Where Did Molly Fish Originate From? Origin And More!

Molly fish are a prevalent aquarium fish. They can grow up to four inches in length, and the male Molly may need more room as he will get more significant than his female counterpart. Molly fish have very appealing attributes and come in beautiful color that makes them irresistible. But where did Molly fish originate from, do you know?

The origin of molly fish is still a question, but there is a certainty that you can find them in Mexico and Colombia. They originated in South America and then spread to other parts of the world via trade routes between continents.

We will be discussing Molly Fish and Molly fish origin in detail in this article. So, read on to clear all your doubts about Molly fish.

Where Did Molly Fish Originate From?

Molly fish originate from the Amazon and other parts of South America. The freshwater of the Southern United States is the native habitat of these fish. Then, you can find these fish in Central America through the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.

Molly Fish is a species of freshwater live-bearing tooth-carp that is popular as an aquarium pet throughout the world. They come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes but are usually no larger than two inches long.

These molly fish look like such a beautiful part of the tank that you can’t get enough of them. So, it is not surprising to find out that it is one of the most popular types of fish in aquariums. And, of course, breeding molly at home is a standard part of an aquarist’s life.

Many different Molly species come from all over South America: Mexico, Guyana, Surinam, and Venezuela, to name just a few. They also live in rivers and lakes in North America.

Molly Fish has become one of the most popular aquarium pets in America and worldwide. Usually, this is because they are easy to take care of, and they can live in a tank as small as five gallons. However, these fish generally do not grow over two inches, and only some Mollies, such as the sailfin molly, grow to be around four inches long.

Different Types Of Molly Fish And Their Origination

Molly fish is a small freshwater tropical fish that is very popular in home aquariums. They come from several North America, South America, and Africa. Molly Fish care can be complex when you add or change one variable such as water temperature or add another type of Molly to the tank.

Some of the types of Molly fish, along with their place of origination, are:

North America

Molly Fish originate from North America and Mexico. They usually have a black body with a red stripe along the length of their body. They are livebearers which means they will give birth to babies instead of laying eggs like most other types of aquarium fish do.

Molly fish vary in size but usually weigh between two and five ounces. These fish prefer a water temperature of seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit or twenty-five degrees Celsius. Molly fish from North America feed on algae, worms, and other little bits of food available in their environment.

South America

Molly fish originate from South America, typically with a black body mottled with red or yellow spots. They are usually livebearers and give birth to babies instead of laying eggs. These fish vary in size but typically weigh between two and five ounces.

South America Molly Fish originate from South American countries such as Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru.


Some species of Molly fish are from Africa. Molly fish are typically a golden color with black spots along their body. Molly Fish in these regions are livebearers and will give birth to babies instead of laying eggs like most other types of aquarium fish do. They vary in size but usually weigh between two and five ounces.

African Molly Fish prefer seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit or twenty-five degrees Celsius water. Molly Fish originates from African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and Togo.

What Type Of Fish Is Molly Fish? 

Molly fish is a type of fish that belongs to the family Poeciliidae. It is from freshwater rivers or can also be present in salty water and even estuaries. They are usually of two different groups, the livebearer, and egg layers.

Molly fish can be present worldwide and in different habitats in Mexico, South America, Africa, and Asia. There are around 39 species of Molly in the Poeciliidae family today. But most aquarists suspect that there might be more than 50 Molly fish.

Molly fish belong to this particular species group because they have a live birth instead of laying eggs. In other words, Molly Fish gives their offspring live births at night, so they do not need any special treatment when breeding them compared to some different types of tropical fish.

Types Of Molly fish

Molly fish come in many different colors and shapes, but most Mollies have long flowing tails that resemble a dress. Molly Fish do not live alone in their natural habitat. However, when you keep them as pets, it is best to house them unless they are part of a breeding pair.

However, some of the types of Molly fish are:

  • Sailfin Molly fish
  • Short-fin Molly fish
  • Lyretail Molly fish


Do Place Where Molly Originate Affect Their Lifespan?

Molly fish originate in the freshwaters of Central America, South America, and Africa. These aquarium charms can adapt to temperate and tropical temperatures, making themselves popular as pets.

The average lifespan of Molly is between three and five years, although some exceptional mollies also lived for up to eight years. Unfortunately, they often only live a year or two in the wild because they are very vulnerable to predators in their natural habitat.

These fish do not need any special care and can live for years in a regular goldfish bowl under indirect light. However, Molly fish from more temperate areas often require cooler water. So, the fish’s lifespan depends on the resemblance of the aquarium with the place of origin.

