Variatus Platy (Xiphophorus variatus) Care Guide

variatus platy

Last updated on July 7th, 2022 at 05:21 am

The Variatus Platy (Xiphophorus variatus) originates from Mexico and typically lives in bodies of water like ponds and lakes, but it can also survive in small puddles of water with high oxygen content.

This tropical fish has been prized by freshwater aquarists because of its distinctive black, white, and yellow coloration since it was first brought into the market in 1975. The Variatus Platy is easy to care for as long as you are willing to give it the proper space to swim around in and enough room to breathe while they’re at the surface of the water.

Xiphophorus variatus, commonly known as the Variatus Platy, is a species of freshwater fish that originates from Southern Mexico and Northern Central America. This peaceful tropical fish will thrive in a community tank if provided with proper care and consideration.

There are many factors to consider when setting up your Variatus Platy aquarium, but here’s everything you need to know about their care: starting with choosing the right water temperature and filtration system, through to feeding and breeding them (although this last bit isn’t recommended for beginners!).

Origin and descriptions

variatus platy

Variatus platys are a species of freshwater fish native to Central America. Native to their name, they vary in color depending on what habitat they are in. They are commonly known as varius platys or simply platys. A common name for them includes long-finned platy.

Variatus platys can live up to 10 years and can reach a length of 8 inches. On average, these colorful fish should be kept in tanks containing at least 2 gallons per every 2 inches of adult fish. Because males tend to fight with each other over territory and mates when kept together, it is recommended that only one male be kept with 3 or more females.

Species profile

variatus platy

The Variatus platy is a species of freshwater fish native to Texas. It has become a very popular aquarium fish and is typically very easy to care for. In many ways, it resembles other members of its genus; however, there are some key differences that make it an ideal beginner fish.

This long-finned fish comes in several color variations but always features yellowfins with orange or red tips, which can be outlined in black. This coloring pattern can be seen in males and females alike; they both also feature blue lines along their bodies near their stomachs, although male Variatus platies have blue dashes across their scales and thinner bodies than females.

Heros severus (Banded Cichlid)

Below you will find all the information you need to properly care for your Variatus platy!

Scientific name

The scientific name of the variatus platy is Xiphophorus variatus.

Habitat and distribution

The Variatus platy, like other platies, can be found in a variety of bodies of water. They prefer large lakes and ponds with some shelter, but may also be found in creeks and rivers that have some current. The Variatus platy is native to Mexico and parts of Central America, although it has been spread throughout North America as an aquarium fish.

The young are usually found near shorelines, while adults inhabit deeper waters. It prefers freshwater with temperatures between 68° and 79°F (20-26°C). Adult males live 5 to 7 years on average; females may live for 7 to 9 years or more. The life span for both genders will depend on how well they are cared for as juveniles.

Variatus platy size and weight

The average size of this fish is 7 to 12cm (2.7 to 4.7 inches) in length as an adult, and weigh approximately 18 to 50 grams as adults depending on sex, age, etc. Females tend to be larger than males due to eggs and fry needing a large amount of nutrients during the growth period.

Variatus platy tank size

The recommended minimum tank size is 10 gallons or larger. You should have at least one inch of fish per gallon in your tank. Because Variatus platies are large and active, you’ll need a lot of swimming room for them to be happy and healthy.

Tank set up

The best tank size for a Variatus Platy is 10 gallons. The water level should be kept at around 2.5 to 3.5 inches high and should have a good filtration system in place to provide clean, aerated water with each water change. In addition, live plants would add more oxygen to the water, helping your fish stay healthy and happy.

The Brim Fish: Amazing Sunfish Species

Make sure you know how much light you can supply to your tank as most platies need 6 hours of light per day. You can also use large stones or artificial decorations to create hiding places so they feel safe in their environment. Remember that it’s important not to overstock your tank! It’s better to have a few well-fed platies than lots of hungry ones.

Variatus platy tank mates

Variatus platies are peaceful fish that prefer to school together. They should be kept in groups of five or more and should be combined with other livebearers. They can also be kept with tropical fish such as tetras, rainbowfish, angelfish, guppies, and swordtails.

There is one exception to these rules: Variatus platies are aggressive towards their own kind, so it’s best not to keep a mated pair in a tank, unless you intend on breeding them.

