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Difference Between Male And Female Mollies



Having Mollies in an aquarium is a soothing thing in itself. They add great ambiance and clarity to the tank. They are a must have freshwater fish species. There are multitudes of colors in which they come.

They can be red, black, orange and many more. Mollies come as hardy fishes and can adapt to any circumstance. In addition to that they are peaceful and get along well with other species of fish. Meaning that they are ideal for a community tank. Mollies are bordered by all the reasons to why should one have it in their aquarium. 

In this article we’ll head on to how to differentiate between a male and a female. 

How do Male and female mollies differ from one other?

If you are troubled with this question, your troubles are already over. It is not difficult to differentiate between the two sexes of the Mollies species of fish. You can tell the difference between the colors, body shape, fin shape, and size. 

Size and shape of fins 

Fins are probably the first thing you want to observe if you want to tell the difference. The males possess anal fins that tend to point backward. They also have larger fins. Whereas in the case of females, the fins are smaller in size. The anal is also of a different shape than that of the males. 

Shape of body 

You can tell the difference from the shape of the body as well. The females have a bigger abdomen than the males. While the males tend to have a slimmer body than the females. The females also have a larger body than the males while they are pregnant. 


The males develop stronger colors than the females during the breeding. This is to attract females for breeding. 

Breeding Mollies 

Breeding Mollies is just as easy as telling the difference between the male and the female. So if you are thinking of breeding fish species, mollies are the ones you should go for. It is easy for beginners as well. 

To breed Mollies in an aquarium, you will have to set up a breeding tank. Get a tank of about 5 gallons and set it up to 78℉. Then select a male and a female from your group of mollies and place them in the breeding tank. 

As the interest in mating rises, the male will begin to show certain behaviors to attract the female. If the female doesn’t show any interest for about two days, you should swap the male with another male. 

As the female shows interest in the male, the male will fertilize the eggs by transferring the sperm to the female’s body. They do this through the anal fin known as a gonopodium. Then comes the turn of patience, you will have to wait for the female to give birth. 

As the female nears giving birth, she will remain in a secluded or dark area of the tank. This usually takes about 45 days, and the female can give birth to about 100 fish fries.

As soon as the female gives birth, return the parents to the main tank. Mollies tend to eat their babies, so removing them is a necessity. Then you can give the Molly babies powdered fish flakes.

Lifespan and Size of Mollies 

Mollies are lean on the smaller side regarding the size. Mollies can grow up to a size of about 4 to 4 and a half inches long. The sailfin mollies can grow to be considerably larger. The sailfin usually reaches the size of about 5 to 6 inches.

Molly fish live for three to five years on average. The kind of care you offer also influences their lifespan. While mollies are tough, they are susceptible to illness in an unsanitary environment.

Care of Molly Fish 

Tank Size for Mollies 

Considering the size that they can reach, Mollies don’t require a large tank. You can keep a pair of Mollies in a 5-gallon tank, although this is the minimum size you can keep them in. If you want to add more, you have to increase the size of the tank by 3 gallons per Mollie.

Tank mates for Mollies 

Mollies are one of the most peaceful fish species. If you want to make a community tank with various species, you have a variety of choices of species of fish. Mollies get along with almost everything.

Although the other species of fish must be peaceful. Avoid any fish that has a reputation for being hostile. Also, try to maintain fish of the same size. Larger fish may harass or even consume your molly. 

The best tankmates for mollies include Guppies, Tetras, Yoyo Loach, Dwarf Gourami, Angelfish, Swordtails, Cherry barbs, Bristlenose Pleco, Cory Catfish, Platys, Swordtails, Snails, and Shrimp. 

Can you keep mollies with other mollies? 

Keeping mollies with their kind is the best thing you can do. Even in a community tank, it is ideal to keep a group of mollies together. Keep about 4 mollies in one tank.

Diet and feeding of Mollies 

Mollies love eating algae and you can grow algae in your tank for them. You can feed them algae wafers as well. They also happily accept blanched vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, and zucchini. You can give them flakes and pellets as well. Along with the plant diet, you must feed them live and frozen foods as well. With the mixture of plant and live foods, they will get the nutrients they need. You can give them live or frozen brine shrimps and bloodworms. 

Feed them twice a day and give them the amount they can eat within two minutes.

Water temperature and water parameters of Mollies 

Mollies prefer warm water temperature. Mollies prefer the water temperature between 72℉ to 78℉. They prefer moderate pH levels between 7.5 to 8.5. The water hardness must be between 20 to 30 dKH.

Tank Setup for Mollies 

For Mollies, the substrate you can have is sand, gravel, or rocks. You must also add plants and caves as they require places to hide. If you want to keep plants, then go for a sandy substrate. Add some rocks and driftwood, as you can grow algae in them. 

Mollies don’t require lighting. You can provide them with moderate lighting and there will be plants, so they require light too. You will need a good quality filter for mollies. Mollies can generate a large amount of waste, therefore you need to control the ammonia and nitrate levels. In terms of water movement, low water movement is preferred by Mollies.

Common Disease that Mollies can get 

Mollies may be hardy species of fish, but they can catch diseases. They can get diseases such as Ich, Fin Rot, Shimmies, Velvet, and constipation. 

Ich and Velvet are caused by parasites. If your Mollies get Ich they will develop white spots all over their body. If they get Velvet, then they will develop shiny and rust-like spots on their body. To treat Ich you can raise the temperature of the tank or use treatments if it becomes severe. For Velvet, you can consult a vet and use formalin or copper sulfate. 

In the case of Fin Rot, you have to opt for antibiotics and water changes. In the case of Shimmies, your Molly won’t be able to swim properly. Shimmies are caused by imbalanced water parameters, so to treat this disease you must set the parameters right and maintain them. 

Constipation is caused by imbalanced proportions of food. So to avoid them from getting this disease you must feed them a proportionate amount.

Cost of Molly fish

The average cost of a Molly fish is $2 to $3. Although the price may differ with colors and species variety. The common ones you can get them for the said price. A rarer Molly will cost you $15 to $20. 

So Mollies are easy to tell apart. There is no difficulty in telling apart a male and a female molly. Taking care of them is not that hard as well. Set the water parameters to the optimum levels and provide them with hiding spots. Be careful in choosing their tankmates and give them a mixture of plant-based and live or frozen foods as a diet. Do all this, and you will have a thriving molly.

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