Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Calico Balloon Molly is a selectively bred ornamental strain from the ancestral wild-type molly (Poecilia sphenops) that comes from Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia. One of the most adaptable fish in the aquarium trade, balloon mollies are peaceful fish with males exhibiting a clear gonopodium, or modified point, behind their anal fin that aids in reproduction. Calico balloon mollies can be quite variable in their overall coloration, but will have a black mottled pattern across their bodies and fins. Furthermore, they get the name ‘Balloon’ for their robust and round body shape. Balloon mollies are livebearers, meaning that females will produce live fry (i.e., offspring) in abundance. It is best to keep multiple females per a single male, as male balloon mollies tend to frequently harass females. These fish are very prolific without intervention, and sperm from males can be stored in females for several months. If you want to avoid your tank filling up with balloon mollies, we advise to stick to purchasing one sex. Adult balloon mollies can reach a size of approximately 2-1/2″, with females averaging on the larger side.
Diet Requirements: Balloon mollies are one of the unfussiest aquarium fishes. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable based and protein based flake foods, sinking micro pellet foods and bug bites are ideal, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp and daphnia. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 15 gallon aquarium is ideal for a group of Calico balloon mollies. Sizing up may be needed if you intend to have a large group for breeding purposes. While Calico balloon mollies are relatively hardy and easy to care for, they would do best introduced into a biologically mature aquarium. Balloon mollies can be more sensitive to water parameters given the extent of selective breeding over decades, but generally speaking they will not do well in soft water or at an acidic pH level. If kept in these conditions, balloon mollies will shimmy and exhibit clamped fins as they decline in health. The aquarium does not need to be aquascaped with anything in particular, but balloon mollies do appreciate live plants and floating plant material. Calico balloon mollies can be mixed with a wide variety of community type fishes that thrive in similar water parameters. Different ornamental strains of balloon mollies can be mixed with no issue, but be aware that the “quality” of their offspring and subsequent generations will be decreased from mixing two, or more, very different gene pools. Serious balloon molly breeders often stick to a single color strain to ensure that the genetic integrity of that type is maintained. Recommended water conditions, 72-82° F, KH 15-30, pH 7.0-8.5.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.