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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2 sunburst platies in a 10 gallon tank. They are in there with 5 neon tetra. The tank has only been set up for a about 3 months, so I've added the fish slowly. I cycled the tank with the platies.

One of them seems to be aggressive toward the other. He will chase him around a bit, then back off. I can't tell if they are playing, or if it is actually aggression. I have a second tank that I could move one to and split them up, but if they are just being playful I'd rather keep them together.

They are both males, so it is not a mating thing. Water parameters are all normal, the pH is around 7.6 and the water is on the hard side- within recommended ranges, but hard.

I've never had platies before. Are they generally playful, or solitary? Since the tank is new there are several live plants, but they're all on the small side. I do have a couple hiding places in the tank, but they don't tend to spend much time in them, even after being chased.

I'm concerned because it's always the same one doing the chasing (his tail is much more brightly colored red than the one that gets chased).

Thoughts? Thanks!
 

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I have 2 sunburst platies in a 10 gallon tank. They are in there with 5 neon tetra. The tank has only been set up for a about 3 months, so I've added the fish slowly. I cycled the tank with the platies.

One of them seems to be aggressive toward the other. He will chase him around a bit, then back off. I can't tell if they are playing, or if it is actually aggression. I have a second tank that I could move one to and split them up, but if they are just being playful I'd rather keep them together.

They are both males, so it is not a mating thing. Water parameters are all normal, the pH is around 7.6 and the water is on the hard side- within recommended ranges, but hard.

I've never had platies before. Are they generally playful, or solitary? Since the tank is new there are several live plants, but they're all on the small side. I do have a couple hiding places in the tank, but they don't tend to spend much time in them, even after being chased.

I'm concerned because it's always the same one doing the chasing (his tail is much more brightly colored red than the one that gets chased).

Thoughts? Thanks!

My thoughts on this is that even though you do not have any females in there, the one male is seeing the other as competion and is placing himself as the dominate fish in the pecking order. With my 2 males in my 50 gallon I see the same from my larger male sometimes. Especially if he sees the smaller one hanging around one of the females. I would suggest having plants live or fake that will help to break the line of sight. This will not stop the behavior completely, but it may help to lessen is some. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Barb, so you think it is aggressive behavior? How stressful is that on the one being chased? Like I said I have the option of splitting them up if that makes it easier on both/either of them. I do plan on planting my tank more heavily, as I have several live plants right now but they are all still small. But if it's hard on one of them, is it better to just have 1 platy in each tank? Or do they like the company of having another?
 

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Thanks Barb, so you think it is aggressive behavior? How stressful is that on the one being chased? Like I said I have the option of splitting them up if that makes it easier on both/either of them. I do plan on planting my tank more heavily, as I have several live plants right now but they are all still small. But if it's hard on one of them, is it better to just have 1 platy in each tank? Or do they like the company of having another?

It is more of a dominace issue that is going on here. Does the other fish seem to be stressed? How is his coloring? If he seems to be experiencing stress than I would consider splitting them up. I have seen suggestions to add enough females for both males to help, but with the size of your tank right now that would not be an option. Platys basically have two things on their mind, eating and reproducing, even without other females in the tank this will not change.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He seems to be a little paler than I remember him being when I first got him. Most of the time he looks yellow, without the orange in his tale. That's what alerted me to the idea that it might be aggression and not playfulness. I will try splitting them up and seeing if his color and mood improve. I have a tendency to assume that all fish will be lonely if there is only 1 of a species in a tank, until I am proved wrong. I know with livebearers this usually isn't the case, but I'm used to my cories and tetras that are schoolers and when I get fish I don't like to just get 1 of a species. Again, this is a very "human" way of thinking about it that I know isn't always correct but I can't shake it.
 

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He seems to be a little paler than I remember him being when I first got him. Most of the time he looks yellow, without the orange in his tale. That's what alerted me to the idea that it might be aggression and not playfulness. I will try splitting them up and seeing if his color and mood improve. I have a tendency to assume that all fish will be lonely if there is only 1 of a species in a tank, until I am proved wrong. I know with livebearers this usually isn't the case, but I'm used to my cories and tetras that are schoolers and when I get fish I don't like to just get 1 of a species. Again, this is a very "human" way of thinking about it that I know isn't always correct but I can't shake it.

Sounds like a good plan on moving him with him being paler. Don't know if you would want to or not but you could always add some females to both of the males, depending on the size tank that you are moving the other fish to. The will have fry, but if you leave them where they are at and let them drop the fry in with the rest of the fish, most of the fry would be eaten if you don't want to raise them specifically. A few may survive, but over all most of them would become high protein snacks for the others. With platys they are a peaceful fish, other than dominance issues you can get between males and they do enjoy swimming with each other which I have noticed even with my females. But I notice that it is different than the interaction that I see between my tetras or my danios.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! I kind of like the idea of adding females and letting them spawn. I don't have any intentions of "breeding" on purpose, but if one or two survived I could live with that.

Both my tanks are 10 gallon. The one I would move it to is pretty fully stocked at the moment, but I can move some of the fish around between the 2 tanks to be able to split up the platies. I'll try splitting them up first, and see how that goes.

