Overview: Wagtail Platy, Xiphophorus maculates, belongs to the Poeciliidae family. It is a peaceful freshwater fish that is hardy and can thrive well in diverse water parameters. Wagtail platy looks very pleasant due to its vibrant colors and active lifestyle. It is popular in the fish-keeping industry for being easy to care for and maintain. Hobbyists of any level can keep Wagtail platy and increase the overall look of their tank. These fish do not reach more than 2 inches adult size. The small size, pretty colorations with easy-going and prolific breeding nature makes Wagtail Platy is one of the best fish for aquariums.
Distribution and Habitat: The place of origin on Wagtail Platy is Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico. They love dwelling in warm water bodies with vegetation like ditches, springs, and marshes. Mostly, platys are mid dwellers, so you can find them floating in the middle layers of the tank. The striking colors floating around the middle layers make the tank look extremely eye-catching.
Temperature: The suitable water temperature is 18 to 25 degrees Celsius. Keeping the temperature within the range will ensure healthy and stress-free fish.
Water conditions: pH should remain between 7 and 8.2, and hardness may range between 10 to 25 dGH. Wagtail platys do not have any specific demand other than the tank should be clean and have filtered water. The tank should be at least 5 gallons and have a few live plants. Since males are dominant, it is advised to keep three females over every male so that they do not harass.
Feeding: In the wild, platys thrive on protein and algae that provide enough fiber. When kept in a tank, they should be given enough protein food and vegetables for fiber. Cucumber, spinach, and squash are good sources. You can also give them flake foods that have vegetable supplements. Apart from vegetables, their diet should also include bloodworms, micro worms, Daphnia, fruit flies, mosquito larvae, etc. Feed them once or twice a day. Do not overfeed.
Breeding: Breeding wagtail platy is easy. Females are often pregnant with fertilized eggs as they can store sperm for over five months. One can easily differentiate pregnant ones with a round and bulging belly. They are livebearers and give birth to 10 to 40 fry every four weeks.
Aquarists who are not fond of fry and do not want to mess their tank with little ones get only male platys for the tank. Although females are usually bigger than males, they can be differentiated based on their anal fin shape. Long, flat, and pointed anal fins are characteristic of males, and fan-shaped anal fins depict females.
Even though platys do not eat their fry, keeping the pregnant females in a breeding tank is recommended to separate the fry from the adult fish.
Lifespan: A well-fed, healthy wagtail platy can live for four years when it is provided with proper water conditions.
Do You Know: Mickey Mouse Platy is one of the most unique fish varieties among Platys that have unique markings described by its name.
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