The Platy is a pleasant and peaceful freshwater fish that’s both hardy and active. It’s also small, pretty, and a great fish for hobbyists of any level; in fact it’s one of the most popular in the fishkeeping industry. You can find Platies in several different colours which make for an eye-catching tank. The Platy has two goals in life: eating and breeding. It will circle the tank eating anything, including algae and their breeding can’t be stopped!
Like guppies, platies are live-bearing fish. Breeding the Platy is more than easy—in fact, it’s really just a question of when because they are always willing and able. The females can warehouse sperm for up to six months; they are almost always pregnant and can give live birth to 10-40 fry every 4 to 6 weeks! Huge broods of up to 80 fry are even possible. The parents won’t usually eat the fry, but it’s still best to put the pregnant female in a separate tank or breeding net/box. Let her give birth there before bringing her back to the primary tank.
It’s quite easy to tell a male Platy from a female by examining their anal fins (the rear fin protruding from their bellies). If the anal fin is fanshaped, your fish is a female. If it’s long, flat, and pointed, your fish is a male. Females are also usually bigger than the males, though this is not a hard and fast rule.
Platies in the wild survive on algae and insects, which provide them with plenty of fiber. Be sure your Platies get plenty of fiber in their new aquarium home. Platies need to eat once or twice a day and they are usually eager to eat, but don’t overfeed them. If they don’t eat all the food in a few minutes, you’re giving them too much at once. You can use a flake food diet, but supplement it with live or frozen food which offers more nourishment. Try live or frozen brine shrimp as well as bloodworms. It’s also a good idea to select flake foods that include vegetable supplements.
Ideal tank mates include: Guppies, Swordtails, Mollies, Some Tetras, Rasboras, Rainbows, Danios, Gouramis, Bristlenose, Plecos and Scavenger Catfish.
- Species – Xiphophorus variatus (Black)
- Common Name – Black Platy
- Origin – Central and South America, in the region from Vera Cruz (Mexico) to Belize.
- Diet – Omnivorous
- PH Range – 6.8 – 8
- Temperature – Tropical and Coldwater 18°c – 28°c
- Breed Type – Livebearer
- Current Size – approximately 4cm (Grows to approximately 7.5cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed