Molly fish are a great addition to any aquarium, but which breed do you choose? Most Molly breeds are hardy fish that can live in a wide range of environments, so there is a great chance that you will find one suitable for your aquarium. However, a few breeds have special needs that you want to make sure you can accommodate before you purchase one.
We have chosen 14 of the most popular types of Molly fish commonly found in aquariums worldwide to show you what they look like. We’ll also answer a few questions about them so you can see if they’re right for your home. Join us while we discuss tank size, color combinations, hardiness, aggression, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
The 14 Types of Molly Fish:
1. Balloon Belly Molly
Balloon Belly Mollies get their names from their trademark shape, which makes them appear to look overweight. They are available in white, black, and yellow and have a lyre-shaped back fin. The Balloon Belly Molly is a friendly breed that likes to the company of similarly-sized fish. It only grows to about 3 inches, but it still wants to have an aquarium larger than 30 gallons.
2. Black Molly
The Black Molly, also known as the Common Black Molly, is a hardy fish that is well suited to beginners. It does well in water between 68- and 82-degrees Fahrenheit and prefers a tank that is larger than 30 gallons. Black Mollies like when you keep the pH between 7 and 7.8. The Black Molly is a peaceful breed that won’t usually fight with other fish and grows to a length of around 3 inches. These fish are covered in mostly black scales but can have spots of different colors throughout their body.
3. Black Sailfin Molly
The Black Sailfin Molly is a striking fish that is darker than the standard Black Molly and has long, flowing fins. It is a peaceful breed, but you need to ensure you don’t house them with fish that bite fins because they will become a target. Black Sailfins are a hardy breed well-suited to beginners and can reach a length of 4 inches. Despite their slightly larger size, they are content to live in a 30-gallon tank and like having lots of places to explore.
4. Black Lyretail Molly
The Black Lyretail Molly is another Black Molly, and this one has all-black scales and is very dark, like the Black Sailfin Molly but with some white highlights on the fins. This breed is easy to care for and grows to about 5 inches, so it’s one of the larger Mollies available. It’s a peaceful fish that rarely gets aggressive toward other fish, and you should house it in aquariums with similar sized fish. The Black Lyretail Molly is very hardy. It’s able to survive a wide range of temperatures and can live comfortably at a pH between 7 and 8.
5. Creamsicle Sailfin Lyretail Molly
The Creamsicle Sailfin Lyretail Molly has white on the bottom and gold on the top causing it to resemble a creamsicle ice cream. It has large, orange-speckled fins and is peaceful and content to share the aquarium with others. This breed is great for beginners because it looks attractive and isn’t fussy about water temperature or pH.
6. Dalmatian Molly
The Dalmatian Molly is another breed that’s well suited to beginners just learning the ropes. It’s very hardy and can last quite a while in water outside the ideal temperature or pH range, mostly because water is not too hard to keep within the 68-82-degree temperature guidelines. The recommended pH of the water is 7 to 7.8. The Dalmatian Molly is happiest in tanks larger than 30 gallons and can grow to reach almost 5 inches. They are usually peaceful and do not become aggressive unless provoked. The black and white markings on this fish closely resemble those of a Dalmatian puppy, hence the name.
7. Dalmatian Lyretail Molly
The Dalmatian Lyretail Molly is the second fish on our list to have a black and white color combination that resembles a Dalmatian puppy. This breed is generally whiter in color with small black spots when compared to the standard Dalmatian Molly, and it’s usually not as large, often only reaching about 3 inches. They are hardy and recommended for beginners and like an aquarium larger than 30 gallons. Like many other breeds, they are peaceful fish that only become aggressive when threatened.
8. Gold Doubloon Molly
The Gold Doubloon Molly features a bright yellow and black color scheme that’s sure to stand out in any tank. It has short fins but requires plenty of swimming space, so we recommend an aquarium larger than 30 gallons. It’s a hardy fish that does well in a range of temperatures and can grow to reach 5 inches.
9. Golden Sailfin Molly
The Golden Sailfin Molly is a brightly colored fish that likes aquariums with hard water. As the name suggests, they are bright gold and are one of the larger Mollies, capable of reaching 6 inches in length when fully grown. They are a hardy breed that’s tolerant of temperature changes but require a tank larger than 30 gallons to have enough room to swim freely.
10. Gold Dust Molly
The Gold Dust Molly is very similar to the Back Molly but with a rich golden color. These fish are great for people that like a more colorful aquarium. The Gold Dust Molly is a short-finned breed with gold and black scales. The female is larger than the male and develops a pregnancy spot in their color. This breed can grow up to 5 inches long and likes a tank larger than 30 gallons.
11. Harlequin Sailfin Molly
The Harlequin Sailfin Molly is an extremely attractive fish with a black and white base and plenty of gold speckles. It’s a peaceful fish well suited to housemates, and it can be 6 inches long when fully grown. It’s hardy and comfortable in water temperatures between 68- and 82-degrees.
12. Marble Lyretail Molly
The Marble Lyretail Molly is a strikingly attractive black and white Molly that can grow to about 5 inches. They require a tank larger than 30 gallons with plenty of free-swimming space for their tall dorsal fin to develop fully. The Marble Lyretail Molly also requires a small amount of salt in the water, so you can only house them with fish that can tolerate the salt content.
13. Platinum Lyretail Molly
The Platinum Lyretail Molly features a platinum/gold color and tall dorsal fins. The tall fins will only develop if there is enough water for them to do so, so we recommend a tank larger than 30 gallons with plenty of room for swimming. The Platinum Lyretail Molly is a peaceful fish, but they do require salt in the water, so you need to house them with fish tolerant of a saltwater environment. It is a hardy fish but is a little bit more sensitive to temperature change and pH than some of the other breeds. We recommend keeping the water between 75- and 82-degrees Fahrenheit and the pH between 7.5 and 8.5.
14. White/Silver Sailfin Molly
The White or Silver Sailfin Molly is another fish that is great for beginners. This breed can reach a length of 5 inches, so they are one of the larger breeds available for the aquarium. They will require a tank larger than 30 gallons, but they are extremely hardy fish that are comfortable in water pH between 7 and 8. This breed gets its name from its silvery-white scales, and it has long fins that extend beyond the body.
The female White/Silver Sailfin Molly is noticeably larger than the males and tends to weigh more. The males are more colorful and often present orange and turquoise markings on their bodies and fins.
Most Molly breeds are very durable and do well in any aquarium. The only requirement they have is a large tank that’s, in most cases, above 30 gallons. It’s good to have vegetation, stones, and other items in the tank to hide behind, but there needs to be plenty of room for swimming as well. A few varieties require you to add a small amount of salt to the water, so you will need to make sure that any other types of fish you have in the aquarium can live with the added salt.
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