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Do platies need a heater?

Do platies need a heater? Most of the fish keepers ask this lot of times. So I also had a question like this when I first started my fish keeping.

That time I was too young and knows nothing about fish keeping, but I kept them.

Suddenly one day I saw my platies were floating on water. I was shocked.

As years passed, I did lots of research on the internet, and from my college also I have gained a lot of knowledge before platy keeping.

Let’s see; You also may think a lot of things as what else my platy need? Do they need an aquarium heater? How to look after them properly? So on.

Do not worry, I have explained in detail what you need, so keep reading!

Do platies need a heater along with a heated tank?

do platies need a heater

Platy are originated from warm water natural habitats. Yes, they are tropical freshwater fish founded in surrounding areas of Central America and southern Mexico.

Therefore well adapted to the warm water. At present day, due to this tropical origin aquariums used a heater to keep them at a comfortable temperature.

The optimal platy temperature is between 72- 78 F. But they can survive slightly below 72F to certain extend. It may lead to cause health problems to the platyfish. It means chances are higher.

What happens if the tank temperature slightly above 78F? There also negative consequences can observe as platyfish lifespan gets shorter etc.

There you should know to keep them at the right temperature.

How to decide whether platy needed an aquarium heater or not?

do platies need a heater

It can depend on several factors.

So you need to consider where do you buy those? Whether from a tropical or non-tropical aquarium? And what temperature do they require?

Do all platy who rear in aquariums need an aquarium heater? Etc and etc. So let’s see.

When deciding, first of all, you must ask yourself what kind of aquarium do I brought them from? If they are from a pet store where rear under heated aquarium?

Yes or No? If it is yes,

You need to have a heater on your tank because they are adapted to the non-tropical conditions.

If you brought your platies from an aquarium where they rear with the temperature of environment.

If it is yes? Then you do not need to have a heater in your tank.

Therefore it depends on yes: no condition.

Once my brother brought a platyfish from a neighbour house where parents of those fish are from a tropical aquarium.

There he never used a heater in the tank. Also reared them in a pond in front of the house for a shorter period of time, during inside tank was under repair.

So they survived for a longer time, so it depends.

do platies need a heater

There are other factors too. Here you need to consider the natural climate on your living country because it directly affects the tank water parameters.

If you are living in summer or all year round mild climate conditions, you do not need to have an aquarium heater. Your platyfish will be well fine.

But if you are a fish keeper from the non-tropical country. In other words, if you are in a region with chilly winter and facing much cold and outside water bodies freeze below freezing temperature for a long time.

There be vigilant, your platyfish need heat and must have an aquarium heater to provide stable temperature within this cold weather period.

Therefore it is better to invest in an aquarium heater rather than worrying after everything happens.

You also buy a thermometer along with you. There you can measure the temperature of the water and can decide the correct time to switch on the aquarium heater.

What temperature do platyfish like very much?

As experts say platy temperature range between 72F 78F suit as optimal conditions for any aquarium all over the world.

It will be very comfortable with your platyfish. These fish also can tolerate slight changes within these ranges.

What if I ask you, Can platys be kept in cold water? Most of your answers will be no.

But haven’t you notice that platyfish who are in the wild, natural water bodies warms up during day times and naturally drop the temperature at night are capable of managing these slight changes as mentioned earlier.

So they can survive in the water bodies where the temperature does not drop below 68F.

This will prove my point, so be aware if you are in a non-tropical country.

How to calculate heater size for platy fish?

If you are going to buy an aquarium heater, do not just go and buy.

Because you need to consider the size of your fish tank and according to that, select the heater with the required power to heat the tank.

I am saying this because if you get a low power heater, it will unable to warm your tank. Sometimes can get a longer time.

Therefore by the good thumb rule, it is said that 5-watt heater needs per each gallon of water.

If you have a tank with 40 gallons, it needs a 200-watt heater. I hope you may get the point.

Select high efficient heater as much as possible, and it will regulate tank water parameters at sudden changes. It will prevent any possible harm to your platyfish.

So before get negative consequents select a tank heater that suits you very well.

How to keep platyfish indoor?

Platy fish keepers in tropical conditions can skip a heater and no need to worry much about it.

But it is advisable to have a heater in every fish tank similar to keeping a water filter in a tank.

So, aquarists in non-tropical conditions should have a heater they can not skip it. Why I am saying that,

During the winter season, you may feel temperature within the room is between 72-78 F, and that might be similar to water in the fish tank. You are wrong!

Why? Do you know air heated much faster than water, scientific background is convection in air and conduction takes place within water.

Therefore actual temperature value in the tank may be different from that of room. So it is better to have a thermometer I mentioned earlier too.

So you can have an idea about tank temperature from the sudden changes in the outside the room as well.

Think if you unable to maintain this sudden changes in water temperature may lead to weakening the immune system of fish. Now they can be infected with the bacteria and other pathogens.

As to avoid fish diseases which occurs due to the fluctuations in the temperature, it is better to use a thermostat thermometer with your heater.

It will help to regulate temperature with the sudden changes in the outer environment and can prevent these types of conditions.

Let’s see keeping platyfish outdoor.

Think platy are kept in a pond. Can you keep them outside if you are from a non-tropical country? Yes only during the summer period you can keep them.

As experts say if your surrounding temperature does not drop below 68F during the winter season you can keep them outside.

Practically it won’t happen. Better to take them inside during those seasons because you might know that water bodies freeze below freezing point and top ice layer is formed.

If you allow platyfish to survive within that period definitely, they will die.

Health problems due to uncontrolled water temperature?

Yes, there are many health problems occur mainly due to temperature fluctuations. Even they are limited to small space unlike wild fish they can swim for finding waters with required warm tank fish can not.

It is your responsibility to give it otherwise can be susceptible to various bacterial infections, viral infections, reproductive problems and high mortality etc.

Once they suffer, it will be difficult to recover. Be sure your platyfish are not suffering from thermal stress.

Read more on wikihow


Do aquarium plants in a platy tank need an Aquarium heater?

Yes similar to platyfish it depends on their original habitat. But unlike fish, it can be kept in heated or unheated aquaria.

Reason? Most of the live aquarium plants are adaptable of any environment. The following are some easy maintenance aquarium plants which can be kept on both heated or unheated tanks.

  • Java ferns
  • Java moss
  • Horn wort
  • duckweed
  • Anubias

Only thing is their growth, and flowering will delays. So the best thing to ask from the buyer or aquarium store about conditions where these well grow.

If you are buying through online, do research prior to buy and select what suit you most.

What kind of fish does not need an aquarium heater?

Do you know that goldfish is capable and well adapt to the cold water? they do not need an aquarium heater, other fish that can live in cold water are,

  • Sunset variatus platy
  • Celestial pearl danio
  • Rainbow shiner
  • Hillstream loach
  • Clown killifish
  • Cherry shrimp
  • Dojo Loach
  • Barbs
  • White cloud mountain minnow

Are some of them. Actually, they are cooler fish, how amazing nature is!


Now you know that platyfish can not live in extremely cold water below 68F. So you may realize how aquarium heater is important to a platyfish tank.

I hope even if you are new to fish keeping, this article will help you to protect fish and to confirm their comfortability.

Happy fish keeping!

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