Finding the right tank mates for your betta can be difficult. Bettas are well known for being surly and if a fish they don’t like catches their eye, it normally results in injury and death. But it’s not all doom and gloom. While there are some fish that you should definitely avoid introducing to your betta, there are others that will coexist with them peacefully. Keep reading to find out if bettas and platies can live together.
Can Bettas And Platies Live Together?
The problem with bettas is that it really depends on the individual. In most cases, it will be fine for your betta to live with platies. However, the bottom line is that it’s going to depend on your betta and how aggressive they are. If you think that your betta has the right personality then platies can be a great choice. Just remember, there are still a few things to take into consideration. Such as:
What’s The Minimum Tank Size For Platies?
If you plan on housing platies with your betta then the minimum size tank you should use is 10 gallons. (If you’re looking to buy a 10 gallon tank, but you’re not sure which is best then check out the BEST 10 gallon tanks on the market right now here.) There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t go smaller than 10 gallons.
Platies Are Social Fish
Platies are social fish so you can’t keep them on their own. In fact, I’d recommend keeping them in groups of 3. A 10 gallon tank would be perfect for housing a group of 3 platies and a betta. If you wanted more than that then you’d need to buy a bigger tank. If you do plan on buying a group remember you’ll need 2 females for every 1 male.
They Need Room To Swim
Another reason you’re going to want to have at least a 10 gallon tank is that platies enjoy swimming all over the tank. And if you have platies, they’re going to do much better in a tank that favors width over height. Also, 3 platys and a betta in 10 gallons will have enough space to stay away from each other.
What Is The Ideal Temperature And pH For Platies?
A platy can thrive in an environment with a pH of 7-8.3 and a temperature between 70-80°F. A betta needs a pH of 7.0 and a temperature of 78°F. As you can see this falls nicely in the range of platies. So you won’t have to make any changes to your tank that will affect your betta.
Knowing the different behavior, tank requirements and diets of multiple fish is a difficult task to accomplish. In fact, there are fish that can live with your betta you haven’t even thought of yet! If you want to know about every fish that can live with your betta then click here.
What Food Do Platies Need?
If you own a betta you already know that he will need a varied diet of live food and fish pellets. Platies can survive on this too. In the wild platies are opportunistic eaters. They would naturally eat insects and algae, so anything you put in your tank will be consumed by them.
Just make sure that you’re giving them enough plant-based food as they eat a lot of algae in the wild. The high vegetable fiber helps their gastrointestinal tract so it’s important you ensure that their needs are met.
Feeding Your Betta With Platies
Platies can swim faster than bettas so when you’re feeding them you have to make sure that your betta is getting enough food. During feeding time platies can become more aggressive and will eat all the food if they can. If you think your betta isn’t getting enough food then you have a couple of choices.
You can try sprinkling food flakes down one end of the tank to attract your platies and then feed your betta the food he needs. Such as live food or specific pellets.
Another option is to catch your betta in a net and drop food into the net. This means there’s no way your platies can get it, and you’re 100% certain your betta will be fed.
Platies And Babies
Platies are live bearing fish. This means they can produce a lot of babies if left unchecked. Which is a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.
On one hand, it’s good because your betta will always have a meal handy if there are fry in the tank. However, the downside is that the platies could breed out of control. You’ll have to use a lot more food and your fish will be producing a lot of feces. This will strain your filter and make your water and fish more susceptible to diseases.
If this is your only worry, luckily there are ways around it!
Buy Only One Sex
The first way to overcome excessive breeding is to buy only one sex. Obviously, there are inherent risks and rewards to either gender.
If you buy all females, there’s a possibility they could already be pregnant. If they give birth in your tank it could result in a male surviving. And as you can imagine with one male amongst a group of females it won’t be long before the tank is full of fry.
However, if you buy all males there’s a 0% chance of any fry being introduced into the tank. But in rare cases, one platy may be aggressive and attack the other ones.
It’s also important to remember that both the platies and your betta will eat any fry in the tank as well! So you may not even need to worry about mixing sexes.
If you do plan on having both sexes, you should always stick to 1 male for every 2 females. When it’s the other way round the males will chase the female or assert their dominance on each other, causing a more stressful environment.
Remove All Hiding Places
This is only a temporary solution, but if you notice a sudden burst of fry then try removing all plants, ornaments and anywhere the fry can hide. With all the hiding places gone the fry will be eaten more by your betta and their parents. Once you notice that the fry have all been eaten you can add everything back into your tank.
