Platy Fish Care Guide – Diet, Breeding & More

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Platyfish are docile aquatic creatures that are perfect for beginners due to their low maintenance nature. 

They are bright, beautiful, and have a lot to offer as a pet. We will take a close look at these fish and how to care for them properly.

Platy Fish Appearance

The average Platy fish grows to about 2.5 inches, but it depends on the species. There are certain types of these fish that get to be three inches long. The females are almost always significantly larger than the males.

Some of the more common strains of Platy fish include the Comet, Blue Mirror, Moon, Salt and Pepper, and Coral. The Yellowtail and Rainbow Platies are also very popular among those who keep fish.

These fish are characterized by short fins and a wide tail that fans out at the end. They come in a wide range of colors, including green, blue, white, yellow and red. If you want to brighten up your aquarium a little bit, a Platy fish could be a perfect choice.


You will find that Platy fish are generally very tranquil and hardly ever act aggressively. It is, however, important that you keep more females than males in the same tank. This will reduce the likelihood of competitive behavior, which can lead to aggression.

They are also known for being fairly active and enjoy breeding quite a bit. These fish tend to swim in groups when they are in the wild, using the local vegetation for cover.

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Natural Habitat

Platy fish are found throughout Mexico and Central America. They tend to occupy streams and rivers, as there aren’t a lot of predator species to evade. These fish are typically fond of water that has a moderate to strong current.

Platy Fish Care Guide

1. Tank Setup

Since these fish are so small, you only need a 10-gallon tank. It is, however, a good idea to go a bit bigger. The active nature of Platy fish means that they need a good amount of space to swim around.

You will need to make a point of changing out at least a quarter of the tank water every couple of weeks. It is important to create a habitat that resembles their natural environment. This means putting in a good number of plants while still providing them with ample space for swimming.

A gravel substrate is also highly recommended for keeping these fish, as it is what they are used to in the wild. You’ll want to have a powerful filter and keep it on medium to high so you can keep a strong water flow going.

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2. Water Conditions

The temperature of your Platy fish’s aquarium should be kept at 70 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. These fish cannot tolerate very cold or warm temperatures, so you need to keep that in mind. This is the best temperature for bringing out the bright and vibrant colors of these fish as well.

Make sure that the water has a pH of 6.8 to 8, and a hardness of 10 to 28 dGH. This will provide your fish with a healthy environment that it can truly thrive in.

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3. Platy Fish Tank Mates

The calm and peaceful nature of these fish means that you won’t have any issues with finding suitable tank mates. You should focus on choosing fish that are of a similar size and temperament. Fish that are too large can be very intimidating, causing your Platy fish to spend most of its time hiding away in rocks and vegetation.

It is a good idea to keep Platy fish together, but you need to make sure that the females outnumber the males by a large margin. Tetras, Gouramis, snails and shrimp also make excellent tank mates for these fish.

4. Platy Fish Food

Platy fish aren’t very picky when it comes to what they will eat. You should consider giving them certain vegetables like spinach and squash once in a while. These foods will supplement their diet so they get all their nutrient needs fulfilled.

It’s also a good idea to give these fish Bloodworms and brine shrimp a couple of times each day. These live foods will also help to keep them healthy. The more vitamins your fish get on a daily basis, the more vibrant their colors will be.

Common Health Problems

Platy fish are not particularly vulnerable to any diseases, but they have been known to develop fin rot and Ich. Both of these conditions can quickly become severe and even life-threatening if they are not dealt with promptly. Ich disease is the result of a parasitic infection, which usually occurs when the fish’s water is unclean.

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Platy Fish Breeding

Platy fish are live breeders, which means that they retain their eggs until they give birth. These fish are capable of breeding once they have reached four months old. You will need to set up a breeding tank that is a minimum of 10 gallons, though 20 gallons is recommended.

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Because these fish are known for eating their fry, you’ll need to take them out as soon as the eggs are released from the female. They can birth nearly 100 fries at once, and their pregnancy lasts about a month.


  • There are numerous variations of Platy fish, each of which is bright, colorful and unique looking.
  • These fish have a reputation for being very peaceful and non-aggressive.
  • It is best to keep these fish in a 10 to 20-gallon tank so they have enough room to swim around uninhibited.
  • Make sure that you change out a quarter of the water in the tank every two weeks to keep it clean.
  • The temperature of the water should be kept at a stable 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
  • A gravel substrate is best for this setup, as it is similar to what Platy fish experience in the wild.
  • A diet of pellets, vegetables and live foods is best for these fish.