lone platy okay? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-18-2014, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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lone platy okay?

I have had a number of problems with keeping platies over the last few months. One i think was just sickly from the store and died only a week after i got him, he was replaced for free by the store. His replacement (sunset platy) started out robust and healthy and was doing great until i noticed one of the others bullying him(a mickey mouse). I provided lots of hiding spots, plants, ect. and hoped the bully would lose interest. I thought they had enough room (4 in a 20g). Sadly, the bully would not let up and he basically wasted away. I thought it would be the end of the streak but the bully didn't let up. He went after the other mickey mouse in the tank and bullied him to death in about a week. I finally gave up trying to keep him and got the fish store to take him back. I'm left with one lone sunset platy and I'm not quite sure what to do with him. I'm afraid to get anymore platies, but at the same time I don't want the last one to be lonely Will he be okay if I leave him on his own and get say a dwarf gourami?
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-20-2014, 11:45 PM
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Could you tell if the ones he was bullying were male? Sometimes males can be extra aggressive and instead of trying to run off other males, or in a tanks case when they cannot run them off, they'll kill them. 20 gallons is PERFECT for that many. Bravo, many get them for smaller tanks and wonder why they get issues...

May be better to get him two females. Platies can do fine in a group of three, may be the only livebearer that is happy in a smaller group...Swordtails might be able to. Anyway, You can get a dwarf gourami too if you keep just three platies. They will also keep down numbers if the platies breed, but yeah, you'll still get babies with males and females. If you don't want that, or them getting eaten which I understand perfectly since I breed them...I'd recommend you take back the one you have who is a bully. A larger fish that doesn't take any of THAT might make him knock it off, sometimes they just need a little smack from a stronger fish, other times they continue until they or the other is dead.

Sometimes there are fish called Jerkfish. I've started this nickname and it's stuck even at the shop I frequent. lol It's a random rogue fish who acts unnaturally aggressive(even for aggressive fish, sometimes they just go way too far). I had a platy that did this(actually, it may have been a gold dust molly, but I think it was a platy I mistook for a gold dust molly). Total butthead. He actually killed two females and tried to kill another. No matter what I put in, he didn't get along. Everyone was enemy number one, so he got a new home at the pet shop for a couple months until they found him a proper place with someone who could handle him.

You could try a school of something else...like, I dunno, danios or cardinal tetras....likely he wont stay with them since livebearers are more social fish than schoolers, but if he leaves them be, yay.

Really some very few options when nothing works on a jerkfish, but a larger buddy he can't beat up may do it, at least keep others safe from him and he wont be lonely....he just wont have his social family. lol

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-21-2014, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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yes he was bullying other males. I already took him back to the store, I couldn't watch him kill the last one I had left other than him. So now I'm left with the lone survivor who is very nice and never agressive. I think I will get the survivor some girlfriends to keep him company. If I do get 2 more platies will I still have enough room for a dwarf gourami? I have 5 cories in there as well
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-21-2014, 02:12 AM
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Ahuh. A twenty gallon can support that both bioload and space-wise. Make sure when you pick a dwarf gourami that he's getting along with others at the shop and isn't being kept alone. Often when they keep them alone it's because they started a problem or were aggressive, even if they say otherwise. lol Sit and watch for a few minutes, see how they interact with other fish.

If you have live plants in the tank, so much the better, they'll help keep the bioload, which wont be overboard, in check and make them feel like they have more room and cleaner water, as well as things to do if that makes sense. The more room part meaning they have enough to do and think they have more than they do even when plants take up space instead. lol =)

He'll like some sweet girlfriends. See if you can't find ones a tad smaller than him so he can feel more secure, and watch them as well to make sure none chase and nip other fish.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-21-2014, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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okay will do! I don't have live plants in there right now but I have definitely been wanting to put some in. Any plants that you would recommend? They'd have to be able to grow in sand.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-22-2014, 09:46 AM
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Most can grow in sand just fine. Any kind of stem plants like anacharis would be good. They grow fast, require little light and care, you can clip them and replant the clippings and they'll grow. The smaller anubias nana's would do lovely in there. For more advanced plantings Umbrellas and sword plants would do fine though require a bit more light, some need root tabs...I've had good luck with the umbrellas though, swords...they don't seem to like me no matter what I do, but you could always give them a shot. If you haven't had live plants before I'd stick with stem plants(pretty much any kind, most of the common found ones at petco or petsmart are pretty hardy and very easy, I'd give you names if I could ever remember them) and anubias nana. Cardinal Plants are a type of stem plant...they say they can be difficult and like a bit more light than most stem plants do, but they've been pretty happy in my tanks with the same care I give everything else...bit of light, trimming and watching. lol They do like more established tanks though, so that's probably why they do so well, they prefer a tank with good oxygen(I have so many plants it's a jungle) and higher light, which mine is more medium I think. I am terrible with names though, I can never remember what my plants are called.
Java moss is always a plus, something to do, hiding for fry.
Marima moss balls are recommended. They take up a lot of the stuff algae would feed on to bloom and spread about, so it lessens that in your tank, or so I found when I spotted an article on it after I had gotten a few for a tank of mine with a very stubborn algae bloom, cleared up in a week. They make lovely hiding for shrimp and feeding for smaller fish, your cories would especially love them just to play around with.

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