Sailfin Molly

The Sailfin Molly (Poecilia latipinna) is perhaps the most beautiful of mollies. It is a small sized fish, with males reaching about 4-5 inches in length and females reaching closer to 5-6 inches in length.

Captive bred fish come in a variety of colors, including green, black, orange, and white. The male’s dorsal fin is larger than the female.

The Sailfin Molly is fairly easy to keep in a community tank that doesn’t include more aggressive fish. An ideal environment would include several females to a single male, as males tend to be aggressive toward each other. Plants are also recommended as is salt as they live in saline waters in the wild.

Their ideal pH requirements range from 7.0 to 7.4 with a water temperature ranging from 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Frequent water changes are a must, as this molly is more sensitive to water quality than other mollies.

It is a livebearer and is native to Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula in both freshwater and brackish waterways. The sailfin molly does well in a shoal of a few females to a single male. Because the fish can get slightly large at around 5 inches, a 45 gallon aquarium is a good minimum size for this fish. Good and gentle filtration is also recommended.

A mid-level fish, it is an algae eater and accepts most flake and frozen foods fairly readily, as well as small invertebrates such as mosquito larvae and brine shrimp. It will feed at the surface. Plenty of live plants are recommended as are ample amounts of open swimming space. The sailfin molly is a peaceful fish that does well with other peaceful fish in a community aquarium.

The sailfin molly comes primarily from fish farms. They can be bred in captivity. The fish should be well fed prior to breeding with plenty of aquarium plants, especially floating plants that act as hiding places for the fry. A livebearer, the sailfin molly will eat its fry, so it is important that floating plants are available in the event you are not present at birth. As soon as you see fry swimming about, place them in a breeder net or remove them from the aquarium and into another aquarium.

Breed Details

Scientific Name:
Country of Origin:
Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula
4-5 inches
75-82 degrees Farenheit