Best Foods For Platy Fish Based on Ingredient Quality

Platy fish need quality protein and vitamin rich plant-based ingredients in order to fuel their high activity and bright colors.

In order to help you with this, I want to explain why you need to ignore marketing, and focus on the ingredients. I’ll help you understand exactly what to look for and share my favorite daily feeders and occasional treats for platy fish.

Key Takeaways

  • Platies need a variety of animal proteins and plant foods
  • First ingredients listed are the most important
  • Generic fish meal = Low-quality
  • A little wheat to help bind fish food together is okay
  • Specific meal is acceptable
  • Whole fish/krill/shrimp/kelp as the first ingredient = highest-quality
  • Spirulina is a great color enhancer for blues and greens
  • Shrimp, Krill, and marigold are great color enhancers for reds, yellows and oranges

Foods which fit this for platies are:

  • New Life Spectrum Betta (daily feeder)
  • New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes (daily feeder)
  • New Life Spectrum Naturox Series Cichlid Formula  (daily feeder)
  • Northfin Fish Food Cichlid Formula Slow Sinking Pellets 2mm (daily feeder)
  • Northfin Fish Food Krill Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (daily feeder)
  • Omega One Color Mini Pellets, Sinking, 3.5 oz (daily feeder)
  • Omega One Super Color Flakes (daily feeder)
  • Repashy Super Gold (daily feeder)
  • Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms (occasional treat)
  • Omega One Freeze Dried Tubifex Worms (occasional treat)
  • Fluval Bug Bites Tropical (occasional treat)
  • Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Spirulina Brine Shrimp Cubes (occasional treat)
  • Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food (occasional treat)

Difference Between High-Quality & Low-Quality Foods

Do not be fooled by marketing! Unfortunately, there are some leading brands in the fish food industry that use really low quality ingredients.

Just because a brand has a lot of space on the store shelves does not mean that it’s a high quality food.

If the first ingredient listed is generic fish meal, and fillers like corn or soy, stay away from these foods.

Here’s an example:

Here is an example of low-quality fish food you should avoid

Generic fish meal is the leftovers of fish carcasses after the meat and oil have been removed. It’s the guts, bones and scales, essentially, the trash from harvesting the edible parts of a fisherman’s catch.

Some parts are completely indigestible, like scales, fins and teeth, and will just pass through the fish’s digestion as waste, contributing to the bioload of the aquarium without providing any meaningful nutrition.

Instead, you want to look for whole ingredients or specific meal.

High quality fish foods will have ingredients like:

  • Whole fish 
  • Shrimp
  • Krill
  • Squid 
  • Spirulina 
  • Seaweed/kelp
Here’s an example of high-quality ingredient

It’s OK for there to be some non-aquatic ingredients in fish food, especially wheat germ for added fiber and pea powder for added protein.

So don’t be worried if you see this. You just don’t want these to be the main ingredients.

High-Quality Daily Feeders For Platy Fish

New Life Spectrum Betta

Don’t be put off by the fact this is marketed towards betta fish. Marketing is marketing, and we’re here to look at the ingredients. They’re not exclusive to bettas.

And New Life Spectrum Betta has great main ingredients, like krill and squid, that will fulfill your platies need for protein. Combined with this are nutrient rich plant-based foods like kelp and other seaweeds and spirulina that will provide great sources of vitamins and minerals.

This is an excellent daily feeder.

Click For Full Ingredients

Krill (Euphasia superba), Squid (Dosidicus gigas), Whole Wheat Flour, Fish (Brevoortia tyrannous), Seaweed (Ulva lactuca, Undaria pinnatafida, Eucheuma cottonii, Eucheuma spinosum, Chondrus crispus), Kelp, Green Algae (Chlorella pyrendoidosa), Garlic, Ginger Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Fish Oil, Marigold, Bentonite Clay, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement,Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherols (a preservative)

Sale
New Life Spectrum Betta 25g (Naturox Series)
New Life Spectrum Betta 25g (Naturox Series)

    Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes

    These flakes are made from Protein sources, like krill, squid and whole fish, as well as great plant-based foods like a mix of seaweeds, kelp, spirulina, marigold and algae. This is another high-quality choice for a daily feeder.

    The marigold and krill are also a great color enhancer for reds, yellows, and oranges.

    Click For Full Ingredients

    Krill (Euphasia superba), Squid (Dosidicus gigas), Whole Wheat Flour, Fish (Brevoortia tyrannus), Garlic, Fish Oil, Seaweed (Ulva latuca, Undaria pinnatafida, Euchema  cottonii, Euchema spinosum, Chondrus crispus), Green Algae (Chlorella pyrendoidosa), Kelp, Ginger, Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Marigold, Bentonite Clay, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Acetate,Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement,Vitamin B12 Supplement,  Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride,Calcium Pantothenate,  L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherols (a preservative)

    New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes 90g Fish Food
    New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes 90g Fish Food

      Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      New Life Spectrum Naturox Series Cichlid Formula

      Again, marketed for cichlids, but also ideal for platies. These small sinking pellets are packed with proteins like krill, giant, squid and whole fish. It also contains plant ingredients, such as a variety of seaweeds, and Marigold, which is a color enhancing ingredient.

