Are you fond of keeping freshwater fishes?
If yes, then keeping molly fish in your aquarium tank can be a perfect choice for you.
Molly fish is one of the freshwater fish that is a cool and unique fish. This cute little creature is just like a beautiful embellishment for your aquarium tank.
Want to know more about these pot belly fish?
Then stick to this article till the end. You will get to know a lot about balloon molly fish.
Hey! Are you here to know me!
Let me tell you a bit about myself.
I am balloon molly. People also called me pot belly mollies because of the round belly that I have. For your information, I have three different species that is sailfin mollies (Poecilialatipinna) which is the most common and widely available type of mine. Secondly, short-finned molly(P.sphenops) is my other species. Lastly, Mexican sailfin molly (P.velifera) is my rarer species which you will hardly find.
I, as sailfin mollies, is easily available everywhere so you will get more information on my first species. Here you go.
How do they look like:
Balloon molly fish is amongst one of the beautiful fish. Their shape is almost different from the other mollies. They have an arched back along with rounded, large belly, with a lyre-shaped caudal fin that makes them quite unique in shape.
As far as colors are concerned they are available in a combination of black, white and yellow. These attention-grabbing color variations are so attractive that even a person can sit for hours next to the aquarium tank to see the peaceful and calming sailfin ballon molly fish movement.
If you visit your nearer fish shop and asked for molly fish. But you did not get molly fish of black white and yellow color. Then don’t panic. They are still other mollies. Yes there are different types of molly fish like
- Dalmatian balloon molly fish
- Lyretail balloon molly fish
- Red Balloon molly fish
- And the list goes on.
The primary difference is due to color variations.
Dalmatian balloon molly fish is like Dalmatian dogs in appearance. That is completely white with black spots all over their body. Whereas, the lyretail balloon molly fish is tiny small fish which is silver in color with no Potbelly. On the other hand, the red balloon molly fish is red in color that’s obvious from its name.
Talking about their sizes and how big they can become, Balloon Mollies are the smallest one in all types of Molly Fishes. The adult mollies are about 2 inches in length while the maximum of their size is about 3 inches or 7-9 centimeters.
How to Care a balloon molly:
Petting a sailfin molly fish is a difficult task at all. You only have to provide the proper tank size which allows them to have proper space for swimming. If fish has enough swimming space and proper oxygen level this will have a positive effect on the growth of these tiny creatures.
So balloon molly fish tank size should be 30 gallons ideally. They can also live in a tank size of 10-20 gallon as well. But if you really love your balloon molly, give them large tank so that they can swim freely anywhere. So the minimum tank size for balloon molly should be 20 gallons otherwise if you can afford 30 gallons, its perfect for them.
Apart from tank size, they need some appropriate water temperature and pH level, as these are tropical fishes so they need properly maintained water temperature that is 65-82 ◦F and 7.0-7.8pH. so for this, you need to install an aquarium heater in your tank.
One more thing, if you are using fresh water in your tank, try adding a teaspoon of table salt, this will give them the feel of actual aquatic habitat.
These small and tiny creatures like tank decorations and are extremely very comfortable with that. It’s good to decorate your tank with live plants as these pot belly mollies like live densely populated plants.
So buy a tank of appropriate size and put your molly fish in the tank. Don’t forget to maintain the temperature and pH level of the tank.
What and when to feed:
Feeding mollies isn’t a hectic job at all;
You can do it very quickly
But for this, you should know what they eat.
They are omnivorous which means they like to eat plants and meat as well.
You cannot replicate what these cool buddies eat in the wild, but yes you can try to do so.
You can serve them:
- Meaty foods
- Fresh spinach
- Boiled vegetables
If you love to give them treat then serve them Zucchini medallions and cucumber medallions along with shelled peas. They will definitely love it.
But if you feel they need something different then try adding frozen food in their diet. It will include brine shrimps, blood worms and daphnia. These foods contribute a lot to their growth and development.
As mollies are very active aquarium fishes, so they need a lot of food, You have to feed them approximately 2 to 3 times within a day.
Best tankmates for Community Tank:
Talking about their balloon molly fish compatibility, these are the fish of peaceful temperament so they prefer living with fishes of same nature. They can comfortably live with livebearer fishes.
