Platies How Many Platies Should Be Kept Together? Ratio, Gender, More

How Many Platies Should Be Kept Together? Ratio, Gender, More

A group of 6 or more platies will often be happier and healthier. It’s important to keep them in a ratio of at least 3 females for every 1 male to reduce pestering and aggression. They can be kept peacefully among many other community fish species.

Platies are an exceptional tropical freshwater fish species that add a pop of color and activity to your aquarium. But as with any fish species, platy fish don’t come without their quirks.

So in this article we will share our best practices for successfully keeping platies together.

What is the best male to female ratio for platies?

Platies are most peaceful when there are at least 3 females for every 1 male. This reduces stress because the males will not pursue any one female too much. A 3:1 ratio also reduces aggression among males because there is less competition.

Why 2:1 ratios don’t always work

In our experience, a 2:1 female-to-male ratio may not work if the male prefers one of the females over the other. We had a tank where the male pestered one female and acted aggressively towards the other female.

The aggression reduced when we added live plants for cover and increased the ratio to 3:1. Aggression has almost completely been eliminated since we increased the tank size to 20-gallons and increased the number of platies to 6.

Can I keep all male platies?

It is not recommended to keep only male platies because they tend to show aggression towards each other when there is too much competition. Most male platies are peaceful with each other. However, a lack of female companions often creates a more stressful environment that can result in fish illness.

A male-only platy tank was never peaceful in our experience. We unsuccessfully tried several combinations of male platies because we didn’t want livebearing females to overcrowd the tank with fry.

The result was constant aggression from multiple males. Introducing females substantially improved the quality of life among all of our platies.

How many platies can fit in a 10-gallon tank?

Many fishkeepers suggest that up to 5 platies can fit in a 10-gallon aquarium. In our experience, our platies became stressed, aggressive and incurred frequent bouts of illness in our 10-gallon planted tank.

Moving them into a 20-gallon tank immediately stopped these problems from happening.

We’ve learned that platies appreciate lots of company and more room to swim. It’s difficult to accommodate either of these with a 10-gallon tank.

How many platies can fit in a 20-gallon tank?

A 20-gallon aquarium can peacefully keep up to 10 platies. This provides the fish with adequate room to swim and explore while reducing territorial aggression. This tank size also allows for a larger quantity of live plants without overcrowding the space.

We’ve learned that it’s beneficial to have live aquarium plants when you start to have more than a few platies because it keeps them occupied and provides cover when they feel vulnerable.

Our family of 6 platies have remained incredibly healthy, curious and happy in our 20-gallon planted tank. They spend their days curiously investigating all parts of the tank and pecking away at algae.

Are platies schooling fish?

Platies are not considered schooling fish because they do not swim in the same direction or in a coordinated manner. Platies are commonly kept among groups of other platies or in a community tank but they swim and forage independently from one another.

Do platies need to be in groups?

Platies do not have to be kept in groups. However, they tend to express more signs of happiness when they live among a group of other platies or in a community tank with other fish.

You might consider platies to be schoaling fish, which means they are aware of their tank mates and interact with them socially. However, their behavior is usually independently motivated.

Can I keep a single platy?

It is certainly possible to keep a platy by itself. However, platies are a social species that behave more actively among a group of other platies or fish. An active and happy platy will be less likely to develop stress, which may reduce the likelihood of it becoming sick.

Can I keep only female platies

A group of female platies will often coexist peacefully and happily as long as they are kept in a big enough tank. A female-only tank can be a good strategy for reducing the risk of platy fry being born each month and overpopulating a tank. However, there is a chance that your female platies are already pregnant when purchased from your local fish store.

Can you mix different types of platies together?

Platies of any color pattern or tail variation will live peacefully together and will even breed with each other. In fact, southern platyfish, variable platyfish and swordtails are closely related enough that they can breed together as well.

What can platies live with?

Platies have a peaceful temperament and will get along with other livebearers and most topical community fish. The similarities among their mating and behavioral traits make them excellent companions for other livebearing species, such as guppies and endlers.

Platies will almost always ignore bottom-dweller species, such as plecos, and will happily coexist with many other similar-sized species.

Ryan Ferguson

Founder, Rooted Tank

Ryan Ferguson, the founder of Rooted Tank, started fishkeeping in 2019. He has continued to level-up his planted aquarium skills and wanted to share his journey and knowledge with other aquarists.


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