I love community fish tanks, where multiple species of fish are kept together. Most beginners, however, try to keep fish species in the same aquarium, which are not compatible with each other.
So you want to keep guppies and platies together in the same aquarium. But are guppy fish and platy fish compatible? Can you keep them in the same tank?
Yes, you can keep guppy fish and platy fish in the same aquarium. Both fish species are livebearers and require very similar water conditions and food. So keeping platies together with guppies is a really good choice.
In the following, I will give you few very good tips on how to provide the best habitation for your guppies and platies. Please read along, if you want to learn more.
Tank Size for Guppy Fish and Platy Fish
I recommend a minimum 10 gallons (40 liters) tank size for guppies. Platies will also do well in a 10 gallons fish tank; however, a 20 gallons (80 liters) aquarium would be a better choice for them.
Platies are slightly bigger than guppies and require a bit more swimming space.
Both guppies and platies live in swarm, so you can’t just buy one guppy and one platy. They will not do well when are kept alone.
So if you plan to keep multiple guppies and platies together, you should definitely choose a larger aquarium. You should pick at least a 20 gallons fish tank. Though, if you can, get a bigger fish tank.
In a 20 gallons tank you can easily fit 10-15 fish. With good filtration and regular water changes, probably your aquarium will be able to hold even 20 fish.
Best Filter for Guppy and Platy Fish Tank
Filtration is the key element of every healthy aquarium. But what filter to buy for a guppy-platy aquarium?
For guppy fish and platy fish, you don’t need to use an expensive canister filter. When choosing a filter, always go for a bigger one. It is much better to over-filter your tank, rather than under-filter it.
So, for instance: if you need a filter for a 20 gallons aquarium, choose a filter that is recommended for at least 40 gallons (150 liters) aquarium. Also, make sure that the filter can hold enough filter media. This way, you will ensure that your tank is well filtered.
I highly recommend the AquaClear hang on back filter (on Amazon) for guppies and platies. This HOB filter comes in 5 different sizes and has a lot of space for filter media. It is equipped with a 3 stage filtration: mechanical, chemical and biological. The flow rate is adjustable, so you can control the water current.
Best Aquarium Plants for Guppies and Platies
Live plants are a great addition to every aquarium. Besides providing a pleasing look, plants help in filtering the water. Live plants will extract the excess nutrients from the water column, which may be harmful for your fish. On top of that, plans will provide hiding spaces for guppy and platy fry.
Here are the best beginner-friendly plants that I recommend keeping with platies and guppies:
- Frogbit: is super low maintenance floating plant that has huge roots, providing lots of hiding places for fry. It grows very fast and sucks up a lot of nitrates from the water. Frogbit requires good lights in order to grow.
- Java Moss: is a great addition to any fish tank. Java moss is considered a floating plant but does not float at the surface of the water. It is not a very fast-growing plant but is very effective in filtering the water. Java moss can support low light conditions very well and it is great for guppy and platy babies to hide.
- Java Fern: is a beautiful and very hardy plant. Does not require high light and does not grow very fast. Its leaves can reach a size of up to 12 inches (30 cm). This plant has roots that can be attached to rocks, drift wood or other decoration. It should not be planted in the gravel.
- Hornwort: grows really fast and will provide good habitat for fry. Though this plant can be anchored in the substrate, it can also be left to float at the top of the water surface. It is an excellent plant for beginners.
- Anubias: is a slow-growing plant with large heart or arrow-shaped leaves. It is a very hardy plant, can live and survive in low light conditions and does not require much maintenance. Its stem should not be planted in the substrate, because requires light in order to survive. It is one of the best plants for beginners.
Best Food for Guppy Fish and Platy Fish
In order to keep your guppy and platy fish healthy, you need to provide them with a variety of high-quality food. You can prepare your own fish food at home, or you can use commercial food which is more convenient.
When you buy fish food, always look for reputed brands. Choose fish food that will provide a complete diet for both guppies and platies. Use foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and has high protein content.
I use and recommend the New Life Spectrum Optimium Flakes (buy from Amazon), which is great for both guppy and platy fish. This food can be feed to fry as well, just need to crush up the flakes into powder with your fingers.
I wrote a complete guide on the best flake foods; check it out for more details.
Breeding Platies and Guppies in the Same Aquarium
Platies and guppies can’t be crossbred. Though, if you have females and males of both species, sooner or later they will have babies.
After reaching maturity, both guppies and platies give birth to fry around every 30 days. Platies will give birth to 20-40 babies, while guppies can drop even 60 fry at a time.
Unfortunately, parents will not take care of their babies, and if they don’t have enough hiding spaces, will get eaten by adult fish.
If you want to save some fry, give them live plants or separate the pregnant female into a breeding box, just before giving birth. Don’t keep the female for too long in a breeding box, because the small space can be very stressful for them.
If you did a good job-saving guppy and platy fry, you will end up with a lot of fish very quickly. Certainly, you can’t keep all of them, especially if you have a small aquarium.
Though, when the fry grows a bit, you can give them to friends or sell them online. You can join Facebook groups where you can trade them for plants of other fish.
You can also bring juveniles to your local fish store. Most local fish shops will not pay you, but often they will give you store credits, which you can use to buy fish food and other aquarium equipment.
So, whether you breed your guppy and platy fish by purpose or by accident, it is always fun to raise the babies and watch them grow.
Water Parameters for Guppy Fish and Platy Fish
The good thing about keeping platies and guppies together is that both can thrive in the same water parameters.
Get a good aquarium heater from Amazon, which has an in-built thermostat and set it to 72-74 °F (22-24 °C). This is the best temperature for both guppy and platy fish.
Do regular water changes in order to remove nitrates and other chemicals from the water. A 30% weekly water change will be enough to keep water parameters stable. Don’t forget to use treat tap water with a water conditioner. I highly recommend Seachem Prime from Amazon. It is one of the best water conditioner, which will remove chlorine and heavy metals from the water instantly.
Maintain the filter regularly and clean the mechanical filtration. You can also rinse the biological filter media in aquarium water. A dirty filter can be a big source of nitrates and ammonia. So, please keep it clean.
I hope, this guide has helped you learn something new about guppies and platies. I’ve tried to cover everything that might be helpful in keeping platy fish and guppy fish together. Though, if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email.
Questions & Answers
I have not been able to keep guppies alive for long. I pick out good specimens from local stores but after getting them home for a week or two they appear to develop internal parasites (or they came with them) and slowly decline and die. They look healthy enough when bought but I am read to give up on the species after several months of wasting money. I moved to China and am living in Hangzhou. Several local stores but always my guppies are dying. I feed local flakes and dried bloodworms. Temp seems ok at about 74 and I keep up on filter cleaning and water changes, making sure to age tapwater. Any further advice from what you have published?
Hey Alex, thanks for your questions. I will try to give you my best tips on how to keep your guppies alive.
1. It is possible that the guppies you purchase have internal parasites and you bring them home together with the fish. You can’t avoid this, unless you have a quarantine tank to keep newly bought fish for couple of weeks.
2. It is also possible, that guppies that you purchase from local stores come from the same source. So it does not matter from where you buy them, you will face the same problems. From my experience, guppies that are bought from stores will live less.
3. It is also possible that your tank filtration is not good enough and after 1-2 weeks of keeping your guppies in, there is ammonia spike which will hurt, weaken and kill your fish. You should monitor the tank water after adding fish.
4. Temperature is not very crucial, because guppies will tolerate temperatures between 70-82 °F (21-28 °C) just fine.
5. Try to get guppies from local breeders or fish keepers. The chances of parasites and diseases are lower and you might be able to get guppy fry for free.
I had the same issues, just like you when started keeping guppies.