Sailfin Molly Fish – Care, Feeding, Breeding & Requirements
These Molly fish are called Sailfin because their dorsal fin looks like a sail from a sailboat. These are perhaps the most popular of the Molly fish. The male Sailfin has 14 rays on their dorsal fin. Their distinctive fin and up turned mouth are pleasing to the average aquarium owner. Just like their cousin the Shortfin Molly fish, they too need slightly salty water to flourish.
The Sailfin Molly fish is much more sensitive than the regular Shortfin Molly fish in that they require a larger aquarium to swim around in. The male Sailfin Molly fish life expectancy are about one year and the female’s approximately 3 years.
Feeding Silfin Mollies
Sailfin Molly fish prefer vegetation to any other type of food but like the occasional mosquito larva. Since that is not readily available, the dried bloodworm or blackworm will work just fine. They will eat algae in the tank but if there isn’t enough, you can purchase dried vegetation flakes at your local pet store or you can boil some peas, cream them into a paste and drop a tiny amount into the tank.
Different Types of Sailfin Molly Fish
These lovelies come in a variety of colors:
- The Dalmatian with its white body and black spots
- The Marble with its orange, black and yellow spots
- The Silver, which actually looks white
- The Gold, which is a yellow-orange
- The Black Silfin Molly
- The Red, which is orange but often has pink eyes
- The Platinum, which is silver. It is said that it will glow under a black light
- The Green, which has a green hue
By mixing different colors, you will get a beautiful display for your aquarium, especially if it is a large tank (20 gallons or more). The various colored Sailfin Molly fish do not stop them from mating with each other. In other words, the Gold could mate with the Red or Green.
If you want to know about different types of mollies, please read my other article.
Sailfin Molly Breeding
Female Sailfin Molly fish are larger than her male counterpart and just like their cousins, they do not lay eggs. A female Sailfin Molly fish will give birth to 10 to 140 live young Molly fish, but not at the same time. She will commonly gestate throughout a period of a year, giving birth multiple times. Like with other Molly fish, she needs to be separated from the general population with a large birthing bin that has plenty of vegetation. She needs to be immediately removed away from the newborns when she is finished giving birth so they do not become her breakfast.
If you’re going to have Sailfin Molly fish, get a large tank (20 gallons or more). They can grow up to 4” (sometimes 5”) and they need plenty of room to swim. They love plant life in their dwelling. Be sure to give them a few spots to hide such as rocks. Remember to add a ½ teaspoon of marine salt for each gallon of water.
It is far better to have fewer males than females as the males will fight for the alpha position. Remember, positioning is based on the prettiest male with the largest dorsal fin. But having different colors of Sailfin Molly males with equal sized fins….well who is to say which one the ladies will look to as the handsomest?
I have 3 female sailfin mollies, had a nice male who died recently along with 9 neon tetras, 6 panda catfish, 6 guppies and about 40 very small baby sailfins. It is a well planted 75 gallon tank with plenty of algae. The probably I have is they never seem to grow. I feed them 3 times a day. Mostly flake food along with frozen blood worms or baby brine shrimp and regular brine shrimp. They all get along fine but how do I get them to grow? They look like they are a about 2 weeks old but are actually over 3 months old. Any thoughts? Any good videos on youtube I should watch? I will be grateful for any knowledge you could share.
Hey Bob. If you keep baby fish with adults together, it will slow down they growth rate significantly. Adult fish, usually release hormones into the water, which will slow down the growth of other fish. Among other reasons, this is why you need to perform weekly water changes, to remove the fish hormones from the water.
More frequent water changes might help seep up the growth rate of the baby sailfins, but they would do best in a separate aquarium.