Platy Fish care Is Something That You Should Be Aware Of For a Great Extent!
Do you love to have platyfishes? If so, you better know about platy fish care Platy fish belong to the Xiphophorus genus. Along with mollies, guppies, and swordfish, they are a member of the Poeciliidae family. Xiphophorus comes from the Greek word ‘xiphos,’ which means sword, and ‘pherein’, which means ‘carry.’
These platyfish is a common name that refers to three species, namely,
- Southern Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus)
- Variable Platy (Xiphophorus variatus)
- Swordtail Platy (Xiphophorus xiphidium)
These fish are ubiquitous in the aquarium hobby and have been interbred to mix colors and fins shape. Moreover, the Southern Platy and the Variable Platy are the most common platy species found. They have been interbred so much that now it is hard to distinguish between the different species.
The Southern Platy, which is also known as the Common Platy, was introduced to the aquarium hobby in 1907. The introduction of Variable Platy took place later in 1932. The Variable Platy fish, as the name suggests, was named after its excellent color diversity.
However, Swordtail Platy still remains a rare specimen. This fish is also known as the Spike Tail Platy because of the shape of its fins.
All Platies are hardy fish, but they have a relatively short life span. They live about three years, and possibly five years if really well cared for.
You can easily find and buy the Southern and Variable Platy for sale. The Swordtail platy, however, is very difficult to come by.
Must-know facts before moving to discuss platy fish care
Platies fish are one of the different livebearing species of freshwater fish and are popular among aquarium enthusiasts. They are grouped together with the swordtails; platys are part of the genus known as Xiphophorus. These fish are hardy, compatible with other fish, and are effortless to breed. These platyfish also come in a variety of attractive colors and forms.
Even though platys comprise only a couple of species within the Xiphophorusgenus, there are considerable color variations and even fin-type within these species. Moreover, the species interbreed so readily that many specimens sold in the trade are mixed hybrids. Anyhow, they all do well in similar conditions, so this does not really matter unless your goal is to breed a pure line. You can choose your variety based on whatever appearance you like.
Scroll down to find the best platy tank, mates. – A key aspect of platy fish care
Platy fish can be kept with any similar-sized community fish. They make ideal tank mates as they are very peaceful. But do not forget, though, that platies can be very active. That is because they enjoy swimming around in groups, with males occasionally fighting amongst themselves.
So small peaceful fish are the perfect tank companions, especially with loosely related species, such as Mollies, Guppies, or Swordtails. Some friendly platy tank mates include small tetras and rasboras, cory catfish, snails, bristle nose plecos, and rainbowfish.
Platies also get along well with other similar size and temperament fish such as corydoras, tetras, characins, gouramis, tiny peaceful barbs, and obviously other platyfish. These fish can be kept with shrimps and snails if you would like some non-fish companions.
However, platies will struggle with large, aggressive fish like Cichlids and Arowanas. And tiger barbs, bettas, vampire tetras, and Wolf Fish are all kinds of examples of platyfish you should avoid when choosing tank companions.
Frequently asked questions on platy fish care…
Can my platyfish live in tap water? Is it safe?
No, you cannot, and you should not use tap water for your Platy fish, and it is not the right type for you. The chlorine and other types of chemicals in the city tap water will kill the pets quite quickly.
Anyhow, Platies can live in tap water as long as it’s been treated to remove chlorine. Therefore the chlorine levels are at a safe level for aquarium fish or your own softener system.
Your platies can live in tap water. Anyway, you should know that it can be challenging to maintain the perfect conditions required by these fish.
You should know that platyfish are very sensitive to water conditions, especially regarding pH levels and the water temperature in the tank.
And also, Platy fish can live in tap water as long as it is treated with a conditioner like Seachem Prime or a similar product.
These platyfish need water that is clean, cool, and well-oxygenated. They are pretty adaptable to water conditions but need some resemblance to the same environment found in nature.
You have to maintain the pH level of the water with a pH level of up to eight. To keep it simple and easy, you can use tap water as long as no chlorine or chloramines are added to the home’s system before the pipes enter your house.
As for temperature, platies prefer calmer waters, therefore do not place them under direct sunlight and make sure to maintain temperatures at around 72 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I keep only female platys? Is it okay?
You will be okay with keeping all-female platys. Males and females are kept together in-store tanks, so the platy is already possible. If you leave the female platies in the main tank to give birth, you will more than likely only have a few survivors, if any.
Why did my platy die suddenly? How to protect platies
Platies mostly fail because of the fluctuations in water conditions, sudden changes in temperature, or inappropriate filtration systems. Using untreated tap water can also let your Platies die as it contains chlorine and chloramines.
How long do platyfish live? How many years to be exact?
Unfortunately, platyfish are not known for their longevity. Their lifespan in captivity is mostly around 2-3 years. However, they have longer lifespans in the wild, with some varieties living up to 5 years even.
Healthy platies fish can live up to 3-4 years when kept in optimal environments with clean water, low stress, and good nutrition.
Usually, there are no differences between the lifespan of female platy as opposed to the lifespan of male platy.
Anyhow, fish that breed constantly will have a shorter lifespan; so, if you are worried about your platyfish living shorter lives because of how often these fish breed, you have to control bleeding and keep the only male or female platies.
How many plates should be kept together in an aquarium?
A group of three to six platyfish is always a good starting point for you. Since with most livebearers, the male platies constantly want to mate, therefore, try to maintain at least two females for each male platy to give the females a break.
How do you save a dying platy fish? Things you have to keep in mind.
Aquarium salt help remove wastes and toxins from the platies fish body and eventually enable it to heal. You can add one tablespoon of salt per gallon of water. After that, keep your fish in saltwater for 2 to 3 minutes.
Explore some facts about platy fish care!
The platy (Xiphophorus maculatus) grows to a maximum overall length of 7.0 cm (2.8 in). Sexual dimorphism is slight, and the male’s caudal fin is more pointed.
Most platies can live well with temperatures from 70-82°F. Still, if your air conditioning is set on full blast, you may want to consider getting an aquarium heater. Anyhow, variatus platies are accustomed to living in calmer waters and do not require extra heating when kept at room temperature.
Platyfish tank size
These fishes can live in a 10- to a 20-gallon aquarium or larger. Most livebearers prefer higher pH; anyhow, platies can tolerate an extensive range from 6.8-8.5 in our experience.
How long do platys live?
The typical platyfish lifespan is between three to five years when kept in optimal conditions. Unlike other animals, Platies fish do not have an overly long life span, and most of them will live to a maximum age of three years in a home aquarium. However, there are rare cases of them living five years or longer. These fish reach maturity quickly, though, and will be ready to breed in as short as four months of age.
Actually, there are no guarantees when it comes to lifespan. So the same goes with platy lifespan. Of course, the lifespan mostly depends on luck, mainly when referring to health factors and genetics.
The quality of care you provide can considerably influence their overall life expectancy. A good diet and pristine living conditions have the ability to decrease the chances of disease, allowing the platy fish to live for several years.
Platies are relatively inexpensive, and they can be found at fish stores for $2 to $4 each, depending on the type. Just try to get the healthiest fish that have bright eyes, full bellies, and dynamic behavior. If you ever notice other sick fish in the same tank, it may be safer to visit another store to get your platies.
Platies are livebearers, which means that platies give birth to live young. Compared to platyfish babies that hatch from eggs, livebearer fry is usually bigger, faster, and has a much higher survival rate. In the right conditions, female platies are able to give birth to 20 to 50 babies per month.
Platyfish water temperature
Platy fish are considered very hardy and adaptable fish. But, you know what these fish do have their preferences.
In the wild, these freshwater fish can live in rivers, ponds, and marshes. Frequently, their natural habitats have virtually no current. Also, the water gets quite warm, and the plants are free to flourish, creating a lush environment.
The exact water parameters can be different based on the type of platy you get. Anyhow, here are some general baselines that will work for most platyfish.
- Water temperature: 65°F to 80°F (However some platy species may prefer as high as 82 degrees)
- pH levels: 6.8 to 8.0
- Water hardness: 10 to 28 dGH
The above are a few of the pretty important aspects that you should highly consider in platyfish care.
