Home » Fish Guides » Dalmatian Molly Care | Care Sheet| Complete Guide

Dalmatian Molly Care | Care Sheet| Complete Guide

Mollies are one of the most colorful and popular aquarium fish. Dalmatian molly is a color variation bred with cross-breeding of mollies. They are black and white in color. Molly fish’s ancestors are found in southern Mexico’s coastal areas in freshwater and brackish water. Since then, mollies have become a popular aquarium fish throughout the world. So our Complete Guide of Dalmatian Molly Care

What Is Dalmatian Molly

Dalmatian Molly is a tropical fish that is colored like a Dalmatian dog.

Dalmatian mollies are sometimes referred to as Marbled Molly or Marbled Sailfin Molly.

It has a black and White-colored body and can adapt to various salt levels in the Aquarium.

How big do Dalmatian Mollies get?

In Aquariums, matured Dalmatian mollies are usually about 1- 1.5 inches long, but they can grow up to 5 inches, including the tails.

Molies that live in the wild may get even more significant.

Is Dalmatian Molly aggressive?

Dalmatian Molly is naturally a non-aggressive species.

However, male mollies become somewhat aggressive when placed with another fish species in the same tank.

And male Dalmatians tend to become aggressive when they don’t have enough female fish while mating.

The minimum amount of female fish for one male fish is 3. If a male molly is left with just one female, it may chase female fish to death.

Dalmatian Molly Behavior

Dalmatian mollies are very active swimmers.

They tend to enjoy schooling together. They chase each other but rarely aggressive.

Male mollies become aggressive if the female mollies ratio is low (see above) and placed with different types of fish species.

Female Dalmatian mollies release live baby mollies once a month when the water condition is good and fed with premium food.

Female Dalmatian Mollies are non aggressive.

The lifespan of Dalmatian Molly

The average lifespan of Dalmatian molly is 3 to 5 years. In certain circumstances, when the fish is well taken cared of, the lifespan extends up to 6 years.

Types of Dalmatian Molly

There are four types of Dalmatian mollies; Standard, Balloon, Sailfin, and Lyretail. Each type has its own unique features, and all types are black and white in color.

Standard Dalmatian Molly

The Standard Dalmatian Molly looks like the common molly but with shiny silver scales, decorated with black spots. Dalmatian mollies grow up to five inches long and tend to live for about 3 to 5 years.

Balloon Dalmatian Molly

Balloon Dalmatian molly has an arched back with a large rounded belly and a lyre-shaped caudal fin. They are black and white small species that grows up to 3 inches. This balloon molly is considered one of the most beautiful mollies in the world.

Sailfin Dalmatian Molly

Sailfin Dalmatian Mollies have a taller and large dorsal fin and run from behind the head to just before the caudal fin. As the name suggests, they are also black and white in color.

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly is a color variation of sailfin molly, which grows up to 3 inches. The distinctive feature of lyretail molly is the lyre-shaped caudal fin. Its black and white patterned scales give this fish a marbled effect.

Complete Guide of Dalmatian Molly Care Care Sheet

Dalmatian Molly Care

Dalmatian mollies are hardy species. They are easy to care which makes them great for beginners.

They are adaptive to various salt levels and can live peacefully in a non-aggressive community tank.

Dalmatian mollies prefer at least a 30-gallon tank as they tend to school when kept with the same species.

Dalmatian molly is an omnivore species, so that they will eat anything, including algae.

Dalmatian Molly Size

Matured Dalmatian molly is usually 1- 1.5 inches long. However, they may grow up to 5 inches, including tails.

Dalmatian Molly Tank Size

Dalmatian mollies need at least a 30-gallon tank as they swim in groups. They can’t live in smaller tanks like 10 or 5 gallons.

How Many Mollies Should Be Kept Together?

There’s no maximum amount as they tend to school together. But, the female mollies should outnumber male mollies. Otherwise, male mollies become aggressive. You can keep 3 to 4 mollies per 10 gallons.

