Gold Dust Molly – Overview, Habitat, Care and FAQs

A Gold dust molly is a half-black half-golden molly fish that is peaceful. It is an omnivore that prefers hard water but can adapt to various levels of salt in water.

A gold dust molly is typically peaceful but tends to become aggressive when feeding. Despite this, some people have successfully nurtured them, you can too. So; how do you nurture them? Usually, a gold dust molly usually co-exists fairly well with some other types of fishes. Therefore, the level of care required is moderate.

This article contains information on gold dust molly`s behavior, color, breeding method, diet, habitat, lifespan, size, tank and tank size requirement, tank mates, and known and much more.


The chart below represents a quick summary of a gold dust molly

  • Care Level: Simple
  • Nature: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: Up to five years
  • Size: Up to 4.5 inches
  • Diet: Omnivores
  • Family: Poeciliidae
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Tank Set-Up: Freshwater, planted tank
  • Compatibility: Peaceful community tank

Gold Dust Molly Color

A gold dust molly is 0.5 black, 0.5 golden-colored fish. Typically, each sex has an identical look i.e they are monomorphic. Usually, the male gold dust molly is a lot more colorful than the feminine gold dust molly. However, this attribute aids the sex differentiation of gold dust molly.

Sex differentiation of gold dust molly

The Anal and dorsal fins of a gold dust molly fish male is a lot more pointed, larger and it flows than in the female. Moreover, their male have egg spots that are associated with nursing ovoid markings on the anal fin. Also, gold dust males are colorful and additionally smaller than females.


Although, a gold dust molly have the flexibility to adapt to a good vary of salinity in an associate nursing tank. Its natural surroundings is usually water. Also, this fish will survive in either a fresh or water tank once the correct adjustment method is followed. However, the specie of molly is endemic to United Mexican states and Northern South America. They inhabit little marshes, shrubs, creeks, ponds, lakes, and swamps.

Growth Size and Life Span

An adult gold dust molly will grow long to about 5 inches. Typically, the common time period of a gold dust molly fish is around two to five years. Moreover, an aquarist will simply look after them. If you retain them in a very peaceful, suitable, healthy surroundings they are going to thrive and live up to 5 years.

Gold Dust Molly Behavior

The gold dust molly fish is very peaceful, however, it will show signs of aggression when jammed or enclosed by aggressive tank mates. Therefore, the tank mates ought to be appropriate and additionally that their tank is large enough to occupy them. However, their females occasionally will be quite aggressive. This relies on their temperament.

A gold dust molly is active and social. This fish will be unbroken in community aquariums with different types of peaceful fish. Usually, they fancy schooling together. Typically, you may see them get together with different tropical fish and are not liable to territorial aggression.

However, it is terribly simple to identify personalities and inactive fishes. Also, observing them for a while will make you notice their unique preferences.

Gold Dust Molly Diet

A gold dust molly fish is omnivorous. Typically, it needs algae alongside meaty foods. They are cold and have a tendency to become an awfully aggressive eater. Mollies can eat nearly anything that matches in their mouth. Moreover, this is often why you may see them uptake their babies after giving birth. Also, molly fish is additionally extremely phytophagous, as they eat proteins only once in a while.

Gold Dust Molly Food Demand

  • There are loads of various foods you can feed them. In the wild, they feed mainly on algae and typically on rotifers and crustaceans. Whereas in captivity, you can feed them with vegetable-based dried foods, blanched lettuce, spinach, cucumber or zucchini.
  • Artificial foods like flakes and pellets are a simple choice. Also, attempt to supplement these with different foods, just so you can provide a wide range of nutrients.
  • Once in a while, you ought to give a gold dust molly an algae-based flake food, as well as freeze-dried blood worms, tubifex, and branchiopod crustacean. Also, wonderful sources of macromolecule(protein) are live and frozen foods. Moreover, they are going to gaily settle for bloodworms and brine shrimp, however, most different choices work well too. Live foods are a lot more fascinating to a molly during feeding.
  • Feed them little amounts twice on a daily basis. This offers their digestive system an opportunity to process the food. Also, provide them te maximum amount as they will end in two minutes.

Feeding an Aquarium Fish

In nature, fish eat whenever they are hungry, and when food is accessible. However, if the food sources are plentiful, they are going to eat many times on a daily basis. On the opposite hand, if food sources are scarce, they might opt for days between meals. Also, for this reason, this fish is a terrible opportunity and can eat whenever there is an opportunity.

