Platy (Xiphophorus Maculatus) is one of the most popular livebearers in the ornamental fish hobby.
Aquarium tank for Xiphophorus Maculatus (platy)
Tropical platy is very hardy and it is very easy to maintain and care for these tropical ornamental pets in an aquarium tank. Preferred aquarium tank size is 10 gallons or more for these tropical ornamental pets.
As they prefer slow moving waters in nature, take care to set up only an air lift filter in the aquarium tank for maintaining dissolved oxygen levels.
As these tropical ornamental pets prefer planted regions in nature, take care to provide some aquatic plants or artificial plants in the aquarium with sufficient open areas for free swimming.
Being tropical in origin, ornamental platy tolerates and prefers higher range of temperatures (around 80°F). If you want to keep them in colder regions it is better to keep a heater in the aquarium.
Care in the selection of tropical ornamental platy for aquarium
When you are buying tropical platy fish or that matter any ornamental aquarium fish look for energetic active fish without any damage to fins. This way you can avoid diseased and stressed fish. Buy 3 to 4 females for each male ornamental platy.
The females are larger than males. Males will have anal fin modified into a pointed structure called gonopodium and it is easy to differentiate adult males from females.
These tropical ornamental fish come in various colors and fin shapes and some of the popular varieties are mickey mouse, marigold wagtail, red wagtail, gold comet, sunset, blue coral and gold wagtail.
If you are thinking of maintaining pure varieties them go in for similar colors. If you are not much interested in breeding and do not have much time for care of babies, them go in for an assortment of colors to make your aquarium tank colorful. Have them packed in polythene bag with clean water and oxygen.
Care of platy in a fish tank
As these tropical ornamental fish like to be in a group take care to keep at least 6 – 8 of these tropical livebearers in a tank of ten gallons. Like guppies, adults males of these tropical ornamental fish also keep chasing the females for mating.
To reduce stress to the females take care to maintain a ratio of about 3 – 4 females for one male in the aquarium tank. These ornamental fish prefer alkaline waters and take care to maintain pH around 7 to 8.
Care in partial exchange of water to keep ammonia levels low helps in having healthy ornamental fish. After bring home allow the oxygenated bag to float on the aquarium tank (which must have been already setup) water for at least 30 minutes.
The temperature of the water in the bag will become equal to that of aquarium tank. As the pH and other factors like alkalinity will be differing, slowly acclimatize the fish to aquarium tank water with much care.
This is explained well in the post on setting up ornamental fish bowl.
As ornamental platy are peaceful fish they can be kept in a community aquarium tank; however take care to keep only with with other tropical fish of same size and other livebearers.
Feeding and care of platy
Tropical platy are omnivores and get conditioned to a variety of feed.
Tropical platys readily accept formulated feed in aquarium tank and take care to feed them now and then with live feed like bloodworms and brine shrimp babies to maintain their vibrant colors.
As their natural diet consists of some amount of plant matter take care to give ornamental platy boiled soft vegetables and algal food. Feeding tropical platy with spirulina based food is found to enhance their colors in confined tank.