Xiphophorus maculatus, Günther, 1866
Origin:Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Synonyms: Platypoecilius maculatus, Platypoecilius nigra, Platypoecilius pulchra, Platypoecilius rubra, Poecilia maculata.
First European import: Germany, 1907, by B. Kuhnt.
Description: See pictures, many breeding forms exist, like the simpson and the wagtail platy.
Care: Well suited for the community tank, as long as the water isn't too soft(10dGH or more). Well planted tanks, preferably with some floating plants like Riccia fluitans to provide hiding places for the fry. Temperatures in the lower and middle regions, although higher temperatures are tolerated for a period of time. The fish will inhabit all regions in the tank, but are mainly found in the middle layers. Platys will nibble on algae and plants, but don't damage the plant.
Feeding: Omnivorous, all food is taken.
Size: Males up to 4, females up to 6 cm.
Breeding: Xiphophorus maculatus can be spawned at 4 months, but it is better to wait until the animals are full grown. The fry require larger tanks to reach a decent size.
Sexual dimorphism: Males smaller and with gonopodium
Additional: Fertility problems occur in some breeding forms.
Picture references: All pictures E. Naus
References:Pinter, H.(1966): Handbuch der Aquarienfischzucht. Alfred Kernen Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.
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