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How to Take Care of Baby Platies - "File:Platy Baby 1.jpg" by Graf zu Pappenheim is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
How to Take Care of Baby Platies - "File:Platy Baby 1.jpg" by Graf zu Pappenheim is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Looking for a hardy, colorful fish that does not require much care and is easy to breed? If yes, platies would be our favorite recommendation for both beginners and veterans. Easy to take care of and their peaceful nature makes them great pets for an aquarium. They have a unique appearance, all thanks to their beautiful colors and intricate patterns.

In case you plan to keep platies in your aquarium, you need to have a good understanding of their care requirements. One of the great things with platies, is that they easily get babies, which is why we’ll be looking at how to take care of baby platies. Unlike adult platies which require quite less care, platy fry has a delicate body and requires more care and attention. This article covers everything about platies care, from birth to adulthood, diet, tank setup, and much more. Make sure you read this guide till the end so that you don’t miss any important points of platies care.

Tank set up for platies 

If you have made up your mind to introduce platies in your fish tank, you are in the right place as this guide gives you a detailed description of a proper tank setup for them. Here’s everything you need to know about setting up a tank for platies.

Tank size

Normally, you would see platies live in aquariums of 10-20 gallons (45-90 liters) or even larger. You can choose a tank with a small size for young platy fry and go for a larger one as they grow up.

Live Plants

Veteran fish keepers consider it a good idea to keep platies with some live plants. They help in the consumption of organic wastes produced by fish. Densely planted areas mimic platies’ wildlife habitat; this is what makes them comfortable and happy among live plants.

Tank water heater 

Most plates enjoy living in the temperature range of 70-80°F (21-27 Celcius), but to avoid too radical fluctuations, you can also go for an aquarium heater. However, various platies do not require extra heating when kept at room temperature as they are habitual to living in cooler waters. However, this of course depends on how you live.

Filtration

Almost any type of aquarium filter can be used with plates. Even the ones that run on an air pump can be used. Aquarium filters help in keeping tank water free from floating particles, and help keep the water clear. They also make sure that your fish gets enough oxygen, and help with the overall balance in your aquarium.

Substrate 

Both fry and adult platies do not have any particular substrate needs as such. They usually swim along the tank bottom sometimes, but they do not interact with the substrate much. So gravel, sand, etc., go with whatever you like. Your platies really won’t care too much about it. However, to avoid stress it’s usually a good idea to have some sort of substrate.

Best tank mates for platies

Because of their peaceful nature, plates can be easily kept with other fish. Species in which plates can easily live could include.

  • Cardinal tetras
  • Neon tetras
  • Zebra danios
  • Otoclinus catfish
  • Bristlenose pleco
  • Harlequin rasboras
  • Corydoras catfish
How to Take Care of Baby Platies - "65-365 baby platy" by Upupa4me is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
How to Take Care of Baby Platies – “65-365 baby platy” by Upupa4me is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Feeding platies

Once you are successfully done with separating adult platies from platy fry, the next thing you need to move on to is making sure that your newborn platies are well-fed. This is an essential part of how to take care of baby platies.

As mentioned above platy fry has a delicate body that needs extra attention and care from its keeper in terms of feeding frequency and food quality.  

To make sure that your platies survive, you need to feed them well. 

However, do not overfeed them. Give them the kind of food that they need, and also in the right quantity. If you see any food remains in the tank after feeding them, immediately remove it. If you do not remove this leftover food, the remains will pile up leading to a change in the chemical composition of the tank water. This change will negatively affect the health condition of your platy fry.

Feeding frequency 

The most recommend feeding frequency for baby platies is usually 2-3 times per day.

Favorite food options 

One of the plus points about platy fry and adult platies is that they are not among picky eaters. This means that you have a variety of food options for your plates. 

Some of their favorite foods include brine shrimp, crushed flakes, micro warms, daphnia, and much more. Make sure to feed your platies a diet with high-quality ingredients.

Breeding 

Breeding platies could not possibly be any easier. It is more of a challenge to prevent them from breeding. All you need to do is just add water and see your platies having hundreds of babies. Without any exaggeration, it is just that easy to breed platies.

Female platies normally give birth to 10-50 babies at a time. They can produce a whole new batch every four weeks. Their reproductive rate depends upon a lot of factors, including temperature, stress, water, feeding, etc.

How to take care of platy babies – raising platy fry

How to Take Care of Baby Platies - "File:Platy Baby 1.jpg" by Graf zu Pappenheim is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
How to Take Care of Baby Platies – “File:Platy Baby 1.jpg” by Graf zu Pappenheim is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Live-bearers give birth to baby fish that swim freely since the start of their life. So, you need not worry about the work of guarding their eggs or preventing them from getting moldy. 

The biggest challenge during raising platy fry is the protection of the little fry from the attacks of notorious adults. 

It might be tough living in a family where any uncle or auntie can eat at any second. There are multiple ways to protect the fry from the attacks of adult fish. Here are two of the popular ones.

Breeding box

When female fish look like they are about to give birth to their baby, you can put them in a specialized container. In the breeding box, female fish can easily give birth to their fry.  Then, shift newborn platies to another box for raising, or move the female (and other inhabitants). You can easily move them back once they reach a size of an inch and cannot be attacked or eaten.
However, please note that breeding boxes can be stressful for the platy mother, so keep an eye out here, and only keep them in the box for the absolute minimum of time.

Planted cover 

If you have densely planted areas in your aquarium, especially large patches of java moss, platies fry can hide in them. They’ll happily feed on algae, flakes, and little remains of uneaten food while they are growing to size. Some of the newborn platies get eaten by adults, but a lot of them survive until adulthood. 

We suggest you give fry ready-to-eat food meant for them. This makes sure that the food is small enough which suits their tiny mouths. It also provides them with all of the multiple nutrients platies need to grow.

Tank divider 

If you do not want to invest in a separate breeding box, we suggest you a cheaper yet effective way of separating mother platies from her fry; a tank divider, typically with small holes in it, so that the fry can swim to the other side. As the name shows, a tank divider divides the fish tank into two different sections. You can keep pregnant platies on one side and their baby fry on the other. 

While separating mother platies from her fry, we suggest using a transparent divider. Once the pregnant platy has given birth to its fry, you can easily move it back to the community tank where it belongs.

Platies overview

SpeciesXiphophorus maculatus and Xiphophorus Variatus
Life span 3-4 years
SizeThey can grow to the maximum size of 2-3 inches (5-7 centimeters).
Temperature range70-80° F (21-27 C)

Conclusion

Our final thoughts on platies would be that we love these little fish. Many people keep them in their first-ever fish tank and enjoy them. They are hardy and colorful. Although they are very easy to take care of, baby platies need a bit of extra care and attention from their keeper.  Once you have made up your mind to keep plates, you get a huge variety of their colors to choose from. 

As they don’t need a big-sized tank with multiple requirements for its setup, we consider platies a perfect fit for beginners. 

They are also a great community fish that can be kept with almost any other peaceful, small-sized fish.

We highly recommend this fish. An aquarium with platies in never looks boring. Anyone can spend long hours watching them swim around the tank and playing.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this article about how to take care of baby platies.