How to take care of Dalmatian molly Fish?

We will talk about dalmatian molly fish care in this blog post.We will also discuss important factors such as their habitat,types,lifespan, tank set-up,water parameters and healthcare,etc.Everything you need to know about dalmatian molly fish care will be briefly discussed.


In this blog 

  • Key specifications of dalmatian molly fish
  • Why is dalmatian molly fish care important?
  • How many dalmatian molly fish should you start with as a newcomer?
  • Habitat of dalmatian molly fish
  • Types of dalmatian molly fish
  • Different strains or colors of dalmatian molly fish
  • General and physical attributes of dalmatian molly fish
  • Dalmatian molly fish lifespan
  • Dalmatian molly fish tank set-up
  • Dalmatian molly fish diet and feeding requirements
  • Dalmatian molly fish healthcare and health conditions
  • Dalmatian molly fish daily care and Bi-weekly care tips
  • Summary

How to take care of Dalmatian molly Fish?

Daily care tips for dalmatian mollies

  • Water should be very clean in the aquarium.
  • Water should be monitored on a regular basis.
  • Aquarium glasses should be wiped everyday
  • All the vital parameters should be checked daily to ensure optimal conditions.
  • All the equipment should be in working conditions.
  • Feed them 2-3 times a day.
  • Adult dalmatian mollies can be fed once a day. 
  • Juveniles can be fed twice a day.
  • Dont over feed them at any cost.
  • Remove leftovers from the tank everyday.

Bi-weekly care tips for dalmatian mollies

  • Feed them live and frozen food once or twice a week.
  • Don’t give live food directly after buying them,It would be better to quarantine that before feeding them to avoid infections.
  • 15-20 % water should be changed once a week.
  • Filters should be cleaned properly with the help of scrubs for effective filtration.
  • Complete tank cleaning can be done once or twice in a month, but don’t use soap as it could be toxic to them.

Key specifications of dalmatian molly fish

Name Dalmatian molly fish
LifespanBetween 3-5 years
Body size
Body shapeColourSexual dimorphism
1-1.5 inches in length,and can grow upto 5 inches including tail.Flat and elongatedBlack and white body (mixed)Yes
Another namesMarbled mollyMarbled sailfin molly
Optimum temperatureOptimum pHWater hardness75F-80F 7.0-7.810-25 KH
TemperamentBeginner/experienced Peaceful Both levels
Care levelEasy to moderate 
Tank size and set-upTank type (Prefered)
Male to female ratio
30 gallonsHeavily planted tankCommunity tank1 male for every 2 females
Preferred plants/decorationsSturdy plants(heavy plantation)
CompatibilityPeaceful and large fish
Number of dalmatian molly fish species found 4 types of dalmatian mollies.
BreedingLivebearerProlific breederSpawning box

Why is dalmatian molly fish care important?

Dalmatian mollies are hardy species and can thrive well in both freshwater and saltwater conditions.They are easy to care for and do not require any extraordinary settings in their aquarium.

All they need is a clean water environment set-up,because they are sensitive to ammonia spikes,which is due inefficient filtrations.They already have a short lifespan and if not cared for properly,they will die off soon.

How many dalmatian molly fish should you start with as a newcomer?

Dalmatian mollies are social fish like their other cousins.They live in groups and enjoy swimming together.

They get anxious when kept alone or with incompatible tank mates, so as a newcomer try to get either two females or one male and two females but never keep males together or one male and one female together.

Males are a bit aggressive and show aggression towards other males for mating or for showing dominance in the tank.

  • 2 females- suitable
  • 2 females 1 male- suitable
  • 2 males- not suitable
  • 1 male 1 female- not suitable

Habitat of dalmatian molly fish

  • Fish type-Tropical fish
  • Water type-Brackish water and freshwater
  • Origin- Amazon river basin, Brazil.

Types of dalmatian molly fish

  • Standard dalmatian molly
  • Sailfin dalmatian molly
  • Balloon dalmatian molly
  • Dalmatian lyretail molly 

Different strains or colors of dalmatian molly fish

  • Assorted combination.
  • Black and white combination.
  • Black dalmatian with white spots.
  • White dalmatian with black spots.

General and physical attributes of dalmatian molly fish

  • Dalmatians are a color variation breed of mollies.
  • Size- 1-1.5 inches in length.
  • Shape- Flat and elongated body.
  • Dorsal fins- Larger in males.
  • Males have gonopodium.
  • Females have pregnancy spots.
  • Color scheme-Male dalmatians are more attractive than females.
  • Identification- silver and white speckles.

Dalmatian molly fish lifespan

Dalmatian molly can live between 3-5 years, and can live upto 6 years in optimal conditions.

Their diet, water conditions, tank companions, and aquascaping are some of the factors which are related to the longer life span of a fish in aquarium settings.

Dalmatian molly fish tank set-up

Tank sizeLight intensitySubstrate/decorsWater parametersTemperatureTank plantsTank mates

Tank size for dalmatian mollies

  • Small or medium sized tanks go best with dalmatian mollies.
  • Tank size -A 30 gallons tank, in fact bigger is always better and caring becomes easier.
  • In a 10 gallon tank you can accommodate 4 mollies.
  • A 20 liters tank is required to house a sailfin dalmatian mollies.
  • Breeding tank size- 25 gallons breeding tank.
  • Dalmatian mollies are schooling fish and are happy when kept in large groups.
  • Tank type- Community and heavily planted tanks are suitable for them.
  • Dalmatians are active swimmers, and require open swimming areas to swim with other mollies.
  • Air stone or air pumps-Dalmatian mollies need oxygen for their survival,so it is necessary to install air pumps for proper aeration and oxygenation. 

