Prolific Male Platy Keeps getting all the Ladies pregnant Help

  1. A

    AAdrienne New Member Member

    I am very, very new to the fish thing, although I've done a lot of research so I know about the nitrogen cycle, etc.

    I've got a 10 gallon tank which I stocked first with 5 Platys - I specifically told the woman at PetSmart that I wanted only male fish, but it's now clear she had no idea how to tell the difference. (Neither did I at the time, which is my own fault - needless to say I now DO know how to tell the difference...) One of the platys died within the first month. I don't know whether that one was male or female, although I kind of suspect it may have died after giving birth. What I'm left with is three females and one male (not including the fry).

    I don't know exactly when the pregnancies started, because I wasn't expecting it or looking for it. Luckily I probably overdid it with the rocks at the bottom - they are about the size of a quarter in diameter and they're stacked about 2 inches deep, so the fry had plenty of places to hide. From the difference in sizes between the fry I believe there have been at least two different batches, litters, whatever.

    I've since picked up a second 10 gallon tank and moved all the fry into that (12 surviving fry in total, with one death that I know of for sure and no idea how many there may have been to begin with). I'm fairly sure one of the grown females is still pregnant, and for all I know the other 2 are as well (although if they are then they aren't that far along).

    I need to get the male out of that tank, because I really don't want them to keep breeding. I figure once the fry are a little bigger I'll designate a 'male tank' and a 'female tank' and split them all up that way, but I don't want to put the fry in with the bigger fish too early, so for now I'm stuck with 'adult tank' and 'fry tank'. (And absolutely no concrete plans for when any of the pregnant fish start to give birth other that what I've done previously - wait to see some babies in the tank and then get them out of there before too many become snacks - so any advice on that topic is welcomed as well.)

    In the meantime, I have a female Betta alone in a 2.5 gallon tank. So, my question (finally) is: do you think I can move the male Platy safely into the 2.5 gallon with the female Betta, on a temporary basis? The Betta is very sweet and not agressive at all - she's been with other fish before with no problems, so I'd be more concerned about him bullying her rather than the other way around.

    My only other options for him are to buy yet another tank, which I really don't want to do as I'm a single parent and money is very tight, especially since I've already bought one additional tank, or I can put him in an old one-gallon Betta "tank" which has no filtration, heater, etc. so I would have to do probably daily water changes just to keep him healthy, which I'd really rather not do.

    Also, if anyone knows when it might be safe to put the fry back in with adult fish, please let me know. I'm pretty sure a couple of them are too big to be eaten right now, but I'd rather play it safe and keep them separate until I'm certain. I just have no idea if that's going to be a couple of weeks, six months, etc. This has only been going on for about 2 weeks so far, so I've seen a little bit of growth in them, but not too much yet.

    Sorry this is so long, but I felt like I needed to explain the whole situation so you all can understand everything going on.

    Thanks in advance for any advice, etc.

  2. Meenu

    Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Wow, you've got quite a ladies' man there...
    I think females can store sperm for many months, even after the male is removed.
    I personally wouldn't put the male with the betta. I'd find him a new home, either on craigslist or see if a local fish store will take the little fella.
    I would think the babies can go back into the tank once they are big enough not to fit in the parents' mouths.

    Welcome to fishlore, enjoy the website!
  3. Aquarist

    Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello Adrienne and Welcome to Fish Lore!