How to take care of Platy Fish | Breeding | Lifespan

Caring for Platy Fish

The Platy is a much loved and easy to care freshwater fish available in numerous color variations. It does not have great demands, so it is very suitable for living in an aquarium. The males can measure about 2-4 cm, the females instead are a little bigger: about 3-5 cm. They are sociable and reproduce quickly. Since their care is very simple, they are often chosen by those who have just become passionate about the aquarium world.

What does a Platy look like?

The Xiphophorus maculatus, scientific name of the Platy, has a slightly stocky body, a high back and compressed hips and the female is on average larger than the male. This freshwater fish is distinguished by its multiplicity of variations. It can have different colors, the most common being yellow with green or blue colored spots. The color of the males is more intense than that of the females, which is why they are the most striking and immediately catch the eye.

platy fish breeding

What types of Platys exist and how do they differ from each other?

Platy is available in many variations of patterns and colors and there are countless subspecies. In the subspecies born in breeding or from crosses with the Sword holder (Xiphophorus hellerii) and the Platy variety (Xiphophorus variatus), the coloring and the caudal fin differ from the "standard" Platy. Some subspecies have dark, almost black bodies, others have light parts on the belly and still others are even deep red or blue. A distinctive feature of this widespread freshwater fish is a black spot located above or below the caudal fin, which is particularly straight in the Platy. Sometimes, however, this fin is totally dark in color, so this cannot be considered a unique sign of recognition. Among the numerous subspecies of Platy there is a spotted one called Platy Tuxedo. It can be said that there are Platys of almost all shapes and colors.

Where does Xiphophorus maculatus, Latin name for Platy, come from?

The waters from which the Platy comes are those of Central America, precisely Belize and Guyana, but it can also be found in Mexico and Honduras. It prefers relatively warm and stagnant waters, with temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees. In the meantime, it has spread to aquariums around the world and boasts a large circle of fans, who are passionately dedicated to this cute, easy-to-care-for fish.

platy fish lifespan

What does the Platy feed on in nature and how should it be fed in the aquarium?

Both in the wild and in the aquarium, the Platy feeds on plants. To prevent it from destroying the aquarium vegetation due to its appetite, it is necessary to offer it a food that is exclusively based on plants and set up the aquarium with specific plants that tolerate the hardness of the water, which the Platy does not usually feed on. . The doses of fish feed to be administered are indicated by the manufacturer on the package and must be observed to avoid exceeding the quantities. You can also offer the Platy food for flaky fish, mosquito larvae and worms, but if you prefer to avoid feeding your live animal fish, there are frozen variants to defrost before use. The Platy also loves to feed on algae, but if you want to get rid of the excess ones present in your aquarium, its voracity is not enough to solve the problem, also because this fish does not like all types of algae. We therefore advise you to use the right products that you find in our section of products for fish.

How to take care of a Platy and what to watch out for?

The Platy can also reproduce with the sword holder and the varied Platy. If you do not want to generate crosses with mixed colors, it is not advisable to coexist these species, but if you think they can enrich your aquarium, just have a few weeks of patience to see the colorful little ones born. The aquarium in general can be filled at the bottom with bottom sand or gravel. The plants need to be dense enough for the fish to hide from time to time. As aquarium lighting, a solar spectrum lamp on for about 12 hours a day is sufficient. Since the Platy prefers stagnant waters, it should not generate currents, if not very modest.

Platy Fish Babies

Under no circumstances should a single specimen of Platy live in the aquarium, as this little fish is very sociable. Furthermore, it is preferable to establish a group composed of more females than males: in a group of males only, in fact, struggles can occur to establish the dominant male, the result of which is always fatal for those who are defeated. The ideal therefore is a mixed group composed of males and females, in an aquarium large enough to allow everyone to swim freely. Alternatively, you can have only one male along with several females. Compared to fish of other species, the Platy is very calm, generally the coexistence is peaceful and proceeds in harmony. With guppies, sucker fish, callictids and snails there is no difficulty.

How to pay particular attention to in the care of the Platy and up to what age do these fish live?

The most important factor is the size of the aquarium that hosts them. The Platy has no special needs beyond this, and 60cm aquariums are enough for him. In a tank of this size, however, no more than 6 fish should live together: keep in mind that the larger the aquarium, the happier the fish will be. If you want to have several fish, the size of the tank will have to increase proportionally.

Platy Fish Care

For the well-being of the Platy, the water temperature should be around 20-25 degrees and the PH of 7-8. The Platys belong to the Poeciliinae Bonaparte family and reproduce quickly: the young are born 24 days after fertilization and a few days earlier a dark spot appears on the mother's belly, the so-called macula gravidica. A single female can give birth to up to 80 minnows at one time.

Where can you buy Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus)?

The Platy is available in many pet stores and in departments of other types of stores, such as some department stores. Alternatively, they can also be found online from professional traders and private sellers. There are also many aquarium enthusiasts who regularly offer their litters of Platy to other interested parties. As for the price, the Platy is placed in the low range, it is a fish within everyone's reach, without detracting from its beauty.


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