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Livebearers / Poeciliidae / Variegated Platy

Variegated Platy, Variatus Platy
Xiphophorus variatus

Synonyms: Platypoecilus maculatus dorsalis, P. variatus, P. variegatus
Physical description: An elongated fish with a fan-shaped caudal fin. The back is slightly arched, and the belly is full. The body coloration is variable, even on the original strain. Usually the flanks are yellowish to orange, to bluish with black spots. The dorsal fin is generally yellow and the caudal fin is red. Females are generally less colorful.
Size/Length: Males to 2" (5 cm), females to 2.7" (7 cm)
Similar species: Other Xiphophorus species.
Habitat: Inhabits shallow, slow-moving rivers in Southern Mexico.
S: middle
Aquarium: A tank measuring 20" (51 cm) with a capacity of 10 gallons (38 L) is sufficient. Follow suggestions for X. maculatus .
Water chemistry: pH 7-8.3 (7.5), 12-30 dH (16), 68-79°F (20-26°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful fish recommended for a community tank.
Suggested companions: Colisa , Corydoras , Poecilia , Xiphophorus, Loricarids, some tetras tolerant of harder, alkaline water.
FOOD: Flakes; small pellets; algae; live; insects, insect larvae, worms, Brine Shrimp
SEX: Males are smaller with a gonopodium.
Breeding techniques: After a gestation period of four to seven weeks, a female will have 20-150 young. The female should be isolated prior to having the young, and the temperature should be raised to 72-81°F (22-27°C). Start feeding with crushed flakes and Artemia nauplii. The young are sexually mature at six or seven months.
Breeding potential: 2. An easily bred fish.
Remarks: Numerous cultivated varieties are available including the Marigold, Sunset, Black, and High-finned forms.
Difficulty of care: 1. A robust species suitable for a beginner.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com