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Southern platyfish

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The Southern Platyfish, Common Platy or Moonfish (Xiphophorus maculatus) is a species of freshwater fish in family Poecilidae of order Cyprinodontiformes. A live-bearer, it is closely related to the green swordtail (X. helleri) and can interbreed with it. It is native to an area of North and Central America stretching from Veracruz, Mexico, to northern Belize.

X. maculatus prefers slow-moving waters of canals, ditches, and warm springs. Omnivorous, its diet includes both plants and small crustaceans, insects, and annelid worms.

Breeders have developed a multitude of color varieties which are common aquarium fish for hobbyists.

The southern platyfish is commonly known simply as the platy (pl. platys or platies), from the fish’s original generic name, Platypoecilus.

Platys are easy to keep and well suited to a community aquarium. They prefer water with a 7.0–8.0 pH, a water hardness of 9.0–19.0 dGH, and a temperature range of 18–25 °C (64–77 °F).

In captivity, they reach maturity in 3–4 months and breed readily, the females giving birth to about 40–50 young at a time.

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