Platies Ultimate Platy Feeding Guide: Algae, Vegetables, Pellets

Ultimate Platy Feeding Guide: Algae, Vegetables, Pellets

Feeding platy fish is one of our favorite aspects of the fishkeeping hobby. They are insatiable eaters who get noticeably excited when they think they’re about to be fed. Many fishkeepers have questions about feeding their platies.

In this article, you will learn some new techniques for feeding your platies to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet.

What do platy fish eat?

Platy fish are omnivores, which means they will eat food that originates from both plants and animals. This includes most pellets, flakes, freeze dried foods, frozen foods, fruits, vegetables and even cooked and unseasoned meat.

In other words, platies will eat pretty much anything you feed them. They especially benefit from nutrient-rich vegetables. It’s important to feed them a varied diet that provides a broad spectrum of nutrition.

Do platies eat plants?

Platies will eat small pieces of live aquarium plants. They will usually not damage plants though because they tend to peck at tiny pieces of loose vegetation. However, platies have been known to uproot plants on occasion, but not often.

We absolutely recommend adding platies to a heavily planted tank. In our experience, they tend to behave much happier. The plants seem to provide a source of enrichment for platy fish to investigate.

Do platies eat algae?

Platies will eat hair algae, brown algae, staghorn algae and other plant life throughout the day. They are voracious eaters and will spend their time foraging for food a lot of the time. They will not clean up algae as quickly as a pleco or army of shrimp might, but they are still a useful addition to your clean up crew.

How long can platies go without food?

Platies can survive for as long as two weeks without being fed as long as they are sufficiently healthy to begin with. A heavily planted tank and algae will also produce sources of food in addition to what you feed them.

Are platies top or bottom feeders?

Platies tend to eat from the top of the tank with floating pellet and flake foods. However, they will also scavenge the bottom and all throughout the tank to seek food. Providing platy fish with a variety of top and bottom food sources may provide additional enrichment. A nutritionally varied diet is beneficial overall.

Some platies may assert aggression over others during meal time. We recommend spreading food across the tank to allow for more separation.

How often should you feed platy fish?

It’s best to feed adult platy fish once per day in the amount that they will consume in less than one minute. Juveniles and platy fry benefit from having 2-3 meals per day to promote growth during development. Long strings of poop are an indication you rplaties are being overfed.

What is the best food for platies?

It’s best to feed platy fish a balanced and nutrient-rich staple food 4-5 times per week, such as a high-quality pellet that contains protein and vegetables. It’s beneficial for the remaining 2-3 meals to be varied sources of fruits, vegetables, frozen or live foods.

Best commercial pellet food for platies

Hikari Fancy Guppy is an excellent floating pellet that provides a variety of nutrients for platy fish. About half of its nutrients comes from protein sources, such as krill and fish meal. The other half contains fiber, healthy fats and vegetables, such as soybean meal, seaweed meal and garlic.

Hikari Fancy Guppy food

Best fruit for platies

Strawberries and bananas are excellent fruits to feed to platy fish once or twice per week. Freshly peeled bananas are safe to feed to your platies without additional preparation. It is best practice to blanch strawberries to soften them up and sterilize them.

Platies love strawberries and bananas

To blanch, simply bring a pot to boil and then put your fruit or vegetables in raw, with no seasoning. Let them boil for 5-10 minutes. Firmer fruits and vegetables may need close to 10 minutes.

Remove them from the water and let them cool. Then cut them into smaller pieces and drop them in your tank.

It’s best to keep blanched foods in your tank for no more than 2 hours at a time. Otherwise they may start decomposing and producing ammonia.

Best vegetables for platies

Blanched garlic cloves are one of the most nutritious and medicinal vegetables to feed platy fish. It contains a chemical called allicin that has been shown to kill some parasites and increase fish appetite. Other excellent vegetables include spinach, zucchini, broccoli, cucumbers and mushrooms.

Blanched vegetables are a great fish food

We recommend feeding a variety of fruits and vegetables 2-3 times per week. This can be in place of their normal meal or as an added treat. It’s important that these vegetables do not contain any seasoning, butter, cooking oils or other additives.

Best frozen food for platies

Brine shrimp, daphnia and bloodworms are excellent sources of nutrition that can be given to platies as a meal replacement 2-3 times per week. These frozen foods are a great source of protein and energy. However, platies benefit tremendously from a diet balanced with vegetables as well.

San Fransisco Bay Brand Frozen Brine Shrimp

We prepare frozen brine shrimp for our platies by popping a cube of shrimp into a glass bowl with a small water taken from their tank. This helps to thaw out the shrimp more quickly.

Once the brine shrimp has been thawed (about 10 minutes), we use planting tweezers or a plastic spoon to add them to the tank. We usually add enough so that each fish gets about two brine shrimp.

Best live foods for platies

Live brine shrimp, daphnia and bloodworms are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients for platy fish. Live foods make for a great treat or meal replacement 2-3 times per week. But it’s important to also feed vegetable-based food to platies at least 2-3 times per week as well.

Do platies like flake food?

Platies love flake food, pellet food, frozen food, live food, freeze-dried food and fresh fruits and vegetables. They tend to have a large appetite and will eat pretty much anything you feed them. It’s important to provide them with a nutritionally balanced diet.

How much food should you feed platy fish?

Platy fish should be fed an amount of food that they will consume in less than one minute. Overfeeding platies may cause improper digestion, liver fat, and water parameter problems. A small daily meal will provide more than enough nutrition to promote healthy platy growth.

Platies asking for food

Platies will always behave as if they are starving, so don’t let them persuade you. It may disappoint you to feed them less than you currently are. But overfeeding is harmful to their health and the overall sustainability of your aquarium’s ecosystem.

It’s beneficial to feed pregnant platies a little more than normal as they have higher energy demands. You can do this by target feeding pregnant females with tweezers.

Do platies eat shrimp?

Freeze-dried, frozen and live brine shrimp are an excellent source of nutrition for platy fish. Most platies will happily eat any type of shrimp you feed them, including regular shrimp that humans eat. However, it’s important that raw shrimp are blanched and contain no seasoning or additives.

Ryan Ferguson

Founder, Rooted Tank

Ryan Ferguson, the founder of Rooted Tank, started fishkeeping in 2019. He has continued to level-up his planted aquarium skills and wanted to share his journey and knowledge with other aquarists.


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