The genus Xiphophorus, also known as Platies, is among the most popular freshwater aquarium species in the world, and for a good reason. Besides being vibrantly colorful and hardy, they’re also quite peaceful and non-aggressive toward other fish species in the tank.
With that being said, not all freshwater aquarium species out there are suitable for platies, so if you’re planning to get a Platy tank mate, you’ll need to pick the right one.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with an extensive list of the best and worst companions to consider for platies. Let’s dive right in!
Let’s start by having a quick look at some of the most suitable tank mates for platies along with the reasons that make them excellent companions.
Guppies are small-sized, gentle fish species that rarely resort to aggression towards their tank mates. They’re also fast swimmers, which allows them to escape provocation by larger fish.
Like Platies, Guppies are hardy and share similar optimal living conditions. They like to swim near the surface of the tank, so they’ll rarely disturb the Platies at the bottom.
Mollies are an incredible addition to any freshwater aquarium because they’re vibrantly colorful and highly energetic.
The shoaling fish are also fairly nonaggressive and get along with plenty of fish species, especially bottom swimmers like Platies, as their territories rarely overlap.
However, Mollies are relatively bigger than Platies, so you’ll need a fairly large aquarium to house them together.
Tetras are among the most popular aquarium species because they exist in different shapes and colors depending on the species.
While not all Tetra species are ideal for combinations with platies, relatively small Tetra species can work well. These include Neon Tetras, Rosy Tetras, Ember Tetras, etc.
This is because the two of them share similar living conditions while being fairly gentle. Tetras also never swim at the bottom of the tank, so they rarely disturb Platies.
4 – Endlers (Poecilia wingei)
Endlers are extremely compatible with Platies and are generally social schooling fish. They like to interact with other peaceful fishes, creating a lovely environment in your fish tank.
While Endlers typically swim at the middle and top water column, they’ll occasionally venture to the bottom to satisfy their burrowing habits.
This means that you’ll have some substrate for this combination to succeed since Platies don’t need any.
5 – Bettas (Betta splendens)
Bettas (Siamese fighting fish) are around the same size as Platies, but they look quite different. For that reason, Betta won’t recognize them as potential competitors and won’t act aggressively toward them.
The two species share overlapping water conditions, so you can easily adjust the aquarium to become a comfortable home for both of them.
That being said, some tank owners reported nipping due to this combination, so you have to keep an eye out for any behavioral issues between the two.
6 – Swordtails (Xiphophorus hellerii)
Swordtails are color fish species with a characteristic long tail, hence the name. These vibrant fish species get along well with Platies and other fish species as long as you don’t keep them with multiple males of its species.
The fish can interact and even cross-breed with Platies, producing unique hybrids. The fish are fairly peaceful and rarely bully smaller fish species, so they usually work out fine with Platies.
7 – White Cloud Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes)
Minnows come in a huge variety of species. While most of them are fairly peaceful around other fish species, different species might conflict with Platies in terms of water quality.
This is because most minnows have a hard time acclimating to warmer water temperatures necessary to keep Platies. A good exception here would be the White Cloud Minnow, which also happens to have visually appealing coloration compared to common minnows.
8 – Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)
If you have a small Platy tank and can’t upgrade to a larger one, you should consider a small species that can thrive in such conditions.
In that case, the Harlequin Rasbora would be an excellent choice to go for, as these schooling fish take very little space and add a lot of variety to the tank with their unique markings.
Meanwhile, they’re not so small that they end up getting eaten by Platies.
9 – Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Zebrafish, also known as Danios, may not be the most visually appealing addition to your tank, but they’re a solid choice if you’re looking for a tankmate for Platies.
These small fish enjoy living in small groups of 6 to 10, and can coexist with various fish species besides Platies, including Tetras, Guppies, Swordtails, Barbs, and more!
The following list includes several fish species that you can technically have in the same tank with platies.
However, different aquarium owners reported mixed results regarding these combinations, so you should be quite careful while combining them together.
While Platies and Rainbowfish share similar water conditions, the latter are known for their aggressive tendencies toward smaller fish.
As a result, they might end up chasing Platies and nipping at their fins, especially if you’re using a small tank.
That’s why you need a fairly large tank with plenty of hiding spots and decorations to keep these fish separated and safe.
Angelfish is another beautiful addition to your freshwater aquarium and can be quite peaceful around other fish species.
However, Angelfish is also somewhat territorial and can display aggressive behaviors towards intruders, especially when stressed.
As a result, they might end up attacking Platies if the tank is too small to house them. Also, if they’re stressed due to illness, they usually swim near the bottom and attack bottom dwellers like Platies.
While we don’t recommend keeping catfish species with Platies, Corydoras, also known as Cory Catfish, are usually an exception.
This is because Corydoras are fairly docile, compared to other catfish species. However, since they’re bottom dwellers, you need a noticeably large tank to make this work.
Unfortunately, this still doesn’t guarantee Platy’s safety, as Corydoras mainly feed on other fish, so it might attack Platies due to stress or malnourishment.
The same issue applies to Plecos, which can technically live peacefully with Platies but there will always be a chance of tension due to territory conflicts.
Lastly, here’s a list of fish species that you should avoid pairing with platies under any circumstance, as they can be dangerous or highly unsuitable for each other.
If you have female Platies, you can definitely have male Platies as their shark mate, this also allows them to breed and provide new offspring in the tank.
However, you should avoid keeping multiple male Platies around each other because it triggers aggressive tendencies between them, so they end up fighting and nipping at each other’s fins.
Goldfish are among the most popular fish species out there and can be a great addition to your aquarium. However, the combination of Platies and Goldfish rarely works due to a variety of factors.
For starters, the two fish species live in completely different water conditions, including temperature, water hardness, and pH.
Additionally, the disparity in size, especially in the case of a larger goldfish can trigger carnivorous tendencies, as they typically mistake smaller fish for food.
While you might be tempted to put Cichlids with Platies in the same tank, it’s never a good idea. This is because both Cichlids and Platies prefer swimming at the bottom of the tank.
While Platies can chill around other fish, Cichlids are highly territorial and will often attack any species that step into their territory.
Despite their beautiful colors, almost all common species of Barbs end up chasing other species around the tank and even nipping at their fins.
While Platies are nimble enough to avoid barbs, the stress of constantly running away will eventually take its toll on the Platies, and they might succumb to illness and diseases due to exhaustion.
One of the main advantages of having Platies is that they’re happy eaters that will enjoy just about anything you put in their tank.
However, this perk quickly turns into a downside if you want to pair them up with small shrimp species like cherry shrimp. Since they’re always nearby, Platies will end up eating them in no time.
Although loaches are schooling fish, they still show aggressive behaviors, including fin nipping, towards other species, even if they’re relatively larger in size.
As a result, they’ll start bullying the Platy and chasing it around the aquarium causing severe injuries to the fish.
This marks the end of today’s guide that walks you through all the different types of Platy tank mates along with their level of compatibility.
As you can see, Platies can get along with plenty of fish species, but others typically don’t work out very well.
If you’re a beginner aquarist and want a decent tank mate for your Platies, you should consider going for simple and reliable options like Guppies, Mollies, and Bettas.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.