The Platy is a very popular fish for starter aquarists, since it is relatively hardy, easy to take care of and also easy to spawn in captivity. It will not grow any bigger than 2.5 inches and one Platy can be kept in a 5 gallon tank. There are many varieties of the Platy, this includes the common red Wagtail Platy. Other popular options are Sunset Platy, Variatus Platy and Tuxedo Platy. Your Platy will do best if kept in water that is slightly alkaline, this means your water should have a pH higher than 7. It will probably survive on flake food, but it will do much better if you feed it live or frozen foods. A varied diet ensures that your Platy receives all important nutrients that it needs. The colours of the Platy can also turn dull from an insufficient diet, as with many fish.

Platies are a good tropical fish for the aquarist starting off. They are a very serene tropical fish. It is recommended to keep two females to every male Platy. Doing this will prevent the male from harassing a single female.


Platys are very easy to care for, and are great beginner fish. Platy’s prefer water temperatures of 24.4-26.1C. Platy’s are very sturdy, and they can adapt to many environment changes.  PH can range from acidic (6.5) to basic (8.2). Platy’s have even been known to live in salted water and experience no negative effects of it.


Flake, frozen, freeze dried, and live food is all accepted by the Platy, and all should be fed to them to keep a healthy varied diet. Although flake can be their staple diet, it will be healthier to feed them varying food, and help them show better colours.


Breeding is quite easy, because the caretaker of the fish doesn’t have to do anything to initiate it, and usually can’t even prevent it. This species give birth to live young, they do not lay any eggs. Gestation usually lasts about a month, at which point the fry are released from the mother, and unfortunately afterwards can be eaten by the mother or by other platys. Determining whether a Platy is pregnant is quite easy. If your platy is much fatter than you remember her, and seems about ready to explode or she has a black spot that was not there before (forming above the three fins used to determine the sex) then your Platy is pregnant.

Caring for fry is also very simple. If you would like a large brood of fry, it is best to keep the mother alone in a breeding net or even better, in a separate tank. You should do this before she is close to giving birth. There are foods available specifically for baby fish, but Platy’s far from fussy, and flake food crushed into tiny pieces will do. Feed them small amounts in the morning and evenings.


Call into your local store today to discuss your pet’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts