There has been a drastic increase in the number of people reaching out with a huge range of different questions about keeping platies in their aquariums over the last couple of months due to the rapid gain in popularity platies have had recently.
We really love platies and think that they are one of the best beginner fish out there but many people new to keeping the species can have problems with a platy losing color or potentially all of the plates in their tank losing color so we decided to publish this article.
Why Is My Platy Fish Changing Colour?
The four most common reasons that a platy will lose its color include problems with the diet of the fish, the platy being stressed or anxious, a number of potential health problems, and various types of injury to the fish.
Older platies can naturally start to lose their colors too due to old age with this usually being natural and unavoidable.
Some younger platies will sometimes appear to lose their color if they are naturally meant to have white or pale areas on their body when their juvenile colors fade.
This will be rare if you have purchased your platy from a breeder who keeps strict breeding lines but many breeders will often give mutt platies away for free where color fade can be normal in the fish as it grows to an adult purely because of it losing its juvenile colors with this being normal in some types of platies.
Are You Feeding Your Platy A Food That Maintains Its Color?
One of the most common mistakes people new to keeping platies make is that they will use a generic food that is not designed for tropical fish which then causes the color of the fish to fade. A platy can lose a surprising amount of its color simply due to a lack of nutrients in its food but thankfully, switching over to a suitable fish food for your platy can quickly fix this.
Thankfully, there’s no need to splay out either as a decent, cheap fish food can quickly help your platy get its color back. You can then integrate freeze-dried bloodworms as a treat food too as platies tend to love them but their high nutrient content can also help your platy gain its color back quickly too.
Due to platies being omnivorous, they will also eat any small algae build ups that they find in your aquarium while foraging. Although most fish keepers try to keep as much algae out of their tank as possible, a small build up can provide a nutritious and free food source for your pet platies to help them regain their color if your platy is having problems with color loss so consider leaving a little bit of algae in the tank if you do your tank maintenance once per week or more.
Can You Think Of A Reason That Your Platy Is Stressed Or Anxious?
Platies can get stressed surprisingly easily for such a hardy fish species with stress and anxiety in a fish being one reason that they may start to lose their color.
The most common reason that a platy may be stressed in an aquarium is due to water quality issues but aggression from its tank mates can also come into play too as well as a number of less common issues.
If you are new to the fish keeping hobby then problems with water parameters can be very common and a cheap water test kit is enough to help you check the water parameters in your aquarium to get an accurate read.
You can then use the data from the test strip to work on correcting any problems that may be causing your platy to be stressed and within a month, you can expect the color of the fish to return.
If you notice that your platy is pineconing then this can also be a sign of problems with water quality too so this can be a secondary symptom in addition to color loss to confirm the problem.
Problems with aggression from the tank mates of your platy causing stress and anxiety are usually obvious though as you will see the dominant platy or the other fish species in the tank chasing and nipping at the platy that is stressed.
Does Your Platy Have Any Health Problems?
There are a number of potential health problems that a platy can have that can cause it to start to loose its color or at least appear to start turning white.
The more common issues are ich, gill flukes, and a number of external and internal parasite, bacterial, and fungal infections that can be common on a platy in some tank conditions and setups.
There are a number of treatments on the market for platy gill flukes that can make your fish look as though it is losing color.
In addition to that, there are some excellent, cheap treatment options out there that are also able to treat the majority of the common infections that can start to turn platy scales turning white too.
Due to both treatments having different active ingredients you are able to compound them with each other to help get your platy healed and its color returning faster with API who make both products actually recommend this for platy gill flukes.
Is Your Platy Injured?
If your platy is injured then you may have problems with your platy losing scales or having issues with damaged scales making the fish lose its color.
If the fish has rubbed against a rock or decoration in its tank then it may get injured but aggression from tank mates is usually the most common reason that your platy may have an injury to its scales making it look like it is losing color.
We have a dedicated article going over the more common reasons a platy may be losing its scales that may be helpful if this could be the problem with your fish.
You can often see the injury to your platies scales if you lose closely helping you confirm that this is why your platy is losing color.
The problem is that issues with the scales on your fish can be difficult to fix in many situations and although some problems can heal naturally, others will take a long period of time. In addition to that, some of the more serious injuries may never actually heal with damaged scales on a fish.
That brings our article going over why your pet platy is losing color to an end and we hope that we have been able to help as many of our readers as possible. There are a number of problems that can cause a platy to lose color but in most cases, it is relatively easy to treat the issue and your fish should return to full health quickly with its color usually returning in as little as a month.