Name: Xiphophorus maculatus
Origin: Central America
Small, hardy, active, peaceful and pretty, the Platy is one of the most recommendable fish for any beginner. This little livebearer can be found in several different color varieties, developed through decades of selective breeding. As with many fish but especially livebearers, the Platy only has 2 things in mind: eating and breeding. It'll swim around the entire tank and eat just about anything, including algae, which makes it a handy cleaner fish as well. Breeding them is almost inevitable...all you need to do is get a couple and add water :-). And sometimes even buying a single female will already result in a few babies, since she will often be pregnant already. Sexing them is the same as with other livebearers: the male has a short "tube" called gonopodium in place of the anal fin, while the female has a normal triangular fin there. Because it's so inexpensive and easy to breed, the Platy is also a popular feeder fish for large, predatory freshwater and marine species.
I am a proud father of around 20 baby platies. My Platies recently just gave birth to a lot of small little fry and I love watching them in a smaller tank that I purchased. It is real easy to breed these guys.
I own two Black Twin-Bar Yellow Platys, and they are a pleasure in the tank. They are a sociable fish and are best with at least one companion. Both the common Platy and the Variatus Platy come in various brilliant colors, and I feel that they are a step up for the beginner wanting to move up from Guppies (i.e. children) - Both are colorful, good for beginners, are easy to keep, and are prolific breeders. The advantage that the Platy has over the Guppy is that they are larger and have a bit more spunk, a great all-around fish. Does well in community tanks and will feed at all levels.
These guys are very cute and hardy. I have three living in a community tank. One of them only had four babies though, I think she ate a few. Great beginner fish and they eat everything, which is the problem. When it is feeding time, my platies eat everything before my other fish even see the food.
I have 4 platys, 2 male and 2 female. My smaller male doesn't even get a look in! The larger one keeps chasing him. But they are great for beginners. They get along with my neon tetras, golden barbs, and plecos.
I have about 15 platys in my pond they reproduce every 3 weeks, I recommend this fish for the beginner fish lovers. They can be found in several colors.