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Xiphophorus maculatus

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Platy - Xiphophorus maculatus

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platy1.jpg (12kb)
Photo Credit: Marcos Avila

I would personally prefer the platies over the fancy guppies. The best thing you can do (as far as my experience with these cute fish go) is buy them small and then grow them up to the adult size. I never had any problem with them. Only once, one of my platies had rotten tail - but it recovered soon after I added 2 teaspoonful salt in my 80 L aquarium. Platies are very social to each other and also towards other fishes. In fact, I have found them one of the rare fishes that never go for FIN-NIPPING at my Goldfishes. Although my cousin reported some cases of fin-nipping by platies in his 40 L aquarium, but mine never ever thought of it. I think it is better to give them a 80 L aquarium, some soft stem plants and you can be sure to watch them taking rest in the stems of the plant just like birds (also eating them). I have also found them chasing each other like the school students do at the playground - that's all; no sign of aggression towards own or different species. Some of them would also find some time out of their busy schedule of continuously going up and down along the height of the aquarium to take a little rest in the cave (basically side wise placed earthen pot). My ones even recognize me and my mother (they come to the front of the aquarium whenever any one of us is near the aquarium - but never did the same for a stranger). Just shut down the airstone and open the lid - they will come jumping to the water surface for they know it is the feeding time.

Contributed by Niladri Bhowal

I have found that Platys can get on with my guppies, danios, harlequins, all my types of tetra, mollies, my red-tail shark fish and, surprisingly, my fighting fish too. A quick note on breeding, and it seems to be the same for all live-bearers: getting the fry to survive isn't as hard as people say. I read people saying that their fish eat their fry, but if you have some plants and some rocks at the bottom of your tank, the fry will swim down there and hide away. They still can get food by nibbling at the gravel, and even though you might not see them for two weeks, they are still there! I was amazed one day to see 6 little guppies swimming around when I thought they had all been eaten. Another good suggestion for breeding is to use larger stones for the gravel because the fry can hide under there. I successfully bred in a tank with my red-tail!

Contributed by Fred Woolfe

I have a small tank at work with 2 platies and several other freshwater community fish. These platies seem to enjoy their environment, but even more, they like to interact with the people outside of their tank. When I pull out the can of food, I find her right up at the glass, wiggling about like a puppy, excited with her owner's hands holding a can of food. It is absolutely hilarious. She will chase my finger and seems to zoom across the tank when I'm sitting near it, where she knows I'm watching. These fish are awesome for beginners, or even someone who wants to have a small tank that is more then just a pretty in the corner. My platies are more pets than any other fish I've ever owned.

Contributed by Ariel Spaulding

I have orange sunset platies and black mollys in a large community tank. About 6 months after setting it all up, the platies started giving birth to occasional "tuxedo" platies - they'd mated with the mollies! I now have quite the variety of platy/molly mixes.

Contributed by Kat

I have gold wagtail platies. My males are a more intense reddish color and the females are a more lighter orange. I really enjoy these fish. They are very easy to breed and add much color to my tank. However, the babies always get eaten by my angelfish, so I never get a chance to catch more than one. I caught one wagtail platy fry, but that is all I found. Anyway, I recommend this species to anyone who demands color and personality in their tank.

Contributed by Diana Vancea

Happy, active little fish. I have seven different varieties in my 220 L tank. Platies are very curious little fellows; Always searching and exploring their surroundings. Their unstoppable appetite makes it easy to overfeed them. But watch out! If they start to look like little tires it is time to think about a diet plan. Make sure you know if you have a male or a female. Otherwise you end up with a lot of fry. Their enormous appetite wonít stop them from eating their own fry. My water: Alkalinity: 180 ppm, Ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 35 ppm, Hardness: 120 ppm, pH: 7.8. Community: 15 Platies, one Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami, one fancy Guppy, seven Zebra Danios, two Harlequin Rasboras (they hate alkaline water, thatís why only the two strongest ones survived). Cleanup crew: four Chinese suckers, three Apple Snails, and about twelve Ghost Shrimp. And all live together happily so far.

Contributed by Sylvia Barnes

I have 2 male and 2 female platies in a 40 L tank. I was suprised to see that 4 weeks after I got them they had eight 1/2 cm babies! After three weeks they had even more babies! After they stopped breeding I put both females in a separate tank with a little bit of aquarium salt to rest. After the babies were 2 cm I sold them to pet stores around my state. I made $186 for all 128 platies. I am just an 11 year old kid making money by breeding platies and everyone else can too. At first I didn't even want fish and now I'm making money.

Contributed by Steven Ortiz

I bought 5 red wag platies for my 100 liter fish tank, for no reason. Didn't want the babies, didn't think about algae eating, I just wanted them, so I bought them. At the time my tank had a lot of algae on the walls. The tank was very clean, except there was algae. I couldn't scrape it off because it went flying everywhere and my siphon was too weak to suck it up. So I just left it there. So I got the platies into the tank. I checked on them every 1/2 hour. Every time they were constantly eating and...pooping. Eating and pooping out algae. I went up again after 3 hours and - low and behold - I noticed that the glass was wiped clean and the platies were moving on to the plants! I am never getting an algae eating fish again. These platies are smaller, cuter, and get the job done better!

Contributed by Amanda Adamczyk

These pages have enough comments to give the reader a basic idea on the topic. Further comments are still very welcome (through the site's contact form) as long as they provide new and/or advanced information not yet discussed in the existing ones.

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