What is the Ideal Temperature for my Platy Fish?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

If you are a novice platy fish owner, you may be worried about many aspects of fish care with temperature being one of the most important and confusing factors.

So, what is the ideal temperature for my platy fish? Ideally, platy fish thrive in warm tank waters with temperature between 70- and 77-degrees Fahrenheit and a neutral pH value.

Because of their ease of keeping, non-aggressive nature, and fast-breeding, platy fish work great for beginner aquarists. Read on to find out how you can give the best care to your fish and keep them satisfied in their aquatic habitat.

Optimum water parameters

As mentioned above, platies prefer warm water. To monitor the water and make adjustment if needed, we recommend keeping a thermometer inside the fish aquarium.

While it should not be troublesome to keep the temperature of water between 70- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit (21 – 25 degrees Celsius), you can use an aquarium heater (available at your local pet store) if you find the water getting too cold. This generally depends on the room you are using for your fish tank as the colder the room, the colder the water will be.

On the other hand, if you find the water being too cold for your platy fish – consider investing in a water chiller. However, in very rare cases you would need to lower the temperature of the water in your tank.

Additionally, the pH value of the water used in platy fish aquarium should be between 6.8 and 8.0. Platy fish choose slightly hard water between 10 and 28 DH while some salt in the water is also well tolerated by the freshwater species of fish.

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Keep the tank water aerated and clean

Dirty water can wreak havoc on the health of fish. To ensure that the water in your aquarium is clean and with proper oxygen – use an air-powered sponge filter to keep the water from stagnating. However, make sure you use an air-powered sponge filter as other varieties can threaten the life of a fry by sucking them in their vents.

Replace water every 1-2 weeks

Replacing around 20 – 25% of water every 1-2 weeks will keep the water in the tank clean from impurities that can make your fish sick.  It will also prevent any pH changes that can be harmful for your fish and their well-being.

Keep in mind that the more fish you have, the more toxins will build up inside the water – requiring repeated water change. On the other hand, if you don’t have many platy fish in your tank, you can get away with replacing water once a couple of weeks.

Keep the tank clean

Besides changing the water timely, keeping the sides (or the glass) of the tank clean is very important. Since algae builds up fast, depleting the water and oxygen in the tank, it is vital to give the aquarium a thorough cleaning once in every 2-4 weeks.

To clean the residue running along the sides of the aquarium, use fresh, tank-only algae pad and scrub the sides of the aquarium thoroughly – from the inside as well as the outside. Rinse the gravel and aquarium decorations in a sieve over a bucket until the water straining runs clear.

Set up the tank adequately

Platies are small fish and do not require much space. However, it is never a good idea to overcrowd the tank, therefore we recommend getting a large tank that holds at least 29 gallons (110 liters) of water. Since platy fish breed easily and rapidly – a tank with a large capacity will come in handy for the fish to roam around freely.

Besides sufficient space and adequate water temperature, the tanks for platy fish should be planted densely with both – live and artificial plantation along with aquarium gravel for a nature-inspiring habitat.

Give your platies space

Although, platies are generally peaceful fish, they tend to become aggressive in different conditions including lack of resources. Overcrowding the tank can also lead to less oxygen in the water as well as excess waste that ultimately results in fatalities of the fish.

To provide your pets with proper room to roam, and of course, suitable water conditions; it is best to keep around 10-14 adult platies in a 29-gallon tank.

Avoid giving too much food

Having too much uneaten food in the tank can dirty the water, making the environment unsuitable for your pet fish. Give your platy fish as much food as they can eat within 3 minutes, several times a day.

Platies are omnivorous and accept anything offered to them. Giving them high-quality commercial flakes and pellet food is generally considered a good diet for the pellets. Additionally, you can supplement their feed with occasional meat- and vegetable-based food such as:

  • Live or frozen brine shrimp
  • Blood worms
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower

Do not overpopulate the tank

Platies are fast breeders and start mating as soon as you introduce a male to its female counterparts. Even though platies are peaceful in nature, male platies can become aggressive if they don’t get the attention of female platies. Likewise, a female fish can become stressed and exhausted in the case she is getting ‘excessive’ attention from the opposite gender. This is why it is essential to keep a 1:3 male to female ratio.

A pregnant fish exhibits a dark spot on her abdomen. Once the pregnancy is diagnosed, you can remove the female from the community tank until she gives birth. This, in some instances, produces stress in the pregnant female. If you notice that the mother platy seems anxious in her new tank, then we’d advise you to put her back in the community tank.

Additionally, make plans to sell or giveaway the fry as soon as they reach sexual maturity or move them to their own tank within 4 months. Otherwise, your aquarium will rapidly become a fish nursery, causing the other fish to suffer and get sick.

Related Questions

Can you keep a platy fish alone? Definitely, not! Platy fish are community fish and are likely to get depressed when kept on their own. In fact, it is a good idea to keep 3-5 together at the same time with their own species or other small fish like guppies and mollies.

Do the platy mothers eat their fry? Yes! Platies don’t have much maternal instincts and can eat their fry as well. We recommend keeping the fry in a separate tank until they are bigger than the adult platy’s mouth to prevent fatalities.

How fast do platies breed? Platies attain sexual maturity at the age of 4 months only and are capable of breeding every 30 days without much coaxing from the owners. The mature female will continue to breed throughout her life as long as she is healthy.


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