The Ballon Molly (Poecilia latipinna/velifera) is one of the most celebrated and beautiful livebearers in the aquarium world, boasting a variety of stunning color forms. It is affectionately known and named for the large, impressive dorsal fin displayed by males. This species has been bred extensively for decades and has been developed into nearly endless color varieties including black, green, dalmatian, golden, harlequin/calico, chocolate, albino, creamsicle, and many others. While this fish originated from fresh, brackish, and saltwater habitats in southern North America, the tank-raised specimens available are almost exclusively raised and thrive in alkaline freshwater. This fish could be considered a larger fish in the world of small community fish because it grows to an size of 4 to 5 inches as an adult. Despite its large size, it has a generally peaceful yet outgoing disposition, and it makes a great addition to many mixed-species aquariums.
The Ballon Molly is compatible with most other peaceful aquarium species in a relatively spacious aquarium. It is an omnivore, so it will potentially prey on smaller dwarf shrimp and their fry, but it is otherwise safe to keep with peaceful invertebrates as well. This fish is not a picky eater and it will accept a variety of high quality dry foods, but these should be supplemented with a variety of frozen foods as well. It will mostly occupy the middle and upper regions of the aquarium, and it does have the ability to jump out of the water, especially while in the early stages of acclimating to a new aquarium. As a result, a secure lid is highly recommended to ensure that this fish does not jump out of the tank.
Plants are not absolutely necessary for the Balloon Molly, but they will certainly be appreciated. All hardy stem plants, rooted plants, Marimo Moss Balls, and mosses are generally safe to keep with this fish as long as the Balloon Molly is well fed. The Ballon Molly is an excellent fish for beginners as well as experts!