Mollies due to their size are accepted by beginners but they are popular with experienced aquarist too on account of their undemanding, brightly colored and good temperament. There is a unique variety amongst mollies called the Balloon Molly. This fish was bred to be extremely short and round. The breeding causes an unnatural curvature of the spine. Unfortunately, this has been known to cause a great deal of internal organ damage and can shorten their lifespan dramatically. They can grow upto 8 inches, however, in aquarium their sizes are generally less than 8 inches.
The variations amongst the mollies are identified by their fins like the Common or Short-finned Molly, the Sailfin or Topsail Molly, and the Mexican Sailfin Molly, also called the Giant Sailfin Molly.
One of the most common and appreciated ones are the Black Molly, a striking fish with pure jet black coloration. You will also find Mollies in other colours like white, orange, rust, silver, black, green, gold, and combinations of some or all of these.
You don’t need an oversized tank to house Molly fishes, small or medium size tank will be just fine. However, it is recommended that a 20 gallon tank is used to house mollies.
They are live bearers and they give birth live fries unlike other fishes who lay eggs.
The Average life span of molly is about 3 years and if adequate care is taken they can live longer.
They are hardy fishes but the water parameters have to be maintained to give Mollies good environment. It is suggested to keep three female to every male in order to avoid pursuit of a mate by males. Mollies are brackish water fish and it is advisable and to keep them in brackish environment. It is advisable to add one teaspoon per gallon of salt to maintain brackishness / salinity of water, which would improve the overall disease tolerance capability of mollies.
Though Mollies are omnivorous, but it is advised that they are feed high herbivorous content.
Mollies are better kept in limited numbers and the tank should not be overstocked. Any impact on account of built up of ammonia may severely and adversely affect the health of mollies. It is recommended that water change to the extent of 25% to 30% is done every week. In case the aquarium is large the partial water change can be done fortnightly or even monthly. Good filtration system will essential to maintain the water parameters. You could use filter or external filters as mollies are not comfortable in heavy water movements.
The compatible tank mates for mollies ideally would be mollies or other members of the life bearer family. Mollies are known for fin nipping habit but they themselves have extensive fins therefore it is advisable not to keep fin nipper like tiger barbs as tank mates.
The size of the White Molly on display is roughly 1.5 to 2.5 inches.
They grow up to 3 inches and have a life span of 5-6 years depending upon care and maintenance. this fish is extremely good choice for any beginner hobbyist as it is very robyst and tolerant to wild variety of water condition, it’s a very hardy fish and on account of their exception active nature they are not appropriate choice and tank mates for passive and shy inhabitants as they are constantly on the move and can harass others in the tank which could cause problem in shy varieties of tank mates.
They are omnivorous and would eat anything that they are fed twice or thrice a day.
Partial water change of 25% every week would be recommended if the tank is not densely stocked.
It would be appropriate to have school of 7 or more Black widow tetra in a minimum of 25-30 gallon aquarium. in case of black tetra more fishes would make them more comfortable. the filtration system needs to be a high quality without creating much water turbulence as these fishes prefer slow water movement.
it would be appropriate to keep smaller size fish or larger size fish in the community tank along with black widow tetra as small fishes may become target of their fin nipping habits and stressed. these fishes are skilled jumpers it would therefore be necessary to secure the aquarium by covering it.
The good compatible tank mates are similar size tetras rainbow fish, larger rasboras, barbs and some dwarf cichlid, danios since they are hardy fish in a well maintained aquarium their health would not be of any issue.
Red Tail Tinfoil Barb are smaller cousins of Tinfoil Barb and can grow upto 8 inches in length.
The larger cousins, that is Tail Tinfoil Barb, also called by other names like Goldfoil Barb, Schwanefeld’s Barb, River Barb. These fishes can grow upto to 14 inch in length.
They have 8 to 10 years of life span, they could live longer if maintained well. In its natural coloration, the Tail Tinfoil Barb has a silver or Golden body. As indicated these species are very similar to its smaller cousin, the Red Tail Tinfoil Barb.
Both Tinfoil Barb and Red Tail Tinfoil Barb are extremely similar. Therefore, while purchasing juveniles, there can be confusion and to obviate this please observe if there is a Red lining on the tail fin, which clearly distinguishes the Red Tail Tinfoil Barb from regular Tinfoil barb.
Red Tail Tinfoil is hardy fish so it is recommended for beginners.
Water change of roughly of 25-50% of the water tank is required every week to maintain healthy environment. If the tank is densely stocked frequent water change is required.
The Red Tail Tinfoil Barbs grow very large and will swim in all areas of the aquarium. They need a school of five or more of their own kind and a very large tank to keep them happy. It is advisable to keep a group of full grown adults in at least a 100 gallon tank. An external canister filter is needed to keep this messy fishes and the tank clean. An external canister filter will also aid in keeping high levels of oxygenation and water flow. Additionally, the tank should be securely covered as these fish are skilled jumpers and will probably do so if given the opportunity.
This fish prefers a setup that replicates their natural habitat of flowing rivers and streams. A powerhead can be used to create currents to replicate its natural environment. You could use a substrate of sand or gravel with smooth rocks and pebbles. Since these fishes are large they can knock over most aquarium accessories and decorations, therefore the aquarium accessorizes should firmly entrenched. Further while using live plants it is advisable to have hardy varieties and not soft ones, else this barb will feed on them.
Since they are omnivorous, the Red Tail Tinfoil Barb will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. They will also like some live food treats like worms or shrimps. But even though they like proteins, they need lots of vegetable foods. Vegetable substitutes suggested for these fish in the aquarium are algae wafers, cooked lettuce, spinach, and oatmeal. When offering food just once a day, provide what they can eat in about 5 minutes. The rule of thumb when offering food several times a day is to offer only what they can consume in 3 minutes or less at each feeding.
The Red Tail Tinfoil Barb is not an aggressive species, however they will eat small fish if they have the opportunity. Slow moving and shyer fish are not recommended as tankmates because the constant movements of this fish can stress them. The best tankmates are those who are similar in size and energy levels, such as other cyprinids and characins, some cichlids, and catfish.
The Tinfoil Barb on display is a Red Tail Tinfoil Barb about 3-4 inches in length.