Why are two of my Mollies changing colours?
First off sorry about the length. I try to be.... thorough.
I have a 25 Gallon Tank with a combination of small river rock and large rounded stones for substrate. The tank is planted and lit with a plant bulb. I have been running the light from about 10 am to 1o pm every day since buying these fish. I have no heating unit set up for my tank. However the temperature has stayed between 72 and 74 degrees for the entire time I have had these fish.
Unknowingly, I bought three males by mistake. After some reading I found out that it is best to buy three females to every male Molly (as to not kill the female via over sexing) but I am not sure how this rule applies to males.
I have also read that Mollies are usually found in brackish water but can live in fresh water as well. I have no salt in my tank at all.
As for the behavior of the fish...They seem fine. One is decidedly more dominate. It chases the other two around, raising it's Dorsal fin, sometimes circling them or generally herding them out of his area of the tank. However, this activity is not constant. All the fish swim a lot and love to eat off of the live plants and have a full appetite for fish flake which I feed them once a day.
I bought the fish three days ago from a local fish supplier. They are Orange Lyre tails with some white blotching on the body, their tails were mostly white with some orange dotting. The two less dominant fish seem to have changed in color from a bright orange to a white on the belly and top of the head.
What do you think the cuase of this change could be? Have I miss sexed them and the females are changing color for mating purposes? Is it because of the lack of salt? Are the less dominate fish stressed? Or is this simply a natural thing that happens when these fish age?
Thanks for the time.
Molly's will need a heater that maintains temp between 78 and 82 degrees F .
Very often in the fish world the dominant male will become more colorful and the others will become less colorful. This is especially true with cichlids but could be true with your mollies. They could also be altering color as much as they can to fuit in with surroundings. Get them some girls! Its good you have a large enough tank that the less dominant males can get away. The constant pressure from the dominant male could lead to death for the others if they have no place to get away.
I'd take the other non dominate males back to the petsore and exchange them for females. I usually do this to determine which male I'll breed with females. Nothing unusual, however I still recommend to switch out the males for females.
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