09-20-2011, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by KendraMc
Byron, just to make sure i (and anyone else with this question) understand, mollies can be in brackish water with no problem, but they do just as well in fresh water? i want to make sure i have this right.
Yes, but conditionally. As Dr. Coletti in that article mentions, and as I wrote in our Common Molly profile, this species (Poecilia sphenops) in its natural habitats occurs in fresh and brackish waters. But it has the ability to swim out of brackish when it wants to, since brackish water is what one finds at the mouth of coastal streams and further upstream the water remains strictly fresh. In an aquarium we have either fresh or brackish, and the fish is forced to accept whatever we provide.
I also mention in the profile that many sources recommend brackish. By "sources" I mean very reliable authorities, which are my reference works for the profiles. If there was compelling scientific evidence for either position, I would use it. So that leaves us with the recommendations of knowledgeable biologists like Dr. Coletti.
The issue really is hard water, as he noted in that article. Mineral salts (calcium and magnesium primarily) are prevalent in the natural habitats of livebearers and this is what they really need for long-term health. Tap water with a GH above 12 and a corresponding pH in the high 7's to 8's is ideal.