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Why Your Platy Is Hiding In Your Plants And How To Stop It!

The popularity of platies is rapidly increasing with a huge number of people within the fish keeping community choosing to add platies to their tanks in a bid to get a cheap fish with beautiful colors that are very easy to care for.

We only expect the popularity of keeping platies to continue to grow in the future, especially with people new to fish keeping and we commonly see beginners worrying about their pet platy hiding in plants or other locations of their tank so we wanted to publish this article.

It can be totally normal and natural for a platy to start hiding in the plants of its aquarium and there are a number of reasons that may cause your platy to hide amongst the plants in its tank without there being a problem with the fish.

The main issue that can end up being serious that can cause a platy to hide amongst plants is poor water parameters so always check your tanks water parameters if possible.

Even a cheap water test kit is enough to get a decent reading on your tanks water parameters to help protect the health of your platy but a decent water test kit is only a couple of dollars more and far more accurate while testing for more things.

Still, the odds really are in your favor that the reason that your platy is hiding in the plants is nothing serious and that there is nothing wrong with your aquarium water anyway.

Is It Normal For Platys To Hide In Plants?

It is totally normal for a platy to hide amongst the plants in its aquarium and the majority of platies with try to find somewhere to hide for at least part of the day be it amongst the plants or near rocks or decorations in their tank.

There are some more serious reasons that your platy may be hiding amongst the plants in its tanks but problems such as ammonia poisoning and aggression from tank mates does tend to be rare.

Although platies are a relatively hardy species of fish, they can be skittish, especially if their environment suddenly changes such as new plants, fish or decorations being added to their tank or something being removed.

This can be enough to get your platy to hide amongst plants in its tank until it feels safe again and this can take hours.

With platies being livebearers it can be common for the species to hide amongst plants prior to a pregnant female giving birth as the plants offer cover and protection for the young once birthed.

Platies love to hide and a lack of suitable fish hideouts in their tanks can cause them to flock to the plants in their tanks to hide instead.

Stress from aggressive tank mates be it a different species of fish or the dominant platy in the tank can also sometimes be enough to cause the submissive platies to hide in the plants in their aquarium too but this is rare unless your tank is overstocked or too small.

Do Platy Fish Like Plants In Their Aquarium?

Although platy fish do not necessarily need plants in their aquarium tank, platies do tend to like having plants in their tanks as they offer a quick and easy place for the fish to hide.

In addition to this, the platy species are omnivorous and will eat the detritus that falls of the plants as well as any algae that grows on them allowing the plants to serve multiple purposes in the tank for a platy.

There are a huge range of different aquatic plants out there that people like to add to their aquariums to help keep their pet platies happy with most options being very effective.

If you are a beginner to keeping platies in your tank then something as cheap and simple as Java Fern can be a great way to start adding plants to your aquarium though.

If you are a more experienced aquarium keeper who has been keeping aquatic plants in your tanks for some time without issue or you want to try your hand at aquascaping, there really are a wide range of different plants you can use in an aquarium that contains platies in it.

Longer plants that offer an easy place to hide are usually the best options for your pet platy though but you can use something like Java Moss as a carpet covered and longer plants like Java Fern as the actual hiding spot for the fish.

Why Are My Platy Fish Hiding In Plants?

Platy fish can be skitich, even in an aquarium that they have lived in for years and slight changes can spook them and cause them to hide in the plants in their tanks.

Most platies will try to hide for a small amount of each day with this being totally normal. Other reasons that your platy fish may hide amongst the live plants in their tank include a pregnant female being close to giving birth, the fish being stressed or anxious or aggression from their tank mates.

Although ammonia poisoning or other issues with water parameters in your tank does not necessarily guarantee that your platy will hide amongst your plants, it can be a common symptom of problems with water parameters in a tank.

This is often due to the toxic shock that your platy is experiencing increasing the stress and anxiety in the fish causing it to seek cover and a safe space to hide with the plants in its tank often being one of the better options.

Some larger fish of other species can be aggressive towards a platy in their tank if you are keeping a community tank and some of the more dominant platies in your tank can be aggressive towards other fish too.

If you are having problems with one or more of your platies constantly hiding in the plants in its tank then look for signs of aggression from the other fish towards the fish that is constantly hiding.

How To Stop Your Platy Hiding In Your Plants!

The easiest way to stop a platy hiding in the plants in your aquarium is to offer it other hiding spaces as even in perfect conditions, it is natural for a platy to want to hide somewhere for at least part of the day.

Suitable fish hideouts are definitely the best option for the majority of people but some tank decorations and rock formations also offer excellent hiding spots for your platy too.

We would never recommend that you keep a platy in an aquarium tank that has no cover or hiding spots in it at all as it is highly likely that the fish will be in a constant state of stress.

Over time, this can drastically reduce the lifespan of the fish as stress and anxiety is very bad for most fish species and something as simple as a couple of plants in a tank can remove the stress by letting the platy hide when stressed to help it calm down quickly.

Driftwood is becoming increasingly popular as a decoration in many types of aquarium and if you get yourself some aquarium safe driftwood you can often make a unique looking place for the platies in your aquarium to hide.

Depending on your experience level, you can also find driftwood in your local area that’s free but then you run the risks of adding toxins, parasites, fungus, and bacteria to your tank unless you know how to correctly process the driftwood ready for use before hand.


That brings our article going over why your platy is hiding in your aquarium plants to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the more common reasons that you may have issues with your platy hiding but more importantly, that it is a totally normal and natural behaviour and many platies will hide every day for a couple of hours depending on the tank setup without there being anything wrong with the fish.