Platy – Xiphophorus maculatus

Platy - Xiphophorus maculatus

  • pH: 7-8.2
  • gH: 10-30 dGh
  • Temperature: 20-26C
  • Maximum Size: 5cm Male, 7.5cm Female
  • Minimum Tank Size: 60 litres, 60x30x30cm

The platy is a very popular fish, often recommended to beginners and has a multitude of colours and patterns to choose from as a result of selective breeding. Platies originated in Central America and were always were considered to be a very hardy fish, but sadly due to inbreeding that’s no longer as true as it once was. Platies can crossbreed with equally popular swordtails, and most platies are likely to have some swordtail blood in them as they were used to help create the many varieties we see today.


The platy is a peaceful addition to an aquarium, mixing well with most species’ who share the same parameters. If keeping both males and females, always stock at least 2 females to every male to prevent any one female receiving too much male attention and becoming stressed.

Housing and Feeding

Platies prefer a planted tank and will take almost any commercial food, plus the occasional treat of live or frozen food.


Platies breed readily, in fact too easily and it’s easy to become over-run with young. For that reason, many choose to keep only males. The gestation period is around 4-6 weeks after which up to 80 or more fully formed free-swimming fry will be born. The fry can take food as large as baby brine shrimps straight away. Females can store sperm and have several pregnancies without further contact with a male.  The young mature quickly and will be ready to breed by around 3 months of age.


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