Black Lyretail Molly

Black Lyretail Molly
Latin name:
(Poecilia latipinna)

Care Level








Preferred Conditions

68-82° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.0-7.8

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

30 gallons


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Black Lyretail Molly: A Guide to Care and Breeding

The black lyretail molly is a popular freshwater aquarium fish known for its striking appearance and relatively easy care requirements. This fish is a member of the Poeciliidae family and is native to the waters of Mexico and Central America. In this guide, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of the black lyretail molly, covering its unique characteristics, care requirements, breeding habits, and more.

Characteristics of the Black Lyretail Molly

The black lyretail molly is a medium-sized fish that typically reaches a length of 3 to 4 inches. It has a slender, elongated body with a distinctive lyre-shaped tail fin. The male lyretail molly is typically more colorful than the female, displaying a vibrant black coloration with iridescent blue and green highlights. The female, on the other hand, is usually a dull gray or olive color.

The black lyretail molly is a peaceful and social fish that enjoys the company of its own kind. It’s best kept in a community aquarium with other peaceful species. This fish is also known for its hardiness and adaptability, making it a good choice for beginner aquarists.

Care Requirements for the Black Lyretail Molly

The black lyretail molly is a relatively easy fish to care for, but it does have some specific requirements to thrive. Here are some key factors to consider when providing care for this fish:

  • Water Parameters: The black lyretail molly prefers warm, slightly alkaline water with a pH between 7.2 and 8.0. The ideal water temperature range is between 75°F and 82°F.
  • Tank Size: A 10-gallon aquarium is the minimum recommended tank size for a single black lyretail molly. However, a larger tank is always better, especially if you plan to keep a group of these fish.
  • Filtration: A good filtration system is essential for maintaining water quality in the aquarium. A filter with a flow rate of at least 10 times the volume of the tank is recommended.
  • Substrate: The black lyretail molly prefers a fine-grained substrate, such as sand or gravel. Avoid sharp or rough substrates that could damage the fish’s delicate fins.
  • Plants: Live plants are a great addition to the black lyretail molly’s aquarium. They provide hiding places, reduce stress, and help to maintain water quality.
  • Diet: The black lyretail molly is an omnivore and will readily accept a variety of foods, including flake food, pellets, live food, and frozen food. It’s important to offer a balanced diet that includes both plant-based and animal-based foods.

Breeding the Black Lyretail Molly

The black lyretail molly is a prolific breeder and can produce multiple broods of fry throughout the year. Breeding this fish is relatively easy, but it does require some preparation and attention to detail.

  • Selecting Breeding Pairs: Choose healthy, mature fish that are free from disease. The male should be colorful and have a well-developed lyre-shaped tail fin. The female should be plump and have a round belly.
  • Breeding Tank: Set up a separate breeding tank that is at least 10 gallons in size. The tank should have a heater, filter, and plenty of live plants.
  • Introducing the Breeding Pair: Introduce the breeding pair to the breeding tank. It’s best to do this in the evening when the fish are less active.
  • Spawning: The breeding pair will typically spawn within a few days of being introduced to the breeding tank. The female will release eggs, which the male will fertilize. The eggs will hatch within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Raising the Fry: Once the fry have hatched, they should be fed small foods, such as brine shrimp nauplii or finely crushed flake food. The fry should be kept in the breeding tank until they are large enough to be moved to a community aquarium.

FAQs About the Black Lyretail Molly

Here are some frequently asked questions about the black lyretail molly:

  • Q: How long do black lyretail mollies live?
  • A: The average lifespan of a black lyretail molly is 3 to 5 years.
  • Q: Are black lyretail mollies aggressive?
  • A: No, black lyretail mollies are generally peaceful and social fish that enjoy the company of their own kind.
  • Q: Can black lyretail mollies be kept with other fish?
  • A: Yes, black lyretail mollies can be kept with other peaceful species, such as tetras, rasboras, and corydoras catfish.

The black lyretail molly is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for fish that makes a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. With its striking appearance and peaceful nature, this fish is sure to bring joy to any aquarist.