Bullying Platy?

Acefully

Hello, about two months ago I bought two platies from my LFS. One was a small marigold platy (female), the other was a slightly bigger tuxedo platy (female). They both were for a small 15 Litre tank. All was well until after a couple of days the bigger tuxedo platy would chase the small marigold platy around the tank aggressively as if it was trying to nip it. I am a beginner so I was confused as if this was normal behaviour so I rang up my LFS and they told me that platies are peaceful fish so I shouldn’t have to worry but to make sure there was hiding spaces. I changed tank layout, added some small fake plants and bullying stopped for a while but then a couple of days later it started again while I was feeding and the poor marigold platy couldn’t eat without being chased off.
I ended up finding an old 12 litre fish tank so I decided to put the marigold platy in there and everything was fine.

However a cousin had just given me a 40 litre tank and I decided to put the fish back together to see if after a couple of months the bullying had stopped, for the first day they were fine, peaceful and happily swimming together in a much bigger tank than what they were used to, however I noticed one night that the tuxedo platy was wiggling over my marigold platy and poking its side. This was different from the chasing as the marigold platy wouldn’t swim away - it would just stay still so I did not do anything but after a day the chasing started again but confusingly my marigold platy would occasionally follow the tuxedo platy around even after being chased, The tuxedo lets the marigold eat with her though which is different than before but should I be worried?

I just started giving timeouts by scooping the tuxedo to the side of the tank with a net for a couple of minutes, bullying/chasing seems to stop for a long while after that but at random points during day/night I see it happening again. To counter this I was thinking of adding more fish into the tank maybe to divide the attention of the tuxedo to multiple fish. I was thinking of maybe getting another platy maybe a male, or some guppies however is there a risk of the tuxedo bullying them too?
In worst case I’ll just put the tuxedo back alone in its 15 litre tank but any recommendations of what I should do?

D67BA439-64DE-4749-82F5-BD06132CAB1C.jpeg
(my marigold platy)

BF072BE2-26E0-4609-9C05-A5EFF13ECFBA.jpeg
(my 40l tank)
22CE229E-5B53-4459-A6D8-D5462624472E.jpeg
(tuxedo platy and marigold platy, tuxedo is slightly longer and bigger than marigold)

Thanks,
 

StarGirl

My Rams do the same thing. It sounds like mating behavior. If there are no bitten fins or anything I wouldn't worry much. You may get babies. Quit moving them tank to tank around unless you see damage on a fish.
 

fishyprincess

Hello, about two months ago I bought two platies from my LFS. One was a small marigold platy (female), the other was a slightly bigger tuxedo platy (female). They both were for a small 15 Litre tank. All was well until after a couple of days the bigger tuxedo platy would chase the small marigold platy around the tank aggressively as if it was trying to nip it. I am a beginner so I was confused as if this was normal behaviour so I rang up my LFS and they told me that platies are peaceful fish so I shouldn’t have to worry but to make sure there was hiding spaces. I changed tank layout, added some small fake plants and bullying stopped for a while but then a couple of days later it started again while I was feeding and the poor marigold platy couldn’t eat without being chased off.
I ended up finding an old 12 litre fish tank so I decided to put the marigold platy in there and everything was fine.

However a cousin had just given me a 40 litre tank and I decided to put the fish back together to see if after a couple of months the bullying had stopped, for the first day they were fine, peaceful and happily swimming together in a much bigger tank than what they were used to, however I noticed one night that the tuxedo platy was wiggling over my marigold platy and poking its side. This was different from the chasing as the marigold platy wouldn’t swim away - it would just stay still so I did not do anything but after a day the chasing started again but confusingly my marigold platy would occasionally follow the tuxedo platy around even after being chased, The tuxedo lets the marigold eat with her though which is different than before but should I be worried?

I just started giving timeouts by scooping the tuxedo to the side of the tank with a net for a couple of minutes, bullying/chasing seems to stop for a long while after that but at random points during day/night I see it happening again. To counter this I was thinking of adding more fish into the tank maybe to divide the attention of the tuxedo to multiple fish. I was thinking of maybe getting another platy maybe a male, or some guppies however is there a risk of the tuxedo bullying them too?
In worst case I’ll just put the tuxedo back alone in its 15 litre tank but any recommendations of what I should do?

D67BA439-64DE-4749-82F5-BD06132CAB1C.jpeg
(my marigold platy)

BF072BE2-26E0-4609-9C05-A5EFF13ECFBA.jpeg
(my 40l tank)
22CE229E-5B53-4459-A6D8-D5462624472E.jpeg
(tuxedo platy and marigold platy, tuxedo is slightly longer and bigger than marigold)

Thanks,
It does sound like they are trying to mate. Maybe look for a gravid spot after a few days an keep watching for one. A gravid spot is a black spot towards the back of the platys belly. If you see one this may mean that your platy is pregnant. Maybe you thought you had too females and the pet store got the genders wrong. I once had a guppy couple that bothered each other for maybe a week or so but then the male just followed the female around. Hope this helps!
 

Acefully

It does sound like they are trying to mate. Maybe look for a gravid spot after a few days an keep watching for one. A gravid spot is a black spot towards the back of the platys belly. If you see one this may mean that your platy is pregnant. Maybe you thought you had too females and the pet store got the genders wrong. I once had a guppy couple that bothered each other for maybe a week or so but then the male just followed the female around. Hope this helps!

Thanks for your response. On my tuxedo platy it seems there's a faint gravid spot and cause she's slightly bigger than my marigold there could be a chance she is pregnant?

I'm pretty sure both of my fish are females, At the store both genders of the platies were kept in the same tank and looking at the bottom fins of both of my platies, they both have the fan shape indicating that they are female. are they still able to mate or something?

The chasing is still continuing especially when I go to feed and my marigold is always towards the bottom of the tank but will eventually eat away from the tuxedo. I'm still debating whether adding some more fish would help stop or divide the chasing,
Anything else I could do?
 

e_watson09

All of these tanks sound too small for platy. I also really wonder if your tuxedo is a swordtail.

When fish are in too small of a tank they get nippy. It happens with most species of fish. You can try to add decorations that break up sight lines (example: tall plants that reach the top of the water) but even the 40L tank (roughly 10g) is much too small for these fish. Usually platy I only recommend for 20 gallon tanks or larger. Then if I'm right about the tuxedo that fish will need to be in an even larger tank.

Both of these fish are female and livebearers do not display the same breeding behavior as cichlids.
 

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