Complete Guide for Platy Fry Care

Complete Guide for Platy Fry Care

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Platies are arguably one of the best freshwater fish to keep in your aquarium. They are easy to take care of, peaceful, and great community tank mates. They are also very attractive thanks to their unique coloration. In the wild, platies live in canals, rivers, warm springs, and marshes. They are mostly found in areas with silt or sandy bottoms as well as areas with dense vegetation.

If you are planning to keep platies in your fish tank, then you need to know to take good care of them. One of the greatest challenges that most people face is taking care of young platies. Unlike adult platies which are quite easy to take care of, platy fry is delicate and requires more attention and care.

If you are planning to introduce platy fry in your fish tank and you want to know how to take care of them, today you are in the right place. In this guide, we will give you detailed information on how to take care of the platy fry. Make sure you read until the end so that you don’t miss any crucial information.

platy fry fish hiding under plants
Platy Fry Fish is Hiding Under Plants.

Isolate platy fry from the community

One big mistake that people make is keeping platy fry together with adult platies. Platies are mostly peaceful but are very aggressive and notorious parents. If you keep adult and young platy in the same fish tank, then the adults could feed on them. If you want to introduce platy fry in your aquarium, you have to find a new home for them.

Adult platy can give birth to up to 20 fries and sometimes even more than 40 depending on the aquarium ecosystem that she is in. If the fish take is well taken care of, then she will bear more babies and if the aquarium is not in good condition, then she will bear few babies and sometimes even delay the pregnancy.

Once you find out that the platy is pregnant, you need to start preparing for platy fry immediately. As mentioned earlier a female platy fish can bear up to 40 fries at the same time but a vast majority of them bear around 20 fries. Some of the preparations to make include purchasing a separate fish tank where platy fry will be kept. Additionally, you need to feed the mother well with healthy food to enable her to give birth to healthy fry.

Once the adult platy fry delivers, put the platy fry immediately into a separate tank that you have set aside. The reason why you need to separate the fry from the mother is that platies have no parental instincts. If you fail to separate from the mother, then she may feed on them, which is something you don’t want.

There are three ways to separate newborns from adults. They include:

  • Using a fry tank
fry tank
Fry tank from Walmart for $5.38

One of the ways to separate platy fry is by using a fry tank. If you choose this option, then you have to get two new tanks, one where the fry will stay and another one for breeding. This way, you will give your platy fry a chance to survive and thrive because adult platies will not make them their dinner. Begin by transferring the pregnant mother to a separate fry tank. Once the pregnant platy gives birth, pick the fry and put them in the separate fry tank.

  • Use a breeding box
breeding box
Breeding Box from Amazon for $10

You can also use a breeding box to separate adult platy from platy fry. The good thing about a breeding box is that you don’t need to get two tanks. One tank is enough to get the job done. However, the downside of using only one tank is that it will be too congested and that may stress the breeding fish, causing her to deliver dead fry. A breeding box can help to save the fry once they are delivered but will put a lot of stress on the mother.

A breeding box comprises small holes that allow the fry to escape while keeping the mother who is large inside the box.

  • Use a tank divider
tank divider
Tank divider from Amazon for $24

A tank divider is a great choice for those who are looking for a cheaper but effective way to separate the pregnant platy from her fry. As the name suggests, a tank divider is simply an object that divides the tank into two sections: the pregnant platy stays on one side, and the fry stays on the other side. When separating the tank into two sections, it is recommended that you use a divider that is transparent. Once the pregnant platy has delivered, you can place her back in the community tank.

Three Days Old Platy Fry Fish. They Grow Very Fast.

Feed them well

Once you have successfully separated platy fry from adult platies, the next thing is to ensure that the newly born are well fed. Platy fry is quite delicate and needs to be given extra care and attention in terms of the quality of food as well as feeding frequency. Adult platy can go for as long as 10 days without food but platy fry will not survive past three days without food. So, if you want your platy to survive, then you must ensure that they are well fed.

first bites
First Bites is recommended for platy fry. They can be fount at Petco for $5

However, you need to be careful not to overfeed them. Feed them only what they need and it should be under three minutes. If any food remains in the tank once you are done feeding them, use a net to remove them. If leftover food is not collected, it will pile up and alter the chemical composition of water in the tank, which will negatively affect the platy fry. So, ensure that you remove any food that remains immediately, once you are done feeding the fry.

