was bred to be extremely short and round. The breeding causes an unnatural curvature of the spine. Unfortunately this has been known to cause a great deal of internal organ damage and can shorten their lifespan dramatically. Sadly, this already deformed species is also frequently subjected to artificial dyeing processes, usually with needle injections which can cause permanent damage to the Balloon Molly and a higher mortality rate.
Wild Mollies are very hardy, but many fish available in the hobby today are genetically weak and prone to disease due to the years of inbreeding and intense production. Most can be expected to live around 3 to 5 years with good care.
Size of fish - inches: 8.0 inches (20.32 cm) - Few mollies will grow over 6 inches in the home aquarium, however certain species may reach up to 8 inches in the wild.
Lifespan: 3 years - On average these fish will about 3 years, but if well cared for they can live up to about 5 years.
Fish Keeping Difficulty
The Molly is a fairly easy fish to care for provided that just a few requirements are met. Mollies do not do well in polluted water and are slightly more are prone to ich, fungus and other diseases than other fish. They are also more susceptible to the shimmies in overcrowded conditions.
For beginners the Common Molly P. sphenops and its hybrids are the best choice. They are the most durable, least demanding, and can be kept in a smaller aquarium. The next best choice is a cross breed of Short-finned and Sailfin. The Sailfin Mollies, though often more peaceful, are a bit more challenging to keep as they are a bit more delicate. Sailfin Mollies need a larger aquarium with plenty of room. The Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera is a bit more difficult to maintain than the other two species and their hybrids. They have a much lower tolerance for suboptimal or fluctuating aquarium conditions.
Make sure you select only healthy fish. Then provide a good tank with proper tankmates and a varied diet to offset any potential problems. The males are quite relentless in their pursuit of a mate so keeping them in a ratio of 1 male with 2-3 females helps alleviate stress. Sailfin Mollies also do better when kept with other livebearers that can handle a saline environment.
It should be noted that Balloon Mollies will tend to have a shorter lifespan due to their suboptimal body shape and the high degree of inbreeding. This fish is also not particularly disease resistant and as such should be spared the fluctuations of a newly set up aquarium.
Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately hardy - It should be noted that Ballon Mollies will tend to have a shorter lifespan due to their suboptimal body shape and the high degree of inbreeding. This fish is also not particularly disease resistant and as such should be spared the fluctuations of a newly set up aquarium.
Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
Foods and Feeding
These fish are considered omnivorous, but the Mollies have a very high herbivorous requirement and the majority of their diet needs to include lots of algae and other vegetation. In the wild their diet consists mainly of algae, however, rotifers, small crustaceans and aquatic insects make up a smaller part of the diet as well.
In the aquarium they will happily eat most prepared and live foods. The Molly appreciates a greater vegetable component in its diet. In fact, the development of the dorsal fin of the Sailfin Molly males may be impaired it there are insufficient vegetable foods provided. A vegetable flake along with blanched spinach or cucumber is a great way to do this, although any uneaten vegetable matter must be removed quickly. Aquarium plants and certain types of algae will also be snacked on. x
They will enjoy proteins but they can not subsist on them, they must have a vegetation diet. Offer brine shrimp (either live or frozen), tubifex, or blood worms as a treat. A vitamin rich diet encourages the best coloration.This fish should be fed a varied diet several times daily, in small amounts.
Diet Type: Omnivore - Although this fish is an omnivore, it requires a much greater vegetable component to its diet. It is a good idea to supplement with blanched greens like spinach.
Flake Food: Yes
Tablet Pellet: Yes
Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
Vegetable Food: Most of Diet
Meaty Food: Some of Diet
Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day - Feed small amounts several times a day, what the fish can consume in about 3 minutes each time.
The Mollies are not suited to small or overcrowded tanks, but are usually fairly durable as long as the aquarium is maintained. The pH and hardness should both be kept to the higher end, if the pH swings too low due to pollution the Molly will suffer greatly. The tank should have regular water changes of 25% every 2 -4 weeks. It will need more or less depending how many fish there are and the condition of the water.
It is also advisable, as with most of this family, to add 1-1.25 teaspoons of aquarium salt per gallon. Remember to only replace water with salted water if one has removed water from the tank. Water which evaporated left salts behind so there is no need to add more salt if one is topping off evaporated water.
Water Changes: Monthly - Do water changes of 25% every 2-4 weeks, more often with heavily stocked tanks.
All Mollies need an aquarium that is well planted and not overcrowded. These are moderately sized, active fish that will need plenty of swimming space. A 20 gallon tank is the smallest tank advisable for the larger Sailfin Mollies. The Common Molly could go down to 15 gallons if there were only a few small companion fish with it in the tank. A single sex group or a one to three ratio of males to females is preferable to reduce quarrels among the males over potential mates. If both sexes are housed in the aquarium, the aquarist should plan for about a monthly breeding from these prolific fish.
