Balloon Molly In A 15 Gallon?

  1. R

    Rack Valued Member Member


    There's 1 honey gourami in this tank, would a single balloon molly be fine or it is too small?
  2. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member

    It's a ten gallon, I believe. I would never buy a balloon because they have intentionally had a genetic disease of the spine bred into them, to make them smaller and less mobile. It means that while a healthy molly wouldn't fit in that tank, a balloon would. I'm pretty sure that's for the wrong reasons though - the practice of breeding spinal deformities would bother me every time I looked at the tank.
    Most people don't know that's how balloon shapes were created, but when they find out, they are often unhappy.
  3. OP

    Rack Valued Member Member

    No it's a non standard 15 gallon. I calculated the volume, it said 15.8 US gallon. Does the fish suffer from this deformity? If not I don't see the problem.

  4. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member

    It is a form of Scoliosis - balloons have much shorter lifespans than healthy mollies, and often die of digestive problems. The curvature of the spine compresses the intestines. Often, death comes as a result of pregnancy for females, as I imagine that increases the pressure on the guts.

    We have a lot of breeder deformities in the hobby - look at goldfish where a lot of young die from an inability to swim upright due to body shapes humans like. Whether the individual suffers or not probably depends on the degree of the deformity - just how "balloon" they are.

    From a fishfarm/store standpoint, they are made for smaller tanks - that is one of the goals in reducing their size and growth potential. A healthy molly would be very cramped, but a balloon is born with cramps to begin with.
  5. aquatickeeper

    aquatickeeper Fishlore VIP Member

    Not enough space for the balloon molly. Same with your honey gourami (they need a longer tank).
  6. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member


    If it is the real Trichogaster chuna honey gourami, not the recent hybrid that is sometimes sold under that name, it maxes at a few cm and has plenty of room in a 15! I had a colony breeding in a well planted 15 for 2 generations - adults and young doing just fine, with enough growing up in there that I was able to keep it going for a couple of years. I moved them to a taller, but same footprint 20, and they were fine there too.

    The confusion might come from commercial hybrids, which are larger and more aggressive than honey gouramis. I notice that if you google the bigger thick lipped gourami, labiosa, you get some pictures of the hybrid often sold as a honey. I suspect there was a petrie dish cross between chuna (the honey) and labiosa (the almost twice as large, much rougher thick lip) and that's where the misinformation about tank size comes from.

    Now, the OP has to figure out which fish he/she has...
  7. OP

    Rack Valued Member Member

    How many honey gouramis did you had in your 15 gallon colony?
    Pretty sure it's the real honey, here's a picture if you can confirm it:

  8. Anders247

    Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    I think it's too small for mollies. And as mentioned, I wouldn't keep balloons anyway.