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Red Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus)
I got two of these Red Platy tropical freshwater fish to replace the aggressive male Cobalt Blue Dwarf Gourami which I had to take back to my local fish shop. Platys are rather fat looking small fish with large eyes and mouths. The red variety I have have large yellow eyes and look stunning. Red Wag Platies are another popular variety.
They eat standard tropical aquarium flake food, as well as frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworm. They also seem to suck things off the vegetation in the tank.
The first female Platy I bought died about 3 days later. There were no obvious symptoms. I bought a second female about a month later and it too died about 3 days after I had bought it. Unfortunately I subsequently found out that this female was suffering from "shimmy" when I bought it, and although the addition of some aquarium salt seemed to make the symptoms subside, the fish never recovered.
Platies are live bearers, that is they give birth to live young.
The day after the second female Platy died, I noticed baby fish (fry) in the tank! As soon as I spotted them I attempted to move them to a breeding trap within the tank. Although they seemed to be making a good job of hiding from the other fish in the tank, I thought their days were numbered if the Neon Tetras, Algae Shrimps, or the remaining male Platy spotted them!
Unfortunately 1 died as I attempted to move it to the breeding trap. Another died within the main tank before I had a chance to rescue it. The third baby Platy is doing well. I hope it is female so that more young can be produced.
I have had more baby platies appear in my fish tank. Here are some photographs of them:
Unfortunately the fry all got eaten after a couple of days. I would recommend moving them to a special fry tank if you want to keep them. The upside down catfish is the most likely fry predator.
I have subsequently saved platy fry and grown them to full sized adults. The fry are very slow growing, and take up to 6 months to grow to adult sized. After a few days they become recognisable as Platies: