Platys are prolific breeders and incredibly hardy, making them possibly the greatest freshwater tropical fish for beginner breeders. Their confident but amicable nature makes them excellent additions to any community tank that features similarly small, peaceful species.
An incredibly low maintenance fish, platys are super hardy and can handle a wide range of water conditions. They are also not susceptible to any specific illness, and respond well to the usual treatments should they be unlucky enough to suffer fin rot or ick. All platy species are almost identical in size, shape and behaviour, with the most striking variations being in colour. Some of our most popular species include the Hawaiian Variatus Platy, the Sunset Platy, Red Wagtail Platy and the Red Mickey Mouse Platy. For maximum value, you may also like to check out our assorted Platy bundles.
Platys hail from Central America, particularly Northern Honduras, Guatemala and Southern Mexico. Although most reliably found in river basins, Platys can be found in just about any freshwater source in these areas. As a testament to their hardiness, this includes canals, ditches, stagnant swamps and even mere puddles.
Behavior/Compatibility for Platys
Platys aren’t a shoaling fish but they do enjoy hanging out with their own kind, with a minimum group size of 3 platys recommended. Although they are not an aggressive fish, the males are insatiable when it comes to breeding, so be sure to adhere to the usual rule of 2 or 3 females for every 1 male. Platys will cause no problems with any other fish species, but this placid nature means they will be susceptible to bullying. They should be kept with other peaceful species such as Dwarf Gouramis, Swordtails, Neon Tetras and Cherry Barbs.
Housing Platys and Aquarium Fish Tank Set-up Tips
Platy’s docile nature and small stature mean you can get away with relatively small aquarium sizes, though a 38 litre (10 gallons) tank is recommended to ensure they will not outgrow it. Being a sociable fish, you should keep platys in groups of a minimum of 3, with the majority being female. If you are interested in getting into breeding Platys for your community tank, a secondary 38 litre (10 gallons) tank is also recommended for the fry before you introduce them to your larger community aquarium. As mid to surface level swimmers, longer tanks are recommended for Platys.
Recommended Max Fish Count Tank Volume 1-4 Platys 38 litres (10 gallons) 6 Platys 59 litres (13 gallons) 10 Platys 82 litres (18 gallons) 15 Platys 90 litres (24 gallons) 20 Platys 160 litres (35 gallons)
Platys rarely interact with any particular substrate, so feel free to select your substrate on the needs of your other species or simply aesthetics. For ease of cleaning, small gravel is recommended as a substrate as long as it is suitable for your fish species.
Although platys are generally a more open water swimmer, they do seem to appreciate a planted freshwater aquarium to give them cover they can hid in, particularly if you happen to have any boisterous fish in your community aquarium. This is especially true if you are breeding in the same tank as adult fish, as the fry will need this cover to survive. Some aquarium decorations like Driftwood or rocks with small cavities are ideal. Java moss or Hornwort are great options for your Platys.
Having become used to just about any freshwater they could find in the wild, Platys are super tolerant of a wide range of water parameters. However, the ideal range (particularly for breeding purposes) would be temperatures of 18 to 25 degrees C (64.4 – 77 F). Depending on your local climate, you may need to install a water heater to ensure the temperature stays within this range.
Aim for a Ph of 5.5-7.8 and a hardness of 1-15 DGH. To ensure your pH and hardness are suitable you should invest in a testing kit.
Always ensure your water is properly filtered, and regularly change the water (20% weekly or 40% every other week). You should also vacuum clean the substrate regularly and adjust the chemistry of any tap water you use to top your tank. You may do this with one of our many water conditioning products.
Feeding and Care
Platys are omnivorous fish, subsisting in the wild mainly on algae, decaying plant matter, insect larvae, fish eggs and various microorganisms. To replicate this in your aquarium we recommend high-quality flakes and/or pellets, the occasional frozen or freeze-dried meat-based food and veggies such as lettuce or cucumber. Crushed hardboiled egg yolks are particularly good for platy fry as a major source of protein, freshly hatched brine shrimp nauplii, or larvae also make great food for them. You should only need to feed your adult Platys once a day, but be sure to mix their diet up slightly to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.
Great reasons to keep Platys in your tropical fish tank
- • They display incredibly vivid colours in extremely diverse ranges.
- • They are a very peaceful fish, meaning you should have no problems with them stressing out your other fish species.
- • Platys are incredibly hardy and will happily tolerate your water conditions fluctuating within reason.
- • They are ideal for those wanting to get into the fish breeding hobby - It’s sometimes more difficult to prevent overpopulation with Platys!
Platys are a massively popular freshwater fish pet for good reason. In short, they look gorgeous, require very little work and just keep reproducing. Check out our range of platys below and select your favourite colours or go for one of our mixed bundle Platy packs and we’ll get shipped right to your door.