Aquarium Fish

Platy Fish - Platies

The Platy originates in Central America and is a very popular tropical fish. It is very easy to take care of and well suited for the freshwater fish beginner. The Platy fish comes in many different color varieties including the salt and pepper platies, the red wag tail and the tuxedo platy. There is even a variety called the Mickey Mouse. They can be a very active tropical fish if given good water conditions.

The female Platy is usually larger than the males of the same age. Females can reach a size of up to 2.5 inches whereas the males usually get to be about 1.5 inches. Breeding them is fairly easy since they are livebearers.

Platies will accept most fish foods including flakes, frozen, live and freeze dried foods. Try to vary their diet for optimum health and coloration.

Also see the Platy FAQ on the forum for more information.

Platy Picture

Platy Mickey Mouse Platy

Platy Birth Video

Platy Fish Care

Scientific Name : Xiphophorus maculatus

Common Names : Many types and usually based on the color patterns - Southern Platy, Red Wagtail Platies, Red Platy, Mickey Mouse Platy, Red Tuxedo, Moon Fish, Topsail Rainbow, Sunset, Golden, Calico, Salt and Pepper, Coral Red, Black, Blue, the list goes on.

Care Level : Easy, good first fish for freshwater fish beginners

Size : 2 inches (5 cm)

pH : 7 - 8

Temperature : 65°F - 78°F (18°C - 26°C)

Water Hardness : 10° to 25° dH

Origin / Habitat : Central America

Lifespan : 2 - 3 years

Platy Temperament / Behavior : This is a good tropical fish for the beginner. They are a very peaceful tropical fish. Also, it can be a good idea to have two females for every one male. Doing this will prevent the male from harassing a single female.

Platy Breeding : They are livebearers which means that a pregnant platy the babies can swim immediately after birth. Usually, not much effort is required to get them to breed. If you have a male and a female, chances are they will breed. The parents must be separated from the young after birth. For more information on breeding them, please read the breeding livebearers article. That article talks about guppies and swordtails but the process is similar with Platies.

Aquarium Size : 10 gallon or larger.

Platy Compatible Tank Mates : They make an excellent fish for a community tank given their peaceful nature.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Foods : Give them a varied diet consisting of flakes, live and freeze dried foods for optimum health.

Tank Region : All over the aquarium

Gender : The female is usually bigger than a male of the same age. The male Platy also has a modified anal fin called a gonopodium.

Author : Mike FishLore

Fish Lore Forum : Platy Forum


Platy Tips

From: Meghan
Platys are easy, fun fish to have. They are also very hardy so you will have lots of luck with them.

From: Jonny
Very colourful peaceful species thats great for community tanks. They breed very easily and be sure to make the ratio from male to female 1:2.

From: Stephanie
Platys can give birth at the age of three to four months. Platys get along really well with Guppys and other peaceful fish.

From: 0morrokh
Yup, Platys are awesome, and tend to be hardier than Guppies, which are more popular and thus way overbred. Make sure the ones you are getting aren't slightly deformed, a common problem with livebearers.

From: Jacob
Yeah, platys are cool, as long as you have a big enough tank, they make GREAT fish for beginners and experts alike.

From: Jacob
Platties are great fish to keep for every level of aquarists. I had two male and one female micky mouse platties. The two males kept on fighting over the female, so I simply got another female and everything was o.k.

From: Morgan
Make sure you have a ratio of one male per 2 females or you will have problems. Also try and get males that are the same size so its even if they fight (I had this problem). When you go to buy them if you see dead fish and or sick fish in the tank, look in a diferent tank for fish. Pet stores are breeding grounds for sickness because of all the fish in small tanks.

From: Plug
Good comment Morgan but the majority of pet shops run their tanks of one main filter line, so if one tank has white spot say the others will eventually get ich too.

When a female platy is pregnant (gravid) make sure you keep her protein levels up (live foods). This will give you a good brood size and the baby platy will be in good shape. If you have selected to breed then make sure the male is in good shape like the female (high protein diet).


From: Liam
Don't get one male and one female because the male will chase it to death. Thats what happened to my wagtail platys. Always get 2 females for every male.

From: Ro
Great fish and totally peaceful. They mix well with guppys and would make a great addition to any community tank. My female Red wagtail follows my Bronze cory around sometimes to collect little food particles the corydoras digs up! Overall one of the best fish available (as far as I'm concerned!). Peaceful, pretty, active, hardy, those are just a few compliments I can throw at the platy. It is ultimately one of THE BEST fish around for community aquaria.

From: Emily - Awesome Fish!
I love these fish. Very hardy, great beginners fish, peaceful, they're so fun! Word of warning to new platy owners though, if you don't want more and more platy fry, please don't get males and females. Males alone will most likey fight, especially if there's a smaller amount of tank room. Example: 5 female platies in a 10 gallon, filter for a 20 gal, peaceful. 5 Males? Especially in that space they will be overly agressive, bullying. You will probably end up with only one fish. Oh, and watch that you don't buy pregnant females if you're not for breeding them AND you don't plan to get another tank anytime soon. You say, oh yeah, I'll just let the adults eat them if they do. If you love these fish the WAY I do, you will break your back leaning over the tank, fishing them out one by one to a small breeder net you just bought 10 minutes ago, racing that cargo truck down the highway like I did. But I couldn't bear to let them be eaten. Will find another tank to place them in soon. This time I'll seperate them though, if closely related fish breed, that often leads to deformities which shorten that fish's life and they will most likey be in pain! Oh, and since I was reading up on them a lot, breeders, they say giving them another tank is the best way to let them grow. That's NOT a bad way, though adults actually give off hormones that help them grow faster. My favorite way is to put them in a net, in the same tank as adult platies. AWESOME FISH! :)


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