Platy fish have been around since 1907 in varying breeds, hybrids, and, of course, the original platy, which is a resilient and colorful fish for freshwater aquariums. Platie are nearly as popular as Betta, if not more so, and they are relatively low-maintenance fish that depend on a varied diet.
Bloodworms can be a part of a healthy diet, though they should not be the largest part. Platies love bloodworms and they offer essential proteins that platies need in their diet, but bloodworms lack some vitamins and other essential nutrients that platies require.
Of course, you shouldn’t only feed your platies bloodworms, as they don’t have all or even most of the other nutritional and vitamin necessary for a platies’ survival, overall happiness, and health.
Bloodworms fall more along the lines of supplemental diets and you should feed them to your platy on a scheduled basis that isn’t an everyday thing. The goal is to provide a well-rounded and nutritionally positive diet for your platies.
How Often Should Platy Have Bloodworms?
Growing platies, who have yet to reach the stage in which they are considered to be adults, can eat bloodworms once per day during normal feeding times. The only thing is, you have to intersperse them with other food as well.
As aforementioned, you shouldn’t feed them bloodworms and only bloodworms. They are an excellent source of protein, something of which your growing platies need, but they also need the rest of their daily nutritional needs as well.
The best way to feed them bloodworms is to do so every other day or every third day. Along with the rest of their food, this should be plenty of protein to maximize their growth potential without overdoing it.
Adult platies are different. As grown fish, they don’t require the same levels of protein as the younger platy do. You can feed adult platy bloodworms once per week, almost as if it’s a treat.
As a supplement, you can increase or decrease your platy’s protein intake on an “as needed” basis.
Are Frozen or Live Bloodworms the Best for a Platy?
You can purchase containers full of freeze-dried bloodworms, however, they are not as nutritionally robust as the live versions. If you choose the freeze-dried route, it should only be as a temporary holdover to the real deal.
Platy just don’t get the kind of nutrition from the freeze-dried version as they do from live bloodworms so it’s always best to go with the live version if you can manage it. There are two types of bloodworms, Glycera and Red Larvae.
Whichever you decide to get, the nutritional value is the same and both are perfectly fine for feeding fish. Your platy certainly won’t differentiate as they tear into them. The problem with live bloodworms is that they aren’t always easy to get your hands on.
Not only is it more difficult to find live ones over frozen ones, but you need to know that the breeder from which the live ones come is a reputable breeder at the end of the day. Since live bloodworms are more likely to carry around disease, there is a higher degree of risk when you purchase them.
Reputable bloodworm breeders won’t have this problem in any of their bloodworm stock, and you shouldn’t harvest your own without a significant degree of knowledge concerning the process, along with the cautions that you should be aware of.
How to Prep Bloodworms
Frozen bloodworms have to be thawed and little else. You never want to throw frozen bloodworms in the tank as the platy will eat them regardless and it can be very harmful to their digestive systems.
Take a small amount of water directly from the aquarium and place your bloodworms in the water to thaw. After a few minutes, run them through a strainer with small enough holes that the bloodworms will fall through but any remaining frozen cubes and pieces of bloodworm (rather than whole bloodworms) will remain.
If you know exactly how many bloodworms you can pour into the tank and are sure that the amount will be eaten, evenly distribute them across the surface of the tank. This is called “mass feeding.”
Targeted feeding is another method for appropriately distributing the bloodworms on a more personal level and is usually easier when you only have a few platy to feed. All you have to do for a targeted feeding regimen is use a pair of tweezers to drop individual bloodworms to each platy.
If it’s the first time that you have ever fed bloodworms to your platy, you want to start by distributing small amounts so you can gauge how much they eat. The next feeding, distribute a slightly larger amount, and so on.
It’ll give you an idea of how much they can eat on the feeding routine that you establish with them.
Overfeeding kind of goes along with contamination as well. You want to do everything that you can to keep your hands off of the bloodworms before you feed your platy. It’s fairly easy to contaminate the bloodworms, even if you just washed your hands.
You may be tempted to thaw out another cube after watching your platy gobble up the first batch but it’s best to hold off. They’ll probably eat the second batch if you throw it in but then they can easily be overfed.
One way that you can monitor what is and isn’t being eaten, is to frequently test your water, ensuring that everything is at the proper levels. If the ammonia or CO² is too high or you notice that your water is looking a little murky, then some of the food is going to waste and clouding up your system.
Bloodworms are perfectly fine for feeding your platy as they not only love it but will eat too much of it if you’re not careful. Bloodworms are plentiful in protein and, although they shouldn’t be the only thing that you feed your platy, are perfectly suited to their dietary needs.