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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there beautiful planted tank people!

I have a dumb question about platies.

I have a male betta in a 10g planted tank (pictured) and wanted to test his aggressiveness before investing in a school of Chilli Rasbora.

My LFS closed at 7 p.m. so went to Petco (bleck). They didn't have guppies so I bought a pair of Platies. This was over a week ago, and at the time I didn't know I should have bought three - at least two females for the male. At the time, I was expecting I'd be returning these fish the next day bcs of the betta.

Lo and behold, the betta flared at them and chased them a bit, but these little fish showed no fear of him, so he lost interest. He totally tolerates them, and the platies were doing fine, very gregarious untill the male started persuing the female relentlessly. He is SO OBNOXIOUS. The past two days she's been hiding from him. If she comes out of hiding at feeding time, he'll chase her. SHE even took to staying very near the betta as if he'd protect her, but the male platy is relentless and has no fear of the betta who is 5x his size and fast (not a long finned type).

I read on some site that you've got to have a ratio of two females per male. So last night I sent DH to Petco for another female. When he got home (a half hour walk) the fish was dead in the bag! :/ So I removed the male platty to a temporary set up to give the female a break. She seems so stressed and she hasn't come out of hiding - maybe she doesn't realize it's safe now.

My question is, when I get another female platy, will that be enough to distract the male from focusing on the one female?

My other question - is this aggressiveness typical behavior? I was worried about the Betta behaving aggressively, but instead this little bitty fish took over the tank.

Thanks all for any insight.

p.s. I know I don't have two males bcs the gender difference is apparent.


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I think mileage varies with platies - I used to have 3 females and 1 male who was very lovely; my current set (also 3 females and 1 male) he was taken back to the store because he picked just one of the females to hate and chased her anytime she dared come out of hiding, while spending the rest of his time "flirting" with the other ladies.

Not sure if you are planning on keeping them long term, but platies do get fairly big - 3-4 platies alone in a 10g is fully stocked IMO. With a male they'll also reproduce prolifically, although your betta might take care of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply - so interesting. They're supposed to be "peaceful" haha.

Yes I've heard they're prolific, but I've also read the adults eat the fry, and I'm sure the betta would eliminate most of them.

I realize they get bigger, and I appreciate your #protip that the tank would be fully stocked with just three of them. I don't want an overstocked tank. I think a school of 10 chilli rasbora wouldn't be too much.

I've grown fond of these Platys in such a short time, but I should probably re-home them, since my "experiment" proved the betta won't attack other fish. I esp like the female for being a trooper, but I realize keeping just one would stress her, correct?

I'm guessing the male has to go in any event, bcs even with two females he'll probably still go after the original female? With the male removed to a different tank, she's come out of hiding and it's cute bcs she "likes" hanging around the betta, and he has no objections to her company.

Strange bedfellows....


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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited by Moderator)
Ok great. She was quite fiesty and feasting on floating vegetation before the male decided to go nuts. It took him a few days. Before he went bonkers, they were happily exploring, swimming through all the plants and everything was peachy.

If you don't mind, just for clarification - chasing her like that wasn't some sort of breeding behavior? I didn't think so, bcs she wasn't chasing back and eventually hid from him. And to see this little fish shadowing the betta for protection was amazing to me. So this male was just being a complete jerk?

What's interesting is the only place I had for him is with a female betta I'm rehoming. She's not aggressive at all, yet the male Platy went into hiding. Strange.


Thank you for your help

I foresee a Platy tank in the future - a happy accidental discovery.

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Ok great. Thanks!

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They are very personable fish, I certainly understand getting attached to them so quickly! As a general rule I think they are very peaceful, but as with everything I suppose there's the occasional bad apple. And certainly when I kept them I never noticed the adults predating the fry - even in a 10 gallon with very minimal cover! Very endearing compared to my previous livebearer experiences...

From what I've seen, the breeding behavior vs the aggressive chasing is very different - the male I returned to the store would follow around his chosen sweetheart relentlessly, but not aggressively, just staying close to her and certainly attempting to mate. Whereas the female who apparently didn't meet his fancy would be chased off and nipped at. (The third female he actually ignored completely - not sure he even realised she was a platy? She's a different colour totally to the others, although that never seemed to bother them when I've kept mixed colour groups before.)

