Platy (xiphophorus) is a very popular tropical freshwater fish species held by aquarists around the world. They are extremely beautiful, small fish and come in every single color imaginable. Part of their popularity is due to the very low experience needed to keep them. Males grow to about 1.5 inches and females, being a little bigger, can grow up to 2.5 inches. Platies are native to both Central America and North America. There are numerous types of platies, but all are hybrids of two species heavily interbred in order to reach their full potential. The two most common species are Southern platy (Xiphophorus maculatus) and Variatus platy (Xiphophorus variatus).
As most other species from the Poeciliidae family, platies are great fish for both beginners and experienced aquarists. They are easy to keep and breed and their potential is great.
Although platies are very small, they are an extremely active species. They love being in groups, but they are not a schooling fish. A ten-gallon aquarium should be just enough for a group of 5 adult platies. Having more than five fish in a ten-gallon tank is not recommended. When it comes to male and female ratio, the best thing you can do is to keep a group with one male and at least three females. This will help in reducing stress females are often exposed to.
Platies prefer water temperatures in the range from 70-77⁰ Fahrenheit. They are tolerant to temperature and water fluctuations, but take care for sudden changes in water parameters. These types of changes can lead to stress and should be avoided.
Platies are tolerant to a wide range of water conditions. The water hardness should be anywhere between 10–28 dGH. As for the Water PH, platies thrive in slightly alkaline water, ideally in range from 6.8 to 8.0.
If you want your platies to thrive, you should definitely pay attention to water filtration. The filtering system should be able to keep the water in great condition and get rid of waste or excess food that will harm the water quality. Experts point out that great water conditions are particularly important for Swordtail platies, as they are more vulnerable to poor water conditions than other variations.