Platy Fish Care Guide – Feeding, Breeding, and Tank Mates

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Platy fish are also known as xiphophorus. They belong to the family of the Poeclidos. They can be found in a biotope of fresh brackish waters that are generally located in parts of Central America.

Platy Fish


Scientific nameXiphophorus maculatus
SynonymsPlatypoecilus maculatus , Platypoecilus nigra ,  Platypoecilus Pulchra ,  Platypoecilus rubra ,  Poecilia maculata
Common namesGolden Moon Platy, Mickey Mouse Platy, Moonfish
OriginGuatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Adult size1–2 inches (3 1 / 2–5 cm)
SocialPeaceful, suitable for a community tank.
Life expectancy5 years
Tank levelHalf inhabitant
Minimum tank size10 gallons
DietOmnivore, eats most foods.
Watch outEasy
Hardness10–25 dGH
Temperature64–77 F (18–25 C)

The platy fish’s distinguishing characteristics

There are several variations, but the original has a light coloration with a few fins. From this species, it is possible to carry out experiments in laboratories that lead to beautiful colorations. In this process, it was also achieved that the male was smaller than the female.

The average dimensions of a platy fish are 4 cm for males and 6 cm for females. Despite being moderately large, their sociability with other fish is not very good, which is why they like to live most of their lives in the upper parts of the fish tank.

The life expectancies of platy fish are 2-5 years, but in general it can be less time if not enough attention is paid to the aquarium, its elements, PH and temperature. Their diet also plays an important role so that they can grow healthily and their reproduction is successful.

Differentiation tips

They can be easily identified. The first thing to note is that the male has a copulator organ that is visible. On the contrary, the female has an anal fin that will always have the same posture.

There are several tips to keep platy fish healthy. The first is not to have too many since these are usually very fruitful and the population could increase drastically. The second thing is to read everything concerning their species, since ignorance of how to keep them could cause errors in their incorporation into a new aquarium.

Another point to take care of is to know the number of fish of another species that will be with them. In general, they are shy, so they will not have problems in terms of attacks, but they do increase their violence in the mating season, especially males.

Another tip to remember is that after buying one or more, they should be taken home in a bag that should be immersed in the aquarium and not opened until about 20 minutes later. In this way, the platy will get used to the temperature progressively.

Types of platy fish

The types of platy fish vary from their native species. In general, they are detached from two branches: Xiphophorus variatus and Xiphophorus maculatus. Among them are variations ranging from colors and changes in their morphology.

Platy fish variation types

Each type of platy fish has a relatively elongated body and an elongated convex belly that reaches up to the back. Some types can even be evidenced by their fins. The best known variations are:

Tuxedo: this can be of any color but is easily identified because on the sides it has a black color in the form of a deformed stripe.

Wag-tails can be any color, but their black fins distinguish them.

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Spotted: also known as ‘salt and pepper’, its color can vary but its body is covered by several small black dots.

Calycs can be identified since they have two different colors that cover their entire bodies. The first tone is located in the front and the other in the back. If they have the colors red and yellow, they are known as “sunset”.

This type of fish is very charming and is known as such because on its back fin it has a spot in the form of Mickey Mause in black.

Comets can be any color, but they are distinguished by the black lines that run across their entire bodies, including the caudal fin.

Its color can vary between pink or reddish orange. Its main feature is the rounded spot that is located on its pendulum. In addition to the one on the back, it has a drawing of Mickey Mouse but without the stain on its back fin.

Berlin: It is also known as Hamburg or Weisbaden. These are black and have yellow colorations on their fins. It has scales that, in the breeding season, are colored blue.

Care of each fish according to its type

The variation of platy fish does not change with respect to their care since genetically they are similar in the issue of survival and mating. It is worth mentioning that the great variety of platy is due to experiments in laboratories that later became a population.

Aquariums for platy fish

The platy fish is not so demanding regarding its habitat as it is. However, certain measures must be taken so that its stay is pleasant and its reproduction can occur without any problems. Discover below the main details regarding the theme of the aquarium where they can live.

Fish tanks for platy fish

The first point to highlight is that the aquarium where they are going to be integrated must be very similar to their natural habitat. This type of fish likes to swim in the upper parts, preferably from the middle up. Taking this point into account, it is recommended that you have an aquarium with a wide surface and not a deep one.

The capacity that must be had is 60 liters, although it is worth mentioning that the higher they are, the better it will be. The more space they have, the higher their development will be. Platys prefer water, which is why the filter must be prevented from generating too many waves. In the aquarium, you can add 1 gram of salt for each liter of water being used. With these tips, your adaptability should not be difficult.

The temperature inside the fish tank should be constant if alterations are made. In winter, this point should be controlled. For this type of fish, it is recommended to keep the water between 18 and 28° C. The PH inside the aquarium also counts, so that your stay is not corrosive. It can be left slightly basic. Specifically, platy lives comfortably in moderate hard water.

Items include

In addition to the fish tank with the characteristics already mentioned, other elements should be included that will help them develop a pleasant stay. The first element is the lighting. This must be good so that the colors of the body of the platy can be highlighted perfectly.

The vegetation must be abundant, yes, preventing it from occupying the top. Do not forget this since it is here where they will spend the rest of their lives. They are shy, so this point should be key.

The background can be lined with dark colors since they feel more comfortable in this way. This point is related to their behavior since they are usually very shy and it has been proven that in dark backgrounds their activity improves greatly.