Give Them Away
If you have any fry that matures and you don’t have room in your tank then you could try giving them away. Pet stores and hobbyists may want to buy or take healthy platies off you to look after themselves. Some people may want platies and platy fry as food for other animals so you might be able to give them some.
NEVER Release Them Into The Wild
If you have too many platies you should never release them into the wild. Or even worse flush them down the toilet. The latter is incredibly cruel and your platy could suffer in a sewer for days before it finally dies. And the former is incredibly risky. If the platies survive and breed they could become an invasive species endangering all other wildlife.
Use Them As Food
Your platies fry can often be a great source of live food for your betta and other fish in your tank. If you’ve got a tank big enough for it, this can be a great way to introduce live food with little effort on your part.
This also works great when you need to feed your betta on vacation too!
How Long Do Platies Live?
Platies can live up to 5 years but most commonly they only live for 2. However, if you add 2 females and 1 male to your tank you won’t ever have to worry about buying more platies. Most of the time one baby will survive and mature to an adult so you’ll always have enough platies in your tank once you introduce them.
And if you’re betta is lucky the same platies may live for the full 5 years. This is the same amount of time that bettas typically live. So he might have friends for life!
Will Your Betta Be Aggressive To Platies?
Bettas are normally aggressive to fish that are similar to them. So you should always avoid fish that have long flowing tails and a lot of bright colors. Luckily platies don’t have long flowing tails like a betta, and while they may be brightly colored it’s generally not in a way that will bother your betta. With that being said, it’s possible that your betta won’t get along with your platies if he’s aggressive so you may have to remove them.
You don’t just have to worry about the betta though. Some platies, especially males, are known to fin nip. If you notice your bettas beautiful tail beginning to look ragged you may need to keep a closer eye on your tank. It may be fin rot (a disease which left untreated can be fatal, find out more here.) or it may be one of your platies biting him.
If you notice a platy nipping your bettas fin then you’re going to have to remove it from the tank. Otherwise, the added stress could weaken your bettas immune system opening him up to a whole host of diseases.
If you’re interested in knowing about 30 other tank mates that can live with your betta then check out this HUGE list of betta tank mates!
What Environment Do Platies Need?
While bettas and platies originate from different corners of the world, their needs are surprisingly similar. Bettas are found in rice paddies and river basins in South East Asia whereas platies are found in ditches and canals in Mexico.
But both fish love a planted tank. If you plan on adding platies to your tank make sure there are a lot of plants, as well as ornaments for them to hide in.
Always remember though, that ornaments should never be too sharp or hard. Otherwise, your betta may rub up against them damaging his skin and fins.
If you want bettas and platies in your tank then you should definitely add a few platies in to liven things up. Just remember that if you have an overaggressive betta or platy you may need to move them to a different tank. Also:
- Platies will need a MINIMUM tank size of 10 gallons, however bigger is better.
- If you have a 10 gallon tank you should only stock it with 3 platies and 1 betta.
- Bettas need a pH of 7 and a temperature of 78°F, platies need a pH of 7-8 and a temperature between 70-80°F.
- Feeding platies is similar to feeding bettas. You can feed them anything you feed your betta. Just remember that they’re going to need more plant-based food though.
- Platies are live-bearing fish which means they can often produce a lot of fry. To prevent this you should buy only 1 sex
- If you notice a lot of fry in your tank you can remove all hiding places temporarily until they are eaten. You can also wait for them to mature and give them away.
- But you should NEVER release platies into the wild or flush them down the toilet.
- Platies can live for up to 5 years but they’ll generally only live for 2.
- If you notice your betta being aggressive to your platies or vice versa you may have to move one of them to a separate tank.
- Bettas and platies both like tanks with a lot of plants and hiding places.
If you liked this article make sure to share it with your friends. Also if you have any questions you can leave them in the comments section!
If you’re interested in other tank mates for your betta then you should check out:
- Tetras & Bettas – Tetras are one of the most commonly seen aquarium fish. And for good reason. They look fantastic and they’re hardy fish that are easy to keep. If you want to know the 5 best tetras that are compatible with your betta then you should read this article.
- Guppies & Bettas – A lot of people say you can’t keep guppies and bettas together. However, this isn’t entirely true. If you want to know what guppies you can keep with bettas then you should definitely read this article.