Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus)

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Platy

Xiphophorus maculatus 2.jpg
Wild-Type Platy

Xiphophorus maculatus

Easy

45.425 liters
45,424.941 mL
45.4 Litres (12 US G.)

6.35 cm 5.1-6.4cm (2-2.5 ")

sg

Freshwater

pH

7.0 - 8.0

295.372 K
22.222 °C
531.67 °R
299.817 K
26.667 °C
539.67 °R
22.2-26.7°C (72 -80 °F)

7-20 °d

1:3 M:F

Very Common

3-5 years

This animal is available captive bred



Contents

Additional names

Platy, Moonfish, Southern Platyfish


Origin

These little fish come from the east coast of Central America and Southern Mexico.

Sexing

Females have a fan-shaped anal fin, wide bellies, a dark gravid spot, and are larger than the males. Males have a modified, rod-like anal fin, called a gonopodium.

Breeding

Platies are one of the easiest fish to breed. As long as there is a male and a female, you are almost certain of eventually having fry. It is recomended you have 2 females for every male, as one male will put stress on a single female. Platies are livebearers, and the babies are born fully formed and ready to swim. They are capable of eating very shortly after birth. The female will sometimes eat her young so provide spawning grass, fine leaved plants, or put the newly born fry in a breeding trap (never put a pregnant female into a breeding trap as this will cause undue stress and possibly cause her to abort the fry). Young platies can be raised on baby brine shrimp or even finely crushed flake foods. They grow rapidly if the water quality is kept immaculate.
Platys can hybridise with Swordtails.

Tank compatibility

Platies are peaceful active livebearers that do well in an active peaceful community tank. They can be kept with other livebearers, but it's important to keep Platys in the ratio of 1 male per 2-3 females. Males will pursue other female livebearers and this constant hassle can stress fish. Furthermore the alpha male will pursue other platy males. In small tanks or tanks without much hiding places this is on the long-term life-threatening for the weekest male. Especially if there is only one other male beside the alpha male, suffering lonely from all aggressions.

Diet

Platies are undemanding, thriving on typical community flake diets. Platies will also graze on algae growing in the tank or on tender plants. Treats like blood worms, glass worms, daphnia, or brine shrimp are all eagerly accepted. If your tank has no plants or algae at all, offer a spirulina based food a few times a week. It is easiest to raise young platies in planted tanks where there is some algae to graze. They also like to eat some vegetables like courgette, cucumber or lettuce. Nuke them in a microwave for a little over 30 seconds on full power and then put them in the tank weighed down by plant clips.

Feeding regime

Platies are grazers, always picking at plants or tank decorations. If there are soft plants and algae, feed once a day. Otherwise, offer small meals twice a day to match the natural grazing behaviour better. Feed baby fish more frequently for the best growth.

Environment Specifics

Platies are rather sensitive to ammonia, and should only be added to established tanks. Many beginners make the mistake of buying platies to cycle tanks and lose the fish to ammonia toxicity. As long as the water is clean, platies can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. They are at their best in moderately hard, slightly alkaline water.

Behaviour

Platies are very gentle community fish. As with other livebearers, males tend to chase the females a bit. Try to maintain a ratio of two females for each male.
Platies eagerly accept food from all levels of the tank. Their slightly upturned mouths give them a preference for top feeding, but they are quite capable of catching food in mid-water or picking it up from the substrate.

Identification

Due to selective breeding this fish is widely available in many colours including shades of red, yellow, orange, blue, and black predominating. Young Platys can be mistaken for young Mollies and their body shapes are very similar.
There is a morph named the Balloon Platy which is a mutation of the regular Platy. They have a shorter stunted body which makes them appear more rounded, like a balloon. This stunting can lead to them being prone to swimbladder problems.
Hybrid forms are common in the pet trade. Our article on Platy Colours contains a listings of the various hybrid colour variations commonly available.

Pictures

Videos

Hi-Fin Wagtail Sunset Platys: Mixed Platys:

External links

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