Pike Livebearer, Pike Top Minnow Belonesox belizanus
Physical description: An elongated species with a flat-back profile.
The lower jaw is longer than the upper,
and turned up towards the water surface.
The eye is large and the dorsal fin is located far back on the body.
back is light brown to olive and the flanks are darker with a greenish iridescence.
On the flanks are a series of small
black spots that often form a broken line.
The belly is yellowish white.
At the base of the caudal fin is a dark
The fins are otherwise colorless.
Size/Length: Females to 9" (23 cm); males to 4" (10 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: Central America; inhabits still marshes and lakes from Honduras to Southern Mexico S: top
Aquarium: A tank measuring 40" (101 cm) with a capacity of 45-55 gallons is sufficient
The tank should be heavily planted with a partial cover of floating plants.
Leave open swimming areas and use a
The filter should be strong but create little current.
Water chemistry: pH 6.8-8.2 (7.5), 10-26 dH (15), 77-86°F (25-30°C).
Suggest a 1-1.5% addition of salt.
can be accomplished by adding 7.5-11 TSP. of slat to every 10 gallons (10-15 g/10 L).
Social behavior: A predatory species that will feed on smaller fish.
Keep in a species tank or combine with
other large species.
Older fish become more aggressive with age.
A shy fish that at first hides among
plants. Suggested companions: Cichlasomines species, large
Xiphophorus sp (over 4.7" or 12 cm
in length), Loricarids, Doradids.
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms, insects, insect larvae, crustaceans; beef heart; occasionally
SEX: Female is significantly larger and lack the gonopodium of the male.
Breeding techniques: Spawning is easiest with the addition of salt.
As many as 120 live young are born.
measure from 0.5" to 1" (1.3-2.5 cm) in length, depending on the size and condition of the female.
female will not each the young, although they should be removed to a rearing tank of their own.
The young grow quickly when fed on a
diet of Cyclops
, and frequent partial water changes are administered.
The young can later be fed small guppies.
young must be frequently sorted for size so cabalism does not occur.
Breeding potential: 4.
Breeding is easy in a large species tank.
Remarks: The Pike Livebearer is the only species of the genus
Difficulty of care: 6.
This predatory livebearer is best kept in a species tank.
It requires a diet of live foods, and
proper water conditions should be maintained.
Sailfin Molly 
lineolata, G. poecilioides, Limia lineolata, L. poecilioides, Mollienisia latipinna, Poecilia lineolata, P. multilineata
Physical description: The Sailfin Molly is an elongated, laterally compressed fish with a large, elaborate
The snout and mouth are turned upwards toward the water surface. The male has a large dorsal fin
or sailfin which is brownish-red with iridescent spots.
The flanks are brownish-red to olive-green with small iridescent scales.
lower parts may have a violet iridescence.
Six to seven transverse markings mark the rear parts of the body.
caudal fin is body-colored with three to five rows of iridescent scales.
The colors of this species are highly
variable. Size/Length: Males to 4" (10 cm), females to 4.7" (12 cm)
Similar species: Pacific Mexican Molly (
P. butleri); Mexican Sailfin Molly (
); Mexican Molly (P.
Habitat: Inhabits coastal marshes and river estuaries in fresh, brackish, and even salt water.
America; from Virginia to Northern Mexico.
S: middle, top
Aquarium: A tank measuring 36" (91 cm), with a volume of 35-45 gallons (132-170 L) is
Use a strong filtration system as this species is a voracious eater.
Follow suggestions for P. velifera.
Water chemistry: pH 7.0-8.5 (7.8), 20-38 dH (30), 70-79°F (21-26°C).
A 0.5-3% addition of salt is suggested
by some, although unnecessary.
Mix 4-23 TSP. of salt for every 10 gallons (5-30 g/10 L).
Social behavior: A peaceful community fish that can be combined with a variety of other fish that can
tolerate an addition of salt.
Keep one male with several females.
Parents consume their young.
Suggested companions: peaceful Cichlasomines, other livebearers,
Corydoras, Rainbowfish, Loricarids.
FOOD: Algae; live; worms, crustaceans, insects, insect larvae; plant matter; vegetable
matter; flakes; pellets
SEX: The male is slightly smaller, more colorful, and has a tall dorsal fin (sailfin).
lack a gonopodium.
Use a heavily planted tank or a spawning trap as the parents quickly devour their young.
gestation period is 8-10 weeks and each labor produces 15-70 young.
The fry measure about 0.5" (1.3
cm) and can be fed Artemia
nauplii and crushed flake foods.
Breeding potential: 4.
Breeding is fairly easy.
Remarks: Black and Albino color forms are available.
This species spawns with
and prodcues hybrids.
This species can be kept in a marine tank after a period of acclimation.
Difficulty of care: 3.
This hardy species requires frequent partial water changes to prosper.
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