Aggressive Platy

Willowfish

Member
Hello!

I have currently been having some problems with an aggressive platy. Ten gallon tank is stocked with 1 betta, and two platys. The first platy (Orange) often chases/tries to nip at the second platy, (White.) During feeding times, White is chased away from the food, resulting in Orange being overweight. White was small to begin with, but I worry knowing that White is not getting enough food on a daily basis. White almost always has his fins stuck close to his body in fear of being nipped at, though he has shown no signs of fin damage. The betta I mentioned previously, is mostly peaceful and keeps to himself. I don't think I've ever seen him chasing White, though he does flare at Orange sometimes if he gets to cocky. I do not think the betta has anything to do with this behavior from Orange. I'm thinking that maybe to break it up I could get a third platy. Would that be overstocking the tank? I was thinking that White would feel more safe having more fish around. White is not constantly cowering from Orange, they often swim together, (White having fins pinned to his back) but then suddenly Orange gives chase. I am thinking that White understands that the betta is larger than him, and he wants to constantly be around a fish of the same species for safety.
I have been trying to help the situation by isolating Orange during feeding time in the fish net, then feeding him a limited amount of food, while I feed both the betta and White in the main tank. So far this did not go as planned. Orange would ram the walls of the net in an effort to get out instead of eating. White just looked confused, honestly. He also didn't eat. The betta freaked out at the sight of the net, and would hide under his rock. (Also not taking a single bite.) This whole thing has gone on for months, and I'm worried about how long White can take it.

Main Problems;
-Orange chasing White
-White fearing Orange
-Orang Weight

Here are a few Pictures of Orange and White, a size comparison. I apologize for the poor quality photos.

How would I fix these current issues?

Thank you for all your help!

-Willowfish
 
Best Answer - View Hugooo's answer

SinisterCichlids

Member
Platys do better in groups of 3-6! That could be one of the reasons for your problem. I believe you could get away with a group of 4-5 and a betta. Just make sure you do your water changes weekly and have more than adequate filtration!
 

Hugooo

Member
Welcome to Fishlore, I'm sorry you are having this problem. Can you insert a better picture of White? I see Orange is a male, but I'm not sure if White is a male or female. If White is a female, buy another two females. Leave them in the bag, take out the current ones (including the betta, it may be peaceful right now, but you never know with them) and at least somewhat rearrange the stuff in your tank, doesn't have to be the entire tank. And then, put everyone in at once. This will work for two reasons.

One, Orange will think he's in a new environment, and he will be as unfamiliar with it as everyone else. In the current arrangement, he's obviously established himself as the better platy, but in the new arrangement, they will establish a new pecking order, and it will be better with four platies instead of just two. You won't be overstocked. Also, since Orange is a male, if White is a female he is trying to mate with her and she does not want that. Two, Orange will stop focusing just on White, and his attention will be more spread out to everyone, so not one girl will be constantly pampered. And if they have babies (which they probably will) you don't have to take care of them, they will just be eaten, so there will not be a problem.

If White is a male, it may be best to return one of the two. If you love them both, again, take everyone out, and try to rearrange the tank as much as possible, and put them back in at the same time. Good luck!
SinisterCichlids said:
Platys do better in groups of 3-6! That could be one of the reasons for your problem. I believe you could get away with a group of 4-5 and a betta. Just make sure you do your water changes weekly and have more than adequate filtration!
They are shoaling fish, but they're not as tight as other species. I had two in my 10g, and they were just fine. Agreed on the other advice though!
 

fishnovice33

Member
Platys are my favorite tropical fish. I have all kinds. Mine never get feisty unless it’s a male/female issues but every once in a while I have one like yours just overly dominant, and I just move it to a new tank. I had one tiger platy I bred that came out of about 20 fry that I seriously think could hold his own in an Oscar tank. I had to rehome it which was a shame it is a striking looking platy but yea I’d probably rehome it.
 

SinisterCichlids

Member
Hugooo said:
Welcome to Fishlore, I'm sorry you are having this problem. Can you insert a better picture of White? I see Orange is a male, but I'm not sure if White is a male or female. If White is a female, buy another two females. Leave them in the bag, take out the current ones (including the betta, it may be peaceful right now, but you never know with them) and at least somewhat rearrange the stuff in your tank, doesn't have to be the entire tank. And then, put everyone in at once. This will work for two reasons.

One, Orange will think he's in a new environment, and he will be as unfamiliar with it as everyone else. In the current arrangement, he's obviously established himself as the better platy, but in the new arrangement, they will establish a new pecking order, and it will be better with four platies instead of just two. You won't be overstocked. Also, since Orange is a male, if White is a female he is trying to mate with her and she does not want that. Two, Orange will stop focusing just on White, and his attention will be more spread out to everyone, so not one girl will be constantly pampered. And if they have babies (which they probably will) you don't have to take care of them, they will just be eaten, so there will not be a problem.

If White is a male, it may be best to return one of the two. If you love them both, again, take everyone out, and try to rearrange the tank as much as possible, and put them back in at the same time. Good luck!

