(Poecilia Sphenops)
Alternate Names:
Alternatively named by color variation


(Poecilia Sphenops)

Size: 4 inches

Temp Range: 70°F to 82°F

pH Level: 7.0 to 8.5

Lifespan: 2 to 3 years

Tank Size: 10 gallons

Diet: Pellet, Flake, Frozen

Difficulty: Easy

Geographic History

These fish come from the fresh and brackish water streams of Mexico.


Mollies require a small amount of salt in their aquarium water to stay healthy. They love open water swimming so keep plenty of space in the middle of your fish tank. Provide tall plants along the sides and rear of your aquarium for cover.


These are generally peaceful fish but they may pester other Livebearers. They tend to fin nip in smaller groups, so keeping them with faster, short finned tank mates reduces the chances of this behavior.


Females are generally larger than the males. The females also have a fan shaped anal fin. The anal fin on males is very narrow and rod like. It is used during spawning to impregnate the females.


Mollies are top water feeders and are great for keeping the surface of your aquarium water clean. They will also get to know the person that feeds them the most and rise to the top at meal time.


Mollies will breed in a community aquarium if there are plenty of tall plants for cover. The females carry the eggs inside their bodies and give birth to live, swimming fry.

If your aquarium has many fine leafed plants, the fry will hide among them and many will survive. The parents and other fish will eat the fry, but you may need the crowd control. The females give birth to hundreds of fry at a time.

If you have a dedicated breeding tank, you should remove the adults after spawning occurs. If you don't, they will actively seek out and eat the fry.

Fry are born free swimming and will feed on crushed flake and baby brine shrimp. Keep excellent water quality by doing 10% daily water changes, being careful not to suck the fry out with the old water. Be prepared for dozens of juvenile Mollies if you breed these fish outside of a community tank.

For more information, go to Wikipedia's Molly page.

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PetSmart - Fish