From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search
Xiphophorus maculatus - (Günther, 1866)

Hardy and colorful, the livebearing platy is a classic beginner's fish. Neil Hepworth


Platys are hardy fishes tolerant of a wide range of water conditions, which, along with their vibrant coloration, makes them ideal for beginners. They lack the extended tail fin or "sword" of their close relative, the Swordtail. Popular variations include the red, sunset, “wagtail” and “tuxedo” platys.

Family: Poeciliidae

Other common name(s):

  • Southern Platy Fish

Native range:

Habitat: Platies will appreciate a tank with live plants on the sides and back, as they may pick at them to supplement their diets. Provide good lighting and lots of open area in the center for swimming.

Maximum length: 6.5 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 19 L (5 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater to top.


Omnivore. Platys eat all kinds of aquarium foods, from good-quality flakes and tableted foods, to frozen or live foods, such as bloodworms and mysid shrimp. They also require vegetable matter, so include Spirulina-based foods, as well as parboiled veggies.

Aquarium Compatibility

Platys are mild-mannered fish that can be housed with a wide range of other peaceful community fishes. Acquire one male to several females.


Platys are livebearers and extremely easy to breed. If the parents are well fed they are less likely to cannibalize the young.

See: Breeding Livebearers for Kids.


They don’t do well with lots of water movement, so less powerful filtration will better suit them.

Aquarium platys intentionally or accidentally released into the wild are establishing themselves in various places well outside their native range.

See Platys Gone Wild.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: NH
Text credit: KW