When it comes to fish breeds, the gold dust molly is one of the most striking! Sometimes called a Gold Panda Molly, it has a bold gold and black color scheme and is notable for its tall dorsal fin too, especially on the male fish.
Origins of Gold Dust Molly
The gold dust molly originated in Malaysia. It’s unclear the exact species that were used in creating the species, however it’s known that the gold dust molly itself was influential in the creation of the gold panda molly.
The gold dust molly is a relatively large species of aquarium fish. The males can grow to a size of 5 inches at most, although usually the fish will finish growing at around 4.5 inches in length. Gold dust mollies also have a notably tall dorsal fin, although if the fish isn’t given enough room to swim and grow this dorsal fin may not fully develop.
The gender of gold dust molly fish is easy to determine based on a selection of factors. Most obvious of these is the larger size of the males; female fish are usually smaller in length. Furthemore, the males also have a larger sail fin, although it should be noted that both genders have the same shape of anal fin.
Aside from size, female fish can also be recognised based on the size of their belly, due to the fact that they usually remain pregnant. The gravid spot, found just below the anal fin, also becomes clear when the female is heavily pregnant; this is akin to the womb in mammals, although doesn’t directly connect the embryos to the mother as these are instead nourished by the egg.
Care / Tank Conditions for Gold Dust Molly
Gold dust molly fish generally tend to prefer hard water aquariums and can be kept both in a freshwater and a saltwater environment, so long as the fish are allowed to gradually acclimatize to these conditions. This can make it suitable for use in many different aquariums as well as with other species of fish which need more specific tank conditions.
The gold dust molly does, however, need ample amounts of vegetation and plant matter in its tank to be happy. The ideal solution is for a generous amount of plant life to be provided, and most will also appreciate having floating species of plants in their tank. These plants provide a great place for the fish to rear their young, too, which can help to promote the happiness of the fish as well as their prolificacy and health. As an alternative, if plant life cannot be provided, a thick algae mat can be a good solution!
Since the fish themselves are relatively large, they do need a more spacious tank in order to be comfortable. A tank of approximately 35 inches will usually be about right for them, giving them enough room to live in comfort while also allowing them space to swim around at top speeds – they are an active type of fish so appreciate a large tank in which they can zip about!
What Do Gold Dust Molly Fish Eat?
Gold dust molly fish are omnivorous and so, they should be provided food that is both forage based and meat based in nature. Algae flakes are a favorite food for the species as well as brine shrimp, tubifex, and bloodworms for protein.
However, it’s a relatively peaceful fish species despite being omnivorous and only eats meat that is drastically smaller than itself, making it suitable for most mixed aquariums. It prefers a diet of plant matter primarily, meaning that it will often swim around the edge of its tank cleaning any algae from the surface of the glass.
Care should always be taken not to overfeed the fish, as they are naturally opportunistic feeders that will eat whenever the chance arises. As such, it’s always better to feed a limited ration and monitor the fish’ health accordingly.
Breeding Gold Dust Molly Fish
Gold dust molly fish are incredibly prolific breeders. The female will give birth to between ten and sixty young every two months or so; at birth, these fish are about half an inch in length already!
Generally, a male to female ratio one to three is advisable for the most successful breeding; the fish should get on with the business on their own easily! They will commonly remain pregnant for the majority of the time, and if there is plenty of plant cover this will help as it provides the adults with protection to feel safe.
A heavy plant layer in the tank can also help the young thrive after birth, as the adults will unfortunately eat their own young. If you can’t provide a lot of plant matter in the tank then it’s better to move the young fish to a separate tank where they can grow safely without the risk of being eaten by their parents.
Female gold dust mollies can miscarry or birth their young prematurely if moved to a breeding box, so it’s recommended that she is left in the main aquarium instead.
Suitable Tank Mates
Gold dust molly fish should always be kept in groups of three or more, and as a peaceful species, they do prefer having more tank mates than less. So, if possible, you should try and provide a larger group to make sure that the fish are comfortable. They can also be kept in groups with other fish species thanks to their peaceful and relaxed nature which makes them great for use in aquarium environments.
However, it’s generally advisable that they shouldn’t be kept with tropical fish species as they can be a little excitable for calm or long-finned fish species. Ideal tankmate species include other livebearers, for example guppies, as well as tough species that can handle similar water conditions.