Why Is My Platy Fish Nipping Its Tank Mates? (5 Most Common Reasons)

Like other animals, fish have aggression in them. They will try to outdo the others in the tank. 

Platy fish are no different because they may show signs of aggression towards their fellow tank fish. Your platy may suddenly nip his fish mates and swim after the other fishes for no apparent reason.

They may be stressed, and this is their way of balancing what they feel. 

Platies are considered non-violent and can live peacefully with their fish mates, including guppies, mollies, and swordtails. There are reasons there is a sudden change in their environment and some other factors, including the following. 

The Improper Ratio of Female To Male

The common reason your platies fight with each other is the wrong male to female ratio. This happens when male platy tries to outdo the others with the show of strength. They will fight and see who is the more dominant, and until the most dominant emerges, this fighting within the group will not stop. 

The best way to solve this issue is to ensure there is a correct ratio where the female can outnumber the male instead of the other way around. Females are more passive as compared to male platies, and you will surely stop the bullying. 

Pregnancy Amongst Your Platy Fish

This is the time when a female shows aggressiveness when she is trying to protect herself and her baby against the other fishes. 

They will act unnaturally and will show signs of bullying. The hormones are also the culprit when this happens, and as the birthing nears, the more aggressive the female platy becomes. They would prefer to be left alone, not wanting to have anyone swimming near their area, or they will meet anyone approaching their spot with aggression. 

Who is the Alpha Platy Fish In The Tank?

Since the female platy is more attracted to whoever is the strongest in the group, male platys will vie for her attention. When the breeding time comes, the male platies will fight each other to know who is the alpha and who will mate with the female platy. 

The more dominant platy will start showing aggression towards other fish who are weak. Once the male alpha is known, he will start showing his dominance to other fishes, and they will stop them and their freedom to move around the tank.

When a weak fish cannot face this bullying he will get weak, stressed, and may even get sick or die. 

Overcrowded Tank Can Lead To Aggressive Fish

Just like in any other type of fish, putting them in an overcrowded tank is not a good idea. 

You will start seeing fish that goes to the surface or fish that stays in the corner. You will also see some fish getting lethargic or not feeding. The oxygen may not be enough for all the fish in the tank, so you should keep the numbers ideal. 

Another common happening you will notice is your platy being aggressive with other fish and will nip at their fins because they are being territorial. Since there is not enough space for every fish in the tank, your platy will try to make some areas his and will let no one near it or to roam around it. 

One other thing that will arise with an overcrowded tank is the food fight. Platies will fight for food if there is not enough to feed everyone. They will try to get as much food, and if they cannot do that, they will bully the others, so it will be just him, or a few who can have their fill. 

Stressful Environment For You Fish

One platy may show aggression because of a small tank, and he feels stressed with the huge number living in the tank. You may need to check out some probable reasons and rule out each one. 

You may also remove the stressed platy cause stress may also cause them to weaken eventually, their aggression will not do them any good. 

How Do You Deal With Aggressive Platy Fish?

Add More Fish To Balance The Ratio

If you have an incorrect ratio of platies, you may need to solve it by adding more fish where there are more female platies. Ensure that you are adding more females than males cause the aggression will not stop unless you correct the ratio. 

Placing one male with three females is the ideal ratio. This way, females will also not get stressed over males that are fighting each other. 

Remove The Aggressive Platy

Give the platy a space for him alone. You can put him in a separate tank for a few minutes, so the aggressive platy has the time to tone down his aggressive behavior or bullying behavior. 

If the time-out will not work and the bully continues to nip at other’s fins, he may need to be removed permanently from the tank and be placed in another aquarium by himself.

This is the quickest fix if you have an extra tank, however, other fish owners may not have the luxury of having an extra aquarium. 

Rehousing Of The Weaker platies

You may need to remove the weaker fish from the tank so the aggressive fish will not bully them. However, there is a tendency for the aggressive fish to turn his attention to other fishes that are still with him. 

If this solution will not solve the problem, the time-out for the bully fish may be more appropriate. 

Adding More To The Group

Sometimes this may also work when there is an occurrence of aggression in the tank. When you add more fish and there is a high density of fish in the tank, there will be more fish to occupy the space and there will be no fish to claim a territory. 

However, you should ensure that there is enough oxygen to go around. The water is well filtrated, and the fish will all get fed. 

Return The Bully To Where You Purchased Your Fish

This is another solution if the other quick fix did not help at all cause you don’t have any choice except to return them. Otherwise, most of the fish that are getting bullied may get stressed, weaken, and eventually, may die.

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