Common platy

The common platy, also known as the southern platy fish, is a small and vibrant freshwater fish that is a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. These fish are known for their bright colors and peaceful nature, making them a great addition to any community tank.


The common platy fish is a small and colorful fish, typically growing from 3 up to 7 cm centimeters (1.2 – 2.8 inches) in length. The males are often smaller than then females. They have a wide and round body shape, with a short and pointed head. They come in a variety of colors, including orange, red, yellow, and blue, with some also having a black or a white tail.

Natural environment

The common platy fish is native to Central America and Mexico, where they are found in slow-moving freshwater streams, rivers, and ponds. They are most commonly found in warm, tropical environments, and prefer water temperatures between 20 to 26 °C (68 – 79 °F). It prefers a pH range of 7 to 8. It is considered to be a hardy species that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. However, it is important to note that maintaining optimal water conditions, including pH, can help ensure the health and well-being of the fish.


The common platy is a peaceful and active fish that is well-suited for community tanks. They are social animals, active swimmers and appreciate tanks with plenty of open swimming space. Platies are known to be curious and outgoing fish and they enjoy interacting with their tankmates and their owners. They are also known to be very active during feeding time. Platies are typically not aggressive towards other fish and can be kept with a variety of other community fish such as tetras, guppies, and mollies. They are also known to be quite hardy, making them a great choice for beginners.

Reproduction & life span

Platy fish are live-bearing and have the capability to reproduce every 4 to 6 weeks, with litters ranging from 20 – 100 offspring. With proper care, Platy fish have the potential to live up to 5 years, although the average lifespan is around 3 years. It is recommended to provide them with a planted tank to reduce aggressive behavior towards females by male Platy fish.


The common platy is an omnivorous fish, which means it will eat a variety of foods. In the wild, they primarily feed on algae, small crustaceans, and aquatic insects. In captivity, a diet for common platy should include a variety of foods such as flake food, frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. It is also a good idea to supplement their diet with fresh vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, or zucchini. Feeding them small amounts multiple times a day instead of one large meal is more beneficial for their digestion and overall health.

Keeping a platy fish

Common platy fish are easy to care for and are a great choice for beginners. They are hardy and can thrive in a wide range of water conditions, but should be kept in an aquarium with a water temperature between 20 to 26 °C / 68 and 78 °F. They should also be kept in schools of at least six fish, in an aquarium of at least 76 liters / 20 gallons. It’s also important to provide them with hiding places such as rocks or plants, which will make them feel more secure.

Overall, common platy fish are a great choice for any aquarium enthusiast looking for a hardy, easy-to-care-for and vibrant addition to their tank. With proper care and attention, these fish can thrive in captivity and bring a lot of color and life to any aquarium.

Scientific nameXiphophorus maculatus
Type of aquariumFreshwater
Size3 – 7 cm / 1.2 – 2.8 inches
RegionCentral America and Mexico
Ideal tank size76 liters / 20 gallons
Ideal water temperature20 – 26 °C / 68 – 79 °F
pH7.0 – 8.0
GH8 – 20 dGH, but they prefer harder water
DietOmnivorous: flake food, frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia
SchoolingYes, keep at least 6 together



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