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South American Molly

south american molly

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Scientific Name:   Poecilia caucana      
Min. Tank Size:   20 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   78-86°F      
pH:   7.0-7.5/10-20°dGH      
Size:   1.5"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Livebearer      


Can be kept with other small, peaceful species like Tetras, Corydoras, Swordtails and other Livebearers.

South American Molly

Also called the Cauca Molly, the South American Molly can be found in parts of Panama, Columbia and Venezuela. This species typically inhabits shallow bodies of water that is slightly more alkaline than acidic. These fish are relatively devoid of color but can be identified by the black spot at the base of the dorsal fin. The overall coloration of this species is silver to light yellow and males of the species may exhibit yellow coloring on the fins during reproductive periods. Some specimens have also been known to show thin transverse bands running along the body.

Tank Set-up

South American Mollies are a peaceful breed that can be kept with small, peaceful species as well as other Livebearers. These fish are best kept in water that is slightly alkaline, but they are a hardy species likely to do well in a variety of tank environments. These fish enjoy planted tanks but may nibble on some species of live plants.


In the wild, South American Mollies feed on algae and mosquito larvae, but in the home aquarium they are likely to accept a variety of foods. The ideal diet for South American Mollies will include a variety of live and frozen foods, such as bloodworms, Daphnia, and brine shrimp, to supplement a staple diet of flake foods and Spirulina flakes or wafers.


Breeding the South American Molly is generally not considered to be difficult. Like many Livebearers, the females of this species are capable of storing sperm for several months so fry are often born continually. Prior to dropping fry, the female will develop a dark "gravid" spot on the belly and the rest of her body may darken slightly in coloration.

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