How To Care For Pregnant Platy Fish?

I had kept Platies in my tank for a while as a hobby. In about a month or two, one of my platy began swelling up. Turns out she was pregnant! I didn’t know how to take care of a pregnant platyfish then, so I researched a bit on the internet.

I’d like to share the information about caring for Pregnant Platy with you. My pregnant platy was the happiest I’ve ever seen her when I gave her a lot of care. And, I hope it turns out the same for your pregnant platy too.

Pregnant platyfish needs a separate tank at her end of pregnancy. In addition, pregnant platyfish need a good diet for their developing babies and themselves. Moreover, maintaining water parameters (temperature 74-80 Fahrenheit, pH- 7.0 – 8.4, frequent water changes) are very important for a pregnant Platy fish. 

A Platy fish is pregnant almost all her life. Platy fish are easy to breed, you see! But, taking care of a pregnant Platy fish isn’t easy. And, your fish will need your assistance.

I will tell you how you can easily take care of your pregnant Platy fish below. Let’s get started.

How Will You Know If Your Platy Is Pregnant?

First, before taking care of your Platy fish, you have to know whether your Platy is pregnant or not. Here are the signs your platy is pregnant:

  • If you see a fat Platy fish, you might be feeding her well. But, if her belly increases gradually even after you control her diet, the chances are, your Platy is pregnant.
  • Another sign of a pregnant Platy fish is a black spot that is present near her rear fin. This black spot is also called a gravid spot.
  • Moreover, if the eye of fry presses against the uterus, you can understand that your Platy is pregnant.
  • Another surest sign of Pregnancy is a squared belly. When you see from the front angle, the belly appears squared off rather than round.
  • In addition, your Platy fish is going to turn darker. If your Platy already has dark scales, you might not notice the dark discoloration.
  • If your Platy is going to birth white fry, dark spots will be visible all over her body.

Note: Bear in mind that Platy fish bear live fry directly. Your Platy fish is a livebearer species. Thus, you won’t have to wait for the eggs to hatch. You should just wait for the young ones to pop out as small fry.

Is Your Platy About To Give Birth?

Congratulations. Your pregnant Platy is about to get babies really soon. But, is the delivery day far away or knocking at your door?

Well, firstly, check the behavior of your Platy fish. If she is lethargic, stops swimming, and prefers to remain above the substrate, she is pregnant. Platy fish also hide behind plants when she is about to give birth.

The gravid spot also becomes darker along with pregnancy. So, the darker the gravid spot, the closer the delivery of fries.

If you are not too observant, you can calculate the expected date of delivery (EDD). Platies birth after 28 days of pregnancy. So, you can prepare to care for your Platy fish’s delivery after 28 days of copulation/breeding.

Lastly, the dilatation of cloaca in your fish means the delivery is starting immediately.

Ways Of Taking Care For Pregnant Platy Fish

Platy fish, like all other livebearers, is an independent species of fish. Thus, taking care of a Platy shouldn’t be that hard.

However, you must do your part to ensure a healthy mother and healthy fry at the end of pregnancy.

Please read below on how you can treat your pregnant platy well.

Separate Pregnant Platy During The Late Stage Of Pregnancy

You should definitely invest in a breeding tank. This tank will come to use during the end stages of Platy’s pregnancy.

Moreover, if you can buy a separate tank for the fry, it’d be brilliant. Else, you can invest in a large tank that can comfortably house the mother Platy and her fry.

A minimum of a 30-gallon tank is required for this purpose.

A separate breeding tank has benefits like:

  • The pregnant Platy fish is not harassed by male Platy fish.
  • Your Platy fish can birth her fry in peace, without external threat.
  • The mother Platy fish can rest after delivering fry.
  • After removing the mother from the breeding tank, the same tank can be used for fries.

Some people use a tank divider for the community tank. This is better only if the tank is large like a 40-50 gallon tank. Else, the tank divider can overcrowd and cause stress in your fish.

But, a tank divider is good for a separate tank. Keep the mother platy on one side and fry on the other. Once the mother has given birth, return her to your community tank. Then, remove the tank divider and give the entire tank to the fry.