If you need your platies to thrive, you should definitely pay attention to water filtration. The filtering system should keep the water in excellent condition and eliminate the waste or excess food that will harm the water quality. Experts point out that perfect water conditions are significant for Swordtail platies. These fish are more vulnerable to poor water conditions than other variations.
Platyfish temperature celsius
Since platyfish are initially a tropical water species, it requires a water temperature between 75 to 80 degrees and Fahrenheit or between 24 to 28 degrees Celsius to survive
It is time to know about platyfish breeding – One of the key aspects that you should consider in platy fish care
Platy fish are also considered livebearing fish. They are known to keep the eggs inside their bodies until they are ready to give birth to free-swimming fry.
Platies are prolific breeders. You will not have to do much ( you have to just keep two fish of the opposite sex in the same tank) for them to breed.
It is pretty challenging to determine opposite sexes until they reach maturity at about 4 months. At this point, sexual dimorphism is quite apparent. And sexual dimorphism is the difference in size and appearance between the sexes of the same species.
Females are significantly larger and plainer when they’re fully grown. Besides, male Platies take a while to achieve their full coloration. As they develop, the anal fins take on a rod shape, known as their gonopodium, which means reproductive organ.
These fish are likely to eat their fry. So, it is better to use a breeding tank of about 10-20 gallons with filtration. Suppose you are planning to set on breeding in the community aquarium. In that instance, you have to make sure you make enough hiding spaces with dense plants therefore that the fish can find shelter.
Usually, females can have up to 80 fries. These fish are typically pregnant for around 24-30 days before giving birth to live young. These fish are born ready to swim, and you can provide them with egg yolk, dry food, and specific food for fry.
How do you take care of a platyfish? Make sure to remember the below platy fish care facts!
Once a day is fine for adult platies, whereas two to three small meals a day is preferred for growing juveniles. Suppose you notice long strings of poop constantly dangling from your platies. In that case, you may be overfeeding your fish so consider decreasing their portion size.
Although platyfish are omnivorous and will accept just about any fish food, it’s essential to know what these fish feed on in the wild and strive to meet their nutritional demands.
In the wild, platies mainly subsist on insect larvae and algae. You should ensure your platies meet their nutritional demands by offering them flakes with vegetable components in captivity.
They will also accept vegetable supplements and boiled vegetables such as squash, cucumbers, spinach, etc. You can feed them spirulina tab and freeze-dried and frozen foods too.
Regarding platy fish care, remember feeding your platies once or twice a day is enough. You have to make sure you do not go overboard with the amount you provide them.
Overfeeding can result in your fish dying either from the inability of their digestive systems to process so much food or even because of ammonia spikes that result from the increased waste production.
Moderation and variety are essential to ensure that your fish go through healthy development and that the water isn’t fouled because of the increased waste production.
Are platyfish easy to care for? What do you think?
They are effortless to care for. You just have to maintain good water conditions and feeding habits. They’re hardy and easy to take care of, they’re colorful, active and you have a wide variety of colors to choose from. Plus, platies are also just downright adorable.
You do not need a huge tank or an elaborate setup to keep them. I think they are an excellent choice for beginners.
They make an excellent community fish that can be mixed with almost any other small, peaceful fish.
How long are platyfish pregnant? – Read and find out!
Platies can breed once they are four months old (even though they are not considered “adult” fish until six months of age).
These fish are livebearers, which means the female gives birth to free-swimming young.
The term of gestation is 28 days. When paired with male platy in a community tank, which means your female platy can potentially give birth every four weeks.
Have a quick glance at platyfish food
These fish may be small, but they will eat as much as you can feed them — and more!
Of course, these fish omnivores appreciate a variety of meals, including meaty and plant-based foods. They will eat virtually anything you put in their tank. But make sure to feed them a wide variety of foods like high-quality flakes, pellets, freeze-dried foods, and frozen foods – therefore, they will get a complete diet with all the necessary vitamins and nutrients.
Interestingly, these fish types often prefer vegetables over meat foods. Therefore, while they are omnivores, they do exhibit a distinct herbivorous slant.
Platy fish care – Some common foods that aquarists feed platies include:
- High-quality flake or pellet food
- Brine shrimp and bloodworms
- Spirulina and other supplements.
