In its appearance, white mollies resemble a snowflake due to the shade of scales. Regardless of the type of fish, females will always be larger than males, with the exception of Peten's mollies. Under natural conditions, female individuals can grow up to 16 cm, whereas male representatives, as a rule, are not more than 10 cm.
However, under the conditions of an aquarium, their dimensions are substantially smaller, one and a half times - from 4 to 6 cm, depending on the type. There are also dwarf fish, whose length reaches no more than 3 cm.
In their natural habitat, the fish are modestly colored - there is a silver mollies, sometimes with a yellow tint, while the belly has a lighter color in contrast to the back. Also in nature there are yellowish-gray fish.
In addition to the main background, there are gray-bluish, bluish-black or yellow-green specks that are scattered throughout the body. Despite such a modest color, both males and females look quite attractive.
As for the shape of the body, it has an elongated and laterally compressed form. The head is small, the mouth is upper, but the eyes are rather large. Fins are in most cases short, with the exception of the species of Velifer, which has a fin with a very developed back.
Due to the efforts of breeders, a variety of mollies of various shades — black, yellow, snow white, etc. — was obtained.
The natural habitat of these fish is Central America and the south of the USA. Nevertheless, some species were found in the northern part of the country, as well as in Mexico (Mollinesia sphenops). As a rule, these are saline ponds in Virginia, Florida, Texas, and Carolina.
In Guatemala, you can meet the mollies fish of the Peten and Freestyle type. Mollies sailing, or great, prefers to inhabit the fresh rivers and lakes of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. In the future, the fish spread to other countries:
Many species live predominantly in aquariums and cannot be found in the wild. In the wild, mollies prefers fresh and brackish water, and mostly floats in bays or sea coasts. These fish can be filled with brackish lower reaches of a number of rivers that flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
For the content of white mollies there is no need to purchase an oversized aquarium, with a capacity of up to 200 liters or more. After all, they have a fairly modest size. Large aquariums will be useful for other purposes when breeding more than one species. On average, you should provide up to 6 liters (at least) of water for each pair of fish. The height and width of the walls should be the same size.
Mollies are widespread just due to unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention. Even novice aquarists who still have little experience in such matters will be able to maintain them without much difficulty.
It is worth noting that these are collective fishes - during the day they can swim alone or in small groups. But at night they gather in flocks near the surface of the water.
In addition, the aquarium should be densely planted with vegetation, where the fish will feel safe - they can hide there. At the same time, for the proper care of white snowflake mollies, another important condition is to maintain biological balance in the aquatic environment.
In addition to the fact that mollies are unpretentious in terms of content, they are also peaceful. Fish are able to get along with many representatives of the home marine fauna. However, they will not tolerate the neighborhood with barbed brindle. Otherwise, the conflict simply can not be avoided. By the way, it is best to have more females in the flock than males.
But besides barbusses, mollies do not get along well with some other representatives of the fauna:
- carp koi
- catfish of a predatory breed - bag-haired, clarius, red-tailed, orcas.
Successful coexistence is possible in the case when all the fish in the aquarium are the same size as the molly. In addition, it is worth choosing a sufficiently spacious aquarium, otherwise, because of the crowdedness, the males will chase each other.
Like other animals (not only the inhabitants of the water element), mollies fish need a varied diet. In this menu, from time to time should be diluted with food not only of vegetable but also of animal origin. That is, the fish for the most part are omnivores - with pleasure they eat live, dry, frozen food. This is another advantage for which they are very much appreciated, in addition to unpretentiousness.
At the same time, they should not be given food only of animal origin, since the basis of their diet is vegetable food that contains fiber. If it does not enter the body of fish for a long time, it threatens the violation of the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, they can even bite local plants.
Optimum technical conditions of detention
In order for the fish to feel well in artificially created conditions, it is necessary to create an environment as close as possible to the natural habitat. Many aquarists are interested in the question of how much white mollies are harboring fry. In particular, it is often asked by those who are planning to breed with the purpose of further sale.
This is largely due to certain technical parameters that these fish need:
- Biological filtration - for comfort and safety.
- Aeration must be intense.
- The acidity of water (pH) is 7.2-8.5.
- The rigidity of the aquatic environment (dH) - from 10% to 35% - while it is highly not recommended to intentionally lower the minimum limit.
- Lighting - let it be bright, sunny or artificial (from 0.5 to 0.7 W / l).
- Duration of daylight should be no more than 12 hours.
- As a soil, you can use medium gravel.
- The water temperature should be between 22 ° C and 30 ° C.