I've been toying with the idea of upgrading one of my tanks to a 20gal long (can't go much bigger than that for several reasons, space being the biggest reason as well as the fact that I'm in an apartment and can't handle the idea of having to try to relocate a 500+ pound fish tank if I decide to move in 8 months). I know there's not nearly as many options with 10 gallon tanks and my enthusiasm is always burst when I discover that I don't have room for the fish I want. Perhaps some little platy fry would be the motivation I'd need to finally upgrade.
 

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Thanks! I kind of like the idea of adding females and letting them spawn. I don't have any intentions of "breeding" on purpose, but if one or two survived I could live with that.

Both my tanks are 10 gallon. The one I would move it to is pretty fully stocked at the moment, but I can move some of the fish around between the 2 tanks to be able to split up the platies. I'll try splitting them up first, and see how that goes.

I've been toying with the idea of upgrading one of my tanks to a 20gal long (can't go much bigger than that for several reasons, space being the biggest reason as well as the fact that I'm in an apartment and can't handle the idea of having to try to relocate a 500+ pound fish tank if I decide to move in 8 months). I know there's not nearly as many options with 10 gallon tanks and my enthusiasm is always burst when I discover that I don't have room for the fish I want. Perhaps some little platy fry would be the motivation I'd need to finally upgrade.
With the tetras I would not split them up with them needing to be kept in groups,of at least six being the prefered number. With a 20 gallon long your options would open up considerably. I understand the issue on space, I have a 50 gal 4' in my two bedroom apartment which I placed in the bedroom. It is a bit of a cramped fit, and eventually when I move it will be interesting especially with all the tanks that I have going now. Good luck and would like to know how the male does with being in his own tank :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks! I actually have 5 neons in each of my tanks right now, so I'll probably put all 10 of them in one tank to make room to move one of the platies. I have 4 cories in the other tank as well, I don't want to split them up either. I also have a female betta in the other tank, but the current is too strong in one tank to move her. So moving all 5 neons into the other tank is probably my best bet.

I'll let you know how it goes in a few days!
 

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I would be careful with the Beta and the tetras, as tetras are not necessarily known for nipping, but I had 5 baby tetras in with by Beta while I was cycling it and they were just to active for the Beta, she was very uncomfortable around them, once I separated them out and put in a few other types of fish she was fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Michelle! I've heard that neons can be a bad mix with bettas - I took a couple precautions to try to eliminate any aggression, and so far they mostly leave each other alone. But I did know it was a risk. I got lucky, my betta is pretty mellow. She just likes to swim back and forth the length of my tank in peace (avoiding the air stones, of course). I also made sure she had a couple surface hiding spots (floating foam flowers that give her space to hide between the petals when I turn it upside down), and she was the last fish to go into the tank so she had no time to feel territorial in the tank alone.

Hopefully she'll do well when I switch the neons with a platy that's more her size.
 

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Another suggestion, is Head and Tail Lights, ours did well together, I love Beta's we actually own 3, and trying to mix them is not always easy. Good Luck, hope she does well for you!
 

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So I took some combined advice and moved 1 male sunburst platy into my other tank. I added 2 female red wag platies. That tank also has 3 cories and 1 female betta. I realized afterward that it might be a bit overstocked, but I really don't want to try to move any of them. The betta can't go in my other tank because the current is too strong in it. It seems to be going OK, no aggression so far.

Actually, one of my red wags spawned yesterday. I expect that she was knocked up when I got her because I've only had her about 3 days. My betta was swimming behind her eating the fry as they popped out - what a brat. I think 1 or 2 of them may have survived though, I saw them swimming into one of the fake flowers I have at the bottom of the tank.

It made me wonder... am I terrible for letting the fish breed and letting the fry get immediately eaten? I think of the nature shows where they show the just-hatched sea turtles being snatched off the beach and the 2 out of 50 that might make it to the water, and it always makes me cry. Am I doing the live-bearing fish equivalent of sea-turtle snatching?
 

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I would not feel bad about letting the fry be eaten. The fry that are born in my community tank become snacks for the corys and the angels, along with anyone else that may find them. It is part of nature. I do have a 10 gallon tank right now that is dedicated to just raising fry that has two batches in it right now. Think of it this way a female platy is going to drop fry usually about once a month, depending on the age of the female you could have anywhere from about 10 up to 60 fry born from one female. That adds up to be alot of babies from one female. Very quickly you will run out of room, even if you have an outlet for them as they get larger, either people to give them to, or a local store that will take them. In the community setting with enough hiding places you will more than likely have a few survivors each month, and you may end up eventually finding out you have more than you have room for.
 

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I think the fishowner is entitled to their own opinion as to the destiny of their baby fish. If Im ever in that predicament, I hope I can find homes for them. It might help if the platies are purebred rather than a mixed color. Just an opinion.
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I have a local pet/fish store that will likely take them. I'm not breeding on purpose, so I expect that most of them will get eaten. I have a 2nd tank and am considering upgrading one of them anyway, so I can keep a couple before I have to start giving them away. 1 of the fry definitely survived, I spotted a very very tiny little red wag swimming around a few days ago. It's adorable!
 
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