If ever there were a multipurpose fish, it’s the molly. Mollies are suitable for just about any type of fish aquarium you have or want in your Phoenix home, and they are some of the easiest to care for to boot.
Ideal for brackish tanks, saltwater aquariums, and freshwater aquariums, these tropical fish can even beautify a reef tank.
And best of all, they’re algae-eating bottom feeders! So not only are they suitable for a wide range of tanks, but they can also help you keep that aquarium nice and pretty.
Let us tell you all about these beauties.
12 Care Tips & Facts about the Multipurpose Mollies
1. Various species of mollies, such as black sailfin mollies and balloon mollies (shown above), are brackish fish. In nature, brackish fish live in shallow water where rivers flow into oceans, so these fish can acclimate themselves to both freshwater and saltwater environments. Officially, mollies are better for freshwater aquariums, but you can easily acclimate them to saltwater.
2. They grow to about 3 to 5 inches.
3. In nature, they’re most commonly found near South and Central America.
4. The scientific name for mollies is Poecilia sphenops. They are part of the Actinopterygii class. The genus name is Poecilia, and they are in the Poecilidae family.
5. A molly’s lifespan is about 2 to 5 years.
6. Mollies are social and friendly. They prefer to be in groups with other mollies, so you should keep at least four. They are also compatible with many other fish that are comparable in size, such as goldfish, neon tetras, and guppies.
7. Because they are so versatile, the water temperature can be anywhere from 64 to 82 degrees, depending on the specific type of mollies you have. The pH level should be 7.5 to 8.5.
8. Mollies are livebearers, and the pregnancy lasts about 40 days. They can give birth to 100 babies at once, so beware if you have one that’s expecting! You may wish to move her into a separate tank before those babies are born.
9. True to their standing as easygoing pet fish, they’re omnivores. They prefer plant-based foods, but do munch on insect larvae, small insects, and some algae, which can help keep aquariums cleaner. You can also treat them to live or frozen bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp every now and then. You can give them flake food as well, but mostly for fun. Just be careful; these fish can be gluttons, so don’t overfeed them.
10. Male mollies might pick on the ladies a little bit, especially at breeding time, so make sure the females outnumber the males in your tank.
11. Mollies are so easy to care for that they are perfect for beginning fishkeepers. It’s one of many reasons why mollies are among the most popular aquarium fish around.
12. The color of mollies ranges from white to black and everything in between, and some of the fish are one color while others are spotted. The gold doubloon molly, for example, is black in the back and gold in the front, while the golden sailfin molly is as orange as a tangerine. The platinum lyretail molly is bluish silver. And then there’s one that looks like a dalmatian … in color anyway, not in size.
Long story short, you really can’t go wrong with mollies in your fish tank, but call me if you want to know more about how to care for them or need aquarium maintenance in Phoenix.