      This is another wonderful daily feeder for platies.

      Click For Full Ingredients

      Krill (Euphasia superba), Squid (Dosidicus gigas), Whole Wheat Flour, Fish (Brevoortia tyrannus), Seaweed (Ulva latuca, Undaria pinnatafida, Euchema cottonii, Euchema spinosum, Chondrus crispus), Green Algae (Chlorella pyrendoidosa), Kelp, Garlic, Ginger, Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Fish Oil, Marigold, Bentonite Clay, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherols (a preservative)

      Sale
      New Life Spectrum Naturox Series Cichlid Formula Supplement, 300g
      New Life Spectrum Naturox Series Cichlid Formula Supplement, 300g

        Last update on 2024-07-18 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Northfin Fish Food Cichlid Formula Slow Sinking Pellets 2mm

        This is why understanding what a great ingredients are rather than looking at the marketing is so important when it comes to fish food. Northfin make outstanding food and this is more cichlid food ideal for platies.

        These small, slow sinking pellets comptain with excellent protein sources, like krill, whole herring, Whole sardines, kelp, and spirulina. This is a great mix of plant and protein food sources that could easily be used as a staple diet for your platy fish.

        Click For Full Ingredients

        Whole Antarctic Krill Meal (Euphausia Superba), High DHA Omega-3 Whole Herring Meal, Whole Sardine Meal, Wheat Flour, Organic Kelp (Laminariales), Spirulina, Garlic (Allium Sativum), Astaxanthin, Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamin A Acetate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Cholecalciferol, Alpha-tocopherol Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamine, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium, Zinc, Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis)

        Northfin Fish Food Cichlid Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (2mm 250g)
        Northfin Fish Food Cichlid Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (2mm 250g)

          Last update on 2024-07-18 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          Northfin Fish Food Krill Formula Slow Sinking Pellets

          Another great food from Northfin, these slow sinking pellets are primarily sourced from whole krill, kelp, and spirulina. This high protein content would be excellent additional treat for your platies.

          Click For Full Ingredients

          Whole Antarctic Krill Meal (Euphausia Superba), Wheat flour, Organic Kelp (Laminariales), Garlic (Allium Sativum), Spirulina (Dietary Supplement), Astaxanthin, Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamin A Acetate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Cholecalciferol, Alpha-tocopherol Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamine, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium, Zinc, Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis)

          Northfin Fish Food Krill Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (2mm 80g)
          Northfin Fish Food Krill Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (2mm 80g)

            Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            Omega One Color Mini Sinking Pellets

            Omega one are one of my go-tos for high-quality fish food. Made up of quality protein sources, like salmon, whole herring and whole shrimp, these sinking pellets, also contain marigold to help enhance colors.

            With any sinking food, I recommend feeding slowly to platies so you don’t have too much sinking to the bottom of the tank.

            This is another food you can use as a staple daily feeder.

            Click For Full Ingredients

            Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Germ, Wheat Flour, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Rice Bran, Wheat Gluten, Herring Oil, Kelp, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, Marigold Extract, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

            Omega One Color Mini Pellets, Sinking, 3.5 oz
            Omega One Color Mini Pellets, Sinking, 3.5 oz

              Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              Omega One Super Color Flakes

              Omega One is the best fish food company in the business, as far as I’m concerned. Not only do they provide high quality protein, but they also use a wide variety of protein sources.

              These flakes have always been a favorite in my fish room. They’re made up of great protein sources, like salmon, whole herring and whole shrimp. Mixed with pea protein, kelp and color enhancing marigold extract.

              This is a great daily feeder for platy fish.

              Click For Full Ingredients

              Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Flour, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Herring Oil, Kelp, Mixed Tocopherols, Carmine, Annatto Extract, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Marigold Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

              Omega One Super Color Flakes 5.3 oz
              Omega One Super Color Flakes 5.3 oz

                Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                Repashy Super Gold

                Although this food is marketed towards goldfish, it makes a great food for platy fish. It has a nice balance between high-quality protein sources and plant-based ingredients. This would make a really well balanced staple diet for platies.

                However, making gel food is a little more involved and requires more preparation. If you don’t think you’ll have the time for that, best to go with one of the others on this list.

