The Fish Guru

Discovering the Different Types of Molly Fish: Care Compatibility and Colors

Introduction to Molly Fish

Molly fish are a popular freshwater species that have caught the attention of many aquarium hobbyists. These fish are native to North and South America, inhabiting shallow surface waters.

Within the Poecilia genus and the Poeciliidae family, there are different types of Molly fish that vary in appearance, temperament, and care requirements. Their popularity in home aquariums lies in their ease of care and peaceful nature, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced hobbyists.

In this article, we will explore the different types of Molly fish, their natural habits, and their suitability for a home aquarium.

Natural Molly Fish

Shortfin Molly/Common Molly

The Shortfin, also known as the Common Molly, is a silver-grey fish with a hardy nature. Its resilience is attributed to its ability to adapt to different water conditions, though it thrives in a slightly alkaline environment with a small amount of aquarium salt.

An omnivorous species, the Shortfin Molly will happily eat both vegetables and small amounts of protein, such as brine shrimp.

Sailfin Molly


Sailfin Molly is a stand-out species known primarily for its large dorsal fin. These fish come in a variety of colors, from black to gold, and can thrive in both freshwater and brackish water tanks.

A community tank breeding species, Sailfin Mollies require a large tank setup with plenty of space to swim around in and different hiding places.

Yucatan Molly

Another type of Molly fish is the

Yucatan Molly, also known as the Giant

Sailfin Molly. These fish have a similar appearance to the

Sailfin Molly but are a larger species with a peaceful nature.

Typically found in warmer temperatures, the

Yucatan Molly is most active during breeding season, making it an excellent choice for a home aquarium.

Liberty Molly


Liberty Molly is a smaller species with a distinctive dual-colored body. This species has a hardy nature, but it is worth noting that the males can become aggressive towards other males and can sometimes nip fins.

Providing plenty of hiding places and live plants will help to reduce aggression levels. This species is easy to care for, and a diet of both vegetables and small amounts of different protein sources will keep them happy and healthy.

Dwarf Molly


Dwarf Molly is a smaller species of the Molly fish that comes in both wild and bred colorings. These fish are easy to care for, requiring little more than a slightly alkaline environment with a small amount of aquarium salt.

If provided with a suitable tank setup, they will thrive and produce offspring regularly.


In conclusion, Molly fish are an excellent addition to any home aquarium. From their easy care requirements to their peaceful nature, they provide a readily adaptable species that is both entertaining and enjoyable to watch.

By understanding the different types of Molly fish available, hobbyists can choose the type best suited to their home aquarium while also providing the care and environment these wonderful creatures need to thrive.

Selectively-bred Molly Fish

Molly fish are a popular freshwater species that come in various sizes, colors, and patterns, making them a popular choice among aquarium hobbyists. They are particularly versatile because they can be selectively bred to produce new varieties with different coloring, fin shapes, and bodily features.

In this article, we will discuss some popular selectively-bred Sailfin and Lyretail Molly fish. Selective breeding is a form of genetic manipulation in which only the fish with desirable physical traits are allowed to breed to produce offspring with those traits.

This method has been used to create new variations of Molly fish with novel colors, fin shapes, and bodily structures, making them more interesting and appealing to buy. Selectively-bred

Sailfin Molly Fish

Common Black Molly

Common Black Molly is a selectively-bred Tank-bred species that has a distinct black coloration on its scales.

They are hardy and peaceful fish that require a slightly alkaline environment and prefer the addition of aquarium salt in their water. These fish require high-quality flakes and brine shrimp as their diet, with occasional feedings of blood worms or other small protein-rich foods.

Balloon Belly Molly

Balloon Belly Molly is a selectively-bred hybrid species that has a unique and rounded belly, unlike other Molly fish. They have an arched back and a variable color scheme, with black, white, and orange being prevalent.


Balloon Belly Molly fish require a much larger tank than other Molly fish, preferably over 20 gallons, to keep them healthy and happy. Due to their abnormal features, they are more prone to diseases, and therefore, it’s essential to keep their habitat clean and well-maintained.


Sailfin Molly


Sailfin Molly is a selectively-bred variety of sailfin molly, with deep black scales and flowing, whisker-like fins. They are peaceful fish that require peaceful tank mates and a well-established tank setup with plenty of hiding places and oxygenation.

A heater is also necessary to maintain a steady temperature between 74F and 82F. As with other Molly fish, a vegetable-rich diet supplemented with protein is necessary for optimal health and growth.

Dalmatian Molly


Dalmatian Molly has a black and white spotted pattern that resembles the famous dalmatians in the fictional world of Disney. They are selectively bred to give a unique spotted pattern that is distinctive from the standard black and white molly.

Dalmatian Molly fish have the same care requirements as other

Sailfin Molly fish, and they require the same kind of peaceful tank mates. A small group of same-sex molly fish is also advisable, along with a slightly alkaline environment and a vegetable-rich diet.


Sailfin Molly


Sailfin Molly is a selectively-bred species that requires a slightly larger tank compared to other sailfin Molly fish. These fish are peaceful and should be kept with other non-aggressive tank mates in a community tank.

They need a daily diet of vegetable rich foods, such as flakes and algae, as well as occasional feedings of small protein-rich foods. Keeping the water temperature at constant levels and a good filtration system is essential for the healthy living of these Molly fish.

Selectively-bred Lyretail Molly Fish

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly

The Dalmatian Lyretail Molly is a selectively-bred fish with a marbled pattern present on its lyretail. The Lyretail is the top fan-like, long fin on the top of the body extending from the dorsal fin to the tail.

