Species group: Livebearers
Other common names: Platies; Common Platy; Red Wagtail Platy; Moonfish; Southern Platyfish; Southern Platy
Scientific name: Xiphophorus maculatus
The Southern Platy is found in lakes, rivers and swamps throughout Central America - from Mexico to Guatemala. Platies are extraordinarily popular home aquarium fish, and have been crossbred in captivity to create an astounding variety of color and fin variations. They are ideal for amateur fish keepers because they are very hardy. Platies are also one of the best species to help mature a start-up aquarium.
The Platy is a live-bearer and will give birth once a month if a male and female are present. A challenge to keeping this fish is being sure to only get males or females or trying to find homes for all the babies. Platys also need a little salt in the water to ensure they stay healthy.
Platys are good eaters and will readily accept flake foods as well as small frozen foods like brine shrimp or blood worms.
There are dozens of color variations and hybrids of Platys the most popular being the Mickey mouse platy which is gold with three black circles on the tail that look like a Mickey mouse head. Other common colors are gold, red, and blue. The Platy body is oval shaped with a single rounded tail and long pointed dorsal fin.
Platys are peaceful and get along well with other peaceful fish in a community tank. Their need for salt in the water makes them a good tank mate for Guppies, Mollies, and Swordtails.
Platies are undemanding and can be kept in as little as 10 gallons. Foliage is preferred to allow refuge especially for juveniles.
74 - 80 °F
7.0 - 8.0
1.004 - 1.016
hardy fish, ideal community fish, excellent livebearers, Favorite Fish Platies, morphs, different colors
greedy eaters, pregnant females, common overpopulation solution
fry tank, prolific breeders, genetically engineered, live bearers, plume tail