Is there a peaceful community fish that will eat platy fry?

(31 Posts)
lurcherlover Sun 11-Nov-12 22:15:33

I have a 120l community tank which is being overrun with platy fry...I think they're surviving as it's heavily planted, but I'd rather not get rid of the plants unless it's the only option. If I don't sort it out I'm going to be seriously overcrowded soon though! Is there a fish that will ruthlessly hunt fry but live peaceably? I also have a small shoal of 5 neons, a gourami (thought he would munch them but he's useless) and a male betta (I know they're not ideal in a community tank but he was a rescue - long story - and he's happy enough). I particularly don't want anything to upset the betta. I was thinking of an angelfish - I know they can go after tetras, but as I understand it if I get a juvenile it won't see the tetras as prey? Any other ideas?

80sMum Sun 11-Nov-12 22:22:55

When I used to keep fish, I'm afraid I used to cull the platy fry myself. That was the usual advice given at the time. Net them out while they're still tiny and finish them quickly. I found the business distasteful, but necessary.
If I had any pretty ones, my local pet shop would sometimes take them, as they did with catfish when they grew too big for my tank. Worth an ask.

Grumpla Sun 11-Nov-12 22:26:52

I think the Betta limits your options slightly sorry. I wouldn't risk him with an angel (they can be pretty aggressive / nippy).

Black widow tetra? They are meant to be pretty good at fry control. But you'd need a few and they might antagonize the Betta too!

Can't you squeeze a nice 5g planted for him on a desk or a coffee table somewhere? Just one more little tank gringringrin

lurcherlover Sun 11-Nov-12 22:34:26

I would love a little tank just for the betta, but I'm not planning on having more after he goes and it's a bit extravagant in that case...plus DH would not be happy!

I know I can cull them myself, I just hate the idea of it. Happy to put ailing fish out of their misery with clove oil but can't bring myself to kill babies. I know this makes me a complete hypocrite as I want a fish to do my dirty work!

EauRouge Mon 12-Nov-12 16:28:34

Yes, your options are pretty limited due to the betta. How old is he? They only live around 3 or 4 years anyway. What else have you got in there?

lurcherlover Mon 12-Nov-12 22:32:02

The betta is about 2 and a half, I think. He came from a friend who was basically keeping him in a tiny vase with no filteration, gravel, plants etc - literally just a little vase with nothing else in it - because the fish shop told her this would be OK. I saw him on her dining table and more or less grabbed him straight away and ran him straight home to my tank. Sure, bettas might be able to survive in such conditions but that doesn't mean you should sad So I know my tank isn't ideal for him but he's better than he was in his vase. He is very lovely - red and blue - and seems happy enough prowling about near the filter. Other than him and the millions! of platies, I just have the neons, one gourami (he's a dwarf gourami and quite shy) and a couple of corys. There's nothing I can risk putting in there then to mop up some fry?

EauRouge Tue 13-Nov-12 06:52:36

You did the right thing!

Bit tricky with the neons because they are small- plenty of people have found that angels make a meal of neons too which is not what you want. Some slightly bigger tetras or barbs are probably your best bet but I'd wait until the betta has passed on as they can be nippy. Is there no chance of setting something up for him temporarily?

lurcherlover Tue 13-Nov-12 21:42:29

I don't think so...we don't have room for another tank, and I can't really justify the expense when I'm not planning on keeping another betta after he dies, lovely though he is. I like my one community tank, keeps things simple although I have dreams of a massive tank full of oscars one day.

I have found one person who will have a few fry from me, but I'm still going to have this problem I guess. What about a red-tailed black shark? I know they're territorial, but is my tank big enough for one to have its own space and not to bully the betta? A lot of the plants where the fry hide are growing out of a piece of bogwood, and it would be a natural thing for a shark to adopt as its own. Still too risky with the betta?

EauRouge Tue 13-Nov-12 21:45:58

No, they are buggers and will go for the smaller fish. I know people that have lost a whole shoal of neons to a RTBS. It's going to be tricky finding something that is big enough to eat the fry but not big enough to eat the neons- there are barbs and tetras that will fit the bill but not with the betta.

Are there many plants in the tank? Maybe removing a few of the hiding places will mean that the parents will polish off a few of the fry.

lurcherlover Tue 13-Nov-12 21:52:40

It is heavily planted and I'm sure that's why so many babies are surviving - I guess I'll have to take a few out. A shame, as I've only just got the knack of not killing aquatic plants and they're doing quite nicely!!

mushroom3 Wed 14-Nov-12 11:47:38

A pleco? We had a pair of platys and I'm sure they were reproducing as the female kept getting fat and then slim again. Unfortunately we got a Betