Platies are exceptional beginner fish. They’re friendly, colorful, and low-maintenance. You don’t need to do anything in terms of care other than feeding the fish.
So, what do platies eat?
Platyfish couldn’t be easier to take care of. They eat almost everything, from commercial fish food to chopped vegetables. Ideally, your platies’ diet should consist of worms, brine shrimp, and algae. Luckily, these are all ingredients found in most fish food.
Do you want to find out more? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about platyfish’s diet and feeding behavior. Let’s dive in!
Platyfish are naturally found on the east coast of Central America and southern Mexico. In the wild, the fish feed on aquatic insects, small crustaceans, and different types of algae.
Overall, the platyfish’s diet depends on their location, the season, and the food they can find!
You should note that food isn’t as abundant in the ocean as it’s in your fish tank. So, wild platies will eat whenever the opportunity arises. You can also notice this behavior in the platyfish in your tank.
Platies will eat almost anything you put in the tank. Though this is great in theory, as it means the fish are low-maintenance, they might easily get sick.
Accordingly, you want your fishes to be healthy and happy. For this reason, you must pay close attention to their diet, since they won’t do that themselves!
Platyfish are omnivores, meaning they’ll eat both vegetables and meat. You can feed them fish granules, pellets, or wafers. Any healthy fish food will do!
If you prefer the organic route, you can feed your platies worms, brine shrimp, mosquitoes, or even chopped vegetables from your kitchen!
A natural platyfish diet should consist only of brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.
Since platies are omnivores, they can eat algae and other aquatic plants. After all, algae are one of their main food sources in the wild.
That said, they don’t eat all aquatic plants. Platies only feed on certain types of algae, including the following:
- Brown algae
- Black beard algae
- Surface algae
- Fuzz algae
- Staghorn algae
Although platyfish have no problems eating only algae for the rest of their lives, your fish’s diet has to be diverse.
Additionally, you can’t let algae grow in your tank expecting it to be the only meal for your platies! That’s because too much algae in the fish tank can deplete the nutrients and oxygen in the water.
Keep in mind that most commercial fish food already includes algae. This means you don’t have to add external algae to your platy’s diet.
The best part about keeping platies is that they’re low-maintenance. Yet, when it comes to feeding platy fry, you should pay attention to the quality and frequency of feeding.
It’s crucial that the fry is well-fed, but not overfed. Typically, you should feed the baby platies smaller portions two or three times a day.
To ensure you’re feeding your fish enough, just make sure they consume all the food within three minutes.
You shouldn’t keep platy fry in the same tank as the adults. The reason is that the adult platies will go through the food much quicker, leaving nothing for the fry.
Therefore, you should get a separate tank for the fry. The tank should be large enough, as one female platy can have 20 to 40 baby platies every four weeks.
The baby fish aren’t picky eaters. You can feed them a wide variety of food, including crushed flakes, micro worms, egg yolk paste, and brine shrimp.
Assessing the amount of food and how often to feed your fish can be hard, especially regarding platies. These tiny fish love feeding time, which might tempt you to feed them more regularly just to see their excited reaction.
Yet, you should never overfeed your fish. Instead, feed them a full, healthy meal once a day.
Observing your fish as they eat is crucial to evaluate whether you’re feeding them enough. Unlike other pets, you can’t really weigh fish food or count how many pellets each fish is eating!
Start with a small amount of food and increase it if you find your platies are finishing their meal too quickly. A good rule of thumb is to feed your fish an amount of food they can consume in two to three minutes.
As for the time of the feedings, platies are typically active during the daytime, and you’ll find them sleeping in the bottom of the tank at night.
So, it’s best to feed your fish friends in the morning or afternoon to keep them energized all day.
Platyfishes are insatiable. They’ll eat all the food in the tank, and still want more! Yet, if you feed your platies once a day, they’re unlikely to be hungry.
Instead, overfeeding your fish will subject them to numerous health issues. Additionally, the leftover food might disrupt your tank’s chemistry.
Here are all the different problems that may arise when you overfeed your platies:
- Fish may develop fatty liver disease
- Fish will become stressed due to the environmental changes in the tank
- Leftover food will clog the tank’s filter
- Uneaten food will produce harmful byproducts such as ammonia and nitrite
Platies are pretty resilient fish. In the wild, platies can survive for a day or two without food. It’s safe to say that they can survive on low amounts of food.
Adult platyfish can survive up to two weeks without food. On the other hand, platy fry can only live up to three days without eating.
Accordingly, you must be extra careful if you’re leaving your platy fry for a long period. Furthermore, you mustn’t neglect your adult platies just because they can survive without food for a prolonged time.
This doesn’t mean you should overfeed them beforehand, though! Instead, arrange for a friend to feed your fish while you’re gone.
Platies are usually hungry fish. They’ll eat anything you give them. So, if your platyfish aren’t eating, chances are it has less to do with the type of food and more with their overall well-being.
Here are the most common reasons why your platies are refusing to eat.
While platies are generally hardy, they can lose their appetite if their environment is uncomfortable for a short while. If this persists, your platyfish might become seriously ill, or even die.
In order to keep your fish happy and healthy, you should maintain the following parameters in their tank:
- Tank size: 10 gallons for five to six platyfish
- Temperature: 65 to 77 ℉
- pH: 7 to 8.0
- Hardiness: 9 to 19
- Light: 16 hours of light a day
- Substrate: Any type of substrate with plenty of plants for the platies to hide
If your platyfish appear lethargic, are staying near the bottom of the tank, and refuse to eat, they might be sick. Their illness might be further exacerbated by the lack of food or inadequate tank conditions.
The following are common platyfish diseases you should be on the lookout for:
- Ich disease
- Fin and tail rot
- Internal parasites
Platies are pretty friendly. They rarely exhibit territorial behavior, which makes them compatible with most tank fish.
Still, this means platyfish are more likely to be bullied by other aggressive fish. They might compete for food, or just intimidate your platies into hiding.
For example, while goldfish might be gorgeous, you should never keep them as companions for your platies. Instead, you can keep rainbowfish or tetras with your platyfish!
What do platies eat?
Platyfish eat at any given opportunity. The fish can eat anything they find in the tank at any time. So, it’s your responsibility as a fish owner to regulate their diet!
Ideally, you must feed your adult platyfish once a day. Their natural diet includes shrimp brine, worms, and algae, which you can find in most commercial fish food.
Once your platyfish has fry, you should separate them to ensure the larger fish doesn’t eat all the food. Feed the smaller fish smaller portions more frequently.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.