The dalmatian Molly has the same care requirements as other Molly fish, and they require the same kind of peaceful tank mates. They require a freshwater tank with plenty of hiding spots and ample oxygenation for optimal health.

Black Lyretail Molly

Black Lyretail Molly is a beautiful selectively-bred species with a shiny black body and long flowing Lyretail. Since they are omnivorous, they require a balanced diet of vegetable-rich flakes and protein-rich foods.

They can live with a wide variety of other peaceful tank mates, and keeping the tank environment suitable, healthy, and well-maintained is important to prevent water quality issues.

Creamsicle Lyretail Molly

Creamsicle Lyretail Molly is a brightly colored selectively-bred species that has a vibrant cream and orange coloration on its body. They need to be provided with a suitable tank setup containing plenty of live plants and a hiding place or two.

These fish require a vegetable-rich diet supplemented by small protein-rich foods, and it’s essential to keep them with same-tank living tank mates of other peaceful fish species that won’t eat their young.

Marble Lyretail Molly


Marble Lyretail Molly is a selectively-bred species that has a marbled color mix of orange, black, and white on its body. These fish are easy to care for, making them excellent for beginners.

They require a slightly alkaline environment with aquarium salt and a well-established filtration system. A vegetable-rich diet and occasional protein-rich feedings are required for optimal health and growth.

They can live with a wide variety of other peaceful fish tank mates and are easy to breed.


In conclusion, selective breeding has resulted in the development of new variations of Sailfin and Lyretail Molly fish that come with unique and interesting physical traits making them more desirable to acquire. With proper care and attention, these selectively-bred fish species can add diversity and beauty to a home aquarium.

It’s important to research and understand the care requirements for each species before adding them to a tank to ensure optimal health and longevity.

Choosing and Caring for Different Types of Molly Fish

Molly fish are a popular freshwater species in the aquarium hobby, known for their vibrant colors and active nature. However, despite their passive demeanor, they still require specific care parameters to thrive in the home aquarium.

In this article, we will explore the basics of Molly care, compatibility with other fish species, crossbreeding in community tanks and the colors and activity of various types of Molly fish.

Basics of Molly Care

One of the first things to consider in molly care is the water parameters. Maintaining a stable tank temperature between 74F and 82F is crucial.

Low fluctuations in temperature help to reduce stress and, subsequently, the possibility of disease. A pH level of 7.5-8.0 is also recommended, with water hardness between 10 and 25 dGH.

A filtration system is necessary, and regular water changes to replace nutrients and water pH are important to ensure the best possible environment for the Molly fish. The tank size is also an important consideration.

Mollies are active swimmers that require a range of space to swim around, especially the types with larger body shapes such as the

Balloon Belly Molly. Larger tanks help reduce competition and aggression between tankmates, making a 20-gallon tank or larger an ideal choice for them.

Adding in hiding spaces such as driftwood and plenty of live plants provides a comfortable living space and reduces the stress level of the fish.

Compatibility with Other Fish Species

Molly fish are generally peaceful, social creatures that get along well with a range of other fish species, including Tetras, Guppies, and Danios. Despite this, it’s vital to research and determine the best compatible tank mates to avoid unwanted aggression and fin nipping, particularly among smaller or slower-moving tankmates.

Incompatibility between different fish species can lead to increased stress levels, resulting in unwanted behavior such as fin nipping. Introducing tank mates in pairs or groups can alleviate stressors that lead to aggressive behaviors.

Crossbreeding in Community Tanks

Crossbreeding among different types of Molly fish is a common occurrence in community tanks. During breeding season, it’s important to maintain the correct male-to-female ratio to avoid unwanted aggression.

Experts recommend having one male for every two to three females in the tank. Additionally, Separating the fry from the parent tank is essential to avoid them being eaten.

Molly Fish Colors and Activity

The sheer range of colors and patterns available in different types of Molly fish provides limitless options for fishkeepers. Some of these include Black, White, Creamy Orange, Gold, and Silver.

Different types of Molly fish also have varying levels of activity.

Dwarf Molly fish are active swimmers that occupy the middle of the tank, while some Sailfin and Lyretail Molly fish may remain planted in one spot.

As omnivores, Molly fish require a balanced diet comprising of vegetable flakes, along with protein-rich food portions, like brine shrimp or bloodworms. The amount and frequency of feeding depend on the age and size of your Molly fish.

Newborn fry will require a mixture of powdered flakes or egg yolk for their diet and gradually increase in intake as they get older.


In conclusion, caring for Molly fish is not as complex as it seems and offers a wide range of fascinating possibilities with their varying colors and patterns. By maintaining a suitable tank environment, providing a compatible tank mate, and feeding them an appropriate diet with balanced nutritional composition, Molly fish can thrive and add a touch of beauty and life to any aquarium.

Proper research and understanding of the specifics requirements of the different types of Molly fish can save considerable effort and repair costs associated with increased aggression levels, and may assure better aquatic life. Molly fish are a popular freshwater species that require proper care to thrive in the home aquarium.

To provide the best possible environment for them, it’s essential to maintain stable water parameters, have a suitable tank size, and offer a compatible tank mate. Crossbreeding in community tanks and feeding them appropriate diets with an optimal balance of nutritional composition promotes their healthy growth.

The different types of Molly fish offer a range of colors and activity levels, making it possible to select one that suits a personal preference in aquarium hobby. Understanding the specific requirements of Molly fish ensures their health and longevity, and provides a delightful aquatic addition to any home aquarium.

Popular Posts