If you’re considering keeping betta fish and platy fish in the same aquarium, in this article I will point out how you can keep them together and what you should watch out for when housing bettas and platies together.
Betta and platy fish are compatible, especially when it comes to their water parameters, however, there are a few things you should know before you can safely keep them in the same tank.
The key to matching fish in a community aquarium is to have a good understanding of their keeping requirements and behavior, so you’ll know what you can and can’t do when housing them together with other fish.
Let’s see some facts about bettas and platies that are crucial to understanding how they should be kept together.
Once you’ve seen a betta fish, you’ll be hard-pressed to forget it, they’re so beautiful. Beyond their amazing colors, they also have long and flowy fins that make them stand out.
But don’t be fooled by their near-angelic beauty, betta fish can and will put up a fight. They’re known as a territorial and aggressive species that will fight its own kind (especially males) and other fish that have similar physical traits to them.
Betta fish aren’t as social as other fish and they do well even if kept singly. Their temper makes it difficult to find suitable companions for them, but there are a number of fishes they’ll tolerate.
Bettas are often sold in small bowls and fish vases; however, I strongly advise you to never keep bettas in anything smaller than 10 gallons.
Platy fish are peaceful and sociable fish that enjoy some company. Unlike bettas, platies should not be kept alone.
Platies are active fish that enjoy a planted aquarium and plenty of swimming space. They should be housed in 10+ gallon aquariums, while being very careful not to overstock the aquarium.
Because of their peaceful nature and sociable character, they’re an excellent companion for many freshwater fish species.
Platy fish give birth to live fish and they breed quite often, so be careful about the female to male ratio if you’re not ready to involuntarily increase the population of your aquarium.
How to Keep Betta Fish and Platy Fish in the Same Aquarium?
As mentioned, betta fish are aggressive, but platies are peaceful. Therefore, one of the things you should be careful with is not doing anything that can exacerbate the territorial behavior of bettas.
Here are some pointers on how to keep bettas and platies together:
1. Get a Spacious Tank
A 10-gallon tank will hold 3 platies and 1 betta; however, I would encourage you to go for a bigger aquarium, especially if you’re adding live plants, which both of these species enjoy.
In a larger aquarium, you’ll better manage to keep water parameters under check, and you won’t run into stocking issues that will overthrow the water chemistry or enhance aggressive behaviors in fish. Plus, you’ll have plenty of room for plants too!
With platies, you’ll need to focus on breeding habits as well. Platies can breed monthly, but if fry is left in with the adults, they will eat the fry and few if any baby platies will survive.
If you don’t plan on breeding platies, but you don’t mind if they do and juveniles get eaten, it could be a good way to ensure that there’s always a tasty snack in the tank for betta fish, seeing how bettas are primarily carnivores.
If you don’t want your platies to be breeding at all, don’t keep both males and females.
2. Ensure Optimal Water Parameters
Platy fish require water temperature between 72°F- 78°F, water pH between 7.0-8.3, and hardness between 4 – 12 dGH. Toxins should be at 0 ppm with only nitrates being allowed up to 10 ppm.
Betta fish have very similar water requirements, namely: preferred water temperature should be between 75–86 degrees F, water pH between 6.8–7.4, and hardness up to 20 dGH.
3. Invest in Quality Equipment
Both platy fish and betta fish require an aquarium heater to keep temperatures steady. They also need a filter system to ensure good quality water.
Make sure you invest in quality equipment, so you don’t have to worry about not meeting their requirements.
4. Meet Feeding Requirements
As I already pointed out, betta fish are primarily carnivores and they’ve evolved to eat live foods even in captivity. Platies, on the other hand, are omnivores that are happy with whatever you offer them.
Still, since diet has such a major role in the development and health of fish, it’s crucial to meet the requirements of both.
A feeding regimen that involves feeding once or twice a day with a variety of foods that will incorporate both vegetable matter and live meaty foods can be a good way to meet the feeding requirements of both species.
5. Monitor Tank Dynamics
Because bettas are territorial, it’s best to keep an eye out for any possible confrontation between your fish.
Platies don’t have flowy fins and look very different from bettas, so it’s highly unlikely that bettas will pick a fight with them.
Even though platies aren’t fin-nippers, the flowy fins of bettas may spike their curiosity, so this is another thing you should watch out for.
Other Fish Compatible with Bettas and Platies
As you may know, platies are compatible with many other livebearer species including mollies, swordtails, guppy fish and other peaceful livebearers.
Bettas can also have other tankmates than platies including kuhli loaches, corydora catfish, bristlenose plecos, neon tetras, harlequin rasboras, ember tetras, and some snail species.
If you keep a watchful eye on your aquarium and do all you can to prevent any issues, your platies should be fine with a betta tank mate.
Bettas are beautiful fish that do well on their own, but they’ll tolerate some tank mates including the peaceful and active platy fish.
Whenever housing different species together, make sure you’re up-to-date with all their requirements and the possible points of friction between your picks, so you’ll know what to look out for.