Help! Male betta and platies

Discussion in 'More Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by Windy77, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Windy77New MemberMember

    Hi all,
    Help! I have a 12 gallon tank that I originally had divided in two with a male betta on either side. They were the only fish in the tank. One of the bettas recently died. I then took the divider out and redesigned the tank decorations. I thought I'd like to try to have a community tank with the remaining betta. I did a LOT of research about possible tankmates and decided on three male platies -- each a different color. I picked out three of the calmest looking platies at the pet store and added them in the tank. At first my betta was just stalking them and flaring. After a while, all seemed well, but the betta seemed very upset. The platies were happily swimming around and scooting away from the betta when he got too close.

    After several hours, I noticed the betta was still stalking them very menacing-like. He will stalk and then rush one of the platies with his mouth open. I saw him bite a piece of skin off the back of one of the platies and eat it. He then proceeded to go after a red platy and got a chunk of that fish's back and ate it too. Then the red wag platy grabbed a bit of the betta's tail fin and ate that. Good thing I was watching!! I practically threw the divider back in the tank to separate the betta as fast as I could. The platies seem OK -- looks like the betta just took off some surface skin/scales. The betta looks much, much more at ease now that the other fish are "gone". My question is this. Will the three platies be OK in the 6 gallon space? Or should I just take them back to the pet store and just get another male betta. I think the platies are beautiful and would like to keep them but only if they will be happy in a smaller space. What a nightmare!!! I never anticipated such problems!! And this betta seemed pretty non-aggressive (for a betta) before. He hardly ever even flared at his old tankmate betta.
  2. Windy77New MemberMember

    Since I put the divider up, the platies are acting wild and the betta is acting calm. So much for all the people out there (including the guys at the pet shop) who say there is no problem at all mixing a male betta with platies. Yeah right! Is there anyone here familiar with keeping only platies? I'm trying to decide whether it's better to take them back to the pet store tomorrow and just get another betta or keep them in the 6 gallon space. I would appreciate any input. I could just leave my one betta alone in the tank but he sure looks a bit lost in a tank that big.

  3. EthanWell Known MemberMember

    keeping a male betta in a community tank as you would know if you researched extensively is very hit and miss. if you are still wanting to go down this path i would suggest heavy planting and more hiding spots. if it were me with this probably i would most likely just take the mollies back and get another betta and divide it like you were doing hope this helped a little :p

  4. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to FishLore! :;toast

    I'm going to post this thread every time someone wants to start up a betta community tank :p They CAN work, they just very often don't.

    Unfortunately I'm going to have to go with no. Whether or not 10 gallons is sufficient for a platy is debated - some members say yes, but as I have many platies and knowing how active they are, and how much waste they produce, I say no way Jose - but six gallons is certainly too small. However since it sounds like you just got them, can you return them? Not sure where you got them; Petco will take them back for sure, and I think Petsmart does too.

    Unfortunately (Looks like I'm filled with lots of unfortune today :p) it looks like your betta will have to be a loner. You can either get another betta for the other side, or just let him be the king of the tank. :)

  5. Windy77New MemberMember

    Thanks, most of the info I found online pointed to platies being one of the best choices to be with a betta. I'm not going to try this again. It really bothered me when the betta bit those little guys who seem so sweet. I will just return the platies and may just leave the one betta by himself. I'm just real glad I was there watching when the attacks started so I could separate the fish. If I had just gone to bed, my betta may have killed those little fish during the night.
  6. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I'm not sure how much money is an issue for you (I'm a poor starving college student myself :p) but you could also set up a 20 gallon tank for the platies, and get a couple more :)
  7. Windy77New MemberMember

    No more room for tanks, unfortunately! I would if I could but I'm cramped for space. I just bought the platies today so I'm sure it won't be a problem returning them. Wish they could stay. :(
  8. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Or (I'm filled with good ideas, I know ;)) you could replace the 10 gallon WITH a 20 gallon, and give the betta a third or a quarter and give the three platies the rest ;)
  9. EthanWell Known MemberMember

    i second this motion
  10. Windy77New MemberMember

    That is a great idea, but I have just enough room for the 12 gallon tank on a wooden stand. A 20 gallon would not fit in the space. So I guess I am stuck.