                Click For Full Ingredients

                Krill Meal, Spirulina Algae, Black Soldier Fly Larvae Meal, Chlorella Algae, Squid Meal, Dandelion Leaf, Seaweed Meal, Whole Egg, Pea Protein Isolate, Rice Protein Concentrate, Banana Powder, Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Mussel Meal, Mango Powder, Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, Citric Acid, Stinging Nettle, Garlic, Ginger, Cinnamon, Dried Kelp, Phaffia Yeast, Dried Watermelon, RoseHips, Hibiscus Flower, Marigold Flower, Paprika, Turmeric, Salt, Calcium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (as preservatives), Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Manganese Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Copper Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate. Vitamins: (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D Supplement, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta Carotene, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex)

                Repashy Super Gold Goldfish and Koi Gel Food 6 Oz JAR
                Repashy Super Gold Goldfish and Koi Gel Food 6 Oz JAR

                Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                High-Quality Treats for Platy Fish

                Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Fish Food, Small Granules

                Fluval Bug Bites primarily made from dried black soldier and fly larvae. These are excellent protein source that mimics the insectivore diet of platies. However, because it doesn’t contain a variety of protein or plant based ingredients, I do think it’s best used a treat to rotate into your fish’s diet rather than a daily feeder.

                Click For Full Ingredients

                Black Soldier Fly Larvae, Salmon, Fish Protein Concentrate, Green Peas, Potato, Wheat, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Dl-Methionine, Lecithin, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine, Vitamin E Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate, Marigold Extract, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract, Riboflavin, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Inositol, Folic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3 Supplement

                Sale
                Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Fish Food, Small Granules for Small to Medium Sized Fish, 1.6 oz., A6577
                Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Fish Food, Small Granules for Small to Medium Sized Fish, 1.6 oz., A6577

                  Last update on 2024-07-18 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                  Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Spirulina Brine Shrimp Cubes

                  These cubes of brine shrimp and spirulina make a great supplement or treat for platy fish. There are not enough varied ingredients for it to be a staple diet but again this is a great protein and vitamin rich add-on your platy fish will benefit from.

                  The spirulina will also help enhance blue and green colors.

                  Click For Full Ingredients

                  Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp, Spirulina

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                  Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Spirulina Brine Shrimp Cubes for Pets, 0.42-Ounce
                  Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Spirulina Brine Shrimp Cubes for Pets, 0.42-Ounce

                    Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                    Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms

                    Freeze dried bloodworms are a great source of extra protein for platies. You wouldn’t want to make this your fishes only food, but it makes a great supplement or treat 1-2 times a week.

                    Click For Full Ingredients

                    Freeze Dried Bloodworms

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                    Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms, 0.96 oz
                    Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms, 0.96 oz

                      Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                      Omega One Freeze Dried Tubifex Worms

                      Freeze-dried tubifex worms are another protein packed treat that many fish really like. The individual worms are small, making this food better to platies than larger fish.

                      Again, this should be an occasional treat, not a stable daily feeder.

                      Click For Full Ingredients

                      Freeze Dried Tubifex Worms

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                      Omega One Freeze Dried Tubifex Worms, 0.85 oz
                      Omega One Freeze Dried Tubifex Worms, 0.85 oz

                        Last update on 2024-07-17 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                        Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food

                        Spirulina 20 has always been one of the foods that I rotate around for my various aquariums and platy fish will love to snack on this. Containing a nice mix between animal based ingredients and large amounts of spirulina, which is packed with all sorts of different nutrients.

                        I do recommend feeding it a few times a week alongside your other foods since spirulina is such a great color enhancer, especially for blue and green platy fish.

                        Click For Full Ingredients

                        Salmon Fish Meal, Spirulina Algae Meal, Soy Flour, Wheat Flour, Corn Starch, Dried Krill Meal, Shrimp Meal, Plankton Meal, Lecithin, Vegetable Oil, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C)

                        Sale
                        Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food, 4-Ounce
                        Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food, 4-Ounce

                          Last update on 2024-07-18 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                          Variety is Best For Platy Fish

                          Platy fish are beautiful and filled with boundless energy. In order to fuel all that activity, as well as their bright colors, they need a varied diet that includes quality protein and vitamin rich plant-based ingredients like spirulina and kelp.

                          I recommend getting a few different foods that you can rotate on different days. This variety helps ensure that your platy fish get all the nutrients they need to thrive.

                          Some foods are great staple diets, like a well balanced pellet, while others, like freeze dried brine shrimp, are more suited to being offered as treats.

                          If you get nothing else from this article, I want to stress that even some big name brand foods contain poor quality ingredients. Always look at the ingredients list before buying any kind of fish food.

                          I hope you find this article helpful.

                          I wish you and your fish the very best!

                          Katherine Morgan
                          Katherine Morgan

                          Hey, there! I'm Katherine from Northwest Florida. An aquarium specialist, I've kept tanks for over two decades, enjoy experimenting with low-tech planted setups and an avid South American cichlid enthusiast.

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