Their best tank mates could be:
- Some close relative of platyfish like Swordtails
- Some other species of molly fish
- Snails and shrimps can also be great tank mate with molly fish.
Thanks to their small size which makes them compatible with molly fish.
A question must have popped up in your mind that is, are these balloon molly fish aggressive in nature?
Well, the answer is No. female mollies usually have a cool temperament than males. Males sometimes become aggressive in the presence of other male mollies in the tank. That’s it.
WORD OF CAUTION:
Don’t keep molly fish alone or in odd number. It is advisable to keep a pair of molly fish together because there will be increased chances of bullying or injuries if all mollies are either female or male. So try to keep them in pair. In simple words, you have to maintain Sex or gender ratio within a tank
Balloon mollies are livebearer, which means they do not lay eggs. Female mollies after breeding give birth to over one hundred small mollies or babies or you can even call them to fry babies.
If you want to increase the population of balloon molly fish in your tank then get your mollies and tank ready for the breeding session.
First of all, separate male and female molly in another tank with at least 30 gallons of water in it. Maintain all the required water, temperature and pH condition. You can keep two females along with one male molly at a time.
Mollies often use their extravagant colors or their fin to attract the other mate.
Let me tell you the major difference between male and female molly. The male mollies have a pointed and larger dorsal fin and the female mollies are smaller in size and have a rounded dorsal fin which differentiates both from each other.
Coming back towards the breeding, once you keep them separated, they will start attracting each other and after a while, you will see male molly fish is chasing a female molly fish. That’s the right time. Their breeding is just a few minutes away. The male will use his gonopodium or the pointed fin to breed.
Now once this has been done, you are ready to start looking for pregnancy symptoms in pregnant molly. These symptoms will include lethargy, loss of appetite and of course a protruding belly.
In addition to this, female molly has “gravid spot” which she uses a pregnancy signal. You can find this spot under her belly. Moreover, there will be a drastic change in the behavior of pregnant molly, like she will become an introvert fish.
After spending a gestational period of 6-8 weeks, mommy molly gives birth to some young fry, which is about half an inch long and is born alive. However, the process of breeding takes about 28 days in warmer temperatures while more time would be required if the temperature is cooler.
As discussed earlier mommy molly gives birth to about 100 fry babies but unfortunately, only a few of them reaches their adulthood because the rest of them will become the food of other adult fish.
Pearl of Wisdom:
Once mommy molly gives birth to fry babies, immediately separate them in another small tank. Otherwise, adult mollies or adult fishes will eat them and you will nothing in hand.
Balloon Mollies usually survive for about 3 to 5 years while all the types of mollies have a different life span.
Considering the life span of Balloon Mollies, they have a shorter life span than other kinds of mollies.
This is the reason Balloon mollies require special care due to their shorter life span and slower activities than other mollies.
Diseases and Conditions:
Like other pet animals, fish are also susceptible to catch certain diseases. Same goes with balloon molly fish.
Some of the common diseases that they caught are:
- Fin Rot
- Skin Slime Disease
- Itch or white spot
It is recommended to have an eagle eye on molly fish behavior. Check out if they are behaving weird.
For instance, if a balloon belly molly is rubbing itself against the rock, then the possible reason could be some fungal infection because of which it is rubbing herself. Similarly, if the balloon belly molly fish is swimming upside down, then you need to change the water immediately. Indeed, it’s because of poor water quality.
There are a lot of reasons associated with the behavior. But before giving any final conclusion you must consult your local aquarist.
I would recommend you to do proper care of these tiny creatures; they need lots of love and special attention. And as always prevention is far better than cure.
For this, you need to do special care, which includes:
- Regular tank maintenance
- Regular and proper temperature and pH level maintenance
- Give them a properly balanced diet
- Do not overcrowd aquarium tank with too many fishes and decorations.
Like a human, these small creatures need full attention and your time. You will find lots of balloon molly fish for sale on the internet today. I will recommend you to buy only if you think you will remain dedicated to them. Though their care level is moderate a little negligence in their care can be harmful to them.
Happy fish keeping!