Do Platies Eat Plants? Find Out Here

Platies are naturally omnivorous species, so they don’t mind eating anything when they’re hungry. So, to answer your question, yes, they may eat plants if that’s the only option in front of them when they’re hungry.

As you walk by your aquarium to take a glance at your little guys, you may notice tiny bites taken off some of the plants you’ve put up. You might start to wonder, do platies eat plants?

Platies might be drawn to the algae residue on your plants. While feasting on the green substance, they may take a bite out of the plants as well.

Stick around to learn more about your platies’ feeding habits.

Do Platies Eat Plants?

Suffice to say that platies do eat plants. Since they’re omnivorous, they enjoy a plant and meat-based diet.

That being so, they can also survive as herbivores, meaning that they can only eat plants and algae.

Speaking of algae, platies love that stuff. Even if you have a group of well-fed platies, they won’t say no to bits of algae stuck on your tank’s plants.

This isn’t the only green your platy might have a taste for. You can feed them certain vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, and other leafy greens you might find in your fridge.

Apart from that, platies can be caught eating live plants as well. These plants act as both food and shelter for your livebearers.

Despite some platies being fond of live plants, others might not be a fan.

If you want the platies to eat the live plants, then you should search for a softer and juicier variety. It’ll be easier for them to eat, rather than tougher plants.

Red and Blue Platy

Why Do Platies Eat Plants?

After knowing that platies can eat plants, your next question is probably, why? It could be for several reasons.

Firstly, your live plants might be coated in algae, and you know how much platies love their algae. So much so that they’ll eat the plate, or in this case, leaf, along with it.

Another reason worth considering is how well they’re fed. If you’re not feeding them often enough, they’ll eventually have to resort to their surroundings for food.

Like any animal kingdom species, survival instincts kick in, and platies will start to forage for alternatives to keep them sustained.

Interestingly, platies can live without eating for a couple of weeks, but that won’t stop them from nibbling on your plants.

If you’re usually too busy to feed the platies, luckily, there are these nifty automatic feeders on the market that can make things much easier for you.

Should You Worry About Your Plants?

When you picture platies chomping down on your aquarium’s plants, you might start to worry about your plantation.

Are all your live plants going to be ruined? How big of a mess will this plant-eating habit be?

In reality, you’ll barely notice the tiny gnawed traces in your plants. If you don’t want your pet platies near your plantation, you could consider purchasing fake plants.

What Do Platies Eat?

Platies are versatile feeders. In the wild, their diet would mainly consist of algae and protein from insects.

Platies in aquariums can be fed worms, pellets, flakes, and dried foods that are densely packed with nutritional value.

These store-bought foods could contain shrimp, squid, fish meal, and spirulina.

What Kind of Plants Do Platies Eat?

When it comes to eating greens, platies aren’t that picky. There are numerous kinds of plants that they can graze on.

Here are a few of them below that you can incorporate into your tank.


This plant can provide your tank with a colorful pop of color. It’s green-based and has red and purplish hues.

Platies will savor Cabomba plants because of their satiny soft texture. The good news is that you can either keep this plant rooted to the tank’s base or keep its roots floating above the water surface.


This gentle grower is an excellent addition to your platy’s diet. Its fast growth rate won’t make the bite marks too apparent.

It’s no surprise that most aquarium enthusiasts have ambulia in their tanks. The all-green plant will give an ideal amount of shrubbery and add a more natural element to your tank scene.


This plant could provide your tank with a unique touch. Unlike most aquarium plants, this one will be floating on the tank’s surface.

Platies can feed off of this plant whenever. Nevertheless, the only downside you might consider is how duckweed keeps algae at bay.

That means platies might not appreciate the algae shortage, but they might still eat the floating plant anyway.

What Kind of Plants Will Platies Avoid?

Platies come in all shapes and sizes, but what some don’t know is that they all come with their distinguished taste buds. That’s right; each platy can be keen on feeding off of plants—others not so much.

Here are a couple of plants that most platies avoid.

Java Ferns

If you want your live plants to be virtually untouched by platies, then java ferns are the way to go. Unfortunately, they’re too harsh for most fish to eat.


These stringy plants will give you a bit of pizzazz to your aquarium. However, most fish, including platies, are likely to steer clear from crinum plants since they’re too hard to consume.

How Often Should You Feed Platies?

Your platy feeding routine can vary depending on the developing stage of the livebearer species.

Adult platies should be fed around once every day. Meanwhile, the youngsters should be fed twice or thrice.

Make sure the meals are small to avoid overfeeding your fish pet. If there’s a string of poop hanging around your platies, that indicates their overfed state.

To Conclude

Do platies eat plants? In short, they do eat plants. The question of whether they enjoy eating plants depends on each platy.

Some platies have acquired a taste for the greens, while others avoid it and prefer their pellet feeding routine.

Either way, there’s not much to worry about. If you don’t want the platies eating your plants, then you can swap them for fake or tougher ones.