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Can Platy Live In Cold Water? | Find The Answer With More Facts |

Many pet shops sell these little fishes as cold-water fish, while Platies indeed are tropical fish. And we have seen that some aquarium owners actually could keep them in cold water aquariums. But can Platy live in cold water without a heater?

platy live in cold water

Can platy live in cold water?

Platies are tropical fish. Therefore they can not survive in cold water.

The required temperature for platies is between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or between 24 to 28 degrees Celsius. However, they are extremely hardy species that can tolerate various water conditions as long as the conditions are steady.

The minimum temperature platies can hold is 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit (18°c).

So, if you have a cold water aquarium that doesn’t change the temperature frequently as the season’s change, platies might be able to survive in that tank.

By that means, we don’t say that they can survive in extreme water temperatures like freezing cold levels. Platies can tolerate cold to only some extent.

As the minimum temperature platies can hold is 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit (18°c), If your living room has a heater that keeps your room at 24 degrees Celcius all year along, Platies will be able to live in your aquarium (in your living room) without a heater for a long time.

What temperature can platy live in?

Platies can thrive in tropical water conditions.

The ideal temperature level is between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or between 24 to 28 degrees Celsius.

They need a pH level of 7- 8.3, zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and nitrates maintained under 40 ppm.

Platies like hard waters. Hence they enjoy extra alkalinity in their surroundings. So, it would be best to keep alkalinity at slightly higher levels at eight dKH and 18 dGH.

platy live in cold water

Can Platy survive without a heater?

As we said before, platies can survive without a heater if the water temperature doesn’t fluctuate. And also, the water temperature shouldn’t be too low as they can not tolerate too much cold water.

The minimum temperature platies can hold is 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit (18°c).

However, keeping platies in cold water aquariums is inhumane as we all know that they are tropical fish. And also, they certainly won’t thrive without a heater.

Therefore, you should remove platies and replace them in a tropical aquarium with a heater if you want them to thrive.

Can Platy survive outside in a pond?

Platies are hardy species that can survive in ponds. But, the pond must be in tropical or close to the tropical zone.

If you live in an area where winter falls, you can not keep platies in a pond. You will have to go with cold-water fish like Goldfish and Kois if you intend to keep a pond in cold weather.

platy live in cold water

Can platy live in hot weather?

If you live in an area where the temperature goes up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Summer, you might wonder if your fish may survive in this weather.

Actually, they can. Platies are tropical fish. Their native waters are on the east coast of Central America and southern Mexico, where the temperature is high all day.

So, they can survive in hot weather. But, if you don’t want them to suffer, it is best to install an air pump to provide oxygen to the aquarium as hot weather means less oxygen dissolved in the water.

And also provide enough shelter to the aquarium. If possible, plant some emergent aquarium plants like water lilies, lotus, and water hyacinths to balance the temperature by providing shade.

Can Platy freeze and come back to life?

There is no way that platies can hold up until freezing. If the water is too cold for them, platies will die.

They can survive in cold water to some extent if the temperature is steady. The minimum temperature platies can hold is 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit (18°c).

But, if the temperature fluctuates, platies will die because of a weakened immune system. So platy live in cold water environment or outside in the winter is not a viable solution.

Most importantly, platy can not freeze and come back to life. Even cold water fish like Kois and goldfish can not survive in freezing cold.

What is the best tank setup for platy ?

The best tank setup for any fish type is mimicking their natural habitats in the tank.

Platies are tropical water fish that lives in canals, ditches, warm springs, and marshes in Central America.

Their habitats have almost no water current with warm waters, silt beds, and dense vegetation.

So, if you plan to keep Platies in your aquarium, you should provide an environment similar to their habitats.

What Size Aquarium Do They need?

Platy are very active fish. Although platies are small fish species that grow up to three inches long, they need plenty of space to explore.

Therefore, platies need at least a 10-gallon tank for them to thrive.

How Many Platies in a 10-gallon tank?

You can keep less than five adult platies in a 10-gallon tank.

Although platies are not schooling fish, they love to live in small groups. They are middle-dwelling fish that swim and explore in the middle of the tank. A 10-gallon tank can provide enough space for five platies to thrive.

Tank Setup for platies

Platies prefer a heavily planted environment with gravel substrate and lots of space to swim. As they are small fish species, a ten-gallon tank is enough for a group of five platy .


Platies are middle-dwelling fish that rarely swim to the bottom. Even though they go to the bottom, they don’t really care about the substrate.

So, you can have any substrate you prefer in your aquarium. Gravel, sand, or bare bottom, you can go with whatever you like. But, we recommend keeping gravel as the substrate.

Gravel as substrate offers many benefits, such as preventing the buildup of amoebas and bacteria in the substrate and being heavy enough not to clog in the filtration systems.

You can also choose gravel in different colors so that you can decorate your tank with a color of your choice.

Plants and Decorations

Decorations don’t do much with platy as they rarely hide. However, platies love densely planted surroundings as it mimics their native waters.

Having many plants in the aquarium will also give fish fry places to hide from the adults that chase to eat.

It is best to have a mix of planted areas, and open swimming areas as these fish prefer free swimming as well.

Read More: Do Platies Eat Plants? | And Other Important Facts About Feeding Platy |

Water Parameters

Platy prefer tropical freshwater that is slightly hardy and alkaline.

The pH level of water should be at 7.0 to 8.0. The preferred GH level is 10-28 dGH (167-467 ppm), and the preferred KH level is 3-5 dKH (54-90 ppm).

Platies require a temperature of 70°-80°F (21°-27°C). However, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 18C if the temperature is steady.

They can bear zero ammonia and Nitrite levels and up to 30 ppm Nitrate in the water.


Platy doesn’t have a particularly high bioload. So, a filtration system isn’t necessary for them.

However, having a filtration system in your aquarium can help both fish and you because the filter can keep the water clean for a long time, leaving you less hassle cleaning the tank.


Platies do need a consistent oxygen supply. Therefore you need to provide oxygen using an oxygen pump, water pump, or a water fountain.


Although we said that Platies could bear cold water up to 18 degrees Celcius, keeping them in cold water is like torturing them.

As platies are tropical fish, they need tropical water temperature to live happily. Therefore, you need to heat the water in your aquarium if you live in an area with cold weather. Their preferred water temperature is between 70° and 80°F (21°-27°C).

What size heater do I need for my aquarium?

When choosing an aquarium heater, you should consider the aquarium size first.

You should add 5 watts per gallon of water volume to your aquarium. So, if your tank has 10-gallons, you have to add 5*10 watts or 50watts heater to your aquarium. If you have a 25-gallon tank, the heater should have 125 watts of power.

A low-wattage heater cannot efficiently heat up the water and keep the water heated. For sensitive life forms like fish, keeping a steady temperature is crucial. Hence, you have to buy a heater with the correct wattage suitable for your aquarium size.

What is the lifespan of a platy ?

Healthy platy can live for up to 4 years if kept in optimal environments with clean water, low stress, and good nutrition.

However, if you intend to keep platies in cold water without a heater, their lifespan will lower because of stress and a weakened immune system.


Platy are tropical fish that need water temperature between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit to thrive.

However, they can tolerate cold water up to 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes down below that level, Platies will die.

In order for platy to live in cold water aquariums, the water temperature should be steady.

If the temperature fluctuates, that will also cause death in Platy. Therefore it is better to run a water heater in a platy tank if the weather in your area fluctuates. So, in short, Platies can not live in cold water like cold-water fish like goldfish and koi.

So as for the question “Can platy live in cold water?” the answer is No.

Read Next: Can Crayfish Live In Cold Water? | Find The Answer With More Facts |

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.