Do Platys attack other fish

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Do Platys attack other fish

Postby NetPratap » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:15 am

I have an aquarium with Goldfish, Zebra, Two dwarf Gourami and a platy.

About a week back the Platy started pecking the Gouramis almost constantly. This behavior stopped after a day or two but the Gouramis stopped eating after that. Is this normal behavior for either the Platy (female) or the Dwarf Gouramis. Should I separate the gouramis at this stage.

All the fish other than the platy were happily living together for the last 3 months. The platy was a late entrant to this aquarium.
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Re: Do Platys attack other fish

Postby KarthikC » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:28 am

Platys do that if space is less and they see competition for food. Better to separate them. Which gourami do you have? If it's the 3 spot or honey gourami, no problems. If you have juveniles or dwarf gourami, better to separate them. How many of each do you have in the tank?
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Re: Do Platys attack other fish

Postby Dipankar » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:25 am

Goldfish cannot be kept with other types of fish btw what is your tank size and filtration please specify with FTS so that members can help you better
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Re: Do Platys attack other fish

Postby NetPratap » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:04 am

The Gouramis were dwarf Gouramis. I have heard about Goldfish being incompatible with tropical fish more times than I can remember. But from experience I never had a problem with Dwarf Gouramis, Orandas and Zebras (two of each) peaceful;ly cohabiting. The problem is only with the Platy. That is what I am asking the feedback on.

let me put the whole sequence of events in more detail:

I have a 25 gallon tank with 2 Oranda, two dwarf Gouramis and Two Zebra. Filtration is standard sponze filter with powerhead. All of them were fine and living peacefully for several months till I introduced a female platy. I bought this female platy pregnant and put her right in the breeding tank. After she had delivered the fries I left her in the breeding tank for 2 days (during which she did not eat the fries) and then transferred her to the 20 gallon tank. The fries are all fine in a tank along with molly fries.

At the beginning everything was fine. The platy was shy and not eating in the first week but gradually got bolder. Then on a Saturday three weeks after being introduced in the main tank the first strange thing happened. I was out of town but my wife noticed that the platy is attacking the dwarf gouramis and pecking on them. This continued for a day and then stopped. But the gouramis stopped eating. My wife suspected a deterioration in the water quality and did a partial water change. Not much change was visible in the behaviour of the fish and the Gouramis kept fasting but were active. I came back on Thursday evening, and on that day the second strange thing happened. One of the Zebra danios, which was active and healthy in the morning became very still at the bottom of the tank. By the night he was dead. The other Zebra was active and healthy. Suspecting water quality I again did a 40% water change. Other than Gourmis refusing to eat everything else seemed normal.

On the next Saturday morning (that is yesterday), during the feed one gourami came up and had little morsel of tubifex worm. I thought I had avoided a major crisis with only one casualty: The Zebra danio. But when I woke up after my afternoon siesta I was astounded! The platy was repeatedly attacking the Gouramis, had mutilated the fins of one of them to the extent it could hardly keep its balance or swim in the water. (It died by the end of the day, the other Gourami is still struggling to recover.) Then it was dashing at the Zebra and trying to nip its fins too. I immediately netted the platy and first put it in a smaller tank which houses mollies. After about half an hour of acclimatisation to the new surrounding, it started attaching the black mollies which are double its size with equal gusto. I had to net it again and kept it temporarily in a two litres plastic jar. I am wondering whether to put this aggressive platy with my betta which is in a 5 litres jar.

I wonder if anyone else has observed such aggressive behaviour from a female platy. Could the aggressive behaviour be triggered from loneliness/insecurity of being alone?
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Re: Do Platys attack other fish

Postby KarthikC » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:11 am

I remember platy was one of my beginner fish. I probably didn't notice this behaviour of theirs since I had them in my pond. However mollies platies and swordtails are known to be a little aggressive, more so when others of their kind aren't in the same tank.

Coming to dwarf gouramis, they will not fight back against any attack. :( sad to see you've lost them. They will not even run away from the net if u t trying to capture them. They're really harmless and peaceful fish. I think your goldfish needs a bigger tank. Check with Dipankar da. He has an awesome goldfish tank. You'll love it. See his post.

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Re: Do Platys attack other fish

Postby NetPratap » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:57 pm

Do you think that the platy could cohabit with betta? Does anyone have any experience of this kind?
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Re: Do Platys attack other fish

Postby synodontis euptera » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:10 pm

NetPratap wrote:I have an aquarium with Goldfish, Zebra, Two dwarf Gourami and a platy.

About a week back the Platy started pecking the Gouramis almost constantly. This behavior stopped after a day or two but the Gouramis stopped eating after that. Is this normal behavior for either the Platy (female) or the Dwarf Gouramis. Should I separate the gouramis at this stage.

All the fish other than the platy were happily living together for the last 3 months. The platy was a late entrant to this aquarium.


If platies are attacking your fish, then they attack fish.
If this was always the case, then they wouldn't be one of the best beginner's fish.

But as a bloodline trait, livebearers like Platies,Mollies and Swordies are a tad bit nippy towards shier/timid tankmates. I guess this was just a compatibility issue. Separate the Gourami(es) if you haven't already done so.

Nope. You can have a betta OR platies. They don't usually coexist... & bettas beat the crap out of smaller gouramies and harass goldfishes.
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Re: Do Platys attack other fish

Postby fishyman » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:22 pm

Platies and mollies like to nip long finned peaceful fish. I am surprised to see that it has not attacked the oranda yet(even other gouramis except dwarf gourami attack goldfish).
Bettas are very peacefully but surely if not soon your platy will attack Betta too. Fish are never insecure ,its just the aquarium keepers' responsibility to provide adequate hiding places with plants and decoration (and others). The platy should have eaten its fry too on the first day but you seem to be on the luckier side.
Alternate solution:
If gouramis are peaceful with goldfish ,then keep together. The platy is simply aggressive because of you might call rebelious mood. Just remove the platy , the fish(in this case) gourami was not eating because it was recovering for the first few days and the platy felt that it was submissive and not healthy, once the gourami's mental and physical aptitude came to mark then platy started attacking it.
So in your case this platy is a particular badass with multiple personality disorder and one reason might be the absense of more platies because it is single and ready to mingle.
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Re: Do Platys attack other fish

Postby idonteatfish » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:12 am

Everybody has his or her own method of keeping fish. But seriously, sometimes you have to obey some rules, fish compatibility is all wrong here. At some point of time...trouble will follow .... for example...gouramis & zebras are both top dwellers having conflicting personalities...unless you have big tank with ample space and decos, it will pose some probs in the long run....
Oh one more thing ... give the platy a company of a single robust and romantic male :P ... she will forget nipping ... better if you just give her up cuz shes a nut -.- ...
Its really striking how fish have personalities .... my male betta used to tolerate everyone but the female betta i have now, tore to shreds one of my cobra guppies ... just 1 in particular who was arguing with her for quite some time.
You will have some nipping and fighting at some point with ur current stock in 25 gallon.
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Re: Do Platys attack other fish

Postby NetPratap » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:04 pm

Thanks for all the replies, many of them have been helpful. Currently I have isolated the platy and one of the dwarf Gouramis is gradually recovering.

I wondered on the possibility that the lack of a male mate is driving the female platy crazy. In fact I bought a male/female pair but the male (possibly injured) died before reaching home. Now with many platy fries growing healthily, I am hesitant to increase my stock by buying another male platy. How long do platy fries take to reach adulthood?

The betta is perfectly happy in his splendid isolation: I don't think I would bother him with a feisty platy!
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