How to Keep Baby Platy Fish Alive

Updated April 17, 2017

Platy fish, a livebearing toothcarp, are popular because they are easy to care for and are quite small. Some types are sunset, variatus, tuxedo and the wagtail platy. It is part of the Poeciliidae family, which has about 200 species including the guppy, swordtail and molly fish. These fish have upper and lower teeth and originated in America. Platy fish are great starter fish for those who have never taken care of fish before.

Use a breeding net to separate the baby platy fish from the adults to avoid any attacks, or to separate pregnant platy fish before they have babies. Do this just before she looks swollen enough and is ready to give birth so she isn't under any stress. The mother will eat the babies (or fry) once they are born, so it is best to keep them separate until they have doubled in size, or provide plants for the fry to hide in.

Feed your baby platy fish once a day, but make sure there is no leftover food in the tank. Choose from brine shrimp, powdered food or hatched daphnia. Untouched food can go bad and cause harmful bacteria to form.

Keep the water clean by taking 25 per cent of it out and adding fresh water each week. Using water that is slightly alkaline is good as well.

Remove the breeding net when the baby fish double in size. The platy don't grow any larger than 2 1/2 inches. Not until they have grown a significant amount can they join the other adult fish without the fear of being attacked or eaten.

Keep the platy fish in an appropriate-sized tank with about 5 gallons of space per fish.

Things You'll Need

  • Breeding net
  • Brine shrimp
  • Powdered platy fish food
  • Hatched daphnia
  • Alkaline water
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About the Author

Melissa O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2010. Her work has been published on various websites, including Her writing focuses on topics in design, photography, history, living green and healthy cooking. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from Jersey City University.