Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

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Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby elizabeth1982 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:05 pm

I know platy, swordtails, and variatus are technically different. My question is, while different will they breed together? I thought they would. I sort of always considered swordtails and variatus to be types of platy. Am I wrong? If I have a male swordtail, which I do, will he breed with my female platy? I do not have any variatus in my tank right now, but I have seen some really pretty ones that I'd like to get someday. I use to breed livebearers but I stuck with plain ol' platy, mollies, and guppies. I never added swordtails or variatus into the mix (until now). Thanks in advance!
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby etheonut » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:46 am

Yes, all three will cross very easily.
They are three species in the same genus and I believe they have been crossed before to trade "desirable" traits among the more ornamental lines.

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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby elizabeth1982 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:58 pm

etheonut wrote:Yes, all three will cross very easily.


Thank you! That is sort of what I figured, but I wasn't certain.
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby dennysfishroom » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:10 pm

As a general observation, the 3 species probably don't readily inter-breed unless males or females of the same species are not available. Having said that, there are probably instances when it has happened in the wild, so it's not impossible. Just that it's not inevitable if you have 2 or 3 species in the same tank. Color varieties are another situation, however. They will readily breed with other color varieties of the same species. Denny
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby etheonut » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:38 pm

I would disagree. Male livebearers are not picky at all. If it is female they will try to breed with it.

I once watched a male red sword try to breed with an orange gourami for half an hour and he had a tank full of female swords to choose from.

If I see mixed livebearers in a tank then I assume that any fry the females drop are hybrids.

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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby mewickham » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:46 pm

Though they are three separate species, they not only can crossbreed, they already have. All of the platies, swordtails, and variatus in the trade (except for the occasional rare import of wild fish) are technically hybrids. They have been crossed with each other to introduce traits, such as color and fin length, to the other species. So none of the three are 100% pure.

But, having said that, the fish will preferentially mate with their own species and usually ignore the other species, unless mates of their own kind are missing. Usually. But as Kevin pointed out, there are some gold gouramies out there that are irresistibly hot! :)
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby dennysfishroom » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:35 pm

I don't think we have to worry about running across any swamis however.
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby elizabeth1982 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:00 pm

Well, I in my tank right now I have 5 female platy, 1 male platy, and 1 male swordtail. I guess I will just have to wait and see if any fry turn into swordtails. :)
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby sumpnfishy » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:03 pm

That male swordtail is doing his best to mate with the girls. Since most domestic types of livebearers are hybrids of platies and swords then "mating with their own kind" could then mean either type.
And just for clarification when it comes to wild type fish: variatus are considered platies, as are the maculatus types and several other species not commonly seen in the hobby. The most common swordtails are helleri but again there are several different species that are called swordtails. Then there are a few species such as Xiphophorus birchmani that kind of fall somewhere in the middle.
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby sskruzr » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:26 pm

Well Elizabeth, enough information? Some of these boys just love to hear themselves type :lol:
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby elizabeth1982 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:56 am

sskruzr wrote:Well Elizabeth, enough information? Some of these boys just love to hear themselves type. :lol:


I am loving the information. :)
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby sumpnfishy » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:07 pm

She asked a question about livebearers and you don't expect a response from the guy who's on the board for the American Livebearer Association? I've got to spout off sometime!! :D
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Re: Rookie question about platy, swordtails, and variatus.

Postby Herpchat » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:49 pm

I can toss this out.

Some livebearers is you look at the mouth of the males have hairs (they are microscopic) which are used to stimulate the females to entice them to spawn.

I know this is the case with mollies. It is within the realm of possibility others have them too.

Your Mikes are also filled with useful information.

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