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Only One Male Platy But ...

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Offline Treacle eater

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Only one male platy but ...
« on: September 12, 2015, 10:45:50 PM »
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Thanks to the help here, I still have fish in my little tank and it is now cycled. I originally had three females one male. They all get along fine and dandy. But I then added another female platy and the male has been very strange, well it seems odd to me. I thought he wouldn't object to another female but whenever she swims nearby, he'll dart at her, just a quick jab as it were as if to say 'clear off!' Does that seem normal to you? I'd added the female since you'd cautioned re the male/female ratio. Why do you think this is happening? He doesn't seem to display this behaviour to the others or only very infrequently.


Online Sue

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Re: Only one male platy but ...
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2015, 11:52:03 AM »
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There are a couple of possibilities.
He could just be objecting to a new fish of any sort, which will settle down in a few days as he gets used to the new female.
Or the new female could be a juvenile male that hasn't fully developed yet. We may not be able to tell the difference but the platies will. Keep an eye on the new fish for signs of it becoming male  :-\


And also keep an eye that the male isn't damaging the new fish. If it is female things should settle down quickly.



Edit - another thought - is the male trying to mate with her? He will have already impregnated the first females, now he wants to make sure he does with the new one.

Offline Treacle eater

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Re: Only one male platy but ...
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 09:18:45 PM »
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I've had the new fish a couple of weeks now so was hoping any newness might have worn off by now. I hadn't considered she could be a he..though I'm pretty sure that I read about the female having a triangle shaped lower fin nearest the tail (sorry if such fins have names..I'm still on a learning curve) - and it does look very much triangular..

But do you think that what I'm interpreting as minor aggression is merely the male saying Hi there, Gorgeous?

I'll keep a look out in case there's damage, though at the moment she doesn't appear particularly perturbed by his manner..it is perhaps more that I've not noticed him behaving this way with the other females and that got me concerned.

Online Sue

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Re: Only one male platy but ...
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2015, 09:21:53 AM »
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The triangular fin is female. But young males also have a triangular fin until puberty when it changes to a gonopodium. Platies in shops are usually mature, but there is always a possibility of a late developing male. (With swordtails, for example, it can take up to a year for a male to mature and is the basis for a lot of the stories about sex changing swordtails, but this would be unusual in platies).

I suppose your male could just be more interested in the new female. We cannot know how fish 'think'. When you say a quick jab, do you mean he is pushing at her with his head or with the side of his body? If it is the latter, I would say he's mating with her, having had endlers which mate the same way.

Offline Treacle eater

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Re: Only one male platy but ...
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2015, 09:45:26 AM »
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I love this..love learning something new.. So this change of fin shape at puberty, is that across all fish?
No, the jab is not a side on affair, it is more of a virtual head butt but without the physical contact, perhaps the water pressure is enough to do the rest. He only does it the once if she happens to stroll near enough ie he doesn't go seeking him out or anything. It's as if he just is jealously guarding his personal space. Just occasionally..and this is very infrequent indeed, I have observed him doing the same with one of the other females though that event  is quite rare.


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Re: Only one male platy but ...
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2015, 10:14:02 AM »
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I would put it down to just a quirk of this fish, since he is not harming the females.


It's just livebearers that do this with the anal fin as they grow. That's platies, guppies, endlers, swordtails and mollies, plus a lot of rarer species you are unlikely to see in shops.
Newly born livebearer fry all look female. Endler fry are all colourless, males slowly develop colour as they grow while females stay colourless throughout their lives. Well, grey beige which is almost colourless  ;D After a month or two, the anal fin of the male fry begins to change shape. The first ray elongates, then the rest shrinks until the fin has changed into a gonopodium. When I had endlers, I would separate out the male fry as soon as the first ray started to elongate.
I think platy fry are born with some colour since females are just as bright as males. But again, all the fry will look female at birth. As the males mature, the anal fin will change shape the same as for endlers.
Something for you to look for when you get fry  :)

Offline Treacle eater

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Re: Only one male platy but ...
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2015, 02:55:05 PM »
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Whoa, so so fascinating! I do actually have just the one fry (is is still 'fry' if singular?) left from a small batch produced. This one, as you have said, has colour. He started out transparent, but quite quickly got colour..orangeish with a black tail. He seems quite long now and perhaps a bit too long to be so easily munched upon, though I'm not holding my breath on that one. Now I know what to look for, and that it would only take a couple of months till he would show his gender, I'll find it interesting to see the process of (possible) change for myself.

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