Southern platyfish (Xiphophorus maculatus) For Aquarium

Southern Platyfish (Xiphophorus Maculatus) is a fish that is ideal for those who are just getting acquainted with the aquarium hobby but looks beautiful in the water due to its bright color. At the same time, she does not need complex care.

  • Fish size: 5 cm.
  • Temperature: 24-28 ° C
  • pH of water: 7.0–8.2
  • Behavior: Peaceful
  • Habitat layer: Top and middle
  • Flock: Staynaya
  • Water type: Lightly salty
  • Complexity of Care: Easily
southern platyfish xiphophorus maculatus for aquarium

Southern Platyfish (Xiphophorus Maculatus) Habitat

Southern platyfish is a small fish that grows up to 5 cm or slightly more. The body is laterally compressed, the width is approximately half the length.

The color is very varied and depends on the natural habitat. In wild forms, the color is less vivid – usually a pale olive-gray with or without a dotted pattern. The middle side stripe is absent. Decorative forms, hybrids can be orange, red, yellow, black.

Xiphophorus maculatus is found in the wild in the countries of Central America – in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, as well as in the United States. In general, the species is found in 18 countries, including Australia. But the researchers admit that some populations may be hybrid – for example, those living in the American states of Florida and Nevada.

Southern platyfish is found in ditches, ponds, creeks, swamps with stagnant water. The bottom in them is silty, with vegetation. Some reservoirs are open to the sun, others are shaded by tree crowns.

Southern platyfish Care and maintenace in aquarium

If you provide basic conditions for the Southern platyfish, it can live up to 5 years.

Aquarium for Southern platyfish

The volume of the tank must be at least 15 liters for each pair. But for a minimum flock of 6 individuals, 60 liters will be required: it must be borne in mind that live-bearers, which include the platy, are quite fertile.

A lid is placed on top of the aquarium – platies often jump out of the water. Install equipment for aeration and filtration, especially when the population density is high. But if the aquarium is not overcrowded, then it is not necessary to use this equipment.

The bottom soil is chosen dark. Since in their natural environment, platy live in reservoirs with dense vegetation, the aquarium is filled with flora. Here you can use:

  • echinodorus
  • elodea
  • hornworts
  • cryptocorynes
  • Riccia

Plants are planted in corners and along the wall, leaving a place for swimming in the center.

Southern platyfish feels better in hard water 10 … 20 °. But the temperature of the environment should be high enough – 24 … 27 ° C, with a pH value of 8. Every week the water is changed by 20%.

Plants can hurt in soft water. To increase the rigidity, marble chips are poured into the aquarium. 

Southern platyfish thrive in slightly brackish water: add 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt to 10 liters. Great concentration is needed only for the treatment of fish.

Southern platyfish Feeding and nutrition

  • The main food of platys in nature is small insects, algae. But in captivity, they are not capricious, and eat any food well. Of animal products, bloodworms, tubifex, brine shrimp, koretra are readily eaten.
  • Ready-made products are chosen in the form of flakes, chips. For the brightness of the color, feeds with color enhancers are produced. We must not forget about plant foods that ensure the normal functioning of the digestive system.
  • They feed the fish several times a day. Portions are measured so that the fish eats everything in five minutes. The fry are fed 4–6 times a day.
  • Ready-made starter feed is most suitable for their nutrition. But you can give egg yolk, rotifers, cyclops, microworms, brine shrimp, crushed tubule.

Southern platyfish Breeding and reproduction

Southern platyfish is a viviparous fish, therefore it is quite simple to breed it, and the survival rate of the offspring is quite high. She ripens by 4-6 months, when sex differences are already clearly manifested.

Southern platyfish male and female

southern platyfish male and female

The female is distinguished by its larger size, rounded abdomen. In a male, a genital organ is formed a gonopodium. It is a modified anal fin with a hook that allows better grip during fertilization.


The organ has the shape of a trough through which sperm flows down and enters the female genital opening. In females and young males, the fin is normal.

Fertilization takes place inside the body by the female of the individual. Caviar ripens in the genital tract for 6–8 weeks. Before approaching childbirth, the spot near the anal fin darkens.

At this time, the female is transplanted into the spawning aquarium, if she was kept in general. The reservoir is planted with small-leaved plants – they will become a shelter for young animals. The front glass of the tank is shaded with a cloth or paper.