The recommended feeding frequency of platy fry is 2-3 times per day. The good thing about platy fry is that they are not picky eaters. This means that you can feed on a wide variety of foods including crushed flakes, brine shrimps, daphnia, micro warms, egg yolk paste, and much more. The quality of food that you give your platy fry matters a lot and will determine their overall health and wellbeing. If you want them to grow healthy, ensure that you give them a well-balanced diet that provides all the crucial nutrients they need.

Platy fry are easy to take care of, peaceful, and great community tank mates. They are also very attractive thanks to their unique coloration.

Keep plants in the aquarium

Another great way to take care of your platy fry is by keeping the plant in the water tank. There are many benefits of putting a live plant in the aquarium. First, plants produce oxygen during the day that the platy will use. More so, a living plant helps to stabilize PH in the water, which is vital for the survival of platy fry.

Platy fry will also feel safe in the fish tank if there is a living plant. They will use them to hide when they don’t feel safe. Platy fry usually swims up more often because they are still learning to swim. So you should include floating plants in the aquarium such as hornworts and anacharis. Platies are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and meat, So when you place a living plant that is edible in the fish tank, you will also provide an extra source of food to them. So, ensure that you introduce an edible live plant to the new aquarium where the fry live.

Maintain a healthy water balance 

Water composition in the tank will greatly affect the health and well-being of your platy fry. If you want them to thrive, then you must ensure that the water tank PH is healthy. Platy fry thrives in the following water conditions:

  • A PH of between 7.0 and 8.4
  • 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.

Experts recommend that 25% of the water should be changed after every two weeks to maintain a healthy water balance. More so, all food residues should be removed from the water tank immediately after feeding the fish. Failure to remove them could result in a change in PH, which will negatively affect the fry.

Invest in a high-quality filter

A filter play a crucial role in the water tank of getting rid of the toxic building of nitrates and ammonia, and water debris. It also aerates the water allowing your platy fry to breathe easily. An efficient filter in the aquarium will help to maintain good water quality. The mistake that most people make is assuming that any filter they find on the market will get the job done. However, that is not true. In fact, some filters will do more harm than good to your water tank.

That is why it is important to invest in a good filter that will enhance the well-being of your platy fry. Many cases have been reported of platy fry getting stuck in the filter and eventually dying. So, when choosing a filter for your party fry aquarium, ensure that it will not harm the platy fry.

platy fry fish

Invest in good lighting 

Most people usually overlook the importance of good lighting in aquariums. Lighting plays a crucial role in providing energy and oxygen that ensures the overall well-being of platy fry as well as the growth of organisms and photosynthetic plants. Lighting is crucial for the healthy growth of fish, bacteria, and all life in the water tank environment. So, it is crucial to invest in good lighting.

According to experts, platy fry needs between 12 and 16 hours of sunlight. If possible, place your water tank in an area where natural sunlight is easily accessible. However, it is also important to note that nighttime is also important for the healthy growth of your platy fry. Ensure that you maintain a consistent day and night pattern in the aquarium for the healthy growth of your platy fry.

“Adult platy can go for as long as 10 days without food but platy fry will not survive past three days without food. So, if you want your platy to survive, then you must ensure that they are well fed.”


1. How can I tell if my platy is pregnant?

If you have platy in your aquarium, it is important to know when the female is pregnant so that you can make adequate preparation for the arrival of platy fry. It is not easy to tell whether platy is pregnant by checking at behavioral signs. in fact, their behavior doesn’t change when the fish is pregnant.

The only way to know if the female platy is pregnant is by checking physical signs. Some of the physical signs to look out for include a swollen tummy, which should be angular is shape. Another very crucial sign to look out for is if the female platy has a dark spot on her abdomen that is near the anal fin. This spot is usually quite difficult to sport if your platy is dark in color but it is usually there.

2. What is the gestation period for platy fish?

Once you have confirmed that your platy is pregnant, the next important thing that you may want to know is its gestation period. Knowing when your platy will give birth is important because it will help you make adequate preparation for the new arrival. 

The gestation period for platy is between 24 and 30 days. However, it is not easy to determine the exact day when the platy will give birth unless you spend a lot of time observing her.

3. How long does it take for platy to give birth?

The length of time it takes for female platy to give birth varies depending on multiple factors. Some platy females give birth to all fry at once while others give birth in batches in a process that could take up to one week. Just like humans, each pregnancy of platy is different thus difficult to predict the exact length of time it will take for the fish to give birth.

Final thoughts

If your female platy is pregnant, then you need to prepare in advance for the new arrivals. How you take care of platy fry will determine whether they will thrive or not. If you want to give the best care to your platy fry, we recommend that you follow the tips given above.

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