Sailfin mollies are most commonly observed at the shallow surface waters along the edges of marshes, lowland streams, ponds, swamps, estuaries and even ephemeral water bodies such as roadside ditches. Rarely mollies live longer and grow bigger. A water filter and heater can help with controlling their environmental conditions so they can live a healthy life. The latter originally refers to melanistic breeds of Poecilia sphenops. There are a couple of unique ailments you have to watch out for. Often sold for a few bucks each, they’re the perfect species for beginners. Author Note: The best way to avoid disease is to monitor water conditions. Molly disease, also known as the “shimmies” is something to be aware of. Oftentimes, it occurs with no intervention from humans. Common Name- The Giant Sailfin Molly Water Conditions- Good filtration, 73-80 temp, pH 7.5- 8.5 Water Changes of a least 50% a week Behavior- A well behaved community species. Fish and Wildlife Service 1983). They won’t spend too much time down near the substrate. Over time we’ll be adding more species-specific care guides to our site. Once they get a bit bigger, move onto baby brine shrimp until they can consume standard foods. On the other end, the body tapers slightly towards the base of the fan-shaped tail. Like the sailfin, different colors of balloon mollies are available. Males are usually smaller and have a pointy anal fin. The sailfin molly is found in freshwater habitats from North Carolina to Texas and the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Sailfin mollies are members of the lower end of the food chain. Aquarium Source is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Final Environmental Impact Statement, Wetland Assessment for the F- and H-Area Groundwater Remediation Project at the Savannah River Site (March 2004), Life History of Saccocoelioides pearsoni n. sp. We recommend that all aquarists go out and get a reliable (and accurate) water test kit. LIFE HISTORY AND POPULATION BIOLOGY Age, Size, Lifespan: The maximum age and lifespan of P. latipinna is unknown, and growth varies with food availability, environmental conditions and other factors. The Dalmatian Molly has a black and white body, and is sometimes referred to as the Marbled Molly or Marbled Sailfin Molly. Referred to as “Mollies” most commonly. At the bottom of your tank, add sand or gravel substrate. Plus, they can develop algae for your mollies to snack on. These fish are livebearers. The average molly fish lifespan is around three to five years. It’s also important to change 25 to 35 percent of the water weekly to ensure that ammonia and nitrate levels don’t rise. Finally, round off the decor with some rocks, caves, and driftwood. Breeding boxes keep the female contained while the fry slips down through the bottom. III. The first one is Sailfin Molly (Poecilia latipinna) which is the most common and widely available type of mine.. in California (U.S. The greater the population, the smaller the average size of males. Mollies have the ability to adapt to a variety of salt levels in the aquarium. A euryhaline species, the sailfin molly may be found in a variety of saline environments, tolerating salinities as high as 87 ppt and breeding in brackish waters. If a male spreads his dorsal fins in a display, in this species it forms a trapezoid, with the posterior edge being shortest. To breed molly fish, start by setting up a 15-30 gallon tank for them that includes decorations, a substrate, and freshwater plants. Several rows of spots occur along the sides, back, and dorsal fin. Using the substrate as an anchor, add several live plants (mollies use these plants for shelter). The Dalmatian Lyretail Molly is a hybrid color variation of Poecilia latipinna, the Sailfin Molly. Sailfin Mollies are peaceful fish that are incredibly easy to care for. At one year of age, males typically range in size from 0.5 to 3 in (13 to 76 mm) SL, while mature females are likely to be 0.5 to 2.5 in (13 to 64 mm) inch SL. The last one, Mexican Sailfin Molly (P.velifera) is my rarer species which you will hardly find. Peaceful by nature, the molly is great for freshwater community tanks. That tank size recommendation is suitable enough for up to four mollies, although a larger tank is always appreciated if you have some extra space. You should keep a group of at least four fish at the very least. Learn more. According to the Flordia Museum of Natural History, male sailfin mollies do not live more than a year after reaching sexual maturity. In mature males, the dorsal fin is greatly enlarged (it is this feature that gives the species its common name) and the caudal fin is similarly colourful; these conspicuous secondary sexual features play a role in female mate choices. The sailfin molly is a tolerant species, as it can exploit the thin film of oxygen-rich surface water with its upturned mouth, so is able to survive oxygen-depleted habitats. Wide at the mid-section, the body tapers down to a narrow point at the snout. Other fish that live longer include loaches, such as the clown loach and weather loach , which often live 