Should You Separate a Pregnant Platy? {Will She Lose Her Fry If You Don’t?}

Is your platy pregnant and you’re wondering if she needs to be separated? Will she eat her fry or will her tankmates stress her while she’s pregnant? In this article, we’ll find out if you should separate a pregnant platy.

Should You Separate a Pregnant Platy? Yes. Place the pregnant female moments before giving birth into a breeder box within your tank or days before birth, she can move to a 5-10 gallon tank on her own. She must be removed after giving birth to protect the fry from being eaten. 

Why Should I Separate a Pregnant Female Platy?

It’s important to keep a female platy safe even if you don’t plan on keeping the fry that she delivers. During this time it’s very easy for her to suffer from:

  • Stress
  • Aggressive tankmates
  • Bullying

Male platies are known to harass females, even if they are pregnant. It’s best to keep them separated during this time.

Are Male Platies Aggressive Towards Females?

Yes. Male platies are known to nip the fins, chase or corner female platies and cause them to feel stressed from time to time.

When a female platy is pregnant, it’s best to separate her in order to prevent her from suffering from distress that could cause her to lose her fry or fail to deliver them.

How Do I Know If My Platy Fish Is Pregnant?

You will know if a female is pregnant when her belly is rounder than usual. It’s closer to resembling a box-like shape.

You are looking for a gravid spot in this region that gets dark or purple in color the more her pregnancy becomes close to the point of delivery.

This is the time when you should either place her in a separate tank that is about 5-10 gallons large or use a breeder box that is attached to the main tank..

Are Pregnant Platies Aggressive?

A female platy who is pregnant may also show signs of aggression. You may notice her acting in the following ways:

  • competing fiercely for food
  • chasing away other tankmates
  • bumping into decorations or tank walls

This is a time that is especially risky for female platies in community tanks when you notice these types of behaviors. In order to prevent injury it’s best to separate the female and place her in her own tank.

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How Long Are Female Platy Fish Pregnant?

The pregnancy period of a female platy fish lasts about 28 to 30 days on average. A pregnant female is looking to deliver her fry in the safest possible space.

You can give her additional hiding spaces with extra plants in the tank or decorations for her to find a comfortable spot to deliver. Platies are live bearers and are looking constantly for the safest possible spot to deliver their fry.

If you separate the female for the final few days of this pregnancy stage, she will be able to have the least amount of stress in order to successfully release her fry.

What Should I Do With My Pregnant Platy Fish?

The best decision is to separate your pregnant female platy from the rest of the community fish. Here are some options for you to consider:

  • Use a separate 5-10 gallon tank.
  • Use a tank divider.
  • Use a breeder box.
  • Add more plants in the tank.
  • Add more decorations in the tank that serve as hiding spaces.

Pregnant female platies in the wild are looking to separate themselves from the group. You’re trying to mimic the natural conditions of the wild by offering her the comfort of isolation during this time.

Should I Use a Breeding Box for My Pregnant Platy?

Yes. Using a breeder box moments before a female platy is about to give birth is a great option.

Since a female platy is pregnant for about 28 to 30 days, you should wait until the final moments when her gravid spot is as dark as purple or black.

If she is placed in the breeder box too soon, she will receive a lot of stress from being in such a tight space. She may go into labor too soon and will end up losing her fry.

Finally, after she gives birth please remove your female platy and place her back in the community tank. Female platies have the tendency of eating their fry after giving birth.

Do Platies Give Birth Around Plants?

Yes. Pregnant platies look for planted areas that are dense in vegetation to act as hiding spaces in the wild and within your tank’s ecosystem.

The planted areas will also protect the fry when they’re in a community tank. The following plants are useful to be considered great spaces for pregnant platies to deliver their fry:

  • Hornwort
  • Duckweed
  • Java moss
  • Java fern
  • Anubias

These plants are hardy and durable in most freshwater tanks. They help to oxygenate the environment and prevent algae growth as well.

How Long Does It Take For A Platy To Finish Giving Birth?

A female platy can take up to 48- 72 hours to finish delivering her fry into the world. You’re waiting for her stomach to turn flat and become slimmer.

It is not absolutely necessary to wait until she has delivered every one of her fry before placing her back in the community tank if she is in a breeder box.

You do not want her to consume her fry in this tight space while she is stressed. If she is in a separate 5-10 gallon tank, then you can leave her there longer while she completes giving birth to her entire fry.

How Often Do Platys Reproduce?

In ideal conditions where there are males and females together, they will meet probably mate every month. Platies reproduce often because they are very active fish that are known to mate frequently.

If you don’t separate the males from the females, you may end up with plenty of fry that will either get eaten by other fish or not be able to survive if they are not cared for separately.

Why Did My Female Platy Become Pregnant Without Any Males?

Your female platy could have stored the sperm of a male platy in her for up to half a year. This could have happened before you obtained her and brought her to your community tank.

She may have undergone mating at the breeders or local fish shop and arrived at your tank pregnant. Since it takes about 28 days for her to give birth to her fry, you may not have noticed that she was pregnant when you first brought her to your home.

How Do I Stop My Platies From Breeding?

The best way to stop platy fish from breeding is to keep a tank with only males. You will need a spacious tank with plenty of hiding spaces and territories because males alone may end up being more aggressive.

You can also keep a tank with only females but most hobbyists prefer keeping males because of how attractive their colors are.


Separate females who are pregnant in order to reduce the amount of stress they go through during pregnancy. She or her tankmates could become aggressive during this time.

Placing her in a separate tank that is about 5 or 10 gal in size will help to keep her calm during her 28 to 30 days while she’s pregnant.

You may also choose to use a tank divider or a breeder box instead of a separate tank when you notice her gravid spot becoming darker in color.

After she gives birth, you can bring her back to the community tank while caring for the fry separately in order to make sure they do not get eaten by the mother or any other fish.


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Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.

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