If you fail to keep Molly fish in an aquarium with suitable pH, its lifespan will decrease. In addition, Molly fish are also susceptible to changes in water temperature. Hence, the owner must know what they are doing when maintaining their aquariums.

How To Keep Molly Fish Healthy?

Molly fish are one of the most beautiful freshwater aquarium fish. These fish are live-bearing. After two weeks, with proper care and attention, they can give birth to their young ones. Molly fish come in different types of colors like orange, black, yellow, etc.,

So, taking care of this beautiful fish is a huge responsibility. Here are some tips to help you.

Take Care Of Molly Fish’s Diet

Ensure Molly fish get enough food to eat. Molly fish are omnivores, so they can eat both plant and animal foods. But it is better to prepare and feed molly fish with vegetables like lettuce leaves or spinach because they may not find other types of vegetarian food tasty in the aquarium water. Besides this, these molly fish also love to eat bloodworms, brine shrimp, and tubifex worms so that you can feed them with these food items.

Avoid overfeeding your Molly fish because they tend to overeat, which may cause problems for their health in the long run. Therefore, it is better to feed your molly fish once or twice a day and not add more than what they can consume within five minutes.

Help The Sick Molly Fish

Verify Molly Fish are free from diseases before bringing them home to your tank. These fish do not tolerate any infections or illnesses well. If they have a condition, the disease will spread quickly among all tankmates. So, the best idea is to quarantine new Molly fish for about two weeks before adding them to the main tank.

Place Live Plants

Molly fish like to play and hide in the live plants, so you should add some live plants in the tank. Place live plants in the Molly fish tank because they enjoy eating algae that grow on live plants. Molly Fish will eat most types of algae, but if there is no plant in the aquarium, they cannot get all their nutrients. It can result in illness or malnourishment in these fish, so stay alert, will you?

Avoid Dangerous Items

Molly fish are very curious. They will explore every item placed inside their aquarium. But there might be items that Molly Fish may not figure out quickly, such as sharp rocks or poisonous objects. You should avoid using these kinds of things to decorate the tank.

Maintain Proper Water Quality

Molly fish need clean water. So you should perform regular water changes and remove uneaten food from their aquarium. These can pollute the aquarium waters and cause Molly fish diseases.

Maintain good water quality by regularly testing the pH, nitrate, and ammonia levels. Molly fish are susceptible to changes in pH, so you must keep an eye on the water quality and maintain good water conditions.

Add Some Mollies To Your Tank

Molly fish can live alone without any problem. Still, Molly Fish will feel happier and healthier if you add more Molly Fishes to your tank because Molly fish like the company of the same species as they are social animals.

However, if you keep Molly Fish with other Molly fishes, do not put more than three Molly fishes in one tank. This is because Molly fish can be aggressive, and they like to keep their personal space.

Therefore, it would be best to keep Mollies with other Molly fish with similar personalities and sizes. Besides this, you should also manage to keep these fish in an environment where one fish would never become aggressive and bully the others.

Maintain Optimum Temperature

Maintain a consistent temperature range (from 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit) by using an aquarium heater or thermometer. Molly fish like to stay around this temperature because it is their natural habitat temperature. However, Molly fish cannot tolerate a high level of temperatures, so if the water heats up suddenly, Molly Fish will die due to stress and shock.

Use Filters And Lights

Always use aquarium filters because Molly fishes are susceptible to chlorine or ammonia, which may be present in tap water even after filtration.

Molly Fishes do not have scales, so they are more sensitive to chemicals than other fish. Molly Fish cannot live without good water quality. So, it is better that you use filters, aeration, or oxygen stones for better water conditions. Also, lights are important to Molly fish because these fish are diurnal creatures.

Therefore, they will be active day and night if you have a light in their tank. In addition, Molly Fish likes to play and hide under live plants, so sunlight should always be on when Molly Fishes are present inside their aquarium.

Provide Enough Space

Molly Fish likes to play and go around the fish tank. However, if Molly Fish does not have enough space, they might become aggressive toward each other. These fish need at least 20 gallons of water per Molly fish because they grow up to 4 inches in length under good care.

Molly fish swims in circles and horizontally around all day, looking for food. So, if these fish are not getting enough space to swim, that will also stress them out.


In conclusion, Molly Fish is interesting and beautiful to watch, especially during their mating season. Despite the different places of origination, Molly fish are prevalent and often sought after. They come in many different colors, including orange, blue, green, pink, and yellow. It is best to buy molly fish as adults because they can be very aggressive when kept in a small tank with other Molly Fish.

They get along well with other types of tropical tank mates. Molly fish make excellent pets for everyone to enjoy.

Overall, Molly Fish is a fascinating and beautiful species that anyone would love to have in their home!