Can Platy Fish Live Without Filter?

Platyfish are easy to care for, and low maintenance aquarium fish because they don’t take many bills to keep or buy and take care of. Seeing how many platy tanks are kept and clean always, so many aquarists and prospective aquarists often wonder if this type of fish needs a filter. This is because their tanks are always clean. After all, they don’t excrete much waste like the goldfish or Molly, etc. In this article, you will learn if they really need a filter and also the different types of filters they could need.

Can Platy fish live without filter? Although platies don’t excrete much waste like many other fish, just like every other living thing that eats, they also poop. So they need a filter to keep their tank clean and safe.

Being able to excrete a lesser amount of waste products from their body, they are easy to keep without having much stress, by always cleaning their tanks if there is a good mechanical filter to keep the tank safe, at least for the meantime.

Because of their nature, many experienced aquarists do bypass the mechanical filter and opt for only a biological filter.

Although it could only take an experienced or a professional aquarist to be able to bypass a mechanical filter, doing so could only lead to a dirty tank full of poop particles, which will only end up hardening the water and increasing the level of chemicals such as ammonia in the tank, which is very unsafe for platies.

To be able to bypass a filter, you need to learn about it.

I won’t recommend that you do it if you are not experienced, so go for the mechanical filter and be on the safe side.

Anyway, to reduce or control the quantity or level of dirtiness that will come from the fish, here are the tricks to do it.

Control the level of food you give to your platies.

We all know that the more they eat, the more they will have to excrete, as those foods won’t be in their body forever.

So, if you could successfully control this, then you will have no problems with their poops, as they won’t do that so much.

Although I won’t recommend this unless you are experienced, in order not to starve them.

Generally, overfeeding is not good for platies, as it could lead to so many problems, and also will increase their level of excretion, which will in return lead to dirty water full of ammonia.

So, limit their level of feeding. Don’t pay much attention to the instructions on their feed that says feed 3 times a day.

Well, you might feed 3 times a day, but don’t overfeed, or better feed 2 times a day and they will still be alright.

Some professional hobbyists could even skip a day to allow their stomachs to wash a little.

I understand that you feel happy and satisfied when you overfeed them, or you are ignorant about their level of feeding.

Well, let me tell you, overfeeding could either cause them a health issue, either directly or indirectly by having many leftover or uneaten foods in the tank, which will rot and become hazardous or make them poop a lot which is hazardous too.

Again, keep them in a big tank, as a platyfish need up to a 10-gallon tank to be okay. A bigger tank will also keep the water from getting dirty very quickly.

So, you see? this is the only trick professionals use to control their platyfish from getting their tanks dirty, so, if you can master this and have plants in their tank, then you might not be needing a mechanical filter.

If you are a complete novice and you are kind of confused about what a filter is all about, here is what a filter is: A filter is a device or a means which is used to limit or control the level of dirt in an aquarium, thereby making the water clean and safe for the animals in such tank.

There are 3 types of filters, they are, Biological filter, chemical filter, and mechanical filter.

These are 3 types of filters and they work very differently. Don’t worry, I will explain them.

A biological filter is a kind of natural filter. It is all about having some natural elements in the tank, such as plants, which turn the supposed harmful substances into friendly substances, for instance when an aquarium is heavily planted, those plants use bad chemicals such as ammonia and even poops, and decomposed leaves, etc, as food and in return will release enough oxygen and fresh air.

A chemical filter involves adding some chemicals to the fish tank, which neutralizes the bad chemicals in the tank.

I strongly don’t recommend doing this in a platy tank, because it could cost money and it is only active for a little while.

A mechanical filter is the use of an electric filter in a fish tank that will eliminate some dirt’s in the tank, thereby keeping the tank clean and safe for the fish to be happy.

There are many types and sizes of mechanical filters out there in the market like Amazon.

The size of a filter is measured by gallons per hour (GPH). For instance, a 20-gallon planted tank with about 5 to 7 Platies will only need a filter with 64 to 100 GPH water capacity. A 55-gallon with the same amount of fish and lots of plants would need a 175 GPH filter.

However, if your 20-gallon looks very erratic and you can’t seem to fix it, you can already start with a 100 to 120 GPH filter.

Although a filter is very helpful to platies, be sure to control the issue of overfeeding and cycling problems to give a permanent solution to the fluctuating water chemistry or dirty aquarium water.

So, it is very necessary that you use 2 types of filters among the mentioned above. So you must have the biological filter which is getting your Platy fish tank planted and choosing the mechanical or the chemical method to supplement the biological filter.

I would advise buying a mechanical Filter because it will save you both money, time, and effort too.


I don’t see why a platy or platies would live without a filter, so it is very necessary unless you have a lot of experience and time to clean your fish tank regularly.

Although Platy fish could live without filter, but only if you know the alternative. So get them a filter for their own good.