Tank Setup

Dalmatian mollies prefer the feel of actual aquatic habitats.

So, if you use fresh water for your tank, you’ll need to add about a teaspoon of salt to the tank.

They prefer tank decorations and extremely comfortable with them.

Therefore, you can use as many decorations for your Aquarium.

If you can’t afford live plants, go for artificial plants as mollies like to live in planted environments.

Dalmatian mollies don’t need gravel. So, a thin layer of ¼ inch gravel is fine with them.

Water Quality Condition

The water temperature level for Dalmatian mollies is 68-82 Fahrenheit. Dalmatian mollies need a Ph level of 7 to 8 water. Water hardiness is 10-25KH.

Dalmatian Molly Male or Female Identification (Dalmatian Molly Male Vs. Female)

Mollies usually don’t display gender at an early age. Dalmatian mollies need to be matured to be able to differentiate the gender.

There are five signs which can help identify male and female Dalmatian mollies.

  1. Color

Male mollies usually have bolder and brighter color patterns than female mollies. Female mollies’ color scheme is dull, timid, and demure. Color variations of male mollies are attractive than female ones. The reason is to attract females while mating.

  1. Shape & size

Male mollies’ size is larger than female mollies. Female mollies have rounded body shapes, while male mollies have a flat body shape.

  1. Dorsal fin

The back fin of mollies is called as Dorsal fin. Although both females and males have a dorsal fin, the male dorsal fin is larger than the female one. It enhances male fish’s beauty to attract females.

  1. Anal Fin

The fin you can see on the underside, behind the belly, is called the Anal fin.

It is the main part that can determine Dalmatian mollies’ gender.

The anal fin size of male mollies is larger or longer than female mollies.

The male fish anal fin has a different look than females. Male mollies’ anal fin has a tube-like shape while female anal fin has a triangle shape.

The male anal fin is called “Gonopodium,” which is used to copulate with the female molly.

  1. Behavior

Male mollies are usually “attention seekers.” They chase female mollies showing their fins to catch their attention.

If you see such behavior with your mollies, you can assure that your male molly is trying to mate with female mollies.

Pregnant Dalmatian Molly Care

Pregnant Dalmatian Mollies

Mollies are livebearers, meaning that babies come out of the mother alive.

The breeding of Dalmation mollies occurs easily, and the pregnancy lasts between 20 to 40 days.

Female mollies can give birth to baby mollies for up to 5 months without a male molly.

It is because they usually have many fertile eggs in their abdomen. They typically give birth to 20 to 100 babies at a time.

How to Identify Pregnant Dalmatian Mollies

There are three signs which can help identify pregnant Dalmatian mollies.

  1. Behavioral Changes

Pregnant mollies tend to move slower in the water. They usually stay away from other fish and eat more food than others.

  1. Dark Spot Near the Anal Vent

In the first stages of pregnancy, a dark triangle spot appears near the anal vent of female mollies.

This spot will get larger and darker when the babies grow, and you can detect the fry’s eyes in the molly’s belly when it stretches.

  1. Bigger Stomach

Pregnant Dalmatian mollies will have bigger stomachs than others and will continue to grow bigger and stretch out till they give birth.

Dalmatian Molly Pregnancy Stages

After the mollies copulate, female fish store the sperm of the male for months, which means she can give birth to fry multiple times without a male fish for months.

The female molly keeps the fertilized eggs inside her body for about 20 to 40 days.

Within this gestation period, its belly continues to grow bigger, and it will move slower than other fish.

Female mollies tend to find darker places in the last pregnancy stage, such as places inside plants to give birth.

When you see this behavior change, you must remove the pregnant molly into a breeding box or a separate tank carefully. Otherwise, the fry will get eaten by other adult fish.

Read more How Long Are Mollies Pregnant For? 12 Things To Know

Dalmatian Molly Breeding

Dalmatian molly breeding happens very easily if the water condition is right and feeds them with premium fish food flakes. When males and females mate, the females keep sperm in their bodies for up to 5 months and give birth to molly babies multiple times, even without a male fish in the tank.

