Posted 11 July 2004 - 02:49 PM
Common name: Platy, sometimes variatus or southern platy.
Origin: North Eastern Central America
Size: 2 - 2½ in. (5 - 6.25 cm.)
Scientific Name: Xiphophorus maculatus and Xiphophorus variatus
Care: Platys are very easy to care for, and are great beginner fish. Platy's prefer water temperature at 76-79F ( 24.4-26.1C). Platy's are very hardy, and can adapt to many types of water. PH can rage from acidic (6.5) to basic (8.2). Platy's have even been reported to live in brackish water (lightly salted water) and experience no negative effects of it.
Diet: Flake, frozen, freeze dried, and live food is all accepted by the Platy, and all should be fed to them on a rotating basis. Although flake can be their staple diet, it will keep them more healthy to feed varying food, and help them show better colors. Fry (baby fish) will also be consumed by the Platy and company.
Sexing: There are many ways to sex a Platy (these sexing methods, by the way, can be applied to all livebearers), but there are two that are more widely used than others. The first method is to observe the shape of the Platy, Females will be longer, and also have wider stomachs (even when not pregnant) than males. The second method (and most accurate) involves observing the three fins on the underbelly of the fish. Female Platy's will have three almost identical fins, two a little further up the belly (closer to the front) than the rear, and with a male, the two frontal fins will be the same, but the aft fin will be much smaller, and pointed.
Breeding: Breeding Platy's is said to be exceptionally easy, because the caretaker of the fish has to do nothing to start it, and usually can do nothing to prevent it. Platy's, like all other livebearers (Molly's, Guppy's, Swordtail's, and Mosquito Fish) give birth to live young, and do not lay eggs, so for a period of time, the fish is actually pregnant. Gestation usually lasts about a month, at which point the fry are released from the mother, and usually shortly thereafter are eaten by the mother and other platys. Determining whether a Platy is pregnant, like sexing, is not hard to do. If she exhibits one or all of the following signs, she is most likely pregnant.
1. She is much fatter than you remember her, and seems about ready to explode
2. She has a black spot that was not there before forming above the three fins used to determine the sex (this spot is called a gravid spot, and is said to be the eyes of developing fry)
3. She is a Platy
Caring for fry, like everything else about the Platy, is also exceptionally easy. If you would like a large brood (batch, litter, etc.) of fry, it is best to isolate the mother in a breeding net (purchasable at almost any Local Fish Store (LFS)) or even a separate tank, but make sure to do so before she is giving birth or close to it, or she will abort the babies and reabsorb them. There are many liquid foods and such out there and to feed baby fish, but Platy's are not demanding, and therefor flake food crushed into tiny pieces will do. Feed in the morning and at night, and feed small amounts.
Platies can, and will hybridize with Swordtails too.
Comments: Platy's are a very hardy fish, and are good beginner fish, but are in no way limited to those who have just started keeping fish. They have a very inquisitive personality, and will explore all levels of the tank. Platys have a wide range of colors, including red, orange, yellow, white, black, and blue, with many different combinations of the colors. They can be found at almost any LFS, and are one of the cheapest fish available.
Posted 02 September 2006 - 07:32 PM
Xiphophorus Variatus: Dorsal fin has 9-14 rays, Lateral 25-28 Scales, Size: Males up to 4.5cm, Females up to 5.5cm.
*numbers taken from the book "Swordtails and Platies" by: Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod & Mr. Lothar Wischnath*
Most platy varieties in pet stores have been hybrid with other Xiphophorus species to transfer various traits, then back crossed to their origional species. (This is where the colors, hi-fins & lyretails come from).
Broods of fry range from like 6 to 120. (20 seems about average to me with 80 being the most I've seen).
Stress during pregnacy can result in still born fry and small broods.
Poor water conditions can stunt their growth.
All fry appear female until they are several months old and nearly mature.
Posted 14 November 2006 - 08:39 PM
Posted 20 December 2007 - 11:01 AM
Sunset with black markings
Yellow/orange tuxedo - pregnant in this photo
Some bizarre strain we are calling Copperblack/moss
Posted 20 February 2008 - 04:09 AM
My sunburst and some type of hi-fin platy.
My blue platy on top.
Posted 09 July 2008 - 02:25 PM
she was one of 3 fish i bought the first day i ever bought fish, January 5 2008. she has survived through hell and high(and low!) water. she is now the biggest, plumpest fish in my tank and the healthiest. she has never gotten infected with ICH in the two bouts i've dealt with. she's never been nipped, never been attacked...she lives the happiest live in my 38G community. because she's the oldest she believes she's the carekeeper, and she bullies my tiger barbs around when they get near her territory(?)...i guess she doesnt like my rambunctius babies...
Note: she came pregnant from the LFS, had beautiful fry. As soon as she was done with the pregnancy, my male Mickey Mouse Platy:
wouldn't stop chasing her (i guess he wanted to mate again?! and again!?) until she became very recluse and that was the only time i feared for her (~4 months back now). I removed him and gave it to my fiancee...a day after she came back out and has never hidden again. now that she's fully grown i'm looking to get her a blue male to mate (and just keep her company) but just be aware that if your female is hiding it could be hostitlity from the male!
Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:38 PM
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