Platy being bullied

  1. Dozr3544 Initiate Member

    I have 3 platy in a 10 gallon with 6 tetras and 1 catfish. There are 2 female platy and one male. Recently the male is swimming on the bottom and his back fins are all tattered. The 2 females are new. I've had the male for a few months. Is it possible that the females are bullying the male? If so what should I do? I don't have a quarantine tank. I'm new to having an aquarium and I didn't realize the importance of having one until I needed one. I feel so bad I'm sorry my fish have to pay the price for me learning as I go. Is there anything I can do to save my platy? Everyone else seems fine. Thanks for any advice anyone has. I appreciate it!
  2. maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    It is definitely possible. How planted and decorated is your tank? Adding more sight breaks may help ease the tension

    Or if you have a breeder net you can hang it and put the male in it so that he can rest away from the bully and heal.

    Identifying the bully would be good. If it's one of the new fish then perhaps it could be exchanged for one that is less aggressive. Or, you could put her in the breeder's net and give her a time out. Sometimes (not always) that works wonders.
  3. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to fishlore!
    I don't think it's the other platies that are bullying, what type of tetras, and catfish are you talking about?
  4. Dozr3544 Initiate Member

    Thanks for the help! I put him in a small floating box that I had with a piece of plastic plant but then I let him out as he kept swimming into the sides and I thought being confined was stressing him out. But probably putting him in and taking him out was more stress than just being in the box. I think I'll put each new female in a it's own breeder net as I don't know which one is the bully and I might not have enough time to figure it out before they harass the male to death. Thanks again for the advice!
  5. maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    Usually when you do something like confine a fish, it's a good idea to shut off the lights too. Partly because the box usually ends up right underneath and the fish can't get away, so it causes it to stress, as you observed, but also it gives everyone else a chance to get used to the new thing in their environment.
  6. Dozr3544 Initiate Member

    Please forgive me as I'm not quite sure what the actual names are. There are 2 that I looked up that called them serpae. There are 2 others that are also red and black but their fins aren't as feathery. I have had those 4 for a while. The other 2 tetras are all white/silvery. I got them over the weekend at same time as both new female platy. Maybe too much change too quick? The cat fish is a small silvery about 1 inch long that is always scrounging at the bottom of the tank. It doesn't even seem to notice the other fish are there.
  7. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Again, I don't think it's the other platies, unless you've seen them bully the male, I wouldn't put the females in the breeder nets as that will stress them out as well... also the supposed "male" could actually be a lone female being chased around by two males, or it could be a male being bullied by another male, trying to mate with the remaing female.... so do you have any pics?
  8. Dozr3544 Initiate Member

    The pictures I took are so blurry that I'm not sure if they'll be of any help. But the black and orange one is the one being bullied. The yellow one and the silver one are the 2 potential bullies. I also include pictures of the tetras. I just put more decorations in the tank to provide more hiding space. And maybe, just to throw more factors into the mix, maybe I got the 2 new platy and they are pregnant. Would that make them more aggressive? They seem to have more rounded bellies.

    Oh boy bear with me while I figure out how to actually post the pictures. Sorry.


    I just added the extra decorations hoping that might help before I put anyone in a breeder net just yet since I'm not sure at this point who is bullying who. My pictures are still loading.



  9. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    I'd guess the bully to be the fish in post #13 looks like a Betta, but if it is I'm wondering why it isn't bothering the others... is the platy that's being bullied have a brighter color compared to the other two?
    btw, take your time... :)
  10. Dozr3544 Initiate Member

    So it's been about 20 minutes and my pictures are still loading. I'm guessing I didn't do something correctly. I hope they manage to show. In the meantime tho it seems to have helped putting more decorations in. The male is no longer sitting in the bottom corner of the tank. He's swimming around a bit. Maybe that's all I needed to do. Thanks for that good advice everyone.
  11. Dozr3544 Initiate Member

    Oh good you can see them! Too me it looks like they're still loading. The one with the black tail and reddish orange body in the last picture is the bullied fish. The first picture are the two suspects. The 2nd picture is of two tetras and the 3rd picture is the other tetra. At least I think that's the order they're in.
  12. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Yes, I can see them... are you saying that the fish in the second to last picture is the bullied fish?
    also, something to add, you have some stocking issues... but we can discuss that issue in another thread if you'd like.
  13. Dozr3544 Initiate Member

    Hi again. So I don't think the bullied fish is going to make it. I watched the tank for a while tonight. I'm afraid I overdid it this weekend getting 4 new fish. It's seems like the new fish have pretty much decided to run the show. The other 4 tetras are not their usual selves, they're hiding and staying low. So my next question is, if this is the right post for asking, what do I do if I have too many fish? Will a store take them? I don't have anyone I know that I could try to give them to and I don't think at this time I could get another tank to make room for everyone. I still have to get my quarantine tank together :/ thanks again for all your help. I really appreciate it.
  14. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Can you please tell me which picture is the one with the bullied fish?
    you could try asking any nearby fish stores/ pet stores if they'll take them in, or you could post ads on craigslist, facebook etc...
    and your welcome!
  15. unitedSWD1968 Initiate Member

    I have 4 Red Wagtail Platys and 6 Red Minor Tetras (serpae) and the platys rule the tank. I hear Serpae can be nippy but I have not seen much of that in my tank. My platys are very docile, except when they are in season(male chasing the female), my red minors have a pecking order. More likely IMO its probably one or more of your serpaes but that's coming from a newb to aquarium
  16. Dozr3544 Initiate Member

    The bullied one was in the 3rd pictured. His back half was black. His front half was red/orange. Sadly, he did die. I'm going to take 2 back to the fish store and see if they will take them back. That will leave me with 7. Hopefully everyone will be happier with less fish. I'm so glad I did find this fish forum tho. I hope eventually I can help someone too. ☺
  17. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Sorry for your loss... hope everything else goes well.
    I can't help but notice, you have some minor stocking issues, if you'd like to discuss them I'm right here :) or you could start another thread... for better success in the hobby and for the health of your fish.
  18. Dozr3544 Initiate Member

    Thank you so much for offering your help. :) I'll take you up on it with this...if I had 2 platy and 2 tetra with 1 little catfish looking fish, would that be more appropriate for a 10 gallon? Or would that still be too much? Would each fish have enough of their own kind to feel comfortable in a school? Should I only have 1 kind, like only platy or only tetra? Or is some other fish better off in a small tank like mine? Lol sorry a million questions at once.
  19. Five 97 Well Known Member Member

    Great, no problem!
    well, firstly your serpae tetra ,and your white skirt tetra belong in a 20g, that's their min, and yes, they need to be in groups of 6 or more of their own species (so I'd rehome or upgrade)... and about this catfish of yours... can you post a picture of it? the platies are fine as they are though :)
    sorry for my being late.
  20. Aquatica88 Member Member

    What kind of catfish are you referring to? If it's a Cory, those should be kept in groups of at least six of their own species, and a 10 gallon is too small for that many. Tetras also should be kept in groups of at least that size as well.