Guppies and platies are two of the most common aquarium fish, but that does not make them any less special. They are both colorful, friendly, and hardy, making them ideal for beginners and advanced keepers alike.
In this article, we will examine the diets, habitats, and good fishkeeping methods so that you will enjoy guppies and platies for years to come as part of a healthy and vibrant tank setup.
So Can Guppies And Platies Live Together?
To answer the question, YES guppies can definitely live together. However, you will need to make sure that you make sure the tank is habitable for both of them, otherwise some problems may arise.
Here are some of the main things to remember.
Fish may seem like they do not have a lot going on in their noggins, but this could not be further from the truth. Fish have their temperaments. There are three main types of fish temperaments to know about:
Peaceful: These fish get along with other peaceful fish. They coexist together with virtually no aggressions such as nipping, biting, or fighting.
Semi-aggressive: These fish are known to be somewhat aggressive, with nipping and biting occurring. Tankmates for these types of fish should be chosen carefully to minimize aggressive behaviour.
Aggressive: These fish will fight with others in the tank. They are territorial and should be placed with carefully chosen tank mates to minimize stress.
The guppy is a peaceful and friendly fish that works well in all community tanks. Male guppies have been known to fight with other males on some occasions. However, they are hardy and make great fish in most tanks for the beginner or advanced fish keepers.
(Want to know more tank mates? Check out whether guppies and mollies can live together.)
Platies are small, peaceful fish that get along with all their tank mates, provided those tank mates are also peaceful. Furthermore, they are active fish and breed rapidly.
They love to swim with one another through plants, hiding under leaves, and resting at some points. Platy fish are jumpers, so keepers must always be vigilant about keeping the tank closed.
Lastly, males, when ready to breed, can become aggressive toward females.
Habitats and Tank Requirements
Guppies and platies both want to live comfortably. It is, therefore, crucial that you create a habitat that is similar to what they would experience in the wild.
Your goal is to recreate their habitat as best you can, using tank decorations like logs, naturally coloured aquarium gravel, hiding spots, and rocks. You will also want to keep an eye on the water chemistry and make sure that the pH, ammonia, and nitrate/nitrite levels are appropriate.
Wild guppies are found in the tropical, crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. You can find them mostly in areas like Trinidad and Tobago, and in South American countries like Guyana, Brazil, and Venezuela.
These fish prefer brackish water, but they can be raised in freshwater tanks with no problem.
Brackish water is a mix of salt and freshwater. The guppy that we see for sale in local pet shops and online are brightly coloured, which is different from the wild ones – the latter is plainer in colour while their pet shop counterparts are more appealing to the eye.
The plain colouration of the wild guppy helps them stay far away from predators looking to take off with a quick bite to eat.
Guppy Tank Requirements
Guppy tank requirements are easy to maintain even in household conditions.
These fish are hard-water fish and well in temperatures that range from 78F to 82F. Guppies are known for their ability to reproduce quickly, and if you would like to promote breeding among your guppies, temperatures that range from 72F to 79F are appropriate.
You can also add some salt to the aquarium water, as this will aid in stress reduction and supply necessary minerals to the guppy. The pH level for guppies should be between 5 and 9, but for best results between 6.8 and 7.5.
Having good pH levels will help your guppy absorb nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and potassium in a more efficient manner.
One should opt for a long tank, which allows your fish plenty of swimming space. Make sure the tank is well lit and put plants near the sides and back of the tank. This way, your guppies will have plenty of places to hide, rest, and feel safe.
(Why not try keeping guppies and neon tetras together.)
You can find platies in various South American rivers:
- The Variable Platy lives in Mexico’s Southern waters, specifically Rio Panuco to Rio Cazones
- The Swordtail Platy is found only in the Rio Soto La Marina in the Mexico River System
- The Southern Platy is located in Mexico and Guatemalan freshwaters
You can find these fishes in ditches, canals, marshes, and springs. The warm water, silt beds, and vegetation make an ideal environment for the platy.
Platies Tank Requirements
The great thing about platy fish is their hardiness. They can withstand a wide range of water parameters, except for swordtails, who are a bit more sensitive than others.
Your goal for good platy care is to maintain clean water by doing 25% changes every two weeks. Gravel substrate and heavily planted tanks are best for platies. You can arrange the plants according to species.
Southern platies prefer sparsely planted tanks, while Variables like it best when it is densely planted but still offers open swimming space.
One should look for duckweed, java moss, and hornwort to outfit your tank.
The water temperature should also be arranged based on platy type. Swordtail and Southern like it best at 70F to 80F. Meanwhile, Variable platies prefer 72F to 75F. Cooler temperatures lead to more pronunciation of their colours, so keep that in mind.
The ideal pH for the platy is approximately 6.8 to 8. Weak currents are also favoured by the platy, so make sure filtration systems are not too strong.
In terms of tank size, the bigger, the better. Platies require at least 10 gallons, but the more swimming space and habitat you can offer, the more enriched your fish will feel.
A good fish diet starts with a commercially made food, which provides the baseline nutrition for your fish. Then, you will want to follow up on that diet with some enriching foods like vegetables and freeze-dried foods.
This diet will help to ensure your guppies and platies get the nutrients they need to live comfortably and enjoy a stress-free existence in your tank.
In the wild, you can find guppies eating mosquito larvae, shellfish, and worms. The guppy is also sometimes introduced to places where malaria is a problem due to the fact that they enjoy eating the mosquito larvae. In a tank, however, their diet is a bit different.
You will want to start with a quality flake fish food. It will serve as their staple food and will provide the fish with their baseline nutrition. Moreover, these flakes cheap and plentiful. Great flake brands are available on Amazon or local fish shops.
You should avoid pellet foods as they are tough to chew for the guppy. Freeze-dried foods and vegetables are also a good way to enrich the diet of the fish and get them more nutrients.
Freeze-dried bugs that guppies enjoy are brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. These foods should always be offered, especially when breeding is taking place as it prevents them from eating their young. Freeze-dried foods should always be chosen over live foods because parasites can survive on live food.
(Find out more about what a guppy should eat!)
Meanwhile, vegetables like peas, cucumber, and lettuce are great for guppies. These are good sources of nutrients and guppies enjoy eating them.
Feed your guppies two times per day in small amounts for best results, and make sure to clear out any uneaten food after a few minutes of eating. For vegetables, allow your fish two hours to enjoy them and then remove the leftovers from the tank.
Leaving uneaten food in the tank can negatively affect water chemistry.
(Find out whether guppies and gouramis can live together!)
A platy diet in the wild consists of small crustaceans, algae, insects, and plants. Despite what you may have read, platies are herbivorous fish, even though they enjoy eating insects.
It is not uncommon for your platy to munch on the algae wafers intended for your pleco or other bottom feeder fish.
You should recreate this varied diet by offering quality flake foods and freeze-dried foods.
You can add vegetables to the tank, such as cucumber, lettuce, and zucchini, and your platy fish will love the taste and the nutrients they get from these vegetables.
You can get a quality flake food at your local fish shop or Amazon. When it comes to freeze-dried foods, platies enjoy bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and fruit flies.
You can feed then just twice a day and offer vegetables once or twice per week for two hours. Be sure to remove the vegetables after two hours, so your tank’s water chemistry is not negatively affected.
How to Make It Work?
Offer diets of vegetables, freeze-dried foods, and flakes.
-Keep the pH levels at 6.8-7.5
-Keep the tank temperature between 75F to 80F
-Provide at least a 10-gallon tank (the bigger/longer, the better)
-Install plenty of plants, use a neutral colour gravel substrate, and offer open swimming space
We hope that this guide on guppies and platies has been helpful to you. These fish go well together thanks to their peaceful and hardy nature.
They can live together in harmony, provided you give them the right tank parameters. Enjoy raising and caring for these beautiful fish!