Platy fish hatchlings

The reproduction of the platy fish is one of the most proliferated in relation to other types of genera. But at best, overpopulation is a constant danger. This species has a small problem and that is that sometimes the parents can eat the offspring.


How the platy fish reproduces

The process of reproduction can be noticed because, in general, the female is larger than the male. It can be easily noticed since she is rounder. The male has a fin in the position of the gonopodium. This detail makes them have constant fertility, and therefore, fertilization is multiple. This part, when it is in the middle of the reproduction stage, changes color and can even be perceived.

It has the characteristic of entering puberty at 4 months of birth. From this point, they begin to develop their sexual characteristics. There are exceptions, since platy fish have the characteristic of being precocious, so that at six months, most males can already begin the mating process.

Surprisingly, there are others that can even start after a year of life. During mating days, males can become violent towards other fish. When this stage has passed and if it has been given successfully, the female can give between 10 and 80 offspring. These are the ones we refer to when we comment that they are prolific.

Tips for your breed

Party fish are ovoviparous. Starting from this context, it can be understood that during his courtship, the male exhibits his fins, which makes other fish feel intimate and even react aggressively. To avoid confrontations, it is recommended that you separate them. If you have a separate fish tank, that will be a good option.

The small platy are known as fry. They are born at 28 or 30 days after sexual intercourse. The amount also depends on the size of the female. Try to keep the water temperature stable since it plays a fundamental role. Do not forget that the gestation time can be reduced when there is a higher temperature. The temperature of 15 °C will be sufficient for the reproduction of the platy fish to take place normally.

Feeding the platy fish

Yellow Platy fish is a type of fish. The platy fish is a species that can eat almost everything, but it is not a point in favor since when ingesting what it finds in its path, it can get sick more often if you do not have the proper precautions.

What does the platy fish eat?

It is important to emphasize that the omnivorous platy fish is voracious, so a large number of foods, ranging from vegetables to meat, can be applied to your diet. In general, it is recommended that crustaceans, worms, vegetables, insects, dried food, flakes, among other similar foods, be included.

What should the platy fish be fed?

It is advisable when feeding platy fish is that it is done in an alternate way between types of food, especially between those that are vegetables and meats. Another point worth emphasizing is that they love to consume live prey, although it has been shown that they do not waste dried products.

If you are going to be given live food, it is recommended that you be in an aquarium with a few fish of another species. This recommendation takes on greater importance when there are other omnivorous fish in the middle. Do not forget that this fish is passive and will generally not fight for live prey.

When you are given larvae, mosquitoes or artemias, you should know where these foods come from because despite having bacteria, sometimes you rub another type of contamination and several viruses can adhere to them.

During gestation, the female usually increases her diet, so the larvae are a food that can strengthen her process. The male at mating time decreases his diet, so he should not worry that he is not seen eating so often.

It is recommended to give vegetable flakes on regular occasions. Sushi algae also helps to improve their activity. It is worth mentioning that green algae can be incorporated into the same plants or even into those known as crystals. In both cases, they do well when the owner goes on a trip, since they can feed themselves.

Platy fish care

The platy fish belongs to the family of the Poecilidos. This means that their care is based on taking care of the habitat where they are raised and their way of living with other fish. But there are more details that must be taken into account when acquiring this type of species.

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Basic care

This is one of the few fish that does not require as much attention as others in the same genus, and its multiplication is abundant in the Caribbean seas.The first recommendation to take care of a platy fish is to know how many fish you want to have without these being too many in the tank.

One of the basic principles for your health to remain stable is to learn all about them before you buy them. Learning about what you eat, how to feed them, how to decorate your fish tank, well, basically everything.

How to care for platy fish.

Aquarius: This is an important point since if you have a tank, you must clean it well before entering it. What is needed is not demanding. You can live healthily in a fish tank that has a filter, some stones, and a heater. It is

important to be clear about how many fish you want to keep in a single fish tank. In this case, a tank must contain a gallon of water that would be equivalent to two inches in length.

Learn about their cycle processes: in this case, a cycle without fish should be carried out. In other palabas, the filter that is in the tank must be turned on for at least 24 hours before the fish enter.

Proper company: if you already know how many fish you can have in a tank, now comes the part where you have to know what kind of fish can accompany the platy. Avoid aggressive species, as a platy usually avoids confrontations.

There are several more recommendations for your care that might help. One of them is, for example, at the time of buying, you must acquire the largest and have a vibrant color. Generally, these are the ones that can be best taken care of. Its reproduction depends largely on your mood, and this, in turn, on how well it has fit into your new home.

Types of Platy fish

The Platy is one of the most colorful freshwater fish, with base colors ranging from pale yellow to deep black and many shades in between. As with many species of fish, there are also albino variants. Within each of the color groups, there are many shades, along with a number of names used to describe them. It is common for platinum to display multiple colors, as well as a variety of hues, all in the same fish. Colors seen on platys include:

  • Platy Black
  • Platy Blue
  • Platy brown
  • Platy Gold / Yellow: referred to as gold, gold, marigold, sunbeam, sunset
  • Platy Green
  • Platy Red: referred to as blood red, brick red, coral red, velvet red


They live very well with fish with which they share size, temperament and require similar aquarium conditions. For example, they will be perfect with Mollys, Swordtail Fish or Guppys.

As it is a fish that swims on the surface, you can look for others that use the rest of the aquarium, such as the corydoras that occupy the lower part.