I think your one female with the betta should be okay, I don't think she'd be stressed not to have company. But if you think you'd like a platy tank sometime in the future anyway, you could always keep an eye and if you decide she'd appreciate a friend of her own kind, set that up then!
 

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Some males will chase/try to mate with a female to the point she dies . I have a couple that are just plain a holes , but I have 2 tanks with them so if one acts up in one tank he goes in the other . Seems to be the best way to keep the peace . I have noticed that since I put Tetras and Angels in the 75 the males have clamed down....lol
 

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I have a male betta in a 10g planted tank (pictured) and wanted to test his aggressiveness before investing in a school of Chilli Rasbora.

My LFS closed at 7 p.m. so went to Petco (bleck). They didn't have guppies so I bought a pair of Platies. At the time, I was expecting I'd be returning these fish the next day bcs of the betta.
As much as I hammer on here not to buy fish from these places, I feel the need to defend them from time to time. You are really buying living fish from a box store with every intention to return it the next day? After being tortured by a fish you fully expect to terrorize them? I have damn near PTSD from being a fish store owner and this behavior is exactly why I closed mine and got out of live aquatics. I understand what I just typed is super harsh but PLEASE hear what I'm saying. These are live animals. I know they are "just fish" and have a low retail price point but I can't stress that enough. I can at least wrap my head around the ignorant people who would never take the time to ask on the internet and don't see the fish they buy as anything with life value -they want what's pretty even it's a horrible match for their tank*. But please, don't buy fish to see if yours will attack them. They have a chance to go to a great tank where someone will care for them properly. I know it's a long shot but somebody just might buy and love that fish if it survives all the hurdles remaining. And it's already been though a few. Maybe I'm getting soft but I even resent people buying fish to cycle a tank with every intention to return, and that's way less crappy for the fish in question than what's been presented. I hatch shrimp I care for lovingly and others that are fry food, so I get that it's all a scale. But good grief I think it's fair implore anyone to only purchase any animal that you actually want to own.

*I bred my own Julies, Pseudotropheus demasoni and Neolamprologus brichardii and literally lied more than once to customers wanting to throw them in with their community tank about their specifications to discourage sales. It's a sliding scale of honesty for most people, once $ enters, sadly. At the time I had to inform people that a blue damsel won't live for 5 minutes in their fw setup so it wasn't that hard. But I guess where I come down is that the fish have no say in these matters.
 

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Blue Ridge Reef it didn't dawn on me when I first read this thread , but you are right .
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited by Moderator)
Hi and sorry for the belated reply been really busy @ work and just saw your post.

Just wanted to clarify something. In no way did I intend on "torturing" a fish. I have another tank on standby and was at the ready to remove the Plattys immediately if things didn't go well. I stood there carefully watching as these fish immediately "bonded". I didn't expect the betta to be aggressive bcs he's chill he doesn't even flare at a mirror. The shrimp eat HIS food (he likes to graze on the bottom) literally right next to his face, and he's never gone after them.

Everybody got along swimmingly and I wound up with a bunch of tiny fry. The betta didn't bother the fry at all. They ate together, swam together..

I couldn't keep all these fish so when they grew big enough I put an add on that app called Neighborhood to re-home them. I had to wade through a barrage of responses from so many clueless people well there's no way I could have an aquatics shop and deal with that all day.

After much aggravation and many hours of my time, I got a response from a local kid who turned out to be a fish geek with multiple tanks ranging from a big salt water set up to a 29g guppy tank (the fry were going in the guppy tank).

Perfect! He came by with his sister and turns out he's also got birds and reptiles. Really nice guy and now I have a new fish pal in the neighborhood.

I even walked to the LFS to get some bags (about 40 minutes each way).

Feel better now?




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Fry getting ready to ambush betta feeding ring.

He's thinking "I should have polished them off while I could".


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Plattys are awesome! They have such different personalities so you may just have an annoying male. In my 45gal I started with a few neons and 2 female platty and 1 male. Over time we have added and removed platty as the kids learn a bit about genetics with breeding for traits that they want. We were getting amazing high-fives with bright redish orange body with, blue along the top and fins with a Mickey mouse tails. The females were always fine but every single male was aggressive - as was their father who was a blue sailfin/high-fin. We had to stop him from breeding and give him to our LFS (where most of our babies go) because he was aggressive.
 
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