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ChrisR 10-05-2010 05:40 PM

Bullying dilemma
Hi all, I was wondering if anybody could offer me some advice.

About 5 days ago I bought 2 Platy's and 2 Guppies to add to my small aquarium. I was assured at the pet store that Platy's are peaceful fish and suitable for a community tank.

Over the last few days, I've noticed that one of the Guppies has withdrawn from the rest of my fish and spends most of his time hiding among the plants or or any other hiding place. He doesn't look at all sick, his colors are still vibrant and he doesn't appear to be in any kind of distress.

As I write this, it's late in the evening, and I was just about to go to bed, when I noticed one of the Platy's physically attacking the Guppy so aggressively, that I thought it was going to kill him! It ended with the Guppy trying to squeeze himself into a small crevice in the rocks to get away.

I had to take immediate action, so the only idea I could come up with, was to find a small plastic container about the size of a cup, and float it inside the tank. I've netted the Platy and put it inside the container to isolate it from the Guppy.

Now my problem is, it's too late to take the Platy back to the store. Tomorrow I have to work all day, so I have to keep the Platy in this small container for the next 16 hours or so. There's no aeration in the container, and I'm worried that the Platy will be ok in there for so long? I've even thought about taking a 'sicky' from work tomorrow so as not to prolong any possible suffering for the Platy.

Can anyone offer any advice or assurance that he'll be ok until tomorrow in there? I don't like doing this, but if I release the Platy, it's going to kill the Guppy :(

tanker 10-05-2010 11:29 PM

How about ringing work first thing and asking if you can come in late and work through lunch? If they agree, you could return the platy and then go on to work.

Alternatively, do you have anything you could use that the guppy can fit into, but the platy can't, that the guppy could use as a refuge in the tank? I'd be worried that the platy would be exposed to high ammonia if he is kept in such a small container for that long. Have you got a bucket or something bigger to put him in?

iamgray 10-05-2010 11:48 PM

what if you cut holes in the plastic container so the water can flow through but the platy can't get out? You'd have to be careful about sharp edges though if it's rigid plastic... what about a small colander? Or... I don't suppose you'd have a breeders net and can separate them that way? (just a shot in the dark since you've purchased livebearers...)

ChrisR 10-06-2010 03:49 AM

Thanks for the advice! I had to release the Platy back into the tank before I went to bed last night as he was gasping at the surface in his little pot. I thought that he might settle down a bit during the night. I went to work in the morning, but I made an excuse and came home early, and the pet store agreed to take the Platy's back. However, when I came home to remove the Platy's from the tank, it was too late and the Guppy that they were terrorizing was already dead :-(

I'm now left with 2 Guppies, 4 Neon's and a Panda catfish, so from now on, I think I'll stick to small fish. The pet store said they'll give me a discount on the next fish I buy.

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