01-10-2013, 05:26 AM
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Tiger barbs need to be in a group of at least 6 of their own or they can do some undesirable things like freak out or nip on other fish. A 20 gallon might also be a stretch for a group of tigers, they are very active and can hit 3 inches. 30 gallons is probably safer. Such a small group of barbs will lead to nervousness and eventual bullying by either the barbs or the platy. And yes platies can be bullies, especially females that are hybridized with swordtails.
A single platy can live with a sufficiently sized group of tiger barbs provided that single platy is a female. Male platies need (female) company or they will start trying to mate with other fish and eventually go nuts.
Platies prefer harder water while tiger barbs like soft slightly acidic water, however barbs are adaptable so its not a big concern.
Personally I would just choose one type of fish, either platies or tiger barbs. Your tank might be a tad on the small side for a group of 6 tiger barbs but the rules for keeping tiger barbs are much less complicated than with platies.
With platies, you can get away with a smaller tank, but you need to keep females with males, at a 3-1 ratio, or so it is said. By the way, some males pick favorites and will hang around a certain female ALL THE TIME while nipping at other females. Or you can have a single female, or a group of females, which would most likely be pregnant from the pet store, and have babies in your tank.....which some of them will hide in your decor...and grow to adulthood...and you will have a tank swarming with young platies...which half will be young horny males...which will lead to complete chaos. Yes that last part was a platy rant.