Different Molly Fish

The Different Types Of Molly Fish

Molly Fish are one of the most well-known fish breeds amongst aquarium hobbyists. They are one of many livebearer fish breeds, are easy to care for and are relatively small in size. Molly Fish require a fish tank that holds at least 10-gallons of water (for a single small Molly). 

However, if you plan to own more than one Molly, then you should purchase a tank that allows each Molly to have at least 10-gallons of water (i.e. a tank with three Molly Fish should have at least 30-gallons of water). Molly fish typically enjoy warmer water temperatures. They are most comfortable in temperatures ranging between 72ºF and 82ºF. Once the temperature of the tank water is chosen, it should be controlled dramatic fluctuations should be avoided. 

Finally, Molly Fish are often thought to be a single breed. In fact, they come in a variety of different species! So, let’s dive in and take a deeper look at the various species of Molly Fish!

Dalmatian Molly

dalmation molly fish

The Dalmatian Molly Fish typically requires a 30-gallon tank to allow for proper growing space, quality oxygen levels, and swimming space. They may be labeled as a Marbled Molly Fish or a Marbled Sailfin Molly Fish in some pet stores. Dalmatian Molly Fish enjoy an aquatic habitat that is heavily filled with aquatic plants. 

They prefer live plants as Mollies typically munch on these plants throughout the day and between feedings. Molly Fish, as a whole, are capable of adapting to various salt water levels as long as the salt levels change gradually rather than drastically. If Dalmatian Molly Fish are going to be used in a freshwater aquarium, then they will require a small amount of aquarium salt (about one teaspoon) per gallon of water.

They are omnivores which mean their diet should be balanced between meat sources and plant sources. Dalmatian Molly Fish have large appetites that should include brine shrimp, tubifex, freeze-dried bloodworms, and algae-based flake fish food. As previously mentioned, Mollies enjoy munching on the live plants found in their aquariums. Owners should be sure to plant a large amount of aquatic vegetation in the tank as well as allow for slight algae growth and floating plants. Owners may also want to include an algae mat in the aquarium.

Physical traits

Dalmatian Molly Fish are aptly named for their black and white scale patterns. This scale pattern also inspires the various other names for the Molly species (i.e. Marbled Molly and Marbled Sailfin Molly). Their black and white scales are their most distinguishing feature. 

However, the Dalmatian Molly has a pointed caudal fin (anal fin) which is larger on the male than it is on the female. The male Dalmatian Molly Fish also has a larger dorsal fin. Female Dalmatian Mollies have a rounded caudal fin (anal fin), and they also have a pregnancy spot.

Personality and Temperament

Dalmatian Molly Fish are typically very peaceful fish, and they would do very well in a community tank. As with all Molly Fish, the Dalmatian Molly should be tankmates with fish that are of similar temperaments. 

For example, they should be housed with large, peaceful fish that can tolerate hard water. It is important to mention that not all Dalmatian Molly Fish are friendly and that some may be aggressive towards certain tankmates.

If aggression, fighting, bullying, or injuries occur, then the tank inhabitants should be reevaluated. In most cases, the bully fish or the victim fish are removed and rehomed in a tank of their own or in a tank of fish with similar temperaments.

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Water Conditions: 68-82° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.0-7.8
Max. Size: 4¾”
Color Form: Assorted, Black
Origin: east coast of Florida, Gulf of Mexico, North Carolina
Diet: Omnivore
Family: Poeciliidae

Black Molly

black molly fishThe Black Molly Fish typically requires a 30-gallon tank to allow for proper growing space, quality oxygen levels, and swimming space. Black Molly Fish enjoy an aquatic habitat that is heavily filled with aquatic plants. They prefer live plants as Mollies typically munch on these plants throughout the day and between feedings. Molly Fish, as a whole, are capable of adapting to various salt water levels as long as the salt levels change gradually rather than drastically. If Black Molly Fish are going to be used in a freshwater aquarium, then they will require a small amount of aquarium salt (about one teaspoon) per gallon of water.

They are omnivores which mean their diet should be balanced between meat sources and plant sources. Black Molly Fish have large appetites that should include brine shrimp, tubifex, freeze-dried bloodworms, and algae-based flake fish food. As previously mentioned, Mollies enjoy munching on the live plants found in their aquariums. Owners should be sure to plant a large amount of aquatic vegetation in the tank as well as allow for slight algae growth and floating plants. Owners may also want to include an algae mat in the aquarium.

