Are Platies Schooling Fish? Let’s Read To Obtain The Answer

Platies are very lovely as pets in your aquarium. They are loved by many aquarists for their eye-catching appearance, affordable price, and friendliness.

Many people wonder whether their fish are comfortable living alone or require companions. Any fishkeeper wants their fish to be happy and healthy, right?

We’ll help you answer, “Are platies schooling fish?” That way, you will have more useful knowledge about your precious platies to take better care of them.

What Are Platies?

Platy fish is a freshwater fish that belongs to the genus Xiphophorus.

They live mainly in Central America and Mexico. Xiphophorus fish is either platies or swordtails, but platies don’t feature sword-shaped tails.

Platy fish come from two species: the Variatus platy and the Southern platy.

In most cases, platy fish is a combination of both species and sometimes swordtail species.

Platies can grow to a maximum of around 2.8 inches (7 cm), whichever kind you get. This tiny fish is available in various colors, including:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Sunset
  • Blue Mirror
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Marigold
  • Coral

What Is Schooling?

Many aquarists confuse shoaling and schooling fish. Although both terms sound quite similar, they aren’t the same thing.

Schooling Fish

schooling fish


“Schooling” refers to fish typically swimming together in one big group. They all always swim at the same speed and in the same direction.

This large group will drive away all predators around them. Schooling fishes look more organized than shoaling ones. Platies do this when they are threatened.

Shoaling Fish

Shoaling fish refers to species of fish that move together for social reasons, but they are not tightly knit.

Instances are not in sync and move in various directions to each other. Platies move away from their team to look for food when there’s no threat nearby.

Are Platies Schooling Fish?

group of platy fish

Although platies are schooling fish, they do not necessarily need to live in a school

Platis can be seen as schooling if threatened. But they are closer to shoaling fish since they like to swim in a loose group of five to six during normal cases.

Swordtails and platies belong to the same genus, but platy fish are schooling fish, while swordtails aren’t. Yet, swordtails prefer to live in groups.

Although platies will be fine when living alone, it isn’t a good idea. They are very social individuals and love living in a community.

Does Platy fish Need A School?

It is best to let platies school. A single fish will not live well and may get sick quickly.

Dead or sick platy can jeopardize the whole aquarium, which is unfair to the individual species.

As a fishkeeper, you must take care of your fish correctly, including happiness and comfort, not just medicine and food.

According to experts, you should provide your platies with a tiny school, so they can socialize, live, and behave as naturally as possible.

How Many Platy Fish Should You Get?

It is best to keep three to six platies in a single school. However, things may vary depending on the number of fish living in your aquarium and its size.

You can easily determine the gender of your platy fish. Ideally, keep three females for each male.

Otherwise, the males may harass the female fish too much, causing the female fish to become distressed.

To tell if your platies are females or males, observe their anal fin. For females, it will be fan-shaped, while it is flat and long with a point for males.

Why Do Fish School?

By schooling, fish can avoid predators. Moreover, grouping together will help fish find food more efficiently. Also, various kinds like platy fish, prefer company.

Is Platy Fish Good Fish For Aquariums?

an orange platy fish

Platies are good-looking, affordable, hardy, and friendly

Platies are excellent tiny freshwater fish for new aquarists. They are community and peaceful fish that are not aggressive.

Platies are easy to breed, provided you prevent them from consuming their fry. Generally, platies are the right choice for a first-time breeder.


 Which Types of Fish Can Live With Platy Fish?

Platies can live comfortably with various types of fish, such as:

  • Swordtails
  • Mollies
  • Danios
  • Guppies
  • Other kinds of platy fish.

Do not keep species that can eat your platies, like bettas and cichlids.

Moreover, platies may eat their fry. So if you need to raise fry, separating them from their parents is essential.

What Do Platies Eat?

Platy is an omnivorous fish that can consume a mixture of meat and plants.

Although a good-quality flake forms its diet’s core, you should supplement some form of meat and vegetable matter.

Your platy fish can consume any of the following:

  • Fresh vegetables
  • Spirulina
  • Brine shrimp
  • Algae wafers
  • Frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms

Will Different Platy Fish School Together?

Although it is rare, different Platy types may do school together. But they must be the same in size, shape, and color and closely related or similar to each other.

Why Is Shoaling and Schooling Beneficial for Platy Fish?

Shoaling and schooling offer various benefits to individual fish, including increased success in finding food, access to potential mates, and improved protection from predators.

Is It Okay to Keep A Single Platy?

It is okay to keep single platy in a tank scene. But you should keep them in one group as platies are social fish and prefer schooling, shoaling, and interaction.

How Much Space My Platies Need?

It is okay to keep three platies in a 10-gallon (46l) aquarium and six to seven in a 15-gallon (68l) tank.

How Often Should You Feed a Platy Fish?

It is wise to feed your platies four to five times per week.

Wrapping It Up

Are platies schooling fish? Although platies are schooling fish, they do not necessarily need to live in a school. Platies prefer to live in smaller groups.

By now, you have received some exciting knowledge about platies. Ensure that your platy fish are healthy, happy, and comfortable!