When the fry is born, it already feeds on its own. A female can bring 20 or more fry at a time. After the end of spawning, the mother is removed from the aquarium.

Southern platyfish Tank mates

Southern platyfish do not show aggression towards each other. For the flock, representatives of both sexes are selected at the rate of 1 male for 2-3 females.

Any medium-sized, peace-loving fish that are suitable for the conditions of detention are placed in an aquarium with platies. The neighborhood with such aquatic inhabitants is considered successful:

  • mollies
  • guppy
  • swordsmen
  • some forms of catfish
  • iris
  • scalars
  • zebrafish
  • gourami
  • barbs

But if other types of fish are launched into the aquarium, then they will equip shelters in which the platys can take refuge in case of aggression.

Do not put astronotuses, cancer, cold-water fish into the aquarium.

Southern platyfish forms and similar species

The modern aquarium species of platies have been bred as a result of long-term selection. Some have retained their shape, but differ from their wild relative in color. Others have a shortened body and altered fins. Most often, the following types of platys are bought for aquariums:

mickey mouse platy: What is a Mickey Mouse platy fish?

mickey mouse platy

fish is notable for the drawing of the head of a famous cartoon character at the base of the caudal fin. The main color is orange, yellow, blue, or red. Mickey Mouse Southern platyfish are extremely popular and are especially suitable for beginner hobbyists.

black platyfish

black platyfish

This is the color variety of Xiphophorus maculatus. It does not occur in nature, and is artificially bred. Despite the name, the black color does not completely cover the entire body of the fish, although it is the main one. Typically, the head, fins and tail are lighter in color.

Southern platyfish red

southern platyfish red

This species includes fish with a completely red body. The fins are the same color, but may be translucent. If they are black, then this is a different form.

Southern platyfish Yellow

southern platyfish yellow

fishes are yellow, the female has transparent fins. In the male, the tail and tail region are red, and a horizontal silvery stripe runs along the body.

Southern platyfish Blue

southern platyfish blue

This form of plilia is colored blue. But in reflected light, a neon or metallic sheen appears thanks to the cells of the iridophores.

Southern platyfish white

southern platyfish white

When breeding, breeders “turn off” the genes responsible for pigmentation. In fact, we are talking about an albino. But the fins may be of a different color. Internal organs are visible through the skin. White Southern platyfish is rare because this property is not passed on to offspring.

Balloon Red platy

balloon red platy

fish has a round body and a protruding abdomen. As they grow older, the ridge bends. The balloon is famous for its wide range of colors. P. The balloon is somewhat clumsy, so only calm, non-aggressive fish are chosen for her neighborhood.

Red Wag Plume Tail Platy


The form, bred in the 70s of the last century, differs from its congeners by the rhomboid shape of the fin. The classic color combination for radishes is red body and black tail.

Papageienplaty Sunset

papageienplaty sunset

Its characteristic feature is a variegated, multi-colored coloration. It is especially noticeable in males: the back is brownish-black, the front part of the body is yellow-green, the back is blue, the lower part of the head and abdomen are orange.

Southern Platyfish (Xiphophorus Maculatus) Expert Tips for Aquarium

These tips from experienced aquarists will make it easier to care for your pets.

  • Southern platyfish willingly eat “ground” vegetables and herbs – dandelion leaves, lettuce, spinach. Pre-scald greens. They do not disdain oatmeal and millet, boiled without salt.
  • Many people dream of an aquarium, but not everyone has enough space for it. Southern platyfish is convenient because it can be kept even in a five-liter jar. But in such a volume, no more than one pair of fish is launched at a time.
  • When buying fish, they are carefully examined. Choose the most mobile, with a clean, without rashes, body, whole, straightened fins. Healthy individuals should not be thin or “hunchback” with glued fins.
  • After the purchase, the platies are kept “in quarantine” for up to 20 days. If during this time there are no signs of illness, you can acquaint the new settler with the common flock.
  • For quarantine, you need an aquarium with a volume of up to 20 liters. Settled water is poured into it, it is possible with the addition of methylene blue, and a small compressor is installed. Hornwort, Javanese moss is also placed there.
  • The stress of transferring to a separate pool can slow down the spawning process. Therefore, aquarists recommend placing pregnant females in special jars. They are a frame and stack structure that protects fry from adult fish. Such devices can be purchased or made on your own.
  • Southern platyfish will decorate any aquarium. Thanks to the variety of colors and shapes, everyone can choose a fish to taste.

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