Female Platy Bullying Other Females
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Female Platy Bullying Other Females

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Female Platy Bullying Other Females
Old 07-09-2014, 12:24 AM   #1
 
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Female Platy Bullying Other Females

(This is a copy of a post I have in the newbie section, just wanted to make sure people see it!) I have 4 female platys, none appear to be pregnant but I have only had them one week so it is possible. The largest of the four has recently started to chase and nip all the other females in the tank with her. She hasn't done any real damage yet, but I don't want my other fish to get too stressed out and die on me.

Things I have tried: At first I had 1 male and 4 females, with this the male would constantly harass all of the females and nip at their fins so I took him back to the store. Things were pretty peaceful for a while until I noticed the largest female was now doing the bullying. At this point I rearranged the tank and added a couple live plants to try and curb any territorial behaviors. This did not work at all and she is harassing them more than ever! Will I have to bring her back to the store too? and if I do will another platy just start doing the same thing? Please help me!
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #2
 
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If the tank is under twenty gallons, that's the problem, or part of it.

Platies can be nippy sometimes, they rarely do damage though. If pregnant they can be especially volatile.

Water parameters being off or moving can cause aggression as well.


We need some more info on your tank...but it's likely you have either a jerkfish, or just a dominant female. Possibly a male...sometimes they change.

Another thing I've noticed is if you start out with only two and then add, it can cause aggression issues. I had this problem when I got my first platies. I started with two, two weeks later I got three more, one of my larger platies became very nasty and "Guarded" the one she had come with.

Try removing that female for a while, rearrange the tank and then put her back. Sometimes this breaks the cycle if it's dominance.
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:21 PM   #3
 
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Tank is only 10 gallons, is that not big enough for them? :(

I did actually rearrange and add some stuff in the tank, she stopped doing it for the most part :)

She is a little chubby, and she was in with males where I got her so she is likely pregnant, along with the rest of them.

Thank you so much for your advise! I really appreciate it.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
 
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Ten gallons is too small for platies. You can sometimes do a trio in there...but since it's small and they like space, they can get really aggressive about it. Best to have that many in a twenty gallon tank. Platies need five gallons of water per fish at least. That and being pregnant is probably the reason she's so grumpy. And if she's a little chubby, she is likely pregnant, they usually are if kept with males and can store sperm from it for up to a year before fertilizing the eggs if they so desire.


It's do-able bioload-wise in there, but space-wise will have these problems and also stress them out. Stress lowers the immune system, so be very watchful for any illness as it can spread like wildfire in smaller tanks with stressed fish. If you do want to keep them in there, best to down-size to three, and even then you could have issues, but it'd be a little better space-wise. =)
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:45 PM   #5
 
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Really? I have heard some mixed opinions on plates in 10 gallons...Some people have even told me up to 8 is fine! I would never get that many for such a small tank. I agree that the bioload is definitely fine, I have a pretty good filter plus some live plants with good water readings...I just didn't know they needed so much room! Are there any signs that they are really stressed I should watch out for?
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:03 PM   #6
 
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Anyone who told you to put eight platies in a ten gallon tank needs a good slap on the back of the head. That's pet shop advice and worse than the one inch per gallon rule. Eight in a ten gallon would be a nasty over-load on both space and bioload....those fish get two and a half inches, sometimes a tad more, and have a good girth to them. It'd be absolutely cruel to do that to them.


There is a lot of mixed opinions on it, but THAT one is fully false, very bad idea.


you are SEEING the effects of platies in a space too small already. The aggression -could- get worse or continue, and getting rid of the dominant female may just open up the space for another to do the same.


Think about it...eight two inch long fish, wide bodies, livebearers who are always popping babies and trying to make them...FISH who obviously need to swim, in a foot and a half of space with ten gallons of water. Yeah....Fish need to swim. lol Eight in there is nonsense, you may as well dump them in a vat of oil and watch them squirm. =/


Keeping platies in a ten gallon, again, not recommended but do-able in smaller numbers SOMETIMES, often the fish prevent it from being a peaceful tank...if not, three would do alright. It'd be tight, not preferable, but is live-able and do-able.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:11 PM   #7
 
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Yeah, I know. Like I said, I would never do anything like that in a tank of this size.

The aggression has stopped for now, so I think they will be fine for the time being. They actually seem pretty happy, especially since I added the live plants. They love nibbling the leaves and swimming through them :) Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:36 AM   #8
 
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Good. You may be able to pull off four afterall.

Oh yeah, live plants are awesome. Not only do they help keep things like ammonia, nitrites and nitrates in check, but they look good and most fish LOVE them. They make great hiding and make everyone feel more secure. :3


If you have pregnant girls, be sure you have a set up for the babies, something larger than what you have since they can have 5-100 babies at once. As an idea...a lot of us who are breeders have started using kiddie pools(indoor or out, I have one in my basement most do them outside) or bins that can hold 20+ gallons(more is better, you want lot's of room for babies or they wont grow very fast. I have mine in a 73 gallon pool and split between a 20 gal, 10 gal and 55 gallon tank as well, but I have more than platies, I have guppies, endlers, mollies and swordtails too lol). They don't LOOK the best sometimes, depending what you use, but they have enough ROOM for the kids, and that's what you what you want. Use mature media from your filter to cycling it quicker. This way you can happily raise your babies and if you'd like, and find a local place or go online, you can see the youngsters when older and make back a little care money and then some. =)
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:51 AM   #9
 
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Oh, great Idea. I actually have a kiddie pool that could hold a lot more than 20 gallons which is not being used :) Thank you so much for all your advise, really helped me out!
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