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Dalmatian Molly
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
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Poecilia latipinna

Dalmatian Molly

Quick Stats:   Dalmatian Molly

Family: Poeciliidae
Range: Gulf of Mexico through the east coast of Florida to North Carolina
Size: Up to 4¾ inches
Diet: Omnivore
Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Tough plants, good filtration
Tank Conditions: 68-82°F; pH 7.0-7.8; dH 10-25
Minimum Tank Capacity: 30 gallons
Light: Medium
Temperament: Peaceful
Swimming Level: Top to middle
Care Level: Moderate
Reproduction: Livebearer

The Dalmatian Molly is a hybrid color variation of Poecilia latipinna, the Sailfin Molly. The Sailfin Molly, P. latipinna, can be distinguished from the Mexican Sailfin, P. velifera by the number of dorsal rays. The Mexican Salfin has 18-19, and the Sailfin Molly has 14. The Dalmatian Molly has a black and white body, and is sometimes referred to as the Marbled Molly or Marbled Sailfin Molly.

Mollies have the ability to adapt to a variety of salt levels in the aquarium. With a gradual acclimation, this fish may be maintained in either a freshwater aquarium or a saltwater aquarium. In the freshwater aquarium, a teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon is recommended for optimum health. The Dalmatian Molly requires a tank of at least 30-gallons densely planted with plenty of strong plants such as Java fern, Sagittaria, Vallisneria, and Anubias. It requires a good filtration system because of its hearty appetite and resulting waste products. The Dalmatian Molly is well suited for the community tank because of its peaceful nature, and is compatible with other peaceful, large fish that can withstand hard water. It may pursue its young and the young of other fish.

The pointed anal fin and much larger dorsal fin on the male, and the rounded anal fin and pregnancy spot on the female differentiate the two. The Dalmatian Molly is a livebearer that requires a spawning box in a 25 gallon, or larger, breeding tank. The aquarium should be planted as densely as possible or have a thick algae mat. Having a group of floating plants in the corner of the aquarium will promote rearing outside of the breeding tank. Every 60-70 days the female will give birth to 10-60 young that are already approximately 1/2 inch long.

The Dalmatian Molly is omnivorous and requires algae. Provide this fish with an algae based flake food, as well as freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp.

Ideal tank mates include:

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