Imagine living inside a small room for eternity, how do you feel? Not good, I presume. That’s how your pregnant platy will feel inside a breeding box. So, a breeding box is a no-no for me.

If you have limited resources on your hands and cant buy a breeding tank, you can heavily plant your community aquarium. Some fry may be saved from being eaten by swimming into the plants.

Good Food As Care For Pregnant Platy Fish

During pregnancy, your Platy fish has to take food even for her fry. Thus, you need to provide a good meal for her.

However, the golden rule is to provide only what your Pregnant Platy can eat in 3 minutes. If extra food remains at the end of 3 minutes, just scoop it out.

How about giving a varied diet to your Platy fish? You can provide her Flakes in the morning, brine shrimps as lunch, and spirulina as dinner.

Occasionally, you can add some frozen bloodworms, daphnia, and peas for variation.

Note: Food wastes can increase nitrogen levels in your tank which is harmful to your platy. Thus, you shouldn’t keep excess food in your tank for long. Scoop the excess food with a net.

Keep Floating Plants As Care For Pregnant Platy Fish

Your pregnant platy hides behind plants when it’s time for her to give birth. The plants provide her a sense of comfort. Moreover, the darkness from plants will maintain her sleeping pattern.

That’s why I suggest you plant some hornworts, Java moss, duckweed, in your breeding tank.

Note: If you are not planning on getting a separate tank, you can keep floating plants in your community tank. Generally, the fry runs into the plants to seek refuge.

Care For Pregnant Platy Fish By Balancing Water Parameters

Your pregnant platies can stop delivering in unsuitable water parameters. Bad water parameter will stress her out, you know?

That’s why it is important to maintain the water parameter of your breeding tank as follows:

Moreover, you can keep your tank under direct sunlight. Sunlight is healthy for your pregnant Platy fish. Just make sure the temperature should always be balanced.

Delivery Time

Once your pregnant platy reaches her 26-27th day of pregnancy, shift her to the separate tank. Because it is time for delivery!

The delivery time may take anywhere between 6-8 hours. It will take around 10 hours to deliver all her babies. And, your Platy fish can deliver around 40 babies.

Sometimes, your platy may change her mind. She may deliver some fries and stop. Then, she might deliver the rest of her fries after a few days. This is rare but you must be prepared for this too.

Note: As the fry are born, you can see the tail starts to come out first.

Isolate For 2 Days After Delivery

After your Platy fish has delivered her fry, give her some rest. Don’t shift her to your community tank immediately.

You should get a tank divider and separate the mother and her fry.

Or, it’s even better if you can separate the fry in a separate fry tank. This is important because the mother may eat up her fry.

After a resting time of 48 hours, you can shift the mother Platy in your community tank.

Mistakes While Giving Care For Pregnant Platy Fish

Sometimes even if you have good intentions, mistakes might happen. Here are some of the mistakes you might make when you care for pregnant Platy fish.


You shouldn’t overcrowd your breeding tank by keeping all the males and females in there.

Try to keep your pregnant Swordtail in a separate BIG tank so that stress can be avoided.

Not Separating Fries

Mother Platies have no love for their own babies. These mothers readily eat their fry.

Thus, you must separate the fry using a tank divider. Or, it’ll be even better if you separate the fry into a separate fry tank!

Separating Pregnant Platy Very Early

You might end up separating the pregnant platy from the community tank early. But, isolation can play a bad role in your pregnant Platy’s health.

You should, thus, isolate your pregnant Platy only during her end stages of pregnancy, i.e. 26-27th day of pregnancy.


How Long Is A Platy Fish Pregnant?

Platy fish is pregnant for an average duration of 28 days. Sometimes, the duration may be prolonged due to stress, water parameters, and immature fry.

Should I Separate My Pregnant Platies?

Yes, you should separate the pregnant platy into another breeding tank. Especially during the delivery period.

This is because the fry may be eaten up by the adult Platies. Moreover, the male platies will harass the pregnant platy.

Also, a separate tank ensures that the pregnant platy can deliver smoothly without tension.

Closing Words

I hope you now understood how to take care of a pregnant Platy fish. It is quite easy, you see. If you bear sympathy to your fish, I’m sure your Pregnant Platy will be happy and healthy. Happy Fishkeeping.