10 to 15 years. Specks of black adorn the body, making it look like a Dalmation dog. Various Poecilia fishes have some differences in their morphological characters, they’ve got used to different life conditions. The sailfin molly has been introduced to many parts of the United States and other countries around the world for both mosquito control and aquariums. Beyond those two issues, mollies can also suffer from common freshwater diseases. This guide on molly fish care has everything you need to get started. Their name is derived from a previous scientific name – ‘Mollienisia’. However, Lesueur described other collections of the sailfin molly as Mollienesia multilineata in 1821, the same year in which he described M. latipinna. . Mollies are one of the most popular freshwater species in the aquarium trade. and the Description of Lecithobotrys sprenti n. sp. They typically inhabit slow-moving tropical rivers teeming with vegetation. [permanent dead link]. Often, these spots blend together, forming stripes. You have a lot of options if you’re looking to create a multi-species community tank. Male and female molly fish are pretty easy to differentiate. Molly Picture Gallery Above, a young mature male Silver Sailfin Molly. Larger fish could bully or even try to eat your molly. The sailfin molly has the standard body shape. Sailfin molly. Molly fish care is really a piece of cake. Their dorsal fin is elongated and looks like the long fin on top of sailfish. Sailfin varieties can get even bigger.  Sailfin mollies introduced to California have caused a decline in populations of the federally protected and endangered desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius).. If you’re looking for something a bit less popular, you’ll probably have to do a little digging (since they might not be at your local fish store). The body of the sailfin molly is essentially oblong. A tank of at least 30 gallons should be provided Best when fed small meals frequently.  The maximum recorded size for this species is 150 mm (5.9 in) TL.. Males can harass females, but this behavior only gets worse if the conditions are right for breeding.While this behavior isn’t particularly violent, it can cause stress in females. The head is small and dorsally flattened, with a small, upturned mouth. Sailfin mollies, and other introduced poeciliids, have been implicated in the decline of native damselflies on Oahu, Hawaii. These fish get slightly bigger than your average molly, meaning they will need a bigger tank to prevent stress.For sailfin varieties, aim for a tank size of 30 gallons or bigger. Small to large aggregations of the species are most commonly found under floating vegetation or near structures in the water, minimizing their chances of being observed by potential predators. Above, a young mature male Silver Lyretail Molly swimming fast to eat a pellet of premium food. Its shape, color, and large sail-like dorsal fins on the males make it difficult to distinguish from the Sailfin Molly, but the Mexical Sailfin Molly's fins differ slightly, having small … Nonindigenous populations are established in New Zealand, in the western U.S., and Hawaii. Rather than laying eggs, the female will hold them in her belly until the babies are ready to hatch. Not long, sadly (especially so for the males). When she’s about to give birth, place her in a breeding box. Impact of Introduction: The Sailfin Molly is responsible for the decline of the desert pupfish Cyprinodon macularius. Avoid any fish that’s known to exhibit aggressive behavior. The caudal peduncle is broad and the caudal fin is large, rounded, and sometimes tipped with black. The molly fish breeding process is extremely interesting and fun for those who are interested. The male molly is more aggressive than the females. The sailfin molly is also commonly sold in aquarium stores under the name "molly". Some confusion occurs with the Yucatan molly, P. velifera. Before long, your female will start to balloon in size when pregnant. It’s good to provide taller plants like Anubias as well as shorter varieties like Java fern. As long as you follow the following established care guidelines, your mollies should thrive! Sailfin Mollies have especially sensitive fins compared to the Short-Finned Molly. Depending upon environmental conditions, sailfin mollies may become reproductive in less than a year. What do Mollies look like? The majority of goldfish are not properly cared for and as a result, live only a few years. As a whole, mollies are very adaptable. There is no real set life expectancy for them. Fertilization is internal, and is accomplished by means of highly modified fin elements within the anal fin of males that form a structure known as the gonopodium. You’ll learn about their tank setup, food, lifespan, and even breeding tips! Wild sailfin mollies are also bred as feeder fish for larger carnivorous fish, though usually guppies are used for that. Feeding Silfin Mollies Sailfin Molly fish prefer vegetation to any other type of food but like the occasional mosquito larva. Look for nutritionally balanced products from well-respected