- Min. Tank Size: 10 gallon
- Max. Size: 2.5 inches
- Temp: 65°-79°
- pH: 7-8.5
- KH: 10-30
Platy is a common name of freshwater fish in the genus Xiphophorus that lacks a “sword” at the bottom of their tails. Both species are live-bearers, similar to other fish of the family Poeciliidae, such as the guppy and molly. Platies are native to the east coast of Central America and southern Mexico.
The two species, the southern platyfish and the variatus platy, have been interbred to the point where they are difficult to distinguish. Most platies now sold in aquariums are hybrids of both species.
The platy (Xiphophorus maculatus) grows to a maximum overall length of 7.0 cm (2.4 in). Sexual dimorphism is slight, the male’s caudal fin being more pointed. 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, lacking the distinctive dark lateral line common to many Xiphophorus species. Platies can have from 20–50 fry (baby fish) at once, as often as once a month. They may also eat their own young.