Platy (Xiphohorus Maculatus)
Native Location: South America
Size: 8 cm (3 inches)
Temperature Range: 21 – 25℃ (70 – 77℉)
Preferred pH Range: 6.8 – 8.0
Minimum Aquarium Size: 40 L (10 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Mollies, Guppies, Swordtail
Care Level: Beginner
People new to the hobby will love Platy. They are peaceful, easy to care for, and ideal community tankmates.
With a high vegetable diet, Platy will not be fussy eaters. In the wild, they would eat small crustaceans and insects but prefer plants. A bi-weekly treat of brine shrimp is okay. But, be sure they are receiving enough protein and vitamins from prepared vegetables. Vitamins will produce good colouration. Try housing with fish of a similar size. Any peaceful natured community fish are a good match, even keep with critters like shrimps and snails. Platy are not shoaling fish, but will still be happiest in small groups. As Male Platy like to chase around females, it is best to keep more females in your tank, than their counterpart. Females will become exhausted from the playful hunt.
There are varieties of water conditions Platy can handle. But, will be happiest in conditions that mimic their wild habitats, although bred captively. Low to no current warm water and planted tanks. Java Moss and Duckweeds are good choices to consider.
At the point of maturity, sexual dimorphism becomes clear. You will be able to see the difference between sexes by looking at them. Females are larger and less colourful. Males will achieve a fuller colour, and their anal fin will take on a rod shape. When pregnant, females abdomen will appear larger and the skin transparent. Platy strive to breed and breed in excess, so they’ll need little to no help from you. In a mid-sized breeding tank, Platy are live-bearing fish. Females keep the eggs inside their body until ready to give birth to free-swimming fry. But be wary, adult Platy will likely eat their fry so, removed them from the tank. If you decide to breed in a community tank, you will have to provide enough hiding places.