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Black Molly
Scientific Name: Poecilia sphenops

The Everything Guide to Fishkeeping


The Black Molly is a common aquarium fish that originates from Mexico and Central America. They typically have long fins with the males having a larger anal fin that resembles a sail. Maximum size is about 6 cm and they are more fun to watch in groups but they don't have to be kept in schools.


Black Mollies live in Brackish waters and benefit from slightly salty water. They also prefer temperatures between 26-29 C. They are very hardy fish and can live for a long well in freshwater or colder water, but these conditions resemble their natural environment. They are susceptible to fungus infections and I have found that warmer water seems to prevent this.


These fish will eat just about anything. They do eat algae, typically the short green strands and in my tank the babies live mostly off of eating the algae. Most of the time they swim around the tank cleaning the rocks and plants (they are safe for live plants). At feeding time they are very active and inhale the flakes faster than any other fish in the tank.


In aquariums they are easily bred, it gets to be kind of a nuisance really. They are live bearers with the female typically giving birth to 15 to 20 babies. The young look like little black tadpoles and will generally be okay in a community tank as long as there is plenty of shelter.

There are many other breeds of mollies including the gold dust, the silver, the sailfin, the balloon, the Dalmatian lyretail, the marble, black lyretail, and silver lyretail. These fish are very active and responsive, a very enjoyable fish to have in the tank.

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