Can Betta Fish Live With Platies (can they live in the same tank?)

Betta fish are incredibly popular both in the USA and around the world. They are possibly the most colorful and flamboyant fish in the hobby.

Eating Daphnia
Eating Daphnia

For many years Betta fish have been kept as solo specimens in tiny bowls. Many aquarists do not realize Betta fish can be kept with tank mates. Zebra Danios, Cherry Barbs, and Rummy Nose Tetras all make excellent tank mates for Bettas. But what about Platies? Can Platies live in the same tank as Betta fish?

Yes, Betta fish can be kept in the same aquarium as Platies. Both fish are peaceful and require very similar water parameters and both species of fish will eat the same food. Also, as Platies are a livebearing species of fish, keeping a Betta in the same tank will help the Platy population under control.



Can Betta Fish Live With Platies?

I am a firm believer in keeping Bettas with other fish. Although often thought of as fish that must be kept alone, there is actually a large selection of fish that can happily live in the same tank as a Betta.

I currently keep a group of Wagtail Platies with a bright orange Betta. It is a tank that is full of color and movement and never gets boring to watch. The bright orange colors of the fish contrast against the bright green of all the live plants.

Bettas and Platies have similar requirements when it comes to water parameters. Both species of fish want their water to be roughly the same temperature and they will eat the same foods.

Image Source: Girl Talks Fish (YouTube)

Will the Betta Chase the Platies?

In my experience, no, a Betta won’t chase the Platies. Generally speaking, the Betta will keep himself to himself and will take little to no notice of the Platies.

There is of course always the chance that an individual Betta just has a mean streak and chases every fish he is kept with. In this case, that individual Betta might need to live alone.

I also haven’t found that Platies chase the Betta. Platies tend to be very peaceful and spend most of their time either eating or trying to mate.



How to set up a Betta and Platy tank?

The good news is, Bettas and Platies essential want their tanks set up in exactly the same way.

I would start with a minimum of a 10-gallon (38 liters) tank for a group of around 5 Platies and a single male Betta. If you have the option to go for a 20-gallon (76 liters) then do it, bigger is always better.

The substrate in a Betta and Platy tank is not especially important for either of these fish, so I would suggest using either normal aquarium gravel or a sandy substrate like Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand. If you have a substrate preference, go with it. As I say, these fish do not really interact with the substrate so it’s a straight personal choice.

For decorations, I like to use rocks or aquarium-safe wood, but once again the choice is yours. I would however suggest you give serious consideration to live aquarium plants. Live plants give an aquarium a natural feel, and the colors of the Betta and Platies will really pop against a bright green background.

A second benefit of having live plants in a Betta and Platy tank is the fact the plants absorb some of the fish waste, making the aquarium water cleaner and safer for the fish.

Best Filter for a Betta and Platy Tank?

Filtration is really important in a tank with Platies and a Betta. A good filter removes dirt and debris from the water column and ensures the waste when the fish go to the bathroom is broken down and made safe.

I have had good success using a hang-on-back filter like the C-Series of filters made by Fluval. I have found that hang-on-back filters have enough power to keep a Bettas’ tank clean without blowing the Betta fish all around the tank. Betta fish sometimes struggle to swim against a very powerful filter.

Whatever filter you use, make sure it doesn’t create a flow that is so strong it eventually wears your Betta out and reduces its lifespan.



Best Food to Feed a Betta with Platies?

Betta fish and Platies both require similar diets. The Betta ideally wants to eat from the surface, whereas the Platies are happier eating mid-water and even from the bottom of the tank.

I have always found the best foods for Bettas are either pellet foods or flake foods, and Platies will eat both too.

Bug Bites, which is made by Fluval, is a great food that is available in both flake and pellet form. Bug Bites are primarily made from Black Soldier Fly Larvae which makes them high in protein. Adding some live or frozen foods to the fish’s diet will help boost their colors and help the Platies produce more babies.

Will a Betta Eat Platy Babies?

The truth is yes, a Betta will eat Platy babies. As a livebearer, Platies produce a lot of babies. The females will give birth to live, free-swimming babies roughly every 6 weeks.

Many consider having a micro predator like a Betta living with a livebearer to be a good way to keep fish numbers under control. Bettas have been used to control Guppy populations for many years.

If you want to prevent a betta from eating all the Platy babies, make sure you provide plenty of hiding places for the babies. Live plants, piles of rocks, and stacked pieces of aquarium wood will all provide spaces the baby Platies can get into that the Betta can’t.



Tankmates for a Betta and Platy Tank

There is a wide range of other tank mates that will work well with a Betta and Platies. I have tried many different combinations over the years. Below I have listed some of my favorites.

Guppies

Guppies make excellent tanks mates for Bettas and Platies. Guppies are available in a wide range of colors, meaning there is a strain out there to either compliment or contrast with your Betta.

Guppies are happy living in the same water conditions as Bettas and Platies, and they will eat exactly the same foods.

As another livebearer, Guppies produce lots of babies, which the Betta will help keep under control.

Cherry Barbs

Cherry Barbs are bright orange to pink in color and in my experience work really well with Bettas. Cherry Barbs are not nippy like Tiger Barbs might be.

If you are considering adding Cherry Barbs to the mix, then you will need a slightly larger tank due to the Cherry Barbs’ active nature. A 20-gallon (76 liters) tank is probably the minimum size you would want to consider.

Cherry Barbs are fast swimmers, which means they can even live with a Betta that is a little nippy. A Betta would struggle to catch a Cherry Barb.

Panda Corydoras

I keep Corydoras Catfish in almost every Betta tank I have. Corydoras want to spend the majority of their day swimming along the bottom of the tank looking for food, and Panda Corydoras are no different.

Panda Corydoras are small catfish that are effective at eating any food that gets past the Betta.

These little fish are friendly, peaceful and won’t take any notice of the Betta or the Platies. They are also happy to live in exactly the same tank set up as the Betta and Platies.

Needless to say, there are many other fish that would also work well in a Betta and Platy tank. These include;



My Final Thoughts on ‘Can Betta Fish Live With Platies?’

In my experience, Platies make excellent tank mates for Betta fish. Both fish will relish the same water conditions and they will both eat exactly the same foods.

Betta fish can be a useful way to keep the Platy population under control. If you try this combination I can assure you that you will end up with a tank full of color and movement that you will never tire of watching.


About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James
Editor