- Insects and crustaceans
- Plants and plant matter
- Boiled vegetables
- Vegetables, including cucumber, spinach, peas, and squash, are also usually accepted.
Platies love eating, but remember you should only feed them as much as they can feasibly eat in three minutes.
If you notice your platyfish are eating very quickly or a large amount, watch their stomachs. You can feed them up to three times per day. You can also use vitamin supplements that are specifically geared towards enhancing their color. Anyhow, a healthy and varied diet should go a long way in keeping their colors clear and bright.
Supplements like spirulina are a good starting point.
You have to keep in mind that a diet rich in vitamins will produce the best coloration.
Platies are considered omnivorous, but they have a substantial need for herbivorous food. One common mistake you make is not adding enough algae or other vegetation for the platies fish. An ideal diet has to be a healthy mix of both proteins and vegetables. Flakes and other prepared fish food are best for them as long as they are high in protein.
As far as live food is considered, platies enjoy bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, or fruit flies. If you cannot afford live food or it is not readily available, equivalent frozen foods should be just as good for the platies.
How big do platys get? How many inches?
The platy (Xiphophorus maculatus) grows to a maximum overall length of 7.0 cm (2.8 in). Platies fish grow to around 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) in size. However, dwarf platies (selectively bred for platies’ shorter body length) generally stay around 1 inch (2.5 cm).
A complete guide on platies fish care
Platies are small hardy fish, and they are not prone to any disease in particular. But, they can fall victim to common tropical fish problems like Ich and Fin Rot.
Here, we are going to unveil a few of the crucial platyfish care facts in detail.
Remember, fish diseases are not always easy to spot. Therefore you will probably notice a different behavior or some flukes on their skin and body. Depending on the stage you recognize the platies fish, the disease will be more or less challenging to treat.
The Ich disease is considered one the most common diseases found in the aquarium hobby. It is actually a parasite that causes white spots on the body, gills, and fins on the fish. If you don’t cure, this can cause severe infections and respiratory damage to your platyfish.
There are many kinds of treatments, from raising water temperatures to using medication.
Fin Rot is another common disease caused by bacterial infection of the tails or fin of the fish. Antibiotics are usually the best options, like chloromycetin or tetracycline. You can add these while feeding your pet fish.
In addition, the best thing you can do to protect your pet is proactively prevented diseases by keeping good water quality and a balanced healthy diet. Reducing stress is essential for your fish. You can do this by supplying them with the best possible environment. Because stressed fish are more likely to get sick.
You can prevent a large number of diseases by properly cleaning and quarantining anything you add to the aquarium; this includes fish, plants, new substrate, and any type of decoration.
Before studying platy fish care, you better know the key types of platyfish around us.
There are many hybrids and variations cross-bred from the Southern and Variable Platy. Sometimes, Swordtail Platy’s rarer has also been interbred to make more variations in colors and fin shapes.
The Southern and Variable Platy are pretty short and sturdy, lacking the extended “sword” typical of the Swordtail Platy.
Platies’ colors vary a lot. A few popular colors are red, yellow, white, blue, and green. Often, the different colorations occur due to their natural habitat.
We can monitor slight size differences between the different species. The female Southern Platy fish can reach up to 2.5 inches while the Variable Platy reaches 3 inches. Males are always slightly smaller than female platies.
Platy sunset is a peaceful community fish. Their maximum size is 5cm. The platy sunset originates from Mexico, Guatemala, and Northern Honduras. Like the Swordtail, Platys have been farm-bred to produce many colorful varieties. These peaceful fish make the best addition to the community aquarium, and they are best kept in the least a pair.
All fish available are farm-bred, and they will adapt to a wide range of water parameters. And the water temperature is 21-25c and PH 6.5-8.
These fish are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. Feed a varied diet of frozen, freeze-dried, and flake foods.
Platys breed readily and produce live young. In adult fish, the male platy is more minor and has excellent opium that directly fertilizes the female. Platys become adults after approx 4 months and produce small broods.
