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Poecilia latipinna
Sailfin Molly

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Sailfin Molly - Poecilia latipinna

Photos & Comments

molly2.jpg (18kb)
Photo Credit: Lynn Smith

Name: Poecilia latipinna
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Mexico, Southeast USA
15 cm 100 L 7.8 26C


Sailfin mollies are the ONLY mollies I keep. I prefer the larger finage of the sailfins. I keep my sails in slightly brackish water, 1 tbsp of un-iodinized salt per 40 L. Mollies are for the large part vegetarians, so they need veggies. They LOVE spirulina flakes, spinach and to graze on the algae in my tanks. They are larger fish so they need a larger tank. A trio alone fills a 75 L tank. Mollies prefer longer tanks to deeper tanks. They are generally quite hardy and quite adaptive, but can still be difficult to keep if not given their favorable conditions. The molly in the pic is a "red" molly, they are a hybrid but IMO the best color variation appart from the blacks.

Contributed by Lynn Smith

Not that I have mollies, but I do research a lot of facts so I'd like to share some. For one, there are three types of mollies (or at least I think). The one in the picture is a hybrid. The black molly looks like the one in the picture, only less fancier (as in fin size). Then there's a sailfin molly. The male, when adult, has a large dorsal fin, hence the name. Finally, the marbled molly. It looks pretty much like black molly, only a smaller dorsal fin and the "marble" pattern make it recognizable.

Contributed by Dominic Piraino

I am pretty new to the Molly thing, but have spent alot of time observing them and reading about them. There appears to be only three species of them: P. sphenops, P. latipinna, and P. velifera. Lyretails can appear in all three species, and the various colors like dalmatian, marble, gold dust, etc. can also occur in all three species. These fish like warmer temps, 25-27C, and are definitely brackish water fish. Suggested amount of salt varies from a teaspoon to a tablespoon per 40 liters. I try to achieve somewhere in-between for my setup. These fish live up to a couple of years in freshwater, but can live as long as four years in brackish or salt water. Some hobbyists have added them to their reef tanks with no trouble and report that they keep hair algae and caulerpa in check. I have a 100 liter brackish setup with 3 gold dust sailfins and 2 marble sailfins. I expected the two males to fight, but they hardly notice each other. Amazingly, the respective colors seem to only want to mate with their kind. The marble male will nibble on my finger. They all gather at the front to look for me at feeding time. The largest gold dust female just had babies. I think there are 20 or so. They are all different colors, probably because she was in a tank with other colored males at the pet store. Anyways, these are my favorite fish, and definitely worth time and effort to keep.

Contributed by John Timbes

I have just set up my first tank a week ago. I chose 2 mollies (Marbled and platinum mollies) And 2 platies. The mollies are full of energy and it's very fun to watch them play with the platies. I recommend the marbled and platinum color strain, they are beautiful. Also the platinum molly shows up under a black light!

Contributed by (no name given)

I have a hybrid called dalmation, and it is pretty agressive when it doesn't have a mate. It even killed three angelfish because it was lonely. (I think). This fish otherwise is a really nice and colorful fish to keep in a community aquarium.

Contributed by Eric Brown

My roommate and I have several aquariums, one of which is dedicated to sailfin mollies of all types. I have sailfin balloon body mollies as well as lyretail mollies. We are hopeful that some day we will be the proud parents of a silver lyretail sailfin. Currently we have green, neon green, black, albino and dalmation and sunburst sailfins. What a beautiful addition to any home. I recommend them to anyone who wants to have a hardy, good size fish.

Contributed by Yvette Cotton

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