Nipping

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H20girl

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I have a 20 gallon tank that's been running for 7 days w/ 2 male and 3 female platy. Now there are also 6+ fry (very tiny, 3 days old). I think there's a photo of my tank in my profile (not sure how all that works yet).

I didn't want to cycle with fish, didn't want to pick out fish without knowing how to sex them, etc., but both my boyfriend and the Petsmart employee insisted I was worrying too much... so now I'm cycling with these fish and worrying even more!

Of the first 5 fish the guy put in the box (to go home with us in the bag), 2 of them had large portions of their fins missing. I made the guy take out those fish. Some of the other fish had tiny bits of their tails missing, but I felt liked I'd already fussed a lot, so I didn't say anything. (Do people usually pick specific fish or reject ones they pick out, or do you just take what they pick for you?)

The 5 fish generally get along pretty well. They are almost always grouped together wherever they are in the tank.

A couple issues:
One of the males constantly harasses the females (chasing, nipping). The other males leaves everyone alone. After the tank cycles, I'll try to get another female or two to share the "love".

I've also seen the females nip at each other. Is this typical? A few minutes ago I saw two females niping at the 3rd female at the same time; they looked like they might be hurting her, though right now everyone seems to be getting along fine.

So what I'm wondering is whether it's normal for platies to nip at each other?
Do you think they are damaging each other's tails or could it be fin rot or something they picked up at Petsmart? If it's fin rot, is there anyway to treat them while the tank is cycling? I am adding Kordon "fish protector" now and then which is supposed to help heal injuries.

Sorry the the long winded post!
 
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firemouthfreak

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You're supposed to pick out the healthiest fish, yet one that appeals to you. NEVER ask them to just catch a random fish for you. The tank is a bit small.. IMO.. Maybe that is the reason they are so aggressive to each other.. Try returning some or add lots of shelter for them to hide if things get too rough.
 

tatty_kassy

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I definitely recommend the shelter thing, my platy male is also an aggressive I have come to find posting on this forum. I was advised to separate him for awhile because he was so attached to one female, he was attacking the other to keep her away. I separated him 4 times, and he is still being aggressive. So finally, I moved things around in my tank so that there are lots of hidey spots and plants to swim through and that seems to have helped a lot. If he starts to chase after her, she usually gets away from him quite easily and once she is out of his eyeline, he forgets about her.

When it comes to picking fish, I like to be extra picky. I don't care if it is only 2 or 3 bucks, the money isn't the point. Hopefully if you do your job right these fish are going to be around for a few years so you might as well pick the one you find the most attractive and healthy and interesting because it is going to be taking up space in your tank. I inherited some fish, I didn't get to choose them. I would of liked to of had something different in my tank, but I didn't have the heart to "get rid" of them. I got some more fish that would go well with them, and I am quite happy now, but I bet there is nothing better then starting fresh and getting to pick exactly what kind of fish you want in your tank. If your careful and pick them all with consideration of each other you can create a really beautiful looking tank.

Good luck on your Nitrogen Cycle!
 

H20girl

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Ok, I will let my picky instincts reign from now on when selecting fish. Maybe I can get them to let me net them myself...

I do have some fake plants and rocks in the tank... I don't know if there's room for any more. Doesn't seem that anyone wants to hide though... they all seem to stick together even though they harass each other from time to time. I'm most worried about the females nipping at each other... never heard of that.

So the tank might be too small for 5 platy? I'm not "counting" the fry right now because they're so small and could still get eaten by the bigger fish. We're not going to get anymore until we see if any of them make it to adulthood.
 

tatty_kassy

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I don't think they can let you for the same reason they don't let you go get the puppy from the cage. Its an insurance thing. Plus they are HIGHLY trained sales associates, obviously. ( )
Just make sure you have the time to sit there and watch them. I made this one girl try 6 times until she got the one I wanted. You don't have to be rude about it, just insistent.
 
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