brands! The head is small and dorsally flattened, with a small, upturned mouth. The quality of care you provide will also impact their lifespan significantly. (Trematoda: Haploporidae), International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-2.RLTS.T191748A58335451.en, "Arizona State Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan", "Status of the Desert Pupfish, Cypronidon macularius (Baird and Girard), in California", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sailfin_molly&oldid=986183358, Freshwater fish of the Southeastern United States, Articles with dead external links from May 2018, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2014, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2014, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 October 2020, at 08:57. Most molly fish can live happily in a tank size as small as 10 gallons. The average molly fish lifespan is around three to five years. (See: Sexual selection), It is a smaller fish than the Yucatan molly (P. velifera), though that species often does not grow to full length if bred in an aquarium. Sailfin mollies come in different color varieties but the most common is a silver and black spotted version. Their staple diet should consist of vegetable matter, quality flake or pellets. While they aren’t the longest-living freshwater species out there, there is some wiggle room depending on what species you get. As long as the other tank mates are peaceful, mollies won’t have any problems living with them. Here are some solid tank mates choices for the molly fish: Molly fish will also get along with most freshwater aquarium shrimp and snails quite well too. Like any other fish, mollies can suffer from disease. Enjoyable and stress-free fishkeeping is as good as it gets. So if you’re looking for information on specific types of molly fish, check back soon! The trematode Saccocoelioides sogandaresi is a known parasite of the sailfin molly, as is the ciliated protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, which causes the disease commonly known as freshwater white spot, freshwater ich, or freshwater ick.. Sailfin Mollies have been used extensively in the development of today’s domesticated variants, which exist in a wide range of colors. They do just fine living in pure freshwater environments their entire lives. They are generally found in brackish environments including coastal marshes, streams, swamps and ponds. The gold doubloon molly is another frequently purchased species. Molly Fish are very versatile as they have the unique ability to live in both freshwater and saltwater if acclimated slowly. They like warm waters, neutral pH, and hard water. While they’re not considered a great algae-eater, they do like to snack on it frequently. The Dalmatian Molly is a hybrid color variation of Poecilia latipinna, the Sailfin Molly. Females are more likely to breed with the largest male. In mature males, the dorsal fin is greatly enlarged (it is this feature that gives the species its common name) and the caudal fin is similarly colourful; these conspicuous secondary sexual features play a role in female mate choices. The body of the sailfin molly is essentially oblong. Healthy mollies can spawn new fry several times throughout their lives. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. These are one of the most beginner-friendly freshwater fish out there. Mollies get along with just about anything! Common varieties can be found for $2-$4 per fish, though rarer species cost more. Constipation is a problem that affects balloon mollies. The addition of weekly algae wafers to their diet will help condition the fish. 7. Below, I discuss some of the ways you can prolong the lives of your molly fish. The good news is that most fish heal up quickly once conditions are fixed. The maximum reported size of the sailfin molly is 12.5 cm (Robins & Ray 1986), although most specimens collected in the IRL are less than 6 cm (Klassen 1998). Since their introduction to the world of fishkeeping, mollies have been cross-bred a lot! In the wild, you can find mollies throughout North and South America. You might see some splashes of yellow or orange on the fins, but most of the body is pure black. (2006). Overall, mollies are easy-going fish. They are great … Breeding : These are livebearers so it is fairly easy. Many aquarists notice the disease with extreme temperature changes or ammonia spikes. If kept in a healthy environment, a group of mollies will thrive and can live up to 5 years. They should not be stocked with fish that nip at the fins of other fish. They are perhaps the best example of how poor habitat and care shortens the lifespan of aquarium fish. You can find them using their lips to scrape it off rocks, wood, and glass. Marbled Sailfin Molly; General. Thanks to their small size, mollies do just fine in small and medium-sized aquariums. These include molly disease and constipation. These fish have a flattened body with a triangular-shaped head. The lyretail molly has a beautiful tailfin. In 1959, the ICZN placed precedence on the name Mollienesia