Regardless of one or two feedings, the secret is to maintain every feeding as very small as possible. Moreover, do not overfeed your fish. Whenever doubtful, the most effective method to apply is to underfeed your fish. This is because of lot of health conditions in fish are affiliated to this practice.

Gold Dust Molly Breeding Method

Mollies are livebearers, which suggests their eggs develop within their body, as they unleash their fry. Also, their gestation takes around two months. However, they are one amongst the best fish teams to breed in captivity and can mate often. Moreover, conditions in a breeding tank need to be excellent. This means, the water (and tank in general) ought to be clean.

To breed a gold dust molly fish, begin by putting in a 15-30gallon tank for them that has decorations, a substrate, and fresh plants. Then, purchase male and female molly fish thus you have got no quite 2 fish per 10 gallons of tank space.

After you introduce the fish to the tank, look forward to them mating. Also, raising the temperature slightly may facilitate this, however do not go over 78°F. Moreover, males perform a courtship show for the females. As soon as the female is prepared to mate she is going to enable the male to fertilize her eggs. Sometimes, the male tries to “sneak-copulate” which means he approaches an unaware female from behind.

Also, females typically prefer to mate with the largest males. To breed this specie in captivity, the breeding tank, 30 gallons, should have 2 to 3 females per male, water temperature ought to be about 79°f and it should have several floating plants. After fertilization, it will take 35-45 days before the pregnant molly discharges her young. However, larger females could release up to 100 juveniles.

Gold Dust live-bearer Babies

You need to separate the young from the adult, or the fry won’t grow to adulthood. However, you can place pregnant mollies in a very stock breeder box before they give birth, the young are free to leave the box through little holes but the adults stay trapped. Moreover, you can feed them foods like broken flakes till they mature enough to feed on the same foods as the adults. At this point, you can put them back with the adults.

Tank Necessities

This species ought to solely share a tank with alternative peaceful fish whose preference is hard water with elevated salt levels. Also, to keep these fish in captivity, water pH scale should be between 7.0 and 7.8 and water temperature ought to vary from 70°F and 82°F. However, if you want to prevent hybridization different molly species should o’t be kept together.

However, you should keep a gold dust molly in teams of 3 females and one male. Having plants is helpful too, they mainly use these as a shelter, however, they’re necessary for reproduction as well. Also, the rivers are in tropical climates, thus, get a decent intensity of sunlight for plant growth. As, the waters would be warm and slow-moving, pH scale tends towards being slightly base-forming.

Tank Setup and Decorations

The tank should have a gravel substrate, plants and open areas for swimming. However, a layer of the sandy substrate on the rock bottom of the tank can be a smart plan. Whilst they won’t spend much time down at these levels, the fine-grains are good for keeping plants. Moreover, you are free to opt for your favorite plants, however to make good shelter for these mid-level swimmers tall choices like Anubias nana is recommended. Also, use decorations like rocks to create caves and crevices. They’re helpful for all fish to hide and stay away from others that could be dangerous to them.

A tropical fish like this needs a heater within the tank to balance temperatures of 72-78°F. Keep pH between 6.7 and 8.5, and hardness between 20-30 KH.

Some folks suggest slightly briny waters for your gold dust mollies. However, the advantages of this are not confirmed, and it limits the tank mates you can keep with them, thus you should avoid this. Also, standard fish tank lighting will be enough. You don’t need any other special instrument (like a water/air pump) either. However, these fish are accustomed to slow-moving water that the filter outlet can give.

Tank Size

Growing to a maximum of nearly 5 inches, a live-bearer needs a tank of at least 25 gallons with algae and a large area to swim. However, the tall fin of the male will not develop if an adequate room is not provided for him to swim.

Each additional gold dust molly will need around 3 gallons to live comfortably.

Gold Dust Molly Tank mates

As a peaceful fish, the gold dust molly doesn’t cause several issues, so they co-exist fairly with other peaceful species in a community tank.

Some smart choices include Cherry Barbs, Corydoras Catfish, Danios, Dwarf Gourami, Harlequin Rasbora, Platies, Rosy Barbs, Tetras, Yo-yo Loaches, and Equine Loaches. However, there are lots more to choose from, most little peaceful community fish will be fine.

Moreover, the fish to avoid are large or aggressive fishes. This is because, large fish will attempt to eat your mollies, aggressive ones may attack and stress them out to the point of death.