How Many Babies Do Dalmatian Mollies Have?

Dalmatian mollies can give birth to 20 to 100 baby mollies at a time.

However, adult mollies usually mistake their own fry for food.

Hence they eat the fry; thus, we have to take care of fry (baby mollies) to keep them alive.

Dalmatian Molly Fry Care

The female Dalmatian molly keeps fertilized eggs inside her body until they hatch, and only then will she release the babies into the tank.

These molly babies are usually called “fry.” Mollies can breed up to 100 fry at once, and they breed quite often.

Pregnancy usually lasts between 20 to 40 days.

Although they produce a lot of fry, they are bad at keeping them alive.

Adult mollies tend to eat fry even though they are the same species.

To save molly fry, you have to separate them from adult mollies.

The easiest way to save molly fry is to separate the pregnant molly before hatching.

You will need to provide enough plants in the separated tank as pregnant mollies become reclusive and seek out the Aquarium’s dark areas before giving birth.

After the female molly gives birth to the fry, remove the adult molly right away.

While doing this transfer, make sure that the water conditions of both tanks match.

Feeding Baby Molly Fish

Raising baby molly fish isn’t difficult. They have a good appetite.

However, as they have small, you should offer food that fits their mouth size.

Baby mollies have a short digestive cycle, so you should feed them 3 to 5 times per day.

As they are an omnivore species, you can provide anything that a fish eats.

Special tips

Baby mollies like to eat often but, you should be careful not to overfeed them as overfeeding will foul water, and baby mollies are sensitive to toxins in the water.

How to Feed Dalmatian Molly?

Feeding Dalmatian mollies is easy as they are an omnivorous species. They need algae in their diet so, feed them algae-based flake food with live food such as bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp.

What Fish Can Live With Dalmatian Mollies?

Just like other mollies, Dalmatian mollies are non-aggressive and peaceful fish species.

So they can live with many other friendly fishes in a community tank.

Best tank mates for mollies are guppies, Platys, Danios, Tetras, Gouramis, Swordtails, Angelfish, Some Cichlids, Endlers, Minnows, Snails and Shrimps.

Avoid adding large or aggressive fish species with mollies as they will eat mollies because they are small.

Aggressive fish tend to attack mollies and stress them out to the point of death.

Why Do Dalmatian Mollies Turn Black?

Mollies usually turn black when they grow. Black spots are a feature of Dalmatian mollies’ maturity. However, sometimes they turn black when they are stressed, carrying diseases such as Black Spots and Fin Rot, or suffer from elevated ammonia concentrations. When drastic color change happens with your molly, you should take the necessary actions to heal it.

Dalmatian Molly with Betta

Finding a tank mate for Betta fish is not easy. But, Betta can live with Dalmatian mollies peacefully.

Both fish need the same water parameter levels. Though mollies prefer salt, bettas don’t.

However, using a small amount of salt can actually increase Betta’s immunity.

Bettas need a water temperature of about 78 Fahrenheit, and mollies are a lot more flexible in different temperature levels.

As mollies are social fish, they need at least a 20-gallon tank to live peacefully with other fish species.

Given these requirements fulfilled, bettas and mollies can live peacefully in one tank.

Yellow Spots on Dalmatian Molly

If the Dalmatian molly has Gold Dust Molly genes and when those genes become prominent, the mollies tend to turn yellow slightly.

It is entirely normal and nothing to be scared of. If yellow color spots look odd, then it could be a parasite or Ammonia burn.

Better check the water conditions to confirm Ammonia levels.

Orange Spots on Dalmatian Molly

Dalmatian mollies are a hybrid species of mollies.

It’s completely normal to have yellow, orange, white, and black spots on their skin.

This coloration happens because of genetics and nothing to be scared of.

Full Grown Dalmatian Molly Size

Full-grown Dalmatian Molly size is around 3 to 5 inches inside aquariums.

Read more Is Molly Guppy Hybrid Possible? All You Need to Know

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.