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Black Molly

black molly

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Scientific Name:   Poecilia sphenops      
Min. Tank Size:   25 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   64-86°F      
pH:   7.0-8.5/5-25°dGH     
Size:   2.5"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Livebearer      
 

Compatibility:

Best kept with brackish or hard water-tolerant species such as Rainbowfish, Barbs, Tetras and other Mollies.

Black Molly

Also called the Short-Finned Molly, the Black Molly is named for its black coloration. In the wild, however, many specimens are a dull silver color, sprinkled with black. Males of the species may exhibit a pointed anal fin and a larger dorsal fin than females, while female Black Mollies have a rounded anal fin and can be identified by the gravid spot that forms on their bellies during pregnancy. Black Mollies can be found in parts of Columbia, Mexico and Venezuela, though some have also been found in the Caribbean islands. Most specimens available in the aquarium hobby are tank bred, most being produced in Eastern Europe or the Far East.

Tank Set-up

Though often recommended as freshwater community fish to beginning aquarium hobbyists, Black Mollies tend to do better when kept in slightly brackish conditions. These fish are best kept in planted tanks with some salt content - about one teaspoon of salt per gallon is recommended. Black Mollies produce a great deal of waste when fed properly, so adequate filtration is essential to help maintain acceptable water quality.

Feeding

These fish tend to have healthy appetites and are likely to accept both meat- and vegetable-based foods. A healthy diet for Black Mollies should include live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms and tubifex as well as a Spirulina-based flake or pellet. Including vegetable matter in the overall diet plan for Black Mollies is very important and should not go ignored.

Breeding

Breeding this species is very easy as long as the fish are kept in slightly brackish conditions. Gestation in Black Mollies typically lasts up to 8 weeks and may result in large broods of up to 120 fry. When born, the fry are often quite large and can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp or powdered fry foods.


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