The Balloon Molly is a hybrid variation of Poecilia latipinna,the Sailfin Molly. The Balloon Molly has an arched back and a rounded, large belly. Color varieties include a combination of black, yellow, and white. These fish also have a large, lyre-shaped caudal fin and an impressive dorsal fin. Mollies have the ability to adapt to a variety of salt levels in the aquarium. With a gradual acclimation, these fish may be maintained in either a freshwater aquarium or a saltwater aquarium. In the freshwater aquarium, a teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon is recommended for optimum health. The Balloon Molly prefers a tank of at least 30 gallons with lots of strong plants such as Java fern, Sagittaria, Vallisneria and Anubias. They require a good filtration system because of their hearty appetites. The Balloon Molly is well suited for the community tank because of its peaceful nature, and is compatible with other peaceful, large fish that can withstand similar water conditions. They may pursue their young and the young of other fish. The pointed anal fin and much larger dorsal fin on the male, and the rounded anal fin and pregnancy spot on the female differentiate the two. The Balloon Molly is a livebearer that requires a spawning box in a 25 gallon, or larger breeding tank. The aquarium should be planted as densely as possible or have a thick algae mat. Having a group of floating plants in the corner of the aquarium will promote rearing outside of the breeding tank. Every 60-70 days the female give birth to 10-60 young that are already approximately one-half inch long. The Balloon Molly is omnivorous and requires both meaty foods as well as algae. Provide these fish with an algae-based flake food, as well as freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp.
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