How to setup a cheap planted aquarium for Platy fish?

It is very important to choose an appropriate size of aquarium for Platies to keep them in the best condition. In addition, it is important to setup aquarium with appropriate stuff for offering a healthy & happy life to your Platies.

Platies are beginners friendly due to their hard nature, & they need simple care. They are available in different colours. They are very popular among aquarium trade, & in today’s article, I will help you in setting up a cheap-planted aquarium for Platy fish.

Have a look at the requirements for Platies before I help you in setting up the right fish tank for them.









Omnivorous diet

Minimum Aquarium Size

10 Gallons

Temperature Range

21 to 27°C

PH Range

6.8 to 8.3

Water Hardness

10 to 28 dGH

How to setup a low-tech planted aquarium for Platies?
How to setup a low-tech planted aquarium for Platies?

Platy fish are little & can reach up to 3 inches in size.

When choosing the right aquarium size for fish, it is important to note that an inch of fish needs a gallon of water.

It is recommended to keep your fish in clean filtered water to save them from stress & diseases. Platy fish are hardy so they can survive in different water conditions. Therefore, it is important to keep your fish in a filtered aquarium with plenty of oxygen, & keep your Platies in the range of ideal PH & water hardness.


Why Platies need aquarium plants?

Platies like heavily planted aquariums that have abundance of oxygen & many hiding spots. Fish eat live plants, & hide in the branches & roots of the plants. Hiding spots prevent your fish from stress by offering hiding spots, & keep water aerated. Live plants filter water by absorbing dangerous chemicals released from fish poop, remaining food & other solid impurities.


For Platy fish, we recommend the following aquatic plants that need low care:

  • Java Moss
  • Java Fern
  • Hornwort
  • Duckweed

Low price & low maintenance plants can save money & they do not need bright lights & fertilizers. I would recommend adding beginners plants if you want to setup a low cost fish tank for Platy fish.


Do Platies need substrate?

Substrate is not necessary for Platy aquarium. Even though Platies swim at the bottom of the aquarium, they do not dig substrate in search of food like bottom dwellers. Therefore, you can keep any substrate, sand, gravel in Platies aquarium, or leave it bare bottom.

For a low price tank setup for Platies, you can skip substrate & leave your tank bare bottom.


Is a heater required for Platy fish tank?

Platies are tropical fish, which means they need warm water for endurance. Ideal water temperature for Platies is between 21 - 27°C. Platies can survive in a bit cooler water than the ideal temperature limit, but they might feel stress & become ill. If Platies are kept in warmer water than the ideal temperature limit, then Platies might have a shorter life span.

Therefore, Platies needs a heater with rheostat to keep water temperature in the ideal range.


Is a filter required for Platy fish tank?

Platies are tough & can live in aquariums without a filter. However, a filter is recommended for every fish tank because it keeps water clean by trapping rotten food, poop, & other solid impurities that would otherwise rot & pollute water. A filter also biologically cleans water by absorbing the dangerous chemicals.

Planted aquariums have heaps of aquatic plants that absorb all toxic chemicals. Therefore, if you have heaps of live plants in an aquarium, then a filter is not mandatory. Live plants like polluted water because they absorb all pollutants that fertilize them.

For a low-tech aquarium setup for Platies, you can avoid a filter.


Which filter is best for Platy fish aquarium?

If you have setup a breeding aquarium for Platies, then a sponge filter is one of the best choices. Other filters suck fish fries & they end up inside the filter. Fries cannot enter the little pores of the sponge. Fries can also eat the leftover food attached to the sponge. Sponge filters provide one of the best biological filtrations as fish are sensitive against ammonia. Sponge filters can also provide mechanical filtration as sponge collects fish poop & other solid impurities.

A sponge filter is cheap, & you can consider adding it to your newly setup planted aquarium for Platies.


Can Platies survive without tank lights?

Tank rights are not necessary for Platies. If your Platies aquarium is setup in a room lit by sunlight, then it is enough for them. Do not keep your aquarium in direct sunlight, as it will cause algae spikes. If you have setup a planted aquarium for Platies, then live plants need bright lights so you can consider adding artificial lights depending on the requirements of aquatic lights.

Tank lights allow aquarists to monitor their fish. You can see the beautiful bright colours of your fish in the presence of tank lights.

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