Cichlids are a bunch that contains various unhealthy examples. For example, Convict Cichlids have an aggressive reputation and do not play well with others. Although, some cichlids aren’t a problem, like the Angelfish. Also, most invertebrates are going to be happy living aboard with other mollies, they are going to principally be unheeded. Shrimp and snails are popular choices, and there are always lots of options of species to choose from.

Keeping Molly Fish Together

You should keep them in teams of a minimum of four or additional. This can be as a result of they naturally stay together. Also, the cluster should consist of mainly females since males are renowned to harass them. Moreover, reproduction is typically the sole reason for aggressive behavior. Typically, keeping molly fish together can end up in sexual union.
can result in hybridization.

Some fish that you should avoid keeping with a Gold dust molly include;

  • Smaller species that may be simply consumed: You should attempt to avoid anything that is little as well as catfish, because it can enter a gold dust molly fish mouth within a brief period of time. Also, catfish typically possess spines on their fins that can cause death to a molly if swallowed. Generally, little species pose as threat to live-bearers. Especially, the slow ones.
  • Gold dust molly babies: Gold dust molly is terribly nipping and have a tendency to become a really aggressive eater. Also, they will eat almost anything that fits in their mouth. Moreover, their newborn babies are very small just about the scale or size of pellet food, that is why they are seen consuming their babies after giving birth.
  • Species that are sensitive to water conditions: Some species need pristine water conditions to thrive. And they are usually untidy eaters, such that they tend to have high nitrate levels in their tanks. Some species are very sensitive to water conditions, and won’t survive a tank that does not best suit them.

How to Care for A Gold Dust Molly

Mollies are a unit number of the hardiest and more adjustable fish out there. Just like any other fish, the big thing is a clean tank. Moreover, you need to grasp the way to clean effectively. This includes observing the water conditions from time to time, and checking that ammonia and nitrites are at 0ppm.

Also, your gold dust mollies may develop a malady known as “molly disease” (or “livebearer disease”, or “shimmies”). Although, this is mot actually a malady because it’s as a result of poor water conditions.

However, affected fish will swim around less, wiggling and shimmying in one spot. Check your water parameters and correct any problems, once conditions return to normal you should see a difference in the health condition of your mollies. Also, cleaning the tank and switching up their diet are a handful of easy ways to reduce the intensity of the malady. However, if the problems persist, there are treatments that you should simply buy from stores.

Acclimating A Gold Dust Molly

The prepackaged water in which the gold dust molly is packaged is totally different from the water within the tank. Since these fish are extremely sensitive to water conditions this acclimation process is extremely vital. However, you should never rush this process. Also, you should switch off the aquarium light for a minimum of 4 hours in the new tank containing the fish and withinin the first 24 hours, it should never be fed.

There are two acclimation methodology: The Drip method and the Floating method.

Drip method

In this method, the aquarium lights within the space should be dim, you ought to place the bag in which the fish is on the surface of the water to float for about 15minutes. As this permits the water in the bag to regulate to the water within the tank. Also, you should pour the bag content into a 1-gallon bucket that has never been cleaned with any chemicals, then put the fish entirely inside.

Set up a siphon, using airline tube, and run a drip line from the main aquarium to the bucket. Also, you can tie many loose knots in the airline tubing to control the flow. Moreover, sucking the end of the airline tube that goes to the bucket will begin a siphon.

However, you should regulate the flow to 2-4 drips per second. Once the water within the buckets doubles, discard all of it and repeat this process until it doubles again. Afterwards, you can move the fish to the aquarium.

Floating method

This methodology also needs you to off the aquarium lights and additionally you should dim the lights. Also, place the bag containing the fish in the surface of the water to float for about 15minutes. This allows the water within the bag to regulate to the water in the tank. Then, cut the bag below the knot and roll down the top edge of the bag one inch, then add ¼ cup of the aquarium water to the bag. Meanwhile, repeat this step every 4minutes until the bag is full.

Then, discard half the water of the bag, and the bag should be placed to float once more and add ¼ cup of the aquarium water to the bag every 4minutes until the bag is full. Afterwards, move the fish into the aquarium.

Gold Dust Molly Diseases

Gold dust mollies have a lower resistance to fungus and ich (white spot diseases), additionally they are vulnerable to a condition called shimmies that makes them shiver and shave. Also, adding a teaspoon of salt to the aquarium water helps to prevent these health maladies.

The Ich disease (White spot disease)

Ich is a common disease of all aquarium fish including the Gold dust mollies. Also, It is caused by Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, a protozoan parasite. Moreover, the organism inflicting this disease has a complex life cycle and can multiply rapidly. Usually, it will result to an unforeseen onset of different diseases. However, growth of this parasite occurs more quickly in hot water. This disease can infect an aquarium through means like, the addition of new fish, live plants, or live food items.

