Aquarium and Fish
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(Poecilia sphenops & Poecilia velifera)
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|There are actually two
different species of
fish that are collectively
referred to as mollies; Poecilia
and Poecilia velifera.
Mollies are members of the family
which includes southern
platyfish (the plati)
They are native to the Americas.
They can be found in the Southern U.S., Central and South America.
often found along coastal waters. As costal dwellers,
they prefer a small amount of salt in their water. The standard
recommendation ranges from one teaspoon to a tablespoon for every five
gallons. Split the difference and play it safe. If you only have
experience with freshwater fish you should be aware of the fact that
salt does not evaporate with the water. You will only need to add more
salt during water changes. Iodized table salt can kill your fish. Use
only aquarium salt. Interestingly enough, mollies can be found for sale
in both the fresh and salt water sections of fish stores. Mollies can
survive either or both if acclimated slowly to their new environment.
in a variety of colors and body markings. The
selective breeding of mollies has yielded Sailfin, Balloon, and
Lyertail varieties. Male mollies have an enlarged dorsal fin and a
modified anal fin known as a gonopodium. An adult molly will grow to a
length of about four inches.
Two species of
sulfur molly) and P. latipunctata (spotted
mollies) are listed as critically endangered in
mild mannered. They make good community fish provide
they are kept with species that are not adverse to a slightly salty
heavily planted aquariums. They like to hide in the plants.
numerous locations they are native to, mollies prefer
slightly alkaline to neutral water with a temperature range between
77-83°F. They have a life expectancy of up to five years.
omnivores, eating both plant and meaty foods. They will
readily eat flakes, freeze-dried, frozen, and live foods. You should
try to include some plant matter into their diet.
live bearing fish. Males will often harass the females
of their own species. To help insure a low incidence of domestic
violence, it is best to keep two or three females for every male.
most live bearing fish, are easy to spawn in
captivity. Live bearing fish engage in
internal fertilization. The male
uses his modified anal fin, the gonopodium, to inseminate the female.
The gestation cycle is around 60 days. A typical brood rages from 20-50
eat their fry. To avoid this, the adults must be
removed from the breeding tank after spawning. Or you can use a
breeding trap. Breeding traps are frequently used when spawning live
bearers. They are comprised of two compartments. Place the mother in
the top compartment. The fish will drop through to the bottom
compartment. Remove both adults and release the fry into the breeding
tank. Breeding traps are inexpensive and can be purchased at most fish
can be feed newly hatched brine shrimp, or powdered fry food. An
economical alternative is powdered eggs.
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