They are shoaling fish, but they're not as tight as other species. I had two in my 10g, and they were just fine. Agreed on the other advice though!
Yeah you can have one platy and it will be fine, but having 2+ is definitely preferred, especially if you are having an aggression problem..
 
  • Thread Starter

Willowfish

Member

Thank you for all your help and suggestions!
Here is a better picture of White, that some of you were asking about. I am pretty sure he is a male, but correct me if I am wrong. Some of you were suggesting getting new platys, and that makes sense. I have a Marineland Penguin 75 filter, do you think that would be able to keep up with the bioload? I am thinking getting more fish would be the best option here, then go from there, seeing if I need to go so far as to return Orange. Especially since I had to isolate Orange in the fish net, then coax White out enough so that he would extend his fins for this photo.
Thanks for all your help!!

-Willowfish
 

Hugooo

Member
Willowfish said:
Thank you for all your help and suggestions!
Here is a better picture of White, that some of you were asking about. I am pretty sure he is a male, but correct me if I am wrong. Some of you were suggesting getting new platys, and that makes sense. I have a Marineland Penguin 75 filter, do you think that would be able to keep up with the bioload? I am thinking getting more fish would be the best option here, then go from there, seeing if I need to go so far as to return Orange. Especially since I had to isolate Orange in the fish net, then coax White out enough so that he would extend his fins for this photo.
Thanks for all your help!!

-Willowfish
Yes, he looks like a male. And the bioload will be fine, just remember to do 50-60% water changes every week. If you return Orange, you can get 3 or 4 more platies, all females if possible. Make sure to do some research to know how to differentiate the two when you go to the pet store. Other than that you're all good! Just wanted to ask, how do you like the Marineland? I have been thinking of getting one, and wanted to hear your opinion.
 
  • Thread Starter

Willowfish

Member
Hugooo said:
Yes, he looks like a male. And the bioload will be fine, just remember to do 50-60% water changes every week. If you return Orange, you can get 3 or 4 more platies, all females if possible. Make sure to do some research to know how to differentiate the two when you go to the pet store. Other than that you're all good! Just wanted to ask, how do you like the Marineland? I have been thinking of getting one, and wanted to hear your opinion.
Thank you! Do you think that it would be better if I got all males instead? I understand that any offspring will be eaten, but.....I don't know. It feels wrong to have constantly dying fish babies. Would it be aggressive no matter what with all males? Also, about the Marineland filter, they are great in my opinion, but then again I have not had much experience with other filters, since I have been using Marineland for the majority of time I've had tanks. They are a pretty reasonable price, and supper quiet. Mine doesn't vibrate at all. The only thing is, when you get your filter started again after some maintenance, it has some troubles getting to the proper water level to start. This can be easily fixed by putting in some water with a cup or something to kickstart it. The intake tube has this little filter thing on the end of it, to prevent small fish from getting sucked in. Once I realized that my smallest cherry shrimp had lodged himself in it somehow, he was fine though, and I freed him without injury. I wrapped the bottom of the intake tube with some mesh material, and secured it with a zip tie. When it is time to do maintenance I simply slide out the zip tie, then rinse out the mesh shrimp guard. If you have cherry shrimp that might be a thing to look out for, but mine is very, very small so I do no think that is much of a problem. If you don't fill the tank to the top with water, it will start to make a splashy waterfall sound, but I am pretty sure that's how most filters work.
I hope this helps! Marineland filters are amazing, those are just the only problems I have had.
-Willowfish
 

Hugooo

Member
Willowfish said:
Thank you! Do you think that it would be better if I got all males instead? I understand that any offspring will be eaten, but.....I don't know. It feels wrong to have constantly dying fish babies. Would it be aggressive no matter what with all males?
No problem I cannot answer that question with certainty, as I have never experienced this kind of problem. Maybe make a thread asking that question. But from what I have read on this forum, I do not think that would be the best option. I know this may sound a bit harsh, but if you really want to keep platies, it may be best to only keep females.

If you want to keep White, and you really don't like that idea of dying babies, then you can always donate or sell the fry; many stores will take them, usually for nothing but you might be able to get some store credit, or you can sell them on Facebook Marketplace, etc or here, on Fishlore!

But I completely see where you're coming from though. It is stressful for the girls to be constantly breeding, and kind of unfair to them and the babies. In the end, it's your choice, so do whatever works for you and the fish. Good luck! And thank you for the Marineland review, btw
 
  • Thread Starter

Willowfish

Member
Hugooo said:
No problem I cannot answer that question with certainty, as I have never experienced this kind of problem. Maybe make a thread asking that question. But from what I have read on this forum, I do not think that would be the best option. I know this may sound a bit harsh, but if you really want to keep platies, it may be best to only keep females.

If you want to keep White, and you really don't like that idea of dying babies, then you can always donate or sell the fry; many stores will take them, usually for nothing but you might be able to get some store credit, or you can sell them on Facebook Marketplace, etc or here, on Fishlore!

But I completely see where you're coming from though. It is stressful for the girls to be constantly breeding, and kind of unfair to them and the babies. In the end, it's your choice, so do whatever works for you and the fish. Good luck! And thank you for the Marineland review, btw
Thank you for all your help
 

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