Black Molly

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Poecilia sphenops - Valenciennes, 1846
Black Molly

A peaceful fish that does well in a group of one male and several females. Aaron Norman


This fish is found in a number of habitats, ranging from freshwater to brackish and even saltwater.

Family: Poeciliidae

Other common name(s):

  • Molly

Native range:

Habitat: The tank should be well-lit and well-planted on the sides and back with plants that can withstand a small amount of salt (Java fern, Java moss).

Maximum length: 6 cm (2 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 152 L (40 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater to top


Omnivore. Provide a vegetable-rich diet, including Spirulina-based flakes, algae wafers and herbivore foods. Also offer frozen, freeze-dried or live meaty foods, such as bloodworms and brine shrimp.

Aquarium Compatibility

A peaceful fish that will do well when kept in a group of one male to several females in a community setting with other, slightly larger, peaceful fishes.


Livebearers that are somewhat more demanding to breed in the aquarium than other livebearers. Females that are not handled properly will drop premature babies.


Sailfins benefit from the addition of some salt, which will not harm most other community fishes. Must have lots of open swimming room or the male’s sailfin will not develop fully.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW