Anyone Own Red Tailed Blue Variatus

KimAnnKitz

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I came across the red tailed blue Variatus at a LFS and fell in love with them. I bought 3 for a tank that was just set up and later went back for 2 more. These are a fun, really cute, colorful, active fish and I really like watching them. I've had them 4 months and I have had no issues with any of them. I'm looking for others that might be familiar with this variety of live bearers who can answer some questions I have about another batch I bought. I replaced a 5 gallon tank with a 16 gallon on March 4 and decided I'd like to add some of these fish to that aquarium. Had trouble with them before I ever got them out of the bag. 1 was almost dead and the rest were acting strangely. I ended up losing 1 within hours and another a week later. I noticed that the remaining 3 fish look different than the 5 happy fish that I have in the other tank...including different dorsal fins and different temperaments and more. Did I get some bad fish??? I would like to have some feedback.
 

emeraldking

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Wether they've been bad fish is hard to tell at this point. Have you noticed anything else about those fish? They could've been sick already when you bought them.
I myself am keeping more kinds of variatus platies. And I hardly have some problems with them.
 
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KimAnnKitz

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I'm going to call these fish the first batch and the second batch. The first batch, of course, being the ones I've had the longest. The fish do look very much alike but two of the second batch of fish have large triangular top fins with one having an extra large fin that goes back to his tail and is taller than the fish itself. The third in the second batch has a smaller domed top fin that matches all of the first batch fins. The second batch is somewhat larger and more aggressive than the first batch. I was told they would stay fairly small and they all are smallish but the largest of the second batch reminds me more of a Molly in size. They are also not as colorful as the first batch. The second fish are also hesitant to come to the top to eat where as the first fish come right up as soon as I open their lid. I know this is kind of silly as the differences are small...except for the very different top fins. I really just want to learn more about these varitus and I want to make sure I'm getting good fish.
 

emeraldking

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Well, every variatus platy strain can grow up to 2-3 inches. They're offered as small specimens. Even platies coming from Xiphophorus maculatus can grow up to such sizes if they're offered the right space to max their grow potential.I've put wagtail platies (X.maculatus) in a small pond during a couple of months. They grew up to 3 inches. When fall hit the country, I've harvest them. Sold them afterwards to someone who had a large fishtank.
 
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KimAnnKitz

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I really wish people in fish stores would provide accurate information or say "I don't know" if they really don't know. Today one of the 3 remaining Red Tails is hiding. Normally this fish is very active. I'm afraid I'm going to lose that one. Also afraid they may be carrying a disease because my blue gourami in this tank just died last week outta the blue -- no sign of illness. Fine, swimming and eating normally one day, dead the next. Tank parameters all good. I'm beginning to regret setting up this tank...
 
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