The sailfin molly, gets its name from the big dorsal fin that extends the length of the back of the male, and which on a great specimen is as high as the fish is deep. Regrettably, the high quality and size varies significantly, and unless you obtain a truly outstanding specimen it’ll not be an outstanding exhibit.
As with all large-finned fish, it is most impressive when the fins are erect. The dorsal then shows an iridescent blue, and also the caudal becomes lightish blue with a yellow streak via the centre.
During courtship the display of colour is at its greatest. Body tints are of an olive colour, with narrow brown stripes running laterally along the sides, which are separated by lines of a lighter hue and of a somewhat jagged pattern.
Largely vegetarian, the mollys should be kept in a tank with lots of light to encourage growth of soft green algae, which they continually eat. If the growth is insufficient, it could be taken from an additional tank. A great substitute for algae is boiled spinach. Feed littie and frequently is the requirement. Dried shrimp, Bemax, and occasionally daphnia and tubifex will maintain all of them healthy.
Usually much more care should be taken as unskilful netting of ripe females frequently causes the young to be stillborn or defective. Don’t use a breeding trap. Mollys require lots of room, along with a breeding trap doesn’t permit that. Fine-leafed plants in thick profusion will afford the young sufficient refuge. Breeding temperature is 78°F, and they prefer slightly alkaline water.