Can Guppies and Platies Breed?

No, guppies and platies can’t breed because they don’t belong to the same genus.

As a matter of fact, it’s virtually impossible for guppies and platies to breed because they belong to two completely different genera in the taxonomy rank.

They do, however, belong to the same family: the Poeciliidae.

However, being in two genera means their traits and characteristics are too different, making it impossible for them to mate.

In other words, their genetic make-up is so inherently different that they’re considered to be incompatible breeding partners.

Keep reading to find out more.

Can Guppies and Platies Breed?

No, guppies and platies can’t breed because they don’t belong to the same genus.

They do, however, belong to the same family, but that’s not enough to make them compatible breeding mates.

To better understand how this whole thing works, let’s talk about how scientists divide fish into families and genera.

In the animal world, creatures are categorized according to the Linnaeus method. Through this method, scientists group animals, plants, and even fish into a hierarchy divided into six categories.

Each category is determined by a creature’s physical and behavioral attributes. The categories range from the general to the more specific, as follows:

  1. Kingdoms
  2. Classes
  3. Orders
  4. Families
  5. Genera
  6. Species

Two guppies in freshwater aquarium

The Poecilidae Family

Based on the above hierarchy, both guppies and platies belong to the Poeciliidae family of live bearing freshwater aquarium fish.

Yet, they’re in the same genus, which is a bit more specific when it comes to DNA and genetic composition.

Let’s take a closer look at each genus and its characteristics.

Guppies: The Poecilia Genus

Species belonging to this are typically distributed along the tropical waters of northeastern Mexico and other subtropical regions.

Fish belonging to this category are known for not having lateral lines. Instead, they have a single dorsal fin that is soft and malleable.

They’re typically small in size. The livebearing females reach only a couple of inches at most, while the males are shorter at a maximum of about 1.5 inches long.

When it comes to their diet, it’s best to start with high-quality flake fish food. It can serve as their baseline source of nutrition.

Add to that some blanched vegetables, freeze-dried foods, and freeze-dried bugs, and you should have a tank full of happy guppies.

Including guppies and endlers, there are 40 distinct species in this genus. Most of them are molly variants, such as:

  • Shortfin molly
  • Pacific molly
  • Mangrove molly
  • Elegant molly
  • Amazon molly

Platies: The Xiphophorus Genus

The genus Xiphophous comprises 26 species; most of which are either platies or swordtails.

This genus originates in South America. They commonly inhabit the freshwater streams and rivers, ranging from Guatemala up to the northern regions of Mexico.

They’re most notable for their extended caudal fin, which looks more like a sword, hence the name.

They’re also live bearers, which means the eggs are fertilized internally within the female. Then, the mother delivers live babies that immediately take to swimming in their new environment.

One of the best things about this genus, platies especially, is they’re not picky eaters. As long as you give them the vitamin-rich foods they need, they’ll be happy with anything you throw their way.

While typically omnivores, platies like eating their veggies. So, make sure you offer plenty of blanched or boiled vegetables cut up into small cubes.

Platies are usually small, not exceeding seven inches, depending on the type of species.

Their size and laid-back demeanor make them easy to care for and co-exist with other fish with similar features.

Out of the 26 species, here are just a few examples:

  • Short-sword platy fish
  • Spiketail platy fish
  • Marbled platy fish
  • Variable platy fish
  • Mountain swordtail

Red and Blue Platy

Which Fish Can Breed with Guppies?

As with most other fish species, guppies require suitable water parameters and tank conditions to breed successfully. They also need a compatible breeding mate.

Needless to say, it’s recommended that you breed them with species that belong to the Poecilia genus.

Still, you should bear in mind that not every breeding attempt will be fruitful.

For example, breeding mollies and guppies have been known to produce weak fry. In addition, they’re often born with a genetic mutation that makes them susceptible to illnesses and premature deaths.

Interestingly, if the guppy/molly fry is born healthy and manages to lead a normal life, they won’t be able to reproduce. So, this hybrid, in particular, is born infertile.

Besides mollies, endlers make another good breeding partner for guppies. The offspring aren’t sterile and can be used to produce even more colorful and unique guppy/endler hybrids.

Which Fish Can Breed with Platies?

Platies can successfully breed with other species of platyfish. The important thing is that they belong to the same genus.

This way, they’ll share similar preferences and traits. More importantly, they’ll have similar DNA sequencing, making them perfect breeding partners.

The most common mate for platies is the swordtail. They’re closely related, and the breeding process is usually natural and hassle-free, producing viable fry.

Platies can also crossbreed within their own species. Two great examples include the monterrey and the spiketail platies.

Can You Keep Guppies and Platies in the Same Tank?

The great news is that while guppies and platies can’t breed, they do make perfect tank mates. They’re both easy to care for, and they enjoy similar water parameters.

One benefit is that it makes sharing an aquarium easy. Another bonus is that these colorful and active fish will make a great addition to your community fish tank.

Make sure you get a tank no smaller than 20 gallons. It’s spacious enough for the guppies and platies to swim freely without being too much of a hassle to clean and maintain.

A Final Note

While guppies and platies make good tank mates, they can’t breed because they belong to different genera. As a result, they have a different genetic makeup, which makes breeding a near improbability.

However, if you’re looking forward to breeding your guppies or platies, there are many other species that make better breeding partners. Just bring two species from the same genus together, and wait for those cute little fry to appear!