    I go back and forth about keeping my betta alone. Since the other betta in the tank died about a week ago and I took the divider out, the remaining betta seems to enjoy the space but he does spend a lot of time sitting near the top of the tank next to the filter where you can't even see him. When the tank was divided he was a lot more active and "visible".
  11. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Woops, I meant 12 gallon :p I had a betta alone in a 10 gallon and he hid in the corner a lot. I now have it divided with two bettas (different ones) and they're very active, BUT one of them is more flarey than the other, and they could see each other through the divider, causing the calm one to nip his fins. I put in an opaque divider, but I think they can still smell each other, because both of their fins are kinda tattered, even though there's only smooth stones and live plants :;dk I guess it depends on the fish.
  12. Windy77New MemberMember

    My remaining betta and the one who recently died almost never flared at each other, even though they could see each other pretty well through the plastic divider. Just every once in a great while would they go after each other. They could not touch each other at all. Yet my remaining betta's fins are a little torn in places even though he has only a bunch of live plants and a small smooth plastic bridge in his living space. I don't get that either. It's not fin rot.
  13. Windy77New MemberMember

    It's hard to figure out what to do, because a betta alone in such a large tank seems to just want to hide. Yet you give him companions and he attacks. Or you divide the tank and the fish gets a bit concerned about having a "rival" plus it makes it more difficult to clean, etc, etc. What to do.
  14. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Yeah, mine's not fin rot either. What kind is yours? I have two halfmoons, and supposedly the larger fins are more fragile and often tear. One of them looks almost like a crowntail :( I see pictures of them when I first got them and I wish they still looked like that.

    Just for fun, a few pics :p The green one is Boris (he's the calm one) and the red and blue one is Vlad.

    Edit: Personally, I'd try dividing it with another betta. Vlad (the fiesty one) was noticeably fiestier at the store, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Maybe try to look for one that looks calmer - not unhealthy, but not flaring at the other ones or darting around his cup. You could also divide it and put something else on the other side, like a few endlers. If you're not familiar with them, they're also livebearers but much smaller and produce much less waste. A few celestial pearl danios might work too, but I don't remember how small of a tank they can live in.

    Attached Files:

  15. Windy77New MemberMember

    Your fish are gorgeous. Looks like you have the same type of divider as I do. My betta is a double tail half moon. He is dark blue and red with a touch of white. He's less than a year old. I have another orange veiltail betta in a separate 6 gallon tank who is 3 years old. I'd move him over to the 12 gallon but he is so used to his home and content in it, I don't want to risk stressing him out. He's my longest-lived betta.
  16. Windy77New MemberMember

    I should say, I've had the fish for less than a year. I realize he was probably about a year old when I bought him.
  17. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Thank you! I can definitely understand not wanting to move your settled-in betta. Plus, it's an excuse to buy another one ;) Bettas are like candy for me..can't have just one :D
  18. Windy77New MemberMember

    I know what you mean! They are so amazing. At one time I had six males all in separate small tanks! Then I "downgraded" to three (2 in the 12 gallon tank, 1 in the 6 gallon). I have to make an effort not to look at bettas when I'm in pet stores or I will be in trouble.
  19. JustKeepSwimmingWell Known MemberMember

    I've read a lot of forums where people say platys get along with fish like betta, or snails, and I just don't see it. My platys were awful nippers, all of them, in any combination in any tank. They only got along with guppies and each other.

    I actually just sold my community tank today to fund my larger aquarium so no more platys in my house. I don't think I'd ever get them again.
  20. Windy77New MemberMember

    I read a lot about how bettas are good with snails but that was wrong, wrong, wrong. I tried mystery snails with a total of four of my male bettas and every betta (even my most "docile" one) attacked the snails and actually bit (and ate) chunks out of them. I re-homed all the snails before they could get mortally wounded.

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