Fin Nips - establishing dominance or bullying to death - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 03-21-2014, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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Fin Nips - establishing dominance or bullying to death

First off, I have a filtered, cycled, 10 gallon tank with a heater and lighting. I started off with a male guppy (Gunther) and added another (Rainier). Gunther nipped and became alpha make but it was never enough to damage Rainier's fins. then they went back and forth for a little bit and I guessed switched times a couple times.
then I added a male platy (Micky Two-Eyes). he got big but never nipped or chased the other two.
I thought he may want platy company so I then added another male platy (Gaston) not female because I don't want fry. Micky started bullying Gaston who was much smaller too.
then I added my last guppy and Micky started harassing him too. the other guppies are fine with him but now Mickey is nipping the big guppies, Gunther and Rainier. Rainier is suffering and not too active. he eats still but hides the rest of the time. Gunther's fins are also a little frayed, but he's still as fun and active as ever.

my question is, what should I do? I think I should get some live plants to create more hiding places. do I try using stresscoat? any advice would be appreciated! thank you!
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post #2 of 2 Old 03-21-2014, 04:12 AM
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Platies should be kept in groups of three minimum and have a larger tank. Five gallons per platy or so, so a 15 gallon tank is a recommended minimum.

Guppies can do ok in a ten gallon, but they also need more than two members, they should be kept in 4-5 minimum to minimize any gang-ups. Males do still tend to nip though, but it rarely gets so rough death happens with a proper group(unless a nipped tail gets nasty fin-rot with added stress, that can be bad).

What I would suggest is you take back any platies still going and get a couple more male guppies. Ten gallons is just too small for platies, they like their space and even in a proper group -especially in this case - they can get aggressive for space and kill the ones in their way. Pairs tend to get possessive of each other as well and one or both may bully any new additions to death, platy or otherwise, which is why one should get three or more, they're the only livebearer ok in groups smaller than four, typically...though swordtails can sometimes do ok in smaller groups(but not in a ten gallon, so don't take that as a suggestion, they get big and need 25-30 gallon tanks).

Stress coat+ may lessen stress and help repair slime coats, but it wont take care of your initial issue, which is the bullying, and quite likely the space issue that started it(though sometimes you will get jerkfish who get along with nobody no matter the set up...).

If you want platies and guppies together, I suggest a bigger tank(at least twenty gallons, more would be better but isn't so much a MUST as it would be more preferable to the fish since they like space), and make proper groups, you should get three at a time or so.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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