Physical traits

Black Molly Fish are aptly named for their black colored scales. Some Black Mollies may develop gold or silver patches on their scales when they are young. However, these slight discolorations will fade as they age. Their black scales are their most distinguishing feature. However, the Black Molly has a pointed caudal fin (anal fin) which is larger on the male than it is on the female. The male Black Molly Fish also has a larger dorsal fin. Female Black Mollies have a rounded caudal fin (anal fin), and they also have a pregnancy spot.

Personality and Temperament

Black Molly Fish are typically very peaceful fish, and they would do very well in a community tank. As with all Molly Fish, the Black Molly should be tankmates with fish that are of similar temperaments. For example, they should be housed with large, peaceful fish that can tolerate hard water.  It is important to mention that not all Black Molly Fish are friendly and that some may be aggressive towards certain tankmates. If aggression, fighting, bullying, or injuries occur, then the tank inhabitants should be reevaluated. In most cases, the bully fish or the victim fish are removed and rehomed in a tank of their own or in a tank of fish with similar temperaments.

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Water Conditions: 68-82° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.0-7.8
Max. Size: 3″
Color Form: Black
Origin: Farm Raised, Singapore
Diet: Omnivore
Family: Poeciliidae

Platinum Lyretail Molly

platinum lyretailThe Platinum Lyretail Molly Fish typically requires a 30-gallon tank to allow for proper growing space, quality oxygen levels, and swimming space. They are sometimes referred to as the Giant Lyretail Molly, the Mexican Lyretail Molly, the Yucatan Molly, and even simply the Lyretail Molly. Platinum Lyretail Molly Fish enjoy an aquatic habitat that is heavily filled with aquatic plants. They prefer live plants as Mollies typically munch on these plants throughout the day and between feedings. Molly Fish, as a whole, are capable of adapting to various salt water levels as long as the salt levels change gradually rather than drastically. If Platinum Lyretail Molly Fish are going to be used in a freshwater aquarium, then they will require a small amount of aquarium salt (about one teaspoon) per gallon of water.

They are omnivores which mean their diet should be balanced between meat sources and plant sources. Black Molly Fish have large appetites that should include brine shrimp, tubifex, freeze-dried bloodworms, and algae-based flake fish food. As previously mentioned, Mollies enjoy munching on the live plants found in their aquariums. Owners should be sure to plant a large amount of aquatic vegetation in the tank as well as allow for slight algae growth and floating plants. Owners may also want to include an algae mat in the aquarium.

Physical traits

Platinum Lyretail Molly Fish are aptly named for their platinum colored scales. Their platinum scales are their most distinguishing feature. However, the Lyretail Molly has a pointed caudal fin (anal fin) which is larger on the male than it is on the female. The male Lyretail Molly Fish also has a larger dorsal fin that will not develop properly if the tank is overcrowded or too small. Female Lyretail Mollies have a rounded caudal fin (anal fin), and they also have a pregnancy spot.

Personality and Temperament

Platinum Lyretail Molly Fish are typically very peaceful fish, and they would do very well in a community tank. As with all Molly Fish, the Lyretail Molly should be tankmates with fish that are of similar temperaments. For example, they should be housed with large, peaceful fish that can tolerate hard water.  It is important to mention that not all Platinum Lyretail Molly Fish are friendly and that some may be aggressive towards certain tankmates. If aggression, fighting, bullying, or injuries occur, then the tank inhabitants should be reevaluated. In most cases, the bully fish or the victim fish are removed and rehomed in a tank of their own or in a tank of fish with similar temperaments.

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Water Conditions: 64-82° F, KH 12-30, pH 7.0-8.3
Max. Size: 4″
Color Form: Orange, Red, Yellow
Origin: Farm Raised, Singapore
Diet: Omnivore
Family: Poeciliidae

Golden Sailfin Molly

golden sailfin mollyThe Golden Sailfin Molly Fish typically requires a 30-gallon tank to allow for proper growing space, quality oxygen levels, and swimming space. Sailfin Molly Fish enjoy an aquatic habitat that is heavily filled with aquatic plants. They prefer live plants as Mollies typically munch on these plants throughout the day and between feedings. The plants also serve as hiding spaces for the females when they are pregnant. Molly Fish, as a whole, are capable of adapting to various salt water levels as long as the salt levels change gradually rather than drastically. If Golden Sailfin Molly Fish are going to be used in a freshwater aquarium, then they will require a small amount of aquarium salt (about one teaspoon) per gallon of water.

