DALMATIAN MOLLY in the Tropical Aquarium

Dalmatian molly
Photo: Wikimedia (CC)
Each Dalmatian Molly pattern is unique, some having more black spots than others and some being much more white. Their bodies are chunky with rounded fins, except for the male's anal fin, which is pointed. They can grow up to 4-inches in length.

Although Dalmatian Mollies have peaceful temperaments, they do get a bit nippy. Provide them with plenty of sturdy plant life for nibbling to keep the nipping of other fish at bay. Plant life is optimal too because of their need to eat plenty of algae.

Angel Fish, Guppies and Platys are well-suited mates for the Mollies. Also, consider housing them with other Molly breeds. There are many types to choose from and they will cross-breed. It's kind of a fun surprise, the different combinations of fry that result.

Dalmatian Mollies do enjoy chasing other species around, but they generally cause no harm.
It is important for the health of the Mollies to have aquarium salts added to the water. For every two gallons of water add one teaspoon of salt. Take into consideration before adding other species to the tank that they can tolerate salt water. The water temperature should be between 68-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Dalmatian Mollies need plenty of swim area, so 1-inch of fish per 1-gallon of water is best.

For optimum health give your Dalmatian Mollies not only algae-based flake food but small amounts of greens. Lettuce and cooked peas are good choices. They also enjoy occasional snacks of freeze-dried bloodworms or tubifex.

Chances are good that when you bring home your female Molly, she will already be pregnant, as she is able to hold sperm for up to six months. The gestation period is anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Being a livebearer, she will give birth to more than 20 little free swimmers at one time. Some people place their pregnant Mollies in a breeding net before birthing. This is a bad idea because she will likely become stressed.

For the fry, have ready aforehand a 9 or 10-gallon tank. After the mother gives birth, remove the fry with a turkey baster and put them into their own tank. Of course, you can't be watching the aquarium 24 hours a day, so have plenty of floating plant life for them to hide in until you are able to get them to safety. You will also need to have your filter covered with netting before they are born, as it is likely many of the fries will get sucked into it. If you choose not to have a separate tank for the fry than be sure you add extra floating plant life for hiding.

The fry can eat crushed flake food and baby brine shrimp.
The Dalmatian Molly grows to adult size in about 3 months. Well before that, they may join the other fish in the community tank. You'll be able to judge when they are big enough to not be eaten by the bigger fish.

The average lifespan of the Dalmatian Molly is 2 years.
You're going to enjoy watching these black and white beauties race back and forth, stopping for a nibble here and there.

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