Dalmatian Molly - Poecilia latipinna
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Livebearers are fish that give birth to live, free-swimming babies instead of laying eggs. Common livebearing fish for tropical freshwater aquariums include Swordtails, Platies, Variatus, Mollies, and Guppies. These bright and peaceful little fish come in a variety of colors and patterns and can easily be placed in a tropical community. While these fish share many similarities in behavior and care needs, there are subtle differences that set them apart.
Swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri) males are easily identified by the elongated lower lobe of their tail fin. Males may show aggression towards each other in the aquarium. Platies (X. maculatus) and Variatus (X. variatus) have a slightly more stocky build than swordtails. Otherwise they are very similar and may even interbreed. Mollies (Poecilia velifera, P. latipinna, P. sphenops) are even more robust and have the ability to adapt to a wide range of salinity; they can live in pure freshwater or ocean water. Males have a much larger dorsal fin than females that they flare when courting or showing aggression. Guppies (P. reticulata), particularly males, are easily recognized by their huge tails and amazing coloration though they can be much more delicate, especially during transport and acclimation. Many other livebearer species exist, but they are not as frequently offered for aquariums.
Livebearers are best-known for their prolific breeding. Livebearers have the ability to deliver several batches of young from a single fertilization from a male. Gestation ranges from 4-6 weeks for most to 8-10 weeks for larger species like Sailfin Mollies. Each batch may number from 25 to more than 100. Most Livebearer parents are cannibalistic, and will eat their babies. To collect or protect the babies, place pregnant females into a breeder net or trap until she delivers, or provide plenty of plants and ornaments where the new babies can find safe haven to grow. In a heavily planted tank at least some of the young usually survive.
Keep livebearers in a well-maintained aquarium with live or artificial plants. They prefer a little aquarium salt, though it is not necessary. These fish are safe and peaceful in community tanks. Males have a modified pointed anal fin known as a "gonopodium" while this fin is held fanned out in females; a "harem ratio" (one male to two or more females) is generally recommended to reduce aggression and harassment and for the more successful breeding broods. They will feed on any commercial flake or pellet food, and may also be fed small freeze-dried or frozen foods as treats periodically. They will also eat some algae as it appears in the aquarium.
|Common Name||Dalmatian Molly|
|Scientific Name||Poecilia latipinna|
|Max Size (in inches)||3|
|Min Tank Size (in gallons)||15|
|Armed Forces Americas|
|Armed Forces Europe|
|Armed Forces Pacific|
Ratings & Reviews
Can Be Good Fish
I had a Dalmatian Molly back when I first got my tank started. She was very nice. Unfortunately, she died due to unknown causes. I only had her for like 3 weeks. To replace her, I got a male. His name was Bull. He got that name because he bullied the other fish in the tank. Bull wasn't nice. I don't buy Dalmatian Mollies anymore because I'm afraid that they'll end up like Bull. I gave him to my sister, and then he died. He got sucked to the filter tube. But, they can be nice. I just don't like buying them because I don't want what happened with Bull to happen again. He did, however spawn with my black lyretail molly and I got a fry out of the deal. She is very happy and healthy, and she must have acquired her mother's attitude, because she is very nice and wouldn't hurt a fly.
I have Dalmatian molly in my 39 gal. Community tank and they are very friendly . I call them the wiggles if you watch them they come up to the glass and wiggle at you. One had babies 2 days after I put them in the tank. Only saw 2 and have not seen them in few days. Hopefully I will be able to catch the female and put he in the breeding tank so the fry will be protected. I love these fish they are very personable.
Great Fish in general
by Devin Dischinger
Great fish to start with as a beginner in the aquarium hobby, not picky when it comes to food. Gets along great with other live bearing species such as Platys, Guppies as well as other community fish. Be sure to make sure your tank is at least 10 or more gallons if you plan on housing a Molly as part of a community. From my experience, the Dalmatian Molly produces so much waste on its own that it creates a spike in ammonia levels and causes other fish to die. With a bigger tank, a filter should be able to keep the ammonia level in check.