If the conditions of detention were violated for any reason, the fish will react to this with their behavior. If there is very little oxygen, they are mostly collected near the surface. When water is heavily polluted, the activity of mollies drops noticeably - it becomes sluggish, presses the fins and can even freeze in one place.
If necessary, breeding white fish should know how to determine their gender. To do this, you should take a closer look, and you can find a number of differences between females and males:
- As already noted, females are significantly larger than males. In addition, in females the abdomen is round, the anal fin has the shape of a triangle.
- Which is typical, mollies, as, indeed, all viviparous fish, are able to change the sex depending on the living conditions. Such a function is laid down by nature itself and is relevant in order to preserve the population in the event of an emergency.
- Anal fin in males looks like a tube.
Mature potential parents can be prepared for offspring. In this case, you can do a full breeding for sale. Only this process should be approached responsibly.
Reproduction peculiarities of white mollies
As noted above, mollies are viviparous fish, but pregnancy is not complete without caviar - it matures in their abdominal cavity. After this, some kind of intrauterine development of the fry continues, which is subsequently born at the appointed time.
Puberty in males occurs much later than in females - from the 8th to the 12th months of life. In females, this process takes on average 5–6 months. If conditions allow, then the fish can bring babies monthly. Males have a special organ for this purpose, called gonopodium. It has a chute through which the seminal fluid is transferred to the female. The body is also equipped with a crochet hook to be kept in the fertilization process.
Males for one copulation are able to fertilize a large number of eggs. At the same time, some of them begin to develop immediately after the process, while others expect the next spawning. That is, even in the absence of a male, a female of white mollies is able to give birth to fry, more than once, since the seminal fluid lasts for some time. Without a male, the female can still give birth to babies for another 6 months. In other words, nature has provided for everything here.
Mollies can breed in the general aquarium with the rest of the fish, but for reliability it is better to plant the pregnant female in another tank. Calculate the date of the upcoming birth can be on the last spawning. Separate “apartments” are an aquarium with a volume of at least 5 liters, but everything is better than 10. Under such conditions, her pregnancy will be calmer and less stress free.
Spawning should also be equipped with plants and a variety of shelters. A mother can devour her baby without thinking if she manages to catch the "prey." There should also be aeration and filtering with a slight flow. Temperature conditions should be maintained in the region of +26 ° C.
To enhance the immunity of fry of white mollies, water should be slightly salted - to do this, add sea salt at the rate of 1 tsp. on 20 liters. If conditions for spawning are different from the limits of the norm, the female may refuse to give birth at all. In the worst case, stillborn fry or premature calf are born. In addition, the reason for the unsuccessful spawning may be a close capacity or high temperature - more than +28 ° C.
30 days after the birth, the fry can be transplanted into the general aquarium without fear that they may be in danger.
In female mollies, the fry period can last about 60 days, but more often from 30 to 45 days. The "interesting position" of the mother can be identified by the relevant signs - a dark spot in the lower abdomen and a gradually increasing abdomen size. In addition, it will keep the thickets of the aquarium.
The process of spawning in most cases begins in the morning. The number of fry depends on various factors, among which are the age and size of the female. At the same time, if this is her first pregnancy, then the number of babies will vary from 50 to 100, again, depending on the size of the female white mollies. Mature females are able to bring up to 200 fry.
After the birth of the fry, the female can be placed in a common aquarium. Only it is necessary to observe her condition, because the male sex cells are still inside the female body. Therefore, it cannot be excluded that in some time another spawning will come again. Then the female will need to be placed in separate "apartments" again.
It is better to feed a pregnant female than ordinary fish. Its daily ration should be increased, enriching it with vitamins and other useful and essential trace elements. This also applies to males who were selected for fertilization.
Newborn mollies are almost imperceptible because they are transparent and merge with the aqueous medium. However, there is no cause for concern - even when they are still very small, special care is not required. At the same time, it is necessary to monitor their development.
Unlike the fry of the same guppy, the newborn molly is much weaker, and therefore they do not rise from the bottom immediately after their birth. Basically they lie on the ground or the leaves of plants. And in this regard, the young molly needs frequent water changes, since the fry are very sensitive to its pollution.
Immediately after birth, the offspring can already feed on their own, they do not really need parental care.
The composition of the diet of white mollies fry described in the article, the starting feed may include the following:
- live dust
- finely cut tubule,
- crushed artificial food.
Fry can be fed the same food as adult fish, only they should be finely grind beforehand. Cubs grow fairly quickly and therefore need frequent refreshments throughout the day. Here you can draw a parallel with human newborns - they, too, eat a little, but often.
