Aggression in Platys Question

Discussion in 'Platy' started by kinezumi89, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember


    Two weekends ago I bought three platys. Unfortunately at the time I couldn't tell makes and females apart, and I ended up with the only bad combination - one female and two males. They are currently quarantining in a 10 gallon yank, waiting to go in a 55 gallon that is almost done cycling (that last hint of green just won't go away).

    One of the males is larger than the other, and I saw a bit of aggression early on - nothing too violent, just chasing, and not letting the little guy get any food. Though sometimes I also saw the female chase the males, so I thought it was maybe just playful. However, the smaller male was always hiding in a cave and I never saw him get any food (they were like sharks, diving in for the kill). So I bought a tank divider and put the smaller male by himself. He hasn't hidden since, and is eating very well and is active.

    Unfortunately I've noticed lately that the larger male is now hiding in the cave on his side (shared with the female). I have to chase him out to feed him, and even then it's difficult because the female is such a piggy. I can't divide the tank into thirds, even now it seems like not enough space for each of them.

    My choices are:

    1. Move just the female into the 55 gallon now, un-divide the males, and move them once the tank is finished cycling. I'm assuming the males won't be aggressive if there isn't a female in the tank. The only problem is the current inhabitants of the 55 gallon are a bristlenosed pleco and a male betta. I planned to move the betta back to the 10 gallon if/when he started being aggressive towards new fish, or if they were nippy at his fins. Since the female seems to be a bully, I'm afraid she might not be nice to him, and I don't have any other tanks to move him to. Which brings us to...
    2. Move all he platys to the 55 gallon, and move the betta back to the 10 gallon. I'm not sure if one betta equals three platys bioload-wise, but hopefully it wouldn't be too much of an increase, and the 55 gallon is almost done cycling.
    3. Put the female in the 55 gallon and put the betta in the 10 gallon with the male platys. This way the female couldn't be aggressive to the betta, but it's my least favorite option because I think a betta and two platys is too much for a 10 gallon, and who's to say the male platys wouldn't be nippy towards the betta.
    4. Return one of the platys. Okay, this is my least favorite. All I need is a temporary solution until I can safely introduce more females to the party, and I like my fishies and don't want to return any. Plus, I live in the city but do my fish shopping in the suburbs, so it would be an hour drive, which obviously was fine for the fish on the way home, but it would be added stress. And then I would just have to buy another one later anyway! So I'd rather think of a temporary solution until I can buy three more females.

    Sorry for the long post! Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

  2. jbdubValued MemberMember

    First off in terms of platies this should help you:
    I reckon you should just bring back all the platies as it seems to be looking like a heart ache. Otherwise minimum of 3 females to a male and even then there's no gurantee.
    Also absolutely no way would I have your Betta in a community 55g. There's a load of people here who can testify to the problems with keeping Betta's in communities(i lost one that way)

  3. I keep fishWell Known MemberMember

    I wouldn't have platys with a betta they might nip at his/her fins and you don't want that.Or the betta might attack the platy's cause the color. Maybe if you introduce the fish into the 55 gallon the aggression may stop because there's so much more room.

  4. Meeps83Well Known MemberMember

    I agree, I'd move all the Platies to the 55g and move the Betta back to the 10g. Just make sure you keep doing water changes with prime to detoxify the last of the ammonia!
  5. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I am definitely using Prime!

    I know the bettas in communities usually doesn't work, but there are instances of it working. I has planned to slowly introduce fish, see how they reacted with the betta, and remove him at the first sign of aggression from anyone. I was fairly certain he would end up in the 10 gallon anyway, but I could hope!

    I'm thinking that doing a switcheroo may be my best bet. I'd rather not return the platys because then I'd just have to turn around and replace them soon, since it was suggested that I add them first, out of my stocking list.

