It’s always a bit worrying when you notice that your platy has red poop. After all, platies are supposed to have brown or tan colored feces. So what does it mean when your platy has red poop?
There are a few possible explanations for why your platy might have red poop. One possibility is that they have a problem with internal parasites such as camallanus worms but more commonly, it is simply the stronger dye in the red fish food flakes showing in their poop.
In less common cases, your platy may be pooping out bloodworm skins that still have a red tint to them.
As we covered in our article on what causes fish poop to turn red, the actual diet of your platy can play a surprisingly large role in the color of its poop.
Although most people do expect their platy to have a brown or tan colored poop, cheap fish food flakes do usually use a strong red dye that can’t be digested by your platy resulting their poop often being blood red even though there is no issue with the fish.
Is It Normal For A Platy To Have Red Poop?
If your platy’s diet consists of bloodworms or brine shrimp as a major part, then it is not uncommon for their poop to be red.
This is because these foods contain a lot of hemoglobin which is what gives them their red color in the first place. When platies eat these foods, some of the hemoglobin will show in their poop.
Another relatively common thing that a platy may eat is part of a ramshorn snail as they have a very high hemoglobin count that and can also cause your platy to poop red.
Ramshorn snails are usually not a normal food source for a platy though and the platy will usually need something like a crayfish in its tank to crack the snail shell open for them to be able to feed on it.
Still, for the most part though, the poop of your platy should be a brown or tan color with this usually being considered normal for the species.
Unlike a platy having white stringy poop though, red poop coming from a platy can be due to the diet of the fish rather than a potentially serious problem.
Why Does My Platy Have Red Poop?
The most common cause of red poop in a platy fish is due to the fish being on a flake based food as the red dyes in some of the cheaper flake foods are not digestible by fish causing their poop to turn red.
Other foods that can cause a platies poop to turn red include bloodworms and in some cases, brine shrimp.
The more serious problems that can cause your platies poop to turn red include Camallanus Worms and fish tuberculosis though these are much less common problems.
There are some slightly more common internal parasites that can cause red poop but platies are relatively resistant to these in a optimal tank setup when fed a healthy diet.
Some older platies will naturally start to have issues with red poop but this is often due to their digestive system not being as effective making it even less likely that the fish will be able to digest any red dye in its food. Older platies also tend to have general digestive problems that may cause red poop too.
How Can I Treat Red Poop In A Platy?
The easiest way to treat red poop in a platy is to switch their diet to a pellet based food or to a live, frozen, or freeze dried diet as it restricts the amount of red dye in the diet of the fish to allow their poop to return to its normal color.
Is you do use bloodworms as a replacement food, some platies can struggle to digest the red in the husk and skin of the bloodworm though so they will still have red poop.
Internal parasites are not a common problem in platies but they can cause the fish to have red poop. There are a few different ways to treat internal parasites in platies, but the most common is to use a deworming medication.
There are a few different types of deworming medication available, but the most common is praziquant that you are able to get from a local fish store or veterinarian’s office.
If your pet platy is having problems with red poop due to an internal injury or old ages, there is often nothing you are able to do to treat the problem in your fish.
If the platy is otherwise healthy, there is no need to worry about red poop as it will not cause any long term problems for your platy fish.
Should I Be Worried If My Platy Has Red Poop?
In most cases, there is no need to worry if your platy has red poop as it is often due to the red dye in their flake food or due to having ate a large number of red bloodworms.
If the recent diet of your platy does reflect this then we would not worry about the platy and the poop of the fish should return to the normal brown or tan color within a number of days.
If the red poop is due to internal parasites, this is a slightly more serious problem that will require treatment with a deworming medication.
Internal parasites can cause problems for platies if left untreated so it is important to look for other symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and weight loss in addition to red poop.
Tuberculosis is a very serious disease that platies that can cause red poop too but thankfully, it is very rare. If you think that your platy has tuberculosis, it is important to take the fish to a veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.
While red poop from platies is not something that you should be overly concerned about, it is still important to keep an eye on your platy for any other changes in behavior or appearance. Due to the more common reasons of red poop in a platy being due to their diet, it can be common for a full tank of platies to all have red poop or at least a red tint in their poop when compared to normal if you have treat them with bloodworms recently.