They are omnivores which mean their diet should be balanced between meat sources and plant sources. Golden Sailfin Molly Fish have large appetites that should include brine shrimp, tubifex, freeze-dried bloodworms, Mosquito larvae and algae-based flake fish food. As previously mentioned, Mollies enjoy munching on the live plants found in their aquariums. Owners should be sure to plant a large amount of aquatic vegetation in the tank as well as allow for slight algae growth and floating plants. Owners may also want to include an algae mat in the aquarium.

Physical traits

Golden Sailfin Molly Fish are aptly named for their golden or orange colored scales and sail-like caudal fin shape. Some Sailfin Mollies may develop more yellow than orange in color scales. Their golden scales are their most distinguishing feature. However, the Golden Sailfin Molly has a more rounded caudal fin (anal fin) than other Mollies, which is larger on the male than it is on the female. The male Golden Sailfin Molly Fish also has a larger dorsal fin. Female Sailfin Mollies also have a rounded caudal fin (anal fin), and they give birth to live fry in a short period of time.

Personality and Temperament

Golden Sailfin Molly Fish are typically very peaceful fish, and they would do very well in a community tank. However, once the fry is born, the parents usually do not care for them. As with all Molly Fish, the Sailfin Molly should be tankmates with fish that are of similar temperaments. For example, they should be housed with large, peaceful fish that can tolerate hard water.  It is important to mention that not all Sailfin Molly Fish are friendly and that some may be aggressive towards certain tankmates. If aggression, fighting, bullying, or injuries occur, then the tank inhabitants should be reevaluated. In most cases, the bully fish or the victim fish are removed and rehomed in a tank of their own or in a tank of fish with similar temperaments.

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Water Conditions: 75-82° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.5-8.5
Max. Size: 6½”
Color Form: Black
Origin: Yucatan
Diet: Omnivore
Family: Poeciliidae

Balloon Molly

balloon mollyThe Balloon Molly Fish typically requires a 30-gallon tank to allow for proper growing space, quality oxygen levels, and swimming space. Balloon Molly Fish enjoy an aquatic habitat that is heavily filled with aquatic plants. They prefer live plants as Mollies typically munch on these plants throughout the day and between feedings. Molly Fish, as a whole, are capable of adapting to various salt water levels as long as the salt levels change gradually rather than drastically. If Balloon Molly Fish are going to be used in a freshwater aquarium, then they will require a small amount of aquarium salt (about one teaspoon) per gallon of water.

They are omnivores which mean their diet should be balanced between meat sources and plant sources. Balloon Molly Fish have large appetites that should include brine shrimp, tubifex, freeze-dried bloodworms, and algae-based flake fish food. As previously mentioned, Mollies enjoy munching on the live plants found in their aquariums. Owners should be sure to plant a large amount of aquatic vegetation in the tank as well as allow for slight algae growth and floating plants. Owners may also want to include an algae mat in the aquarium.

Physical traits

Balloon Molly Fish are aptly named for their arched back and their rounded bellies that give them a balloon-like appearance. Their scales may come in a variety of colors including yellow, white, and black. However, the Balloon Molly has a pointed or lyre-shaped caudal fin (anal fin) which is larger on the male than it is on the female. The male Balloon Molly Fish also has a larger dorsal fin. Female Balloon Mollies have a rounded caudal fin (anal fin), and they also have a pregnancy spot. Balloon Molly Fish may make better tankmates with the Potbelly Molly Fish as they are similarly shaped and will have similar swimming abilities.

Personality and Temperament

Balloon Molly Fish are typically very peaceful fish, and they would do very well in a community tank. As with all Molly Fish, the Balloon Molly should be tankmates with fish that are of similar temperaments. For example, they should be housed with large, peaceful fish that can tolerate hard water.  It is important to mention that not all Balloon Molly Fish are friendly and that some may be aggressive towards certain tankmates. If aggression, fighting, bullying, or injuries occur, then the tank inhabitants should be reevaluated. In most cases, the bully fish or the victim fish are removed and rehomed in a tank of their own or in a tank of fish with similar temperaments.

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Water Conditions: 68-82° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.0-7.8
Max. Size: 3″
Color Form: Black, White, Yellow
Origin: east coast of Florida, Gulf of Mexico, North Carolina
Diet: Omnivore
Family: Poeciliidae

In Conclusion

Most species of Molly Fish have similar, if not identical, characteristics and features. This would lead us to believe that Mollies can share an aquarium without issue. However, this is not always the case. Each fish has his own personality, and it should be significantly considered. It is best to house fish of similar personalities, temperaments, swimming abilities, water requirements and fragility. It is also important to remember that Mollies can have an aggressive side and therefore they should be carefully observed when a new tankmate is introduced.