Platy fish are among the most peaceful fish species preferred by beginner aquarists for their easy and hardy nature. This makes them easily compatible with other non-aggressive freshwater fish. In addition, platies exhibit various varieties based on patterns, colors, and tail shapes, features that differentiate multiple breeds of platies. 

The most common platy fish types include neon blue wagtail, gold red, parrot, Mickey Mouse, hifin tuxedo yellow, rainbow, panda, gold twinbar platies, panda platies, tuxedo platies, and black hamburg platies. They’re classified based on colors, patterns, fin varieties, and some standout breeds too.

Besides that, the selective breeding of platies has established various fascinating combinations. Therefore, many breeds of platy fish can be differentiated individually today.

Common Types of Platy Fish

Here are the most common platy fish breeds:

1. Neon Blue Wagtail Platy Fish

Colors and patterns are among the primary ways to differentiate platies. Wagtail platies have black dorsal and caudal fins. In addition, these fish come in various colors such as red shades, gold, blue or green. 

The platy neon wagtail is a lovely color idea consisting of rosy grat and neon blue scales blended with black tails and dorsal fins. You’ll easily find other wagtail varieties, such as platy pintail panda wagtail. They do quite well with other platy fish tank mates.

2. Gold Red Platy Fish

This platy fish breed has a rounded belly and gold-red scales. Some varieties have translucent fins and tails, while others have black fins and tails.

The most common platy fish color variations include brick red, velvet red, red, gold, sunset, sunburst, and marigold based on platy fish colors. Other colors have been developed due to selective breeding. These include green, blue, brown, and black.

3. Parrot Platy Fish

Parrot platy fish are an alluring hybrid fish well recognized for their V-shaped pattern on the tail and two black stripes bordering the tail’s margins.

They come in yellow, gold, red, and other color varieties. They’re more popular in aquarium trading, particularly in North America. Although quite common, platy and goldfish aren’t a good math hence shouldn’t be kept together.

These fish can withstand a broad range of water temperatures. They feed on plants, worms, crustaceans, and insects. They are quite easy to breed.

4. Mickey Mouse Platy Fish

The mickey mouse platy fish are available in blue and red colors and are named after the black pattern at their tail’s base. They feature a large black dot and two smaller dots, a unique image of the lovable Disney character Mickey Mouse.

This fish variety has a playful-looking nature and loves company. Also, it can be easily bred and loves grazing on vegetation. Further, it’s resistant to a broad range of water parameters and isn’t selective about food and general upkeep.

The most suitable of this variety is the platy tricolor mickey mouse which features a signature mark at the tip of its tail and multiple color shades and two other dominant colors.

5. Hifin Tuxedo Yellow Platy Fish

Hifin platy fish is characterized by an extended dorsal fin that differentiates them from other platy varieties. Based on colors, hifin platies show different patterns and types.

Due to their long fins, placing hifin platies in a similar aquarium with fin nippers should be highly avoided. Also, this platy fish species is more prone to fin diseases. Therefore, as a responsible aquarist, keep this platy variety in suitable water conditions and a stress-free environment.

Among all hifin platies, the Hifin Tuxedo Yellow Platy is the most suitable variety. Typically, it is characterized by some blackness on its tail that fades into neon blue and a slash of yellow near the head of the fish, creating a gorgeous contrast that is highly noticed.

6. Rainbow Platy Fish

Rainbow platy fish can be distinguished by its bright coloration, ease of care, small size, and maintenance, making it a regular sight in home aquaria.

Female rainbow platy fish are large-sized compared to males. Males can gain more attractive colors, including orange, yellow, iridescent, and red at various degrees of intensity.

This variety of fish has moderate aquarium requirements. Still, they require a planted aquarium with some hardy plants such as java moss, java ferns, and Anubias because they will readily feed on delicate plant species.

Besides that, they’ll feed on vegetable matter and algae and other food varieties such as frozen, flake, and freeze-dried foods.

7. Panda Platy Fish

The Panda Platy is almost similar to the green swordtail, and it could even interbreed with it. It is named after its color pattern, which features a black tail varied with a brighter colored body. 

Due to its black tail, it belongs to the wagtail species. However, there are also pintail varieties, such as the Platy Pintail Panda Wagtail variety.

Panda platy fish is a peaceful livebearer. It is an undemanding and active fish that can be comfortably kept with other freshwater or fish of its kind that is appropriate for community aquariums.

8. Gold Twinbar Platy

Twinbar or Comet platy varieties are a unique color variation that features caudal fins with black edges and a black midsection. 

The black color varies with bright yellow and other typical platy color schemes within the head, belly, and dorsal parts.

These fish enjoy a lightly planted aquarium and prefer staying in schools. Thus, they’re a perfect match for other non-aggressive community fish.

In addition to that, they’re active and curious fish, attain a maximum length of 3 inches, and perform best in a well-spaced aquarium with sufficient room for swimming.

9. Tuxedo Platy Fish

Tuxedo platy fish is characterized by an attractive scheme of colors, with the rear portion of the fish being black and the front part having a different color. This fish is readily available in the aquarium market.

Based on its colors, you will easily find various Tuxedo Platy fish varieties in the market with different names, such as Platy Tuxedo Copper Green, Platy Tuxedo Red, and Platy Hifin Tuxedo Yellow.

These fish are rarely demanding and incredibly peaceful and will thrive in a planted aquarium. Also, they’re omnivorous and can easily prey on dwarf shrimp. However, large peaceful invertebrates can form a good tank mate for them.

Since they love the upper and mid parts of the water column, they can quickly jump out of the aquarium. Therefore, ensure you secure your aquarium during the early stages of acclimation.

10. Black Hamburg Platy Fish

The Black Hamburg Platy is almost similar to the tuxedo platy varieties. However, it lacks a black tail and dorsal fins identical to the tuxedo. Instead, it has a strong black coloring from its tail base to the head.

Its head and fins are gold or red-colored. The Black Hamburg Platy is almost related to the green swordtail. Further, it’s easy to breed and appropriate for a community aquarium.

How to Classify Platy Fish

There are various applicable ways of classifying platy fish. These may include:

1. Colors

Platies come in a wide range of attractive colors. These may include:

  • White
  • Blue
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Yellow/Gold
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Green

Any of these colors can occur singularly or in different patterns and in combination with others.

2. Pattern

Platies are attractive due to the various patterns they come with. Almost all these patterns come in multiple colors. The most common pattern varieties include the Tuxedo, Wag, Rainbow, Variegated, Mickey Mouse, and Twinbar Platies.

3. Fish Fin Varieties

In addition to color and pattern classification, platies can also be classified according to various fins and tail shapes. For instance, high fin platies (Moonfish and sailfish platies) have dorsal fins that appear 3-4 times larger than the general platy dorsal fin. 

On the other hand, Pintail platies have extended caudal fin sparks in the middle of the tails that stand out well above the top and bottom rays.

4. Stand Out Varieties

Platies are also classified according to resemblance. For instance, Panda Platy are wag platies with solid black fins and tails and solid white bodies that make them resemble pandas. Other stand-out varieties may include Sunset, Neon Blue Wag, and Neon Gold Calico platies.

Bottom Line

Platies are peaceful, easy to keep, and attractive fish in an aquarium. There are various types of platies that you can easily find in the aquarium market. Each variety is classified according to unique features such as color, pattern, and fish fin appearance. 

Thankfully, we’ve identified various types of platies you can find in the aquarium trade today. Therefore, you can easily select the perfect platy for your aquarium depending on your taste and preference.


The University of Texas. Featured Species: Fishes of Waller Creek and the Invasive Variable Platyfish (Xiphophorus variatus).

Florida Museum. Lepisosteus platyrhincus.

The Ohio State University. Variable Platy.

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