Family: Regalecidae = Remnotelye
- Class: Actinopterygii Klein, 1885 = Radiant fishes
Subclass: Neopterygii Cope, 1871 = Newfishes
Detachment: Lampridiformes = Lampriform
- Family: Regalecidae = Remnotelye
- Genus: Agrostichthys = Agrostikhty
- Genus: Regalecus = Herring King or common belt-fish (remnetel)
Species: Regalecus glesne = Herring King or ordinary fish belt
The herring king (Regalecus glesne) or an ordinary belt fish (remnetel) is a sea fish from the family of remnant ophthalmic. It lives in both warm and moderately warm and moderate waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. Most often, fish can be found in the tropics, as well as in the Mediterranean and Northeast Atlantic, both in Icelandic waters and in the North Sea. The herring king is usually found at depths ranging from the surface of the water to 500–700 m and sometimes 1000 m. The herring king is almost incapable of active horizontal movements due to its anatomical features, therefore, according to its way of life in the aquatic environment, it is classified as oceanic. ichthyoplankton. Thus, the belt-fish can be characterized by pelagic, half-deep-sea fish.
The herring king, as a species of Regalecus glesne, was first described by the Norwegian biologist Peter Ascanius in 1772. Its name is in Norwegian (Sildekonge) and Swedish (Sillkung) languages (which translates as “herring king”), and then in Russian, this fish received thanks to the observation of Norwegian sailors. They noticed that this fish was mainly found in herds of herring, and also due to the presence on their head of a “crown” - a peculiar corona-like formation of elongated first rays of the dorsal fin, which has a red color.
And the ribbon-like shape of their body served as the basis for their second name: “belt-fish”, as it, with a length of 3.5 m, has a body height of about 25 cm, with a thickness of only about 5 cm. The herring king having a body length of about 5, 5 m weighs about 250 kg. The head of the belt-fish is very short, and the mouth is relatively small, while it is retractable and with a vertical mouth slot. The herring king has a very long dorsal fin, which originates on the head above the eye, and then continues back to the very rear end of the body. Dorsal fin adult belt-fish up to 300-400 soft rays. The first 10–15 front rays are much longer than the others, and on the tops they are equipped with webbed extensions, which together form the sultan on the head.
The short pectoral fins have a horizontal orientation, and the pelvic fins are located under the pectoral fins (thoracic fins) and are represented by a single long ray that has a paddle-shaped flattening at the end. In adults, the tail fin is rudimentary, and in young fish it is represented by several long free rays. On the body, the scales are completely absent, as is the swim bladder. Their entire body is covered with bony tubercles, the so-called tubercles, grouped in longitudinal rows. A long sideline runs along the body at the bottom. The main background of the body color of the herring king is silver-white, and only the head has a bluish tint. Dark short stripes or spots are randomly scattered on the sides of the body. But the fins of the herring fin have a bright red color.
Normally, herring kings swim upside down in water, i.e. their body is located almost upright. At the same time, they have to support their body from lowering to depth (we recall that this fish does not have a swim bladder, and its specific weight is greater than the weight of water), due to the translational movement at very low speed up due to the undulating (undulating) movements of their long spinal fin. The herring king can swim much faster, only due to the wave-like bending of the whole body.
According to the type of feeding, the herring king is a dominant predator-planktophagous, since its basis for its diet is various euphausian crustaceans, as well as small fish and squids. And since herring kings are sometimes found in herring schools, it is quite possible that they can also feed on young herring. Breeding and spawning time falls on July — December. Pelagic eggs, have a diameter of about 2.5 mm. The larvae hatching from the eggs are found in the ocean in winter, the development of juvenile fish-belt occurs in the near-surface layer of water.
Although herring kings have not yet been registered in the territorial waters of Russia, some individuals have been recorded in the Sea of Japan in its southern and eastern parts. Хотя обычная длина этих рыб до 3 м, но самый крупный зарегистрированный экземпляр имел тело 11 м длины, при максимально зарегистрированнм весе в 272 кг. В настоящее время сельдяной король внесен в Книгу рекордов Гиннесса как самая длинная костная рыба из ныне живущих.
The herring king is infrequent, but it falls into purse seines, and some individuals are found cast ashore after a storm. This type of commercial value does not represent, as according to some data its meat is considered not quite edible and even animals may refuse it. However, herring king can be found on sale fresh in fish markets. Of particular interest as an object of sports fishing.
But one of the foundations of the stories about the “sea serpent” was the meeting of sailors with giant herring kings swimming near the surface or with their half-decomposed remains thrown ashore during storms. In some stories, herring kings were described as monsters with a horse head with a flowing fiery-red mane; apparently, fishermen-tellers took the long red rays of the dorsal fin for such a mane.