Mollies are a popular choice for beginner - advance aquarium keepers. These popular fish come in a variety of colours and body shapes. The most common being the Common Molly or Short-finned Molly, Black Molly, White Molly, Golden Molly, Balloon Molly, Lyretail Molly, and the Dalmatian Molly.
Mollies originate from Southern Mexico but are now found in aquariums all over the world. They are an active fish but rarely aggressive, making them very popular in community tanks.
A 40-litre tank is suggested for most Mollies and this will house 1-3 Mollies, Sailfin Mollies tend to grow larger and require a larger tank (75L). Mollies should be kept with a ratio of at least 2 females to 1 male, though 3:1 is ideal.
Mollies can grow up to 6-12cm, though this can vary between the different varieties of Mollies. Their usual life span is 3-5 years.
Ideal tank parameters are as follows:
Temperature: 22°C - 26°C
General Hardness: 200-300ppm
They enjoy a tank with live plants to help create hiding spaces for them. While Mollies do not necessarily need good lighting, the plants in their tank will. Good filtration is also recommended as Mollies are big waste producers. Mollies generally like to occupy the middle to upper levels of the tank.
Mollies will eat most aquarium foods, but it is recommended to feed some vegetable matter for their overall health.
There are some slight differences between the male and female Molly. Males tend to have longer more elaborate tails, pectoral fins, and dorsal fins with a thinner more steam like body than the females. Females are generally larger than the males with bulkier bodies and a more fanlike anal fin.
Mollies are livebearers, meaning the females will give birth to fully formed free swimming fry. They can eat their own fry so either a breeding net or lots of plants for the fry to hide in will increase their chance of survival.
With such a large range of colours and body shapes to choose from, Mollies make a great addition to any community tank. These are a great fish for beginners as they are relatively low maintenance and tolerate a wide range of water parameters.