Platy fish breeding

variatus platy

The Variatus platy is a very easy fish to breed. All you need to get started is a large tank with live plants, one male, and several females. They will not mate unless there are several females in the tank, so be sure to either have enough females.

Having lots of hiding places for your females is important, as it will make them feel safe when they’re ready to spawn. It’s also a good idea to keep some floating vegetation in your breeding tank, as it helps create more surface area for oxygen transfer. When breeding, water temperatures should be kept around 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Female fish can store sperm after they spawn, so if you want to increase your odds of raising healthy fry on their first go-around, try adding new males once every other day until her eggs hatch, that way she has at least one chance to lay her eggs without having her eggs fertilized by two different males!

Once she has laid all her eggs (it’s hard to tell how many that might be!), remove any other adult males from the tank. This will help prevent baby fish from being eaten by aggressive adult males before hatching. It may take about five days for your Variatus platy to hatch and become free swimming, but don’t worry, if you start seeing tiny yellow babies well before then.

Black Phantom Tetra Fish (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)

If you see newly hatched fry, put a few babies in another container filled with slightly dechlorinated tap water until they grow big enough to swim back into your breeding tank.

You can add fry back into your breeding tank as soon as they begin to nibble on flake food; however, even though they’re free-swimming now, it’s still best to wait until she finishes laying her eggs before returning any adult males into your aquarium again.

Adding too many babies at once will stress out mother fish and prevent them from caring properly for their young, which could kill off all or most of their fry!

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Variatus platy are very peaceful towards other species of fish, as well as humans. They aren’t territorial towards their own kind either, which is good news if you’re planning on having more than one in a tank! These fish have a tendency to act timidly around new people and animals, but that can be easily resolved by spending time with them.

Variatus platy care

variatus platy

Variatus platies are incredibly beautiful fish, but their beauty comes at a price. The main thing you need to know about caring for these fish is that they require lots of work. Variatus platies aren’t suitable for beginners; those considering buying them should be prepared to deal with some challenges in order to make sure their fish are properly cared for.

But once you get used to keeping them and learn how to do it properly, it becomes easier. In fact, when done correctly, it can become quite fun!

What they eat

Variatus platies are carnivorous freshwater fish that eat live food such as worms, small crustaceans, insects, and insect larvae. They are also fond of plankton and bloodworms. Be sure to feed your platy frozen or live foods at least once a day. These fish will not eat flake or pellet foods if given a choice but they can be trained to recognize pellets as food.

Water parameters

A pH level between 6.4 and 7.8 is best for your variatus platy, with a temperature between 76 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Nitrate, nitrite, ammonia should all be 0 ppm unless you are using live plants or a natural source of macro and micro nutrients in your tank that doesn’t alter those readings to outside normal ranges.

10 Best Types Of Loaches Fish For Your Aquarium

Water changes should occur on a weekly basis and include 15 to 20% (depending on how many fish you have in your tank). It is important to regularly clean filters as well.

Variatus platy lifespan

The average lifespan of Variatus platy is 2 to 4 years in captivity. However, they are generally more resilient than other varieties of platys and can live longer under ideal conditions. If you wish to keep one alive longer, a larger tank, better filtration, less aggressive tank mates, and regular water changes are recommended.

Parasites and diseases

The Variatus platy is susceptible to parasites and diseases, including hole-in-the-head disease and Hexamita. To avoid these problems, keep your fish in well-maintained water with a pH below 8.0 and a temperature between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The beneficial bacteria in an aquarium filter can be help in fighting off harmful bacterial infections.


Variatus platies are prey for larger, fast-moving fish, such as largemouth bass and piranhas. If you keep Variatus platies in an aquarium, be sure to use a tightly fitted lid to protect them from potential predators. As a precaution, place plants at both ends of your tank to prevent big fish from jumping into your tank and devouring your fish. In addition, consider installing a UV sterilizer on your tank since it will kill potentially harmful bacteria.

Do they make good pets?

Yes, one of the great things about platies is that they don’t make for a particularly demanding pet. Since they are omnivores, providing them with a well-rounded diet is more important than spending too much time worrying about food being deficient in some way. This means that even novice fish keepers can easily and happily house them in an aquarium.