Do Platies Eat Plants? | And Other Important Facts About Feeding Platy |

Yes. Platies are omnivore species and eat plants when they are hungry. Platies eat algae off the leaves and will nibble plant leaves as a consequence. 

They are not heavy plant-eaters but will eat anyway if you poorly feed them. However, once they taste the plants, they will not stop eating plants, just like any other omnivore species.

Do Platies Eat Moss?

Do Platies Eat Plants

Yes. Platies eat moss. They are also predominantly vegetarians like Mollies, Guppies, and Endlers.

Platies can tolerate some protein in their diet, but their diet should contain mainly vegetable/algae-based foods. 

That being said, not all Platies eat moss and other plant matter because all fish are different, just like human beings.

So, the chances are that you may end up with some Platies that don’t eat plants at all.

Do Platies Eat Algae?

Yes. Platies actually love eating algae more than any other food. As they are omnivore species, they eat both plant matter and meat matter

However, they always seek algae everywhere even though you feed them well. 

Sometimes you will see that your platies are nibbling on leaves, and you may think that they are eating plants. 

But, most of the time, platies are just attempting to get algae in those leaves and have no intention of eating the plant.

While in their search, they may eat some parts of leaves here and there, but their famine over algae never ends

This hunger over algae makes Platies an excellent choice to keep your tank algae free because platies search and eat algae like crazy.

Why are my platies eating plants?

Do Platies Eat Plants

The main reason for your platies to eat plants is inappropriate feeding. Platies need a balanced diet of meaty food and plant-based food. 

They mostly prefer eating algae. But if they have been fed with an unbalanced diet or insufficient food, they will seek other food sources. 

As your aquarium has limited food sources other than your feedings, they will turn into plants. Platies eat plants if they are poorly fed.

What Do Platies Eat?

Platies are omnivore fish species that eat anything they find edible.

However, like most other omnivore species, platies also primarily consume plant-based food. Furthermore, their favorite food source is algae.

In wild

Platies are not picky eaters. Hence, they eat whatever they find in the wild. 

As plant matter is readily available in the wild, platies will mainly graze on algae and plant material. They also consume insects, larvae, fish eggs, fry and other small animals that fit in their mouths.

In aquarium

You can feed them with flakes, micro pellets, algae wafers, frozen food, freeze-dried foods, and live foods like Daphnia in aquariums.

Platies are known as voracious eaters that immediately swarm on to the food as soon as you feed them. 

They are so fast at eating that slow-swimming fish don’t get a chance to eat much because of them. Therefore, platies are not suitable tankmates for slow swimming fish.

Platies diet should consist of both plant-based and meat-based food. So, make sure to give them a staple diet made from high-quality materials to keep them healthy.

How Often Should You Feed Platies?

Do Platies Eat Plants

Although platies have a good appetite, they don’t need frequent feeding to thrive. 

Feeding once a day is enough for adult platies. For growing juveniles, you can provide them two to three times meals per day. 

One tip to know that you are overfeeding is noticing long strings of poop that are persistently dangling from your platies. 

In this case, you can decrease the amount you feed.

How Long Can Platies Go Without Food? 

Platies can go without food for up to two weeks. This is because their metabolism works to sustain hunger for a long time. 

After all, they don’t get enough food each and every day in the wild. So, if you leave your fish tank without any feeding for up to two weeks, your platies will survive until you feed them. 

However, if you will be away for more than two weeks, it’s better to buy an automatic fish food feeder or appoint a pet sitter until you come.

Do Platies Like Fish Wafers?

Fish wafers are made out of algae, and platies love algae. So, if you put some algae wafers into your tank, your platies will go crazy on the wafers and may overeat them

So, do not forget to remove any uneaten parts after few hours to avoid overeating and rotting.

How Do You Stop Platies From Eating Plants?

aquarium plant

You can’t really stop fish from eating plants. Once a fish tastes a plant, it will continue to eat that plant until it dies. 

However, platies will not seriously harm plants as they are not vigorous plant-eaters. Platies will eat plants only if they are underfed. 

They try to eat other food than algae, pellets, flakes, and other food you provide if they are not satisfied with their feeding.

Therefore, you can stop your fish from eating plants by providing them plenty of food such as pellets, flakes, and algae wafers.

However, you should keep in mind that overfeeding has some drawbacks.

They will produce more waste if you overfeed them, causing elevated Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates levels. 

That leaves you more cleaning work in your aquarium in order to keep ideal water conditions. 

Overfeeding may also cause health problems in your fish, such as bloating, improper digestion, fatty liver, and fin rot.

However, you can prevent them from eating plants if you provide a balanced diet daily.

When platies are satisfied with their meals, they won’t bother eating plants unless there’s an algae build-up on the leaves.

Additionally, you can replace your plants with plants that platies avoid eating, such as Anubias, Java ferns, Java moss, and crinum. 

But, keep in mind that some platies may still eat these plants as their choices are different, just like us.

What Plant Can You Keep With Platies In The Tank?

Although platies are not constant plant cravers, keeping plants that platies can not eat is an intelligent decision you can take. 

There are some plants platies prefer to eat, and there are some plants platies usually avoid eating. Below are some of them.

Anubias– 

Originated from Africa, this plant is a slow-growing plant that has tough leaves.

The slow growth rate often attracts algae blooms. Hence platies will not bother eating the plant other than algae build-up.

Java Ferns– 

Java fern is a decorative plant that has beautiful long, narrow leaves. You can attach this plant to rocks and driftwood.

Although it is an aesthetically pleasing plant, your fish doesn’t like to eat this plant because of its taste.

The leaves are also very thick and rugged, which is another reason for platies to avoid eating Java ferns.

Java Moss– 

It is a relatively cheap plant popular among aquarists because they are easy to grow, giving your aquarium a whole new greeny look.

Fish love this plant because they can easily hide within the leaves. Java moss is an excellent hiding place for the fish fry.

However, Platies don’t like to eat Java Moss. However, some platies will still eat Java Moss if their food supply is low.

Crinum– 

Although this is a slow-growing plant, it is very hardy, making it a perfect plant to grow with plant-eating fish.

Originated from West Africa, this plant has dark-green, very narrow leaves that grow out from a bulb.

These leaves eventually reach the surface of the water, giving your tank a natural look. Herbivorous species don’t eat this plant, so are Platies.

What plants do platys like?

aquatic plants

Although platies eat any edible plant, there are several plants that platies can potentially eat. 

The list does not guarantee that Platies surely eat them as each fish has a different personality. The chances are that your platies might not eat these plants simply because they don’t like the taste. 

And also, they may not eat your plants, maybe because they are satisfied with your feeding. Below is a list of plants that usually platies like to eat.

  • Algae 
  • Hygrophila 
  • Cabomba 
  • Duckweed 
  • Aponogeton 
  • Rotala 
  • Nymphaea 
  • Water Sprite
  • Ambulia 
  • Egeria 
  • Myriophyllum 

Conclusion

Platies are omnivore fish species that eat both meat-based food and veg based food. 

They crave algae and search for algae from plants all the time. They may eat some parts of the plant while nibbling algae, but they are not heavy plant-eaters. 

Platies will not harm plants if they are adequately fed. However, improper feeding will lead them to eat plants, and once they taste plants in an aquarium, they will continue to eat them until the plant dies.

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.