sphenops is the most common among more than 40 synonyms known.
Physical description: An elongated, laterally compressed fish with a pointed snout.
The caudal fin is fan-shaped.
color is highly variable ranging from the black molly to orange and blue forms.
The feral form has an olive-green back
and bluish flanks.
The flanks are spotted with orange spots, and the belly region is orange.
The iris of the eye is blue.
fins are brownish.
Size/Length: Females to 4.7" (12 cm), males to 3.2" (8 cm)
Mexican Molly (P.
Habitat: In fresh and brackish water in coastal areas from Mexico to Columbia.
S: middle, top
Aquarium: A 32" (80 cm) or 30 gallons (114 L) is suitable for adults.
Young can be kept in smaller tanks.
tank should be well-planted with plants and add floating plants to serve as a retreat for young.
Use wood and rocks for hiding places
and use a bright light to increase algae growth.
Water chemistry: pH 7.0-8.5 (7.6), 12-30 dH (20), 70-82°F (21-28°C).
A 0.5-1.5% addition of salt can be used,
although this is not required.
This can be accomplished by adding 4-11 TSP. of salt to every 10 gallons (5-15 g/10 L).
Social behavior: This peaceful species can be combined in a community tank with other species that can
tolerate hard, neutral to alkaline water.
Best to keep one male to several females.
Suggested companions: Xiphophorus,
Poecilia, Corydoras, Gouramis, Loricarids, tetras tolerant of hard,
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 pointed anal fin (gonopodium).
Breeding techniques: As for other livebearers.
As many as 120 young are born after a gestation period of eight weeks.
the young from the parents for they will be consumed.
Breeding potential: 4.
An easily bred species.
Remarks: This species was originally crossed with
P. latipinna to produce a more disease-resistant
Several different color morphs are available.
Difficulty of care: 2.
A robust species recommended for beginner's community tanks.
The Black Molly is less hardy, and requires
warmer water temperatures from 77-84°F (25-29°C).
The Black Molly requires well maintained water
and rarely lives longer than three years in captivity.
Frequent partial water changes are essential for the health of all
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