Poecilia chica

Synonyms: None

Meaning of Name: chica -small.  This comes from the fact that this species has a very small dorsal fin.

Common Name: Dwarf Molly

Family: Poeciliidae

Sub Family: Poeciliinae

Distribution: Ríos Cuetzmala, Purificación and Cihualtán in Jalisco, Mexico, Rio Maravasco, Central America.

First Introduced: 1979 into Germany.

Size: males around 3 cm (1.2 inches) and females 5 cm.

Sexing: Females are basically a grey fish with a faint horizontal line on the back half of their body.  They show a gravid spot.  Several areas of metallic coloured scales are also on the body.  There are a few black spots in the dorsal.  Males are more colourful (more metallic scales) and has the characteristic gonopodium of most livebearing fish.  The dominant male can be almost black.

Breeding: Is a livebearing fish.  The female can produce 30-50 fry every 4-5 weeks.

Requirements: Neutral to slightly alkaline water is recommended (pH 6.5-7.5).  Can take a wide range of temperatures.  70-90°F (21-32°C).  The recommended temp should not be over 80°F however.   They seem to prefer tanks with some plant cover.  This fish is mainly herbivorous.

I received these fish from a fellow hobbyist.  I was given 6 fish; 2 females and 4 males.  They were placed into a 20 gallon tank.  This tank was a barebottomed tank with a lot of Hornwort in it.  It's filtered by a sponge filter.  The temperature in the tank is approximately 78°F.  Within days I had a few fry swimming around in the tank.  I was slightly worried that the parents would try to eat the fry.  However the fry seemed to be ignored completely.  Once I saw that the parents would not become cannibalistic I left the fry in with them.  Within a few more weeks I had a lot of fry in that tank.  They seem to produce a lot of fry fairly quickly.  It could be become very easy to be overrun with these fish, at least in a species tank.  I never fed the fry any special food.  The parents are fed basic flake as a general diet and spirulina flake as an occasional treat.  The fry ate the small pieces of flake.  This is an extremely easy fish to do.

© Copyright 1999-2003 Lisa Boorman
All Rights Reserved

Suggested Reading:

Baensch Aquarium Atlas Vol. 2 by Dr. Rüdiger Riehl & Hans A. Baensch

Livebearing Fishes - A Guide to their Aquarium Care, Biology and Classification by John Dawes

Livebearing Aquarium Fishes by Manfred Brembach

Atlas of Livebearers of the World by Lothar Wischnath

Exotic Aquarium Fishes  by Dr. William T. Innes

Guppies, Mollies, Platys by Harro Hieronimus

To see other references on livebearers:

Livebearer Book List

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