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Poecilia velifera

Feeding Your Fish Tips: Give your fish a variety of tropical fish food and not just flakes. Read the nutritional information on the canister of food to see what vitamins and minerals your fish is getting. Flakes can be the primary diet for many fish because they are packed with the vitamins and minerals your fish needs. However, try to supplement their diet with other types of food every once in a while. You should see better colors and increased vitality by varying their diet.
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Poecilia velifera, the Yucatan Molly, lives in coastal waters of the Yucatan peninsula. These live-bearer (Poeciliidae) fish are particularly well known for both the extreme size variation among males, and the sexual dimorphism between males and females in both body shape and behavior.

If the males spread their dorsal fin in display, these have a distinct fan- or trapezoid shape, with the upper edge being distinctly longer than the lower. The height of the dorsal fin, measured at the posterior edge, is a bit larger than the height of the tail.

Some names of the Yucatan molly – such as “Segelkärpfling” or the specific name velifera – contain an element signifying “sail”, aggravating the confusion with the sailfin molly. The French terms are used for both species indiscriminately, as is the Japanese name (which is simply the Japanized form of “sailfin molly”).

Especially small strains are suitable for keeping in an aquarium. However, this fish is not as easy to keep as the sailfin molly, let alone the P. sphenops black molly. They need spacious tanks with well-aerated, slightly brackish[1] water to thrive. They are able to withstand higher temperatures than most pet fish. Although they can survive over 30° for prolonged periods of time if other conditioins are good, temperatures should be kept between 25 and 30°. Direct sunlight and an ample supply of plant food such as (organic) lettuce, peas, or certain algae are necessary for optimal health; in subtropical areas they can be kept outside in unheated tanks in the summer; in temperate zones this can be tried too but a backup heating is probably a good idea.

They are bred like other mollies; in line with their general requirements, this is somewhat more difficult than in related species. It is especially hard to get males to grow their spectacular fins. Professional breeders often separate males and females in winter, so that they are eager to breed in spring. Young can then – climate permitting – grow up in spacious outdoor basins during summer.

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