Light intensity for dalmatian mollies

  • Subdued lighting
  • Standard aquarium lightings is more than enough for their tanks
  • Indirect sunlight

Substrate/decoration for dalmatian mollies

  • Very thin,¼ inch gravel substrate will work for dalmatians.
  • They prefer decorations in their aquarium.
  • You can use cherry blossom tree decor to decorate the tank.
  • Rock works as hiding spots and addition of lava rocks can maintain nitrogen cycles in the tank with the help of beneficial bacteria harboring them.
  • Avoid sharp decorative stuff,as it can harm dalmatian mollies.
  • Make a habit to clean gravels and decors weekly to avoid infections.
  • Don’t suffocate their tank with decorations,because they need swimming areas too to swim peacefully.

Water parameters for dalmatian mollies 

Water parameter is one of the most important engines of the fish aquarium.The chemistry of water controls every factor within the aquarium that directly affects the health of fish and tank plants.

Dalmatian mollies are sensitive to poor water conditions,so it’s very important to use a water testing kit to keep the organic pollutant levels in check.

Efficient filter system-They have big appetites, so it’s important to use good quality filtration to reduce organic pollutants from the tank.

  • Adaptability to different salt concentrations
  • Ammonia level- zero
  • Nitrite-zero
  • Nitrate- very low
  • pH level- 7.0-7.8
  • Water hardness-10-25 KH

Temperature for dalmatian mollies

Maintaining a stable temperature in a mollies aquarium is just as important as keeping it within an optimal range.A sudden drop in the temperature can damage their immune system and increase the risk of disease in them.

  • Require warm water like their original habitat
  • Optimum temperature – 75F- 80F
  • Tropical fish need aquarium heaters to maintain the optimum temperature.

Tank plants for dalmatian mollies

The greatest benefit of having live plants is that they produce oxygen and absorb toxins that your fish make.It also improves the water quality.

Plants offer them hiding space and security when they feel anxious and threatened.

Dalmatian mollies require dense plantations, sturdy aquatic and floating plants for the above mentioned reasons.

  • Anubias nana
  • Java ferns
  • Vallisneria
  • Sagittaria 
  • Water sprite
  • Non-toxic driftwood
  • Artificial or fake plants

Tank mates for dalmatian mollies

Compatibility of aquarium companions is essential for a successful and healthy aquarium life.Incompatible species will increase the pressure in the tank, which can cause disease and large losses.

In the case of the dalmatian, always maintain the male to female ratio in the tank i.e one male for every three females,because male dalmatians are more aggressive than females.

Avoid aggressive fish with long flowing fins and veiltails in their tanks. Dalmatians are fin nippers and have the habit of nipping fins.

Ideal tank mates characteristics for them:

  • Goes well with peaceful fish
  • Goes well with fish which can tolerate hard water conditions

List of suitable tank mates for dalmatian mollies:

  • Other mollies (get along well with black mollies)
  • Livebearers
  • Some cichlids
  • Some platies
  • Honey gouramis

Dalmatian molly fish diet and feeding requirements

Dalmatian mollies have a hearty appetite and being an omnivore they accept wide varieties of food from flakes to worms.

Feed them the right kind of food in the right amount to ensure proper nutrition.A protein enriched diet will keep them healthy.

  • Feeding frequency-Feed them a small amount 2-3 times a day.
  • Give them time to finish their meals.
  • Underfeeding is absolutely fine, but overfeeding is not good for them as well as for tanks.It can upset their stomachs,make them inactive and can cause ammonia pollution too in the tanks.
  • Remove uneaten food with the help of a gravel siphon from the tank to avoid ammonia spikes.
  • Try to rotate their diets to keep them healthy.

List of food for your dalmatian:

  • Tropical fish flake to small babies
  • Pellets to adults
  • Algae flakes 
  • Algae (act as food and tank cleaner both)
  • Freeze-dried food- tubifex, bloodworms,brine shrimp.
  • Blanched vegetable based diet-lettuce and spinach.
  • Occasionally frozen (mosquito larva) and live food. 
  • Homemade food can also be given.

Dalmatian molly fish healthcare and health conditions

  • Prone to fungal infection- shimmies- Avoid changing water suddenly.
  • yellow spots-It is either a parasitic infection or ammonia burns. Better to keep the levels of ammonia in check to avoid such spots.
  • Black spots-Sign of maturity, no need to worry about black spots.
  • Orange spots- Its genetics, nothing to worry about this spot.
  • Fin rot or decaying of fins.
  • Prone to ammonia spikes- water changes should be done weekly to avoid ammonia pollution


  • Dalmatian molly fish are hardy species and a popular choice for community aquariums.
  • Dalmatian mollies grow quickly and can survive in both freshwater and saltwater conditions.They can easily adjust to different salt-levels.
  • Male to female ratio should be maintained in their tanks and make sure females are always more in numbers than males.
  • Very friendly,playful,peaceful and considered as baby making machines.
  • Recommended for both beginners and experienced hobbyists.

Frequently asked questions on dalmatian molly fish care

How to maintain dalmatian mollies in freshwater tanks?

You can maintain dalmatian mollies in freshwater tanks with a teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon.Addition of salt will make your fish healthier.

Why do dalmatian mollies shake?

Due to stress, dalmatian mollies get anxious and start shaking.Its very important to keep your fish in a stress free environment for their better health conditions.