In honor of our sponsorship of the Mollies – Natural Species (Poecilia genus) category in the American Livebearer Association 2013 Convention Fish Show, we’d like to introduce you to some of these spectacular fish.
Mollies and other Livebearers have been a staple in aquariums for many years. They’re usually purchased in an aquarium store, catching the eye of fish-keepers with their rainbow of colors and fancy finnage. Many fish-keepers are unaware that most of these retail Mollies are actually hybrids of several wild Molly species, selectively bred for elaborate finnage and shades.
As their knowledge of Livebearers deepens, hobbyists discover the wild species that are sometimes available from their fellow aquarists or fish clubs like the American Livebearer Association. These fish may be threatened in the wild, making captive maintenance programs crucial to their survival as a species.
Wild Molly species can be found all over the world. Their environment can vary in salinity levels and often has a high pH, but there are those found in soft water with no salinity too. Captive care usually isn’t too difficult, but they do demand a very clean environment with frequent water changes and good filtration. Mollies require a high quality diet that includes a higher level of vegetation (seaweed/algae, vegetables, etc.) than other omnivorous fish, along with meat protein from krill, rotifers, insects, larvae, fish, chopped earthworms, etc. Ours are fed Bottom Bites, frozen and freeze-dried fish food, and seaweed flakes.
Below are a few of the wild-type Mollies (natural species) we’ve kept in our aquariums, including Poecilia kykesis, Poecilia velifera, Poecilia latipinna, Poecilia orri, and various Poecilia sphenops species. To find these fish (and other rare Livebearers) we encourage you to join the American Livebearer Association and attend their conventions (the next convention is April 25th – 28th).
Have you ever kept wild-type fish in your aquarium? Please share your experience with us in the comments below.
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