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It really isn't a good idea to keep platies in a five gallon tank. They need groups with a minimum of three, but do prefer larger groups like most livebearers. They're one of the few who can do well in the smaller groups.

Problem is, they get three+ inches long. Keeping betta yourself, you should know how bad of an idea it'd be to keep three fish that size, or even one, in a tank that small. It wouldn't be good.


The smallest a trio should be kept in is ten gallons. Is it possible you could talk her into a ten gallon? Keeping platies in a smaller tank...I don't think he'd appreciate watching his fish be aggressive or sick all the time, it just cannot support them bioload, health or size-wise.


If not, much as they LOVE Mickey...it may be better to get him a five gal with a betta. I'm sure he'd be just as happy, betta are pretty neat, and he could name it Mickey. You could probably even take him to pick out his own betta as an extra treat.
 

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Hallyx, if you do some reading you would see they can get, and commonly do, to 2.8 inches, which is close enough to three.

No, actually females are larger than males for one, at least I've never had any males get larger than the females. And yes, late bloomers is one way to put it. Platies grow very, very slowly. I've had one female for just over a year, raised another for a year who is now about the size she was when I got her and still growing. The two females I have are two and a half inches, one is a tad bigger. I know some types stay about two inches, but they're still very thick-bodied fish. You would NOT want them in a five gallon tank, you want nothing but a betta or some shrimp or snails in such a tank. Even a ten gal is pushing it with platies, a 5 gal for three would be preferable but it IS do-able in a ten gal with a well maintained tank. Putting three even two inch fish in there would almost triple what a single betta uses, and male bettas aren't as active as females, let alone as active as platies.

You could try it, but I really don't think it'll work out. I've kept platies for years and I've had them in ten gallons before, they can get grumpy with that space even at store purchase size. They sometimes fight and bicker of space, food, or just to bicker when they don't have much room. You also are at higher risk for illnesses because they can get stressed out, weakening their immune systems, and this is in a ten gallon. Once I moved my three to a twenty gal it was much better, they just can't handle small tanks very well.
 
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