Some symptoms include:

  • loss of appetite
  • Reddening of the fins
  • Flashing – a behavior in which fish rub their bodies on objects within the tank
  • White spots on the skin or gills
  • Sitting on the bottom of the tank
  • Increased gill movements.

Ich is typically fatal if the fish-keeper doesn’t treat them on time. You can use these products to treat ich, they include: Salt (non-iodized table salt, Kosher salt, or sea salt), Malachite green, Methanal (formalin), Cupric sulfate, Victoria green, and acriflavin.

Disease Prevention Tips

There is a common theme among most of these gold dust molly fish diseases and that is ‘keeping the aquarium water clean.

You can follow these steps to help ensure a healthy aquarium:

  • Ensure you test the tank water often and ensure levels of ammonia and nitrates are within acceptable limits.
  • Install a measuring instrument in your tank and keep water temperatures at optimal levels. Then, change filter pads and materials frequently.
  • Quarantine new fish for a minimum of two weeks, and ideally 4-6 weeks to make sure they aren’t sick or carrying parasites. This is because new fish can introduce diseases into the cleanest aquarium environments.
  • Buy new gold dust molly fish from pet stores with healthy fish. Never purchase a fish from a tank with cloudy water or a visibly sick fish, even if the fish looks healthy.
  • Most importantly, always provide adequate tank space for your gold dust molly fish and do not overcrowd the tank.

In addition, treat your gold dust molly fish as soon as they get sick, separate sick fish from healthy ones by placing them in a separate tank if possible.

A happy and healthy gold dust molly Fish

Gold dust molly is friendly, peaceful, intelligent and fascinating fish. Also, with careful attention to their water and food needs, you can prevent most diseases. Moreover, if your Gold dust molly ever does become sick, hopefully, quick recognition of the ailment can help you get them to recover on time.


How big do gold dust mollies get?

They can grow to around 5 inches long.

How long do gold dust mollies live?

Typically, if you keep them in a healthy environment, they will thrive and can live up to 5 years. This is because, they survive well in a peaceful environment.

What is the life expectancy of a gold dust molly?

It is typically 5 years; although, by 4 months of age, they are fully grown. Also, an adult molly can grow to be 5 inches in length, and if cared for properly, they can live up to 5 years.

What does a pregnant molly fish look like?

A female’s belly will swell to be much larger than usual. Moreover, you can easily spot this, especially when comparing them to other mollies in the tank.

How many babies do gold dust mollies have?

Every 60 to 70 days the female will give birth to 10 to 60 young that are already approximately one-half inch long (1½̎).

Do gold dust mollies eat their babies?

Yes, they do, because they are very nippy and tend to become an aggressive eater. Also, they will eat virtually anything that fits in their mouth. Moreover, their newborn babies are very small just about the size of pellet food, which is why they are seen eating their babies after giving birth.

How do you keep baby mollies alive?

Separate the pregnant female molly from the main display aquarium. This should be done until all her fry has been released. Also, after this, you should remove the female and return her to the main display aquarium. Then, feed the fry quality food such as baby fish food, baby brine shrimp or quality flake food which can be ground into a fine powder. Also, you should feed them in small amounts several times a day.

How can i tell a male gold dust molly from a female?

The male dorsal and anal fin is more pointed, larger and more flowing than in the female. In many species, the male will display egg-shaped markings on the anal fin known as egg spots.

Where does gold dust molly live in the wild?

This specie of molly is endemic to Mexico and Northern South America. Also, they are usually found in small creeks, ponds, lakes, marshes, and swamp

Can I keep different types of mollies together?

Yes, you can definitely keep different types of mollies together, but this can lead to hybridization between mollies. This is because, they naturally would stick together. Also, the group should be made of mostly females since males are known to be aggressive.


There are definitely positive reasons to get a gold dust molly. This is because, they are typically an excellent alternative for community aquariums. You only have to be compelled to take into account the vital factors, they are clearly outlined in this article.

Also, their health is predominant as it relies on the conditions of the tank. So, perpetually guarantee it is within the preferred range. Moreover, they can tolerate a wide range, so they can get into different types of tanks. Moroever, you will not have a haul with their diet. This is often as a result of, the large varietiy of food to settle on.

Overall, they are terribly simple to care for if you have got the the proper tank. In return, you get a gaggle of fish that are simple to breed, introduce various colors, and display lots of activity.