Care Guide for Platy Fish – Feeding, Breeding, and Tank Mates
Are you looking for a fish that is hardy, colorful and easy to breed? Platies have always been one of our favorite livebearers to recommend to both beginners and veterans. You can learn more about their care needs, such as housing, tank mates and feeding, as well as breeding.
What are Platy Fishes?
Platies are a popular livebearer in the freshwater aquarium hobby that are native to Mexico and Central America. Xiphophorus Maculatus (southern Platyfish) is the most popular species in fish shops. Xiphophorus Variable (variable, variatus platy) is also available. Crossbreeding with other species and swordtail species can result in many color variations.
What are the various platy fish types? Many new colors and patterns are being created all the time, but some of the most loved varieties are Mickey Mouse, red wag, yellow, blue, bumblebee and green lantern platies.
How big are platys? Most platies grow to about 2-3 inches (5-7cm) in height, while dwarf platies (which were selectively bred for a shorter body length) typically stay at around 1 inch (2.5cm).
How long does a platy fish live? If they are kept in a healthy environment with clean water and good nutrition, platies can live for up to three years.
How much does a platy fish cost? These fish are inexpensive and can usually be bought at fish stores for around $2-$4 per piece, depending on what type. Try to get the healthiest fish that have bright eyes, full bellies, and active behavior. If you notice other sick fish in the same tank, it may be safer to visit another store to get your platies.
There are many platies in every color of the rainbow.
How do I set up a Platy Fish tank?
Platies can live in a 10- to 20-gallon aquarium or larger. Platies can live in aquariums that are 10 to 20 gallons or larger. However, most livebearers prefer a higher pH. We have found that platies can tolerate an extremely wide range of pH levels from 6.8 to 8.5. They also enjoy harder water, so if your tap water is especially soft, consider adding more minerals using Seachem Equilibrium or Wonder Shell. We also like to keep our platies with live aquarium plants to help consume some of the organic waste produced by the fish.
Do platy fish need a heater? Most platies do well with temperatures from 70-82degF, but if your air conditioning is set on full blast, you may want to consider getting an aquarium heater. Variant platies can live in cooler water and don’t require additional heating if kept at room temperature.
Do platies need an air pump? You can use almost any type of aquarium filter with your platies, including those that run on an air pump. Aquarium filters help keep the water clean of floating particles, process nitrogen waste in the water, and ensure your fish get enough oxygen. This article will help you decide which filter is right.
Will platys live in a small pond? Absolutely! Variantus platies is an excellent fish that you can keep in an outside mini pond during the warm summer months. For more information on setting up a mini pond, please refer to our tutorial.
How many platies should be kept together? A group of three to six platies is a good starting point. The males are always looking for mates, so it is a good idea to have at least two females to give the girls a break.
Platies can be very easy to sex because the male (above has a thin, stick-like anal Fin called a Gonopodium), while the female (below has a fan-shaped Anal Fin.
Can platy fish live alone? Yes. Although platies seem to love their companionship, they won’t school in close quarters unless they feel you’re about feeding them.
Which fish can live with platies These friendly fish livebearers are compatible with all other community-sized fish. Some peaceful tank mates to consider include small tetras and rasboras, cory catfish, snails, bristlenose plecos, and rainbowfish.
Are platies allowed to live with betta fish. According to our experience, betta fish are able to live peacefully in a tank with other platies. Just make sure they are housed in a large enough aquarium with lots of plants or decorations so that the betta has enough territory to call his own.
What Do Platy Fish Eat?
These fish are not demanding and can eat nearly anything you put in their tank. You should feed them a variety of food, including high-quality flakes, pellets and freeze-dried foods. This will ensure that they are getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need.
Platies are not picky eaters, but they will live a longer and healthier life when given a diverse mix of proteins, vegetables, algae, vitamins, and minerals.
How frequently should platys be fed? One meal per day for adults is sufficient, while small meals every other day are better for young fish. You may be feeding your fish too much if you see long strings of poop hanging from your plates.
How many days can a platy go without food? Food is scarce in the wild so fish don’t get to eat everyday. Your fish will be able to survive on their own if you’re only going away for a few days. However, if you will be away for two or more weeks, consider getting an automatic fish food feeder or finding a pet sitter to take care of your fish.
How Often do Platy Fish Give Birth to Babies?
Platies are livebearers, which means that they give birth to live young. Livebearer eggs are more durable than fish babies, which hatch from eggs. They also have a higher survival rate. In the right conditions, female platies can give birth to 20 to 50 babies per month.
Will platy fries survive in a community aquarium? Adults don’t show any parental care for their children and will happily eat them, if given the opportunity. You can control their population by allowing the adult fish to eat the fry, so only one or two of each batch will be left. If you wish to increase their survival rate in a community tank, provide lots of decorations, rocks, wood, or live plants as cover for the fry to hide behind. If you are using a canister or hang-on filter, cover the intake tube with a pre-filter sponge to prevent them from accidentally getting sucked up.
There is a lot to be enjoyed from breeding fish and watching the babies grow up.
What to do with the platy fry? Keep the fish well-fed. The water will become more dirty faster. If you want to maintain a high quality water supply, you can either give your fish to friends or give them to a pet shop. If you’re interested in breeding fish for profit, consider selling the offspring to a local fish store. For more information on where to buy live fish online, see our list of recommended vendors: