Isolated bully Platy not eating and staying very still

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jeidafei

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I started keeping tropical livebearers in a tank around two months ago. I now have (some died) 4 guppies (1 female, 3 males), two balloon mollies (pair), two mickey platies (pair) and a yellow moon platy. Let's call him Yellow.

Yellow is a big and pretty fellow, but I'm having trouble with him. At first I had another female of his kind, but she died in the first week when I accidentally dropped the filter machine on her (sorry T T!!!!). As of recently, I noticed that Yellow has started bullying the male mickey platy, who is much, much smaller than him. He's not actually pursuing the female; he just floats near to her and chases away the mickey violently when he tries to come near the female. And the usually darts-all-over-the-place-after-the-girl mickey became so scared he'd hide or avoid approaching them. I tried rearranging the decorations and temporarily isolating Yellow as some webs suggest and no better. I have no choice. I isolated Yellow permanently.

First I put him in a glass jar, and he went stir-crazy, swimming about violently and crashing at his own reflection. At first I thought it was because the jar is too thin and small, so I put him in a clear plastic box. Same thing happened. I thought he's lonely, so I brought the female mickey out to be his friend. The two of them stay very still, but after a while the female starts eating while Yellow butts head with the bowl.

I thought he's actually so violent he'd attack his own reflection. So yesterday I moved female back to the main tank and put Yellow in a large, opaque green bowl on my table. It works. He stopped butting head with the bowl, but now stays very still, hiding under plants and would not eat. He even jumped out once while I'm playing League of Legends (I think he's spooked out by the booms and bangs?).

I'm afraid he'll be stressed to death, but I can't move him back and have him harass the other fish either. I'm also beginning to suspect his bullying of causing the death of two other female guppies earlier, too. What should I do? Will he get better after he is used to his new bowl? Thank you!
 
I had the exact same problem by having 2 males and one female. I eventually returned the female along with all of her fry to my Lfs. I kept one male fry. They are better now but my bully spends most of his time alone under a plant. He does come out to eat and take an occasional stroll. Peace is back in the tank with no females and no more fry. Yay!
 
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Livebearers are territorial and 2 males will argue, especially if there are females in the tank. Basically the bigger male will bully the smaller male.

Having lots of plants in the tank will give the smaller fish somewhere to hide.

Make sure the water quality is good.

Try to keep livebearers in single sex tanks (all males or all females), and have a group of 6 or more so any aggression is spread out over all the fish in the tank.
 
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Livebearers are territorial and 2 males will argue, especially if there are females in the tank. Basically the bigger male will bully the smaller male.

Having lots of plants in the tank will give the smaller fish somewhere to hide.

Make sure the water quality is good.

Try to keep livebearers in single sex tanks (all males or all females), and have a group of 6 or more so any aggression is spread out over all the fish in the tank.


Thank you so much! I couldn't afford another tank since I live in a small dorm room and this one took up all my plug sockets already XD. And since I already bought the fish I have no choice but to keep them all T T. Maybe the solution is buying a female yellow moon platy to replace the dead one so the bully will have his own female to chase? But the store I bought the fish from keeps both sexes together except for guppies so I guess it's going to be hard to pick sex...
 
I had the exact same problem by having 2 males and one female. I eventually returned the female along with all of her fry to my Lfs. I kept one male fry. They are better now but my bully spends most of his time alone under a plant. He does come out to eat and take an occasional stroll. Peace is back in the tank with no females and no more fry. Yay!
Thank you! I don't think I can return the fish since I lost the receipt. Had no proof to show the shop. Maybe I'll buy a new yellow moon female to balance it out, like it used to be at first because there were no problems then.
 
Livebearers are easy to sex. Males have a long straight anal (bottom) fin. Females have a fan or triangular shaped anal fin.
 

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