freshwater community4




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Scientific Name:   Xiphophorus maculatus      
Min. Tank Size:   25 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful     
Temperature:   68-79°F      
pH:   7.0-8.5/10-25°dGH      
Size:   3"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Livebearer      


An excellent choice for the community tank; can be kept with other Livebearers, Tetras, Barbs, Rasboras, Corydoras, Gouramis and other community species.


The Platy is very popular in the aquarium hobby and it exists in many different selectively-bred varieties. Some of these variants include Mickey Mouse, tuxedo, wagtail, comet and hi-fin Platies. In some cases, these variants are produced by hybridizing Platies with Swordtails. Although their coloration may vary according to breeding, most male Platies exhibit a pointed caudal fin while the female's is more rounded. Female Platies also have fan-shaped anal fins and may exhibit fuller bellies. Though wild specimens of this species are rarely seen in the aquarium hobby, they can be found in the streams and rivers of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize.

Tank Set-up

Platies are easy to keep and are often recommended for community tanks. These fish are not particular, but tend to thrive best in planted tanks - they do not do well in soft, acidic water. This species is very peaceful in nature and they do not exhibit any of the aggression some of their relatives - swordtails and mollies - tend to show. Even males of the species get along well with each other.


Platies are not picky eaters and will readily accept a variety of foods including live, frozen and freeze-dried types. Feed a varied diet consisting of a quality flake along with bloodworms, Daphnia, brine shrimp and a Spirulina-based flake/pellet. Feeding a varied diet will help promote optimum health and coloration.


As is true of many Livebearers, breeding Platies is very easy. Many aquarium hobbyists joke that it is easier to breed Platies than to get them to stop breeding - the only way to prevent breeding is to purchase only male fish. The gestation period in Platies is usually between 4 and 6 weeks long and, at the end of it, up to 80 fry may be born. Because adults of this species will eat their own young it is wise to separate them from the young fry.

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