Platys are livebearing Toothcarps from the Poecilliidae family. In this family, you will find a lot of other popular aquarium fish, e.g. Guppy, Molly and Swordtail. The Platy is often kept by beginner aquarists since it is quite a sturdy fish that will adapt well to different conditions. Most beginner aquarists have comparatively small aquariums and will, therefore, appreciate the fact that the Platy rarely grows bigger than 2.5 inches. There exist many different Platy variants, including the Sunset Platy, the Tuxedo Platy, and the common red Wagtail Platy. You should ideally keep your Platy in an aquarium where the water is a bit alkaline. A high-quality flake food will be a good base, but it is recommended to give the Platy live or frozen foods as occasional treats too. A Platy that is fed a more varied diet will often display more beautiful colors.
Breeding Platy is not difficult and they will often spawn without any special coaxing. If you are a novice aquarist and want to breed Platy, you can purchase 2-3 female Platy with round bellies. Females with really round bellies are usually already pregnant and will soon give birth in your aquarium even if you keep no male Platy. If you are more serious about breeding Platy, you naturally want to select high-quality specimens and make them breed with each other instead of leaving it up to chance. Sexing Platy is not very difficult since the male has an elongated gonopodium. The male Platy use his elongated gonopodium to fertilize the eggs while they are still inside the female Platy. The offspring will then develop inside her until they are large enough to be born. A pregnant female should ideally be fed live food in addition to flake food since live food promotes the development of the fry. The water quality is important to ensure a higher quality of the fry. Change around 25 percent of the water at least once a week, or perform a series of smaller and more frequent changes.
During the first 12 hours after giving birth, the female Platy will usually not eat any fry. After that, she might, however, start to view her offspring as food. A separate fry raising aquarium can, therefore, be a good idea. If you let the fry grow and live in the same aquarium as adult fish, you should provide the fry with plenty of hiding spaces. You can, for instance, cover the floor in marbles and keep the aquarium well planted with plenty of densely grown areas. Many fries will still be eaten except for a few from each batch that will survive and become adults.
If you plan to raise the fry in a separate aquarium, you can move the female to the fry aquarium before she is ready to give birth. The stress of being moved can, however, cause her to give birth prematurely. Another method involves placing a net in the large aquarium where the openings are too small for the adult fish to pass through. The fry can then swim into the netted area to avoid being eaten.