Most Mollies do best in slightly brackish conditions. However Mollies can live perfectly well in freshwater as long as it is not too soft and acidic. In a freshwater tank, the water needs to be hard and alkaline for the Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera, but they can do equally well in brackish conditions.
Disease resistance appears to be improved by the addition of 1-1.25 teaspoons of aquarium salt per gallon. Water which evaporated left salts behind so there is no need to add more salt if one is topping off evaporated water. The Common Molly P. sphenops and its hybrids can even live a happy life in a fully saltwater environment, and are often a popular choice to cycle new marine aquariums. The Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera can also be acclimated to fully marine conditions without much difficulty.
Most any type of gravel works fine for a substrate, though lighter gravel will show their colors best. Good filtration is very helpful in maintaining stable water. Filtration systems remove much of the detritus, excess foods and waste. This in turn helps to keep the tank clean and maintain the general health of the fish. The Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera is a bit more difficult to maintain than the other two species and their hybrids. They have a much lower tolerance for suboptimal or fluctuating aquarium conditions. Good water quality is also essential for the males to develop their best colorations.
The Molly appreciates some plants in the aquarium for cover and supplemental nutrition along with some open space for swimming. However these are highly vegetarian fish so choose the plants with care as any soft-leaved plants may be destroyed. The use of breeder traps is hazardous to these fish, and it is recommended that you provide floating plant cover for the fry instead. Avoid too much driftwood as these livebearers do not like acidic water.
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gal (76 L) - A single individual could be kept in a fifteen gallon tank with some company, but for a group of 4 or more a larger tank is needed. Twenty gallons is the smallest tank advisable for the larger Sailfin Mollies.
Suitable for Nano Tank: Yes
Substrate Type: Any
Lighting Needs: Moderate - normal lighting - The Molly does not have strong lighting preferences.
Temperature: 70.0 to 82.0° F (21.1 to 27.8° C) - This temperature range is fine for the Short finned (P. Sphenops) and Sailfin Molly (P. Latipinna), but the Mexican Sailfin Molly (P. velifera) likes a bit warmer tank range of 72-82°F (22-28°C).
Breeding Temperature: 79.0° F
Range ph: 7.0-8.5 - These values are acceptable for the Short finned (P. Sphenops) and Sailfin Molly (P. Latipinna). The Mexican Sailfin (P. Velifera) should be kept within the range of 7.5-8.2.
Hardness Range: 20 - 30 dGH - The Mexican Sailfin Molly (P. Velifera) should be kept in water with a hardness of at least 25, and up to 35.
Brackish: Sometimes - These fish have a very high salt tolerance and it is considered beneficial to add 1-1.25 teaspoons of aquarium salt per gallon.
Water Movement: Moderate
Water Region: All - These fish will swim in all areas of the aquarium, but mostly in the middle and top.
The Molly is generally peaceful but an active swimmer. These are social fish that like to be kept with their own kind or at least with members of the livebearer family. The males will occasionally squabble amongst themselves but generally without any damage done.
This fish is considered a good community fish. In general all Mollies are peaceful, though it has been noted that behavior is very individual. occasionally one comes across fish which are markedly more aggressive than average. Males will establish a clear hierarchy and more dominant individuals might extend the hierarchy over other tankmates.
This fish can be housed with fish of similar temperament with the same water chemistry requirements, however very small fish will probably be chased around. These fish should be kept with other fish that can tolerate the same type of water conditions, hard alkaline or brackish water. They are best kept with robust but not aggressive tank mates.
Mollies can fin-nip, and they themselves can have quite extensive fins, which can be very tempting for fin nippers like Tiger Barbs. So it's best to avoid combining Mollies with fin nipping types and ideally they should not be kept with other long-finned fish. Good tankmates include members of the Poecilia genus, other livebearers, Armored catfish (Corydoras) and some Rainbowfish. Other good companions are Barbs and other Cyprinids, as well as Tetras and other Characins, that are hard water tolerant.
Temperament: Peaceful - In general all mollies are peaceful, though that behavior is very individual and occasionally you will get a fish that can be quite ornery.
Same species - conspecifics: Yes - Males will establish a clear hierarchy and will quarrel over potential mates, it's best to keep one male with a 2-3 females.
Peaceful fish (): Safe
Semi-Aggressive (): Monitor
Aggressive (): Threat
Large Semi-Aggressive (): Threat
Large Aggressive, Predatory (): Threat
Slow Swimmers & Eaters (): Monitor
Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe - not aggressive
Plants: Monitor - These are highly vegetarian fish so any soft-leaved plants may be destroyed.
Sex: Sexual differences
The male is slender and has a gonopodium, a modification of the anal fin into a rod shape which is used in the reproductive process. Male Sailfin mollies have a long sail-like dorsal fin. The female is larger and rounder when fully grown.
Breeding / Reproduction
This livebearing fish breeds readily in the home aquarium and the young reach sexual maturity at a very young age. For breeding Mollies, little more is required than to introduce both genders into the aquarium, in fact they can quickly overpopulate an aquarium. Some of the Veiltail and Lyretail Molly varieties may have difficulty breeding however, since their selective breeding for extended fins has also made the gonopodium excessively long.
It is recommended to keep this species in a ratio of one male with at least 2-3 females, as the males can be quite vigorous in their pursuit of mates. To selectively breed Mollies, provide a breeding tank that is a minimum of 20 gallons for the Common Molly P. sphenops, 50 gallons will be needed for the larger Sailfin mollies. The water temperature should be about 79°F (26°C). Provide excellent filtration and good lighting to stimulate algae growth. The gestation period is about 28 days.
In a community aquarium the young will be consumed by other tankmates unless they are removed, isolated, or simply given enough hiding spaces with dense rooted or floating plants. The use of breeder traps is hazardous to these fish, so it is recommended that you provide floating plant cover for the fry instead.
The female Common Molly P. sphenops can have between 20 to 150 fry and the female Sailfin Molly P. latipinna will generally produce 10 to 100 fry. The Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera can produce as many as 200 fry, but 20-60 young is more common. For more information, see the guide for breeding Livebearing Fish: Breeding Freshwater Fish - Livebearers.
Ease of Breeding: Easy - Most Mollies are easy to breed, but the Mexican Sailfin Molly P. velifera is a bit more difficult.
The Molly seems to have a slightly lower resistance to fungal infections and Ich than other fish. They will also get the shimmies, a disorder which causes them to shiver and shake. The prevention and treatment of both of these can be improved by the addition of 1 to 1.25 teaspoons of aquarium salt.
Mollies are subject to the same diseases as other tropical fish. The best way to proactively prevent disease is to give them the proper environment and give them a well balanced diet. The closer to their natural habitat the less stress the fish will have, making them healthier and happy. A stressed fish is more likely to acquire disease.
Anything you add to your tank can bring disease to your tank. Not only other fish but plants, substrate, and decorations can harbor bacteria. Take great care and make sure to properly clean or quarantine anything that you add to an established tank so not to upset the balance. For information about fish diseases and illnesses, see Aquarium Fish Diseases and Treatments.
Mollies are some of the most universally available fish, and are available at a relatively low cost. Wild caught Sailfin Mollies will be available at specialty stores or online.
andysmith - 2015-02-01 hi i have various fish in my tank which is fairly large but i have 2 angel fish in it one eats well and swims around fine the other which is white was ok but the last 3 to 4 weeks seem not to eat hardly and is getting thinner , i put in various food which all the other fish it but it wont eat anything . it seems to have little spots on it can anyone help as i dont think kit will last to much longer ,i wondered if it was iche and what can i do to get rid of it there seems to be nothing wrong with the other fisf
Clarice Brough - 2015-02-03 Yeah, sounds like your angelfish is having problems. Ich is the result of stress most often, and comes from things like being bullied by tankmates or poor tank conditions. You can learn about ich here, on the Fish diseases and treatments page.
Iv - 2003-08-27 Mollys are very cool fish. You can make your own combinations by breeding them. For example get a marbled molly and breed it with a Orange Balloon Molly and the outcome will be cool. Buy a couple and keep the male ratio to one male for two females because the male will chase females and somewhat exuast them.
R.Balaji - 2013-08-25 It's wrong. I have two males but their behavior is not like that. I am R.balaji. We can be freiends, please reply.
Ruben Mendez - 2014-08-04 They are honestly very cool have a 85 gal with ballon mollys and lyretail and many more mollys and have very exotic colors...
linds - 2013-08-02 Do you think I should add another male molly to my tank? I have one in a 20 gal. He is kind of antisocial, when I come over to the tank he hides. He used to be the most friendly fish before I had an ich outbreak (thanks petsmart!). He seems to be friends with my colored skirt tetra but I would like to know if he would benefit if I added another male. I would do females but I do not have the means to care for the babies, I am only 13. Would it do more harm than good? I don't want them to fight or anything just to be buddies, thanks.
Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-08-04 Mollies are usually good community fish and get along well with other fish. However, male mollies can become territorial and somewhat aggressive to other fish. I would say it's not necessary to get another fish, but if you would like another male then I would definitely monitor them for awhile to make sure they don't fight. If there's plenty of room for both of them and lots of hiding places, there may not be any problems - they might even get along well. But there's no way to know for sure.
Anonymous - 2011-04-20 I am a beginner to the world of fish, and I think I know what I am doing, but want it to be verified.
Here's my setup: 30 gal tank with 2 Sunburst Mollies and 2 sunset platies. I have the temp controlled at 72-78 degrees, I have some big rocks (one big enough to provide shelter), and a few plants, as well as a Chinese dragon bubbler.
Here's my question: I added a Green Spotted Puffer to the mix. Is that ok? I went to WalMart, and their fish fact tag says that the puffer will be ok with Mollies. He seems to be swimming around the whole tank, not bothering other fish, but I am worried about it after reading this website. Any suggestions?
Also, you might not be able to help on this, but my male Mollie keeps picking on the female. I was told to expect them to mate, but it looks more like torture and not mating. It could be that I am a beginner (outside that of a Beta) and just do not know what to expect. Any help here would be appreciated as well!
Thanks in advance!
Charlie Roche - 2011-04-20 You can click on the links attached to provide you with more detailed information on the fish you have selected. Just a note to say that it is recommended that if you have other fish with a Pufferfish, you have at least a 50 gallon tank. The puffer fella likes to nip at fins. He is not supposed to be agressive and he is supposed to get along with other fish but you need a larger tank. You need a bit of vegatation there for the fish to hide and play in, whatever. Two mollies mating (movie on U-Tube) looks like the guy is trying to slam her, push her and shove her. Weird to see but it must work. Now maybe yours are fighting so watch the movie and then you'll know for sure. Looks like they were fighting to me too.
Anonymous - 2011-04-20 Hmm. I wasn't told that I would need a 50, but that could be the case. The little guy has been in the tank for about 3 hours now, and he is starting to warm up to it. He swims around a lot, and doesn't seem to bother other fish. He was almost completely grey when I added him, but now his head and some of his body is back to Green. I have a 10 gal that my Beta is currently residing in that I could move him to. I bought some live plants tonight as well, so within a few weeks I should have some more greenery. I currently only have plastic plants, good ole WalMart doesn't say anything about live plants being a necessity.
Charlie Roche - 2011-04-21 Yep, the information says if you just have the puffer, then a 20 gallon tank is fine but if you are adding (or have) other fish, you would need at least a 50 gallon. Puffer fish also need something to wear their teeth down so snails or some such other hard food. The 10 gallon tank is too small for the puffwer, definitely too small if there is another fish in it. Did you find the move on Mollies on U-Tube? There is one on just gold fish also. Strange. Yes, you need some plants. Have fun and enjoy. Remember all these fish are going to get bigger. The mollies will probably go 4 - 6 inches.
Anonymous - 2011-04-21 Yes. Well, I took Mr Puff to Petco and donated him. I decided that I didn't want to ruin his little life just because I jumped in without surveying the water first. I think once I am out of an apartment and have my bigger tanks I will go get another puffer and try again. Thanks for all your help!
Oh, random question. How many more fish can/ should I put in this 30 gallon? Currently I have 2 Mollies and 2 Platies. Thanks!
Charlie Roche - 2011-04-21 I am responding to the other email which tells me you took the puffer back. You are asking how many additional fish you can put in a 30 gallon tank with 2 mollies and 2 platies. If you think 1 inch per gallon (just as a rule of thumb) and subtract out for gravel, decorations etc a 30 gallon should leave you with about 27 gallons of swiming area. So the two mollies are 12 inches (as adults) and the two platies are 5 inches (as adults) which equals 17 inches. So you can add two other compatible fish whose adult size is not greater than 5 inches each. OK? Yeah probably best to take back the puffer. Good thinking on your part.
Dioafui - 2011-05-09 You're fine, but the male fish will chase the female to death. You should have at least three females per male, because of his desire to pro-create. I don't know about puffers, but you spelled betta wrong.
nic - 2011-08-05 Here's where you went wrong. NEVER buy fish from Walmart they are cruel to their fish. They all have an illness and are not healthy fish and Walmart does not have any idea how to care for fish. They just want to make money. I had gotten a mollie and it had 50 babies and think first about how big each baby gets. hope this helps.
p.s get live plants like water sprites
brookes - 2013-03-17 thats not true i bought mine from walmart and it was a little agrisssive at the first 4 days then it got calm it was just scared thats all. all i got to say is love your green spotted puffers. i mean who can't love that little pug face of there's...lol..!