Platys are more colorful freshwater fish, with base colors ranging from pale yellows to deep black and many shades in between. As with many fish species, there are also albino variants. There are many shades within each color group, along with several names used to describe them. It is common for platys to exhibit several colors and a variety of shades, all in the same fish. Colors seen in platys include Black, Blue, Brown, Gold/yellow: referred to as gold, golden, marigold, sunburst, sunset, Green, Red: referred to as blood red, brick red, coral red, velvet red.
Sunburst Platy Regular The southern platyfish, the common platy or moonfish (Xiphophorus maculatus), is a freshwater fish species in the family of Poeciliidae of order Cyprinodontiformes. A livebearer is closely related to the green swordtail (X. helleri) and can interbreed with it. This fish is native to North and Central America, stretching from Veracruz, Mexico, to northern Belize.
The southern platyfish usually grows to a maximum overall length of 2.5 inches. And sexual dimorphism is slight, the male’s caudal fin being more pointed. Moreover, the anal fin of the male fish has evolved into a gonopodium, a stick-shaped organ used for reproduction. The female southern platyfish’s anal fin is fan-shaped.
Wild varieties are drab in coloration and lack the distinctive dark lateral line familiar to many Xiphophorus species. X. maculatus likes slow-moving waters of canals, ditches, and warm springs. They are omnivorous; their diet includes both plants and small crustaceans, insects, and annelid worms.
Breeders have developed many color varieties (e.g., orange, red, yellow, red/black, and black/white), common aquarium fish for hobbyists. The southern platyfish, commonly known simply as the platy Platys, are easy to keep and well suited to a community aquarium. In captivity, these fish reach maturity in three to four months and breed readily; the females are giving birth to about 20-40 young at a time. This fish commonly sold in pet shops is not a pure strain of X. maculatus. Still, it is a hybrid between X. helleri and X. maculatus. Usually, if the male has a sword-shaped tail, they are called swordtails. Otherwise, they are labeled platy. Color and fin shape may vary wildly in the aquarium trade.
Synonyms Platypoecilus variatus Distribution Native to Mexico. And it introduced too many other countries. Sexual dimorphism male fish possess brighter colors and an obvious gonopodium. Their maximum size is 7cm (2.8″) Water Parameters pH: 7.0-8.0, dH: 8-20 degrees. Temperature Subtropical is 16-25 deg C (61-77 deg F) Compatibility Community Special Requirements Subtropical temperature required! Lighting No special requirements.
They are easy to keep – an ideal choice for the beginner. The Variatus Platy is a different species from the standard platy and prefers cooler temperatures. These fish will thrive in unheated tanks that are kept within a centrally-heated home. Usually, keep at least two females to every male to make sure that no single female has to continuously cope with the male fish’s constant amorous intentions.
We can spot this fish species in heavily vegetated ditches, canals, and springs in the wild. Therefore plant cover in the aquarium will always be much better. These variatus Platies are available in quite an extensive array of tank-bred colors and strains, some of which result from hybridization with other Xiphophorus species.
They are omnivorous. You can feed a good quality flake food, small frozen foods such as mosquito larvae and daphnia, and keep with fast-growing plants on which the fish will browse, mostly consuming algae and biofilm.
Variatus are livebearers; the females give birth to live young.
After fertilization occurs, the female gestates for around 30 days or so. After this time, the female fish will give birth to between 20 and 100 free-swimming fries. Females store sperm and one mating will offer rise to different broods. The adults (and other fish species in the aquarium) will predate on the fry if not separated.
Anyhow, a few will generally survive onto adulthood when kept in a well-planted aquarium with lots of natural hiding places. Keeping these fish at cooler temperatures will slow their breeding and give the females a seasonal rest.
The Bottom Line – Platy Fish Care
If you know the keeping requirements of platyfish, you will be able to provide them with health conditions in which they can thrive. It is essential to set up the aquarium with the proper parameters and all the required equipment (filter, heater, etc.).
Platies are not challenging to keep. You will often notice them recommended for beginner fishkeepers who are still learning the ropes. It might create some mistakes here and there that other, more sensitive fish would not forgive.
These fish are also easy to breed. Platies make the perfect addition to a community aquarium if you plan to set up a freshwater tank with multiple other fish.
You have to make sure you observe platy male to female ratio recommendations, so you do not end up with many fries. And also, make sure their diet contains vegetable matter too as it is essential for their health.