Yucatan molly

Aquarium fish: Yucatan molly (Poecilia velifera)
Size: 15 cm
Origin: America
Water temperature: 22-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 110 l

Yucatan molly (Poecilia velifera ) – quite large and demanding representative of the genus Poecilia , the dorsal fin of this species resembles a large sail.


Central America . Sailfin molluscs live in the coastal waters of southeastern Mexico, mainly in the Yucatan Peninsula. They are also found in brackish waters at the mouth of rivers.

Characteristics and disposition

In the wild, the female can be up to 18 cm long, and the male up to 15 cm.

In the aquarium, they grow approx. 2 cm smaller. The male can be recognized by the gonopodium and the very wide dorsal fin, which he puts up like a sail during the breeding season to impress the female and scare away rivals. There are many varieties of sailfin mollusks in trade, with various colors, body shapes and fins. A short-bodied variety called balloon molesia was also bred in Singapore.

Hybrids usually do not have as large a sail on the back as the rare wild boar. It is very easy to confuse it with the nearly identical broad-fin Mollynesia (Poecilia latipinna). The broad fin mole is smaller and grows up to 10 cm in length, on the dorsal fin it has darker, irregularly shaped spots, which in the sailfin mollisnesia are brighter and rounder. Most often, however, these two species can be distinguished by the number of dorsal fin rays – M. broad fin – about 14, M.

żaglopłetwa – about 18.

Nutrition and feeding

Omnivorous fish. They can be given a variety of dry, frozen and live foods, such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, chopped earthworms, waterworm. An indispensable component of their diet is plant food, eg flakes with spirulina, chopped spinach, lettuce, peas, etc. It eagerly nibbles on algae to clean the aquarium and, unfortunately, it can also eat more delicate plants.


A small group of these fish requires a spacious aquarium with a large swimming space, min. 90 cm. It is best to keep one male in the company of 3 females. They like strongly lit tanks, planted with plants and with a strong forced current of water. They feel best in slightly brackish water.

In a freshwater aquarium, they require hard and alkaline water to develop properly. Interestingly, the Sailfin Molinesia should have no problems with adapting to a typical marine aquarium. Compared to related species, it is less tolerant to pollution, so it requires stable parameters and frequent water changes. Sailfin molluscum is a mild-mannered species that will work well in a social aquarium . Good company will be other viviparas such as: Mieczyk , Platka , Kirysek , Zbrojnik and some Gurami .

They should not be combined with other mollies with which they will interbreed. They can live in salty or brackish water, for example with Grandmother or Indian Jaundice . They tend to nibble on veiled fish and may be nibbled themselves.


Compared to other livebearing animals, reproduction can be problematic. Professional breeders separate females from males in winter, making them more likely to breed in spring.

If the climate allows it, the young can grow up in home swimming pools. During courtship males pursue the females with great ferocity, therefore it is recommended to breed 2-3 females and one male in a harem. An adult female can give birth to 200 fry every 4-8 weeks, but the norm is 20-60 pieces. The fry after birth are large enough to immediately eat brine shrimp larvae, micro nematodes or powdered food. To increase the chances of survival of the fry, the spawning aquarium should be densely overgrown with vegetation.

However, it is best to move the pregnant female to a separate place. Interestingly, wild specimens have a lower tendency to eat offspring.


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