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

Dalmatian Molly Care | Mollies Care Sheet | Complete Guide

I love mollies and among all mollies, dalmatian molly is my favorite. Dalmatian mollies are cross-breeding of molly. They are black and white in color. This color combination gives a unique appearance to my tank. The most important thing about dalmatian molly is they are easy to take care of. If you are new to fish keeping this is the right fish for you.

Molly fish’s ancestors are found in southern Mexico’s coastal areas in freshwater and brackish water. Since then, they have become popular aquarium fish throughout the world. So in my Complete Molly Care guide, I will guide you through the process of caring them.

Dalmatian Molly Care Care Sheet

One look guide

Scientific namePoecilia latipinna
Common nameDalmatian molly, Sailfin molly, Marbled molly,
Care levelEasy
Size3–5 inches
Life expectancy3–5 years
Native toCentral America, Southern North America, South America, Mexico
Type Freshwater
Color White body with black spots
Preferred temperature70–82°F (21–27°C)
pH7.0–7.8
Hardness 12–25 dGH
Minimum tank size30 gallons
Growth rateModerate
TemperamentPeaceful
Tank matesGuppies, Platys, Danios, Tetras, Gouramis, Swordtails, Angelfish, Some Cichlids, Endlers, Minnows, Snails, and Shrimps
Preferred foodOmnivorous species. Algae-based flake food, Bloodworms, Tubifex, and Brine shrimp
BreedingLivebearer

What Is Dalmatian Molly?

This tropical freshwater fish 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 fish 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.

Are Dalmatian Mollies aggressive?

No, absolutely not. They are naturally a non-aggressive species. However, male fish become somewhat aggressive when placed with another fish species in the same tank. And male Dalmatians 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 Mollies Behavior

Dalmatian mollies are very active swimmers. They tend to enjoy schooling together. They chase each other but are rarely aggressive. Male fish become aggressive if the female ratio is low (see above) and are placed with different groups of fish species. Females release babies once a month when the water condition is good and fed with premium food. Female are nonaggressive.

The lifespan of Dalmatian Mollies

The average lifespan of this freshwater fish is 3 to 5 years. In certain circumstances, when the fish is well taken care of, the life expectancy extends up to 6 years.

Types of Dalmatian Mollies

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. These freshwater fish grow up to five inches long and tend to live for about 3 to 5 years.

Balloon Dalmatian Mollies

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

Sailfin Dalmatian Mollies

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, These freshwater fish are also black and white in color.

Dalmatian Lyretail Mollies

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 fish Care

These freshwater fish are hardy species. They are easy to care which makes them great for beginners. these freshwater fish 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. It is an omnivore species so it will eat anything, including algae.

Dalmatian Mollies Size

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

Dalmatian Mollies Tank

Dalmatian Molly Tank size should be at least a 30-gallon tank as they swim in groups. They can’t live in smaller tanks like 10 or 5-gallon tank.

How Many Mollies Should Be Kept Together?

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

Tank Setup

these freshwater fish 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 are 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. This freshwater fish doesn’t need gravel. So, a thin layer of ¼-inch gravel is fine with them.

Water Quality Condition

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

Dalmatian Mollies Male or Female Identification

Mollies usually don’t display gender at an early age. They need to be mature to be able to differentiate the gender.

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

  1. Color

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

  1. Shape & size

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

  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 molly fish. 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 their gender. The anal fin size of male mollies is larger or longer than female molly fish.

The male fish’s anal fin has a different look than the female. 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 molly fish showing their fins to catch their attention. If you see such behavior with your molly, you can assure that your male molly is trying to mate with female.

Pregnant Dalmatian Mollies 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 Mollies Pregnancy Stages

After the mollies copulate, the female molly store the sperm of the male molly for months, which means she can give birth to babies multiple times without a male molly 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 molly 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 Mollies Breeding

The breeding happens very easily if the water condition is right and feeds them with premium fish food flakes. When males molly and females molly 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 molly 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 babies; thus, we have to take care of the baby mollies to keep them alive.

Dalmatian Molly Fry Care

The female 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 babies at once, and they breed quite often.

Pregnancy usually lasts between 20 to 40 days. Although they produce a lot of babies, 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.

What do dalmatian Mollies eat?

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

dalmatian Mollies’ fish Tankmates

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. The 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 molly as they will eat mollies because they are small. Aggressive fish tend to attack mollies and stress them out to the point of death.

Dalmatian Mollies 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 at different temperature levels.

As molly are social fish, they need at least a 20-gallon tank to live peacefully with other fish species. Given these requirements are fulfilled, bettas and mollies can live peacefully in one tank.

Related questions

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.

Yellow Spots on Dalmatian Mollies

If this molly has Gold Dust Molly genes and when those genes become prominent, the mollies tend to turn yellow slightly. it is not a disease. 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 Mollies

Dalmatian mollies are a hybrid species of mollies. It’s completely normal to have yellow, orangish, white, and black spots on their skin. This coloration happens because of genetics and is nothing to be scared of.

Full Grown Dalmatian Molly Size

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

How much is dalmatian molly?

They are around $12. You can find sale prices, regular selling prices and other price-related facts online. And also reviews sale price in the same way. You can also find this fish in liveaquaria, petsmart and many local pet stores.

Dalmatian molly diseases

These fish face different diseases during their lifetime. For example, white spot disease, velvet disease, fungal diseases and many more. You can find details about Dalmatian moly disease in these two articles

Credit to : JR Aquarium

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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.