latipinna Lesueur 1821. The body shape of this fish results in compacted organs. However, the top and bottom have lengthy rays to create a forked appearance. When most people think of molly fish, they picture the common molly. Additional internal or external sponge filters are great, too. These fish are part of the Poecilia genus. Females tend to be larger and more plainly colored, a different characteristic to the Poeciliidae. These fish are known for their low-maintenance care requirements and wide selection of possible species to choose from. Standard lighting is fine. Oh yeah, we also list the most common types of mollies for you to consider as well. In addition to their nutritional benefits, live foods provide some much-needed stimulation during feeding time. Caring of sailfish is easy in a way that you provide them with food which contains a large proportion of algae, also provides them with flakes of brine shrimp. The females from this species are larger and heavier than the males. You can feed the fry infusoria or powdered fish food. You must feed your sailfin fish two to … This will help you keep them happy, healthy, and save you time in the long run. Dalmation mollies can be standard, lyretail, balloon, or sailfin! It’s rare that you will come across a fish store that doesn’t sell mollies – they are one of the most popular freshwater fish. Then, they’ll go off and do their own thing. A small group can easily raise ammonia and nitrate levels to unhealthy levels. There are reportedly around 39 different species. Although Sailfin mollies are classed as herbivores, they will accept a treat of blood worms. This will more closely replicate their natural diet and allow for a longer lifespan. As such, they are prey for various animals, including aquatic insects, other fishes, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. That said, there are differences in life expectancy between the various molly fish breeds, however, on average, molly fish live 3-5 years. Size and Lifespan Mollies will live for between 3 and 5 years and can grow to 5". Maximum lighting also boosts their growth. It occurs when the water parameters are not stable. Naturally occurring populations control mosquito populations by feeding on the larvae and pupae of these pests. Wild mollies prefer to live in tropical water and can be found in streams and marshes from Texas to North Carolina to Central America. Mollies have the ability to adapt to a variety of salt levels in the aquarium. As a result, you can find a wide range of colors and species to enjoy. Author Note: Generally, sand substrates are best if you want plants. Not big Instead, they “shimmy” and wiggle in one place. When you arrange the plants, position them along the perimeter of the aquarium so that there’s still open swimming space. Mollies were first introduced to the hobby in 1899 and different varieties started appearing in 1920s. Do you have a pregnant molly? An entirely melanistic form exists called the midnight molly, or nondescriptly, "black molly". With the disease, the molly fish is unable to swim properly. These freshwater fish have a wide natural distribution. Community Fish Diet: Flake, Frozen, Freeze-dried Maximum size: 3" Water temperature: 72-82° F Swimming level: Middle Experience level: Beginner Tank Setup: 10+ gallons, moderately planted Contrary to the belief of some, you don’t need salt in the water to keep these fish healthy. Aquarists have developed many color variations in this species (variation occurs naturally in the wild), with melanistic, leucistic, albino, and speckled forms known. The sailfin molly was originally described in 1821 as Mollienesia latipinna by the naturalist Charles Alexandre Lesueur, who based his description upon specimens from freshwater ponds in the vicinity of New Orleans, Louisiana. Mollies will accept live or frozen bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. Molly fish are a staple of freshwater fishkeeping, and have been popular among aquarists for quite a while! They inhabit fresh, brackish, salt, and coastal waters from North Carolina to Texas and the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Mollies spend most of their time in the middle and upper parts of the water column. Molly fish mostly consume plant-based foods. Females te… After you introduce the fish to … This will be your lifeline when it comes to understanding the state of your tank at a glance, and making adjustments when necessary. As hybridization, like in most Poecilia, is easy between these two species and due to the more spectacular appearance of P. latipinna, such sailfin-black molly hybrids, with males' conspicuous, large, yellow-rimmed dorsal fins, are often seen. Four to four and a half inches is the normal size range of a full-grown molly. In a landmark definitive work on poeciliid fishes, Donn Rosen and Reeve Bailey (1959) noted the priority of Poecilia by Marcus Elieser Bloch and Johann Gottlob Schneider (1801) with regards to Mollienesia by Lesueur (1821), thereby relegating Mollienesia to the synonymy of Poecilia.
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