    I'll still wait for more comments and form a consensus, but this is looking like my best bet so far.
  6. jbdubValued MemberMember

    I had a Betta in with my community in my old tank. Everyone was getting on great for about 3 months, then overnight something changed and all broke loose. He was dead with 48hrs :(
    He's my avatar pic, I use it as a lesson learned!
  7. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    So I actually came up with another idea and implemented it. I just moved the one male over into the other's half. I was hoping that because there wasn't a female, they wouldn't be aggressive.

    Unfortunately, I've already seen the smaller male chasing around the larger one! Maybe because now he's in his territory? Maybe they're just being playful?

    Something interesting I've discovered is that there is 0.25ppm ammonia in my tap water. Interestingly enough, all three tanks are currently at 0.25, even the one with old filter media in it. I know that if it was cycled, the bacteria would take care of the ammonia in the tap water, but still...bah! I wish it would cycle already.

    And now I'm back to not knowing what to do with the platys. I might end up having to switch everyone.
  8. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    You have .25 in your tap? Well that could be the whole problem with the tanks.I too have ammonia in my tap. So everytime you do a partial water change, you are not really helping anything. When my cycling tanks get to the point were the ammonia is at or under the level in my tap, and there are no nitites, I stop the partial water changes and just add a dose of Prime for the whole volume of the tank daily. Test the water everyday to mae sure it drops and does not increase. It should finish quickly this way. Then when you do your first few weekly waterchanges, test the water daily after, dosing with prime for the whole tank. With each week it should take fewer and fewer days to get the ammonia to drop to 0, and eventually it will reach a point were it will cycle out the excess from the tap within 24hrs. But I would always stick with a water conditioner that detoxes ammonia from now on.

    If the ammonia level has is the same in both tanks and the 2weks qt is up, I would go ahead and see if you could move them to the 55gal so you can get more females soon.
  9. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Interesting! I should have tested it sooner. A few questions..

    1. I haven't changed the water in a few days (since the 24th I think). Should I do one to get the nitrates down first? I tested today (everyday) and get we're at 5-10, but I think that isn't a lot.
    2. I usually dose the water I add, but I've never dosed the tank directly. Do I need to mix it with a little water to dilute it, then add it? Or just drop it in? Also, do I need to stir the water at all?

    Thanks for your help, as always :)
  10. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    I know I had quite a shock when I tested mine and found it over 2ppm! Your nitrates should be fine for now, I aim to keep mine under 20ppm, but while a tank is finishing cycling it could go a little higher, you will be doing your first weekly change at the end of the cycle anyway.

    When I dose the tank I just pour it from the cap into the tank, the filter will mix it up enough.
  11. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Just to make sure it wasn't contamination in the tubes from older tests (though I do rinse them thoroughly) I did a test in a plastic bag and got the same results. 2ppm is huge! I've never gotten a reading higher than 0.50.

    Since I'm having problems with the platys, I will probably relocate them tomorrow. Unfortunately this means the betta will have to go back to the 10 gallon, and I will lose my quarantine tank. He's just always been a little too interested in other fish, and I can't see him keeping to himself. Also, maybe the platys would nip at him instead! They seem to be a rowdy bunch. Since I will be unable to quarantine future fish, I was thinking of getting the three females and intoducing all the platys at once, so there won't be territory issues. Fortunately I have lots of prime on hand, and am already testing the water daily.
  12. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    I would wait just a bit to add the females to the 55gal, give the filter time to adjust to the bioload of the three you have. Looks like you are in the market for a third tank already, lol.

    And don't worry you won't be testing daily forever. Just make sure if at any point you get aammonia reading over the amount in your tap, or a nitrite reading, you start the waterchanges again until you get the ammonia equal or under your tap reading, and no nitrites.
  13. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I thought you might say that, just wanted to make sure :) I can wait until at least next weekend then, depending on how the ammonia levels change. I'm just so anxious to buy more fish! At least with the platys, my tank won't look empty 85% of the time (hopefully).

    Thanks again for your info! You've cleared everything up for me.

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