Guide: Keeping Livebearers


Members of the Poeciliidae family are widely distributed from the Southern United States through Mexico and Central America to South America. This group of freshwater fish includes aquarium favorites such as mollies, guppies, and platies.


Why they make great pets and great beginner fish:

Livebearers make great pets and are very popular due because they are able to thrive in a variety of water conditions and they do very well in planted aquariums. They are relatively long lived which allows a hobbyist to witness the birth of several generations of fry. Livebearers are great beginner fish and provide a fantastic learning experience for both children and adults. Though peaceful in temperament, it is a good idea to keep several pairs of the same species in a tank to eliminate any potential aggression.


Water parameters and care:

Ammonia: low to 0 ppm

Nitrite: low to 0 ppm

Nitrate: under 20ppm

pH: 6.5 – 8.0

GH: 12-18 dH or 200-300 GH ppm

Temperature: 21° - 26° C


  • We recommend the use of Seachem Brackish Salt to set the ideal general hardness level for the species.
  • We also recommend the use of Seachem Prime to remove any chlorine and chloramine in the source water.

Additional product choices:

Seachem Neutral Regulator, Acid Regulator, and/or Alkaline Regulator for adjusting pH



Livebearers are omnivores, therefore, require both algae-based foods, as well as, meaty foods in their diet. To provide a well-rounded diet, we recommend Seachem NutriDiet: Tropical, which includes proteins such as whole fishmeal as well as squid, while providing a nutritious chlorella algae baseline.


Additional food choice: Seachem Nutridiet: Chlorella



Water changes can be done as necessary and we recommend that you change at least 10-20% weekly to keep the fish healthy and tank environment free of organic build-up. In addition, Seachem Stability is a great choice for adding a boost to bio-filtration after water changes as well as between water changes.

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