Platy Fish Care

The Platy has a broad body and naturally rounded fins. Spotted patterning on the caudal peduncle and dorsal fin is common in the wild, and it has been maintained in a number of domestic strains.

The caudal peduncle spot is more like a crescent moon in some cases, which explains why the Platy is occasionally called the Moonfish. The wild form is usually olive-brown, although some individuals display reddish coloration – a feature that is very evident in domestic strains.


These strains have been created both by selective breeding and by hybridization with other Xiphophorus species, especially the Variegated Platy. The different strains are described on the basis of their coloration, patterning, and fin type, and it is quite possible for two or even three of these characteristics to be evident in a single individual, as typified by a Blue Wagtail Hi-Fin Platy, for example.

Such is the scope represented by the different characteristics identified in the Platy that in excess of 325,000 varieties could be created without resorting to hybridization with other Xiphophorus species.

Fertility of the strain

What sometimes occurs is that, in the quest to establish a particular feature, the breeding stock is too closely related, which reduces the fertility of the strain. Unless corrected by outcrossing to unrelated bloodlines, the strain may ultimately die out.

How many platy fish in a tank?

The Platy is suitable for both a community aquarium and a single-species setup. A tank for these fish should incorporate a clear area at the front for swimming, with some specimen plants, and denser planting around the back and sides.

Platy fish and plants

It is important to include plants such as Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana) if you hope to breed these livebearers successfully. Some of the young fish will survive long enough in this dense vegetation to grow to a size at which they will no longer be seen as a meal by other fish in the tank.

The Platy benefits from being kept at a slightly higher temperature than its variegated relative.

Platy fish is for beginner aquarist

The platy fish is an excellent fish for beginners, they are a simple fish, they are extremely Hardy yet, they come in hundreds and thousands of colors and shape variations.

This makes a platy a fun fish to have since it’s easy to care for and provides a variety of colors to choose from. The platy comes to us from Central America, they get about an inch or two in size in the aquarium, and they are very peaceful fish.

They’ll get along with pretty much any fish that doesn’t eat it and makes one of the best community fish that you can keep. They should be kept in water with a temperature between 65 and 78 degrees, and with a slightly higher pH of about 6.8 to 7.6.

Orange Platy
Orange Platy

When it comes to the setup, most platy fish appreciate live plants but the platy will be happy with any decorations, so get creative. There are so many colors available, so I recommend shop around before settling on just orange platies, not that there’s anything wrong with them. Another great thing about this fish is that it’s easy to tell the males from the females difference.

Platy Male Female
Difference between male and female platy

Why my platy fish laying on bottom of tank?

  • One explanation certainly would be impending motherhood, but it would be obvious she was pregnant, as she’d be so fat.
  • Another explanation would be ammonia poisoning.
  • Are you running a carbon filter? Many fish illness treatments are poisonous to fish in the long term, and it could possibly be a cause, if you haven’t run a carbon filter. null


it’s recommended you keep a three to one female to male ratio. You do this to avoid stress on the female platies, note and if you keep the males and females together they will breed, keep an eye out for a female platy with an enlarged belly. You will even be able to see the eyes of the fry and light colored platies.

Xiphophorus maculatus Platy
Xiphophorus maculatus Platy

Separate the female in a breeder’s net if you want to keep the fry alive, and isolate them until they’re big enough it’s not fit in the mouths of your aquarium fish, before introducing them back in. If you don’t want to keep all the fry, the mom will just release them in the aquarium, or the other platy or fish will chase them and eat them.

How long do platy fish live?

The platy fish only lives about 3 years which is actually beneficial, you can learn a lot about keeping them and as you grow experience, you can keep more advanced fish to replace your platy.

Scientific NamePoecilia
Common NamePlaty
Tank size10 gallons and more
Temperature65°F- 78°F (18 to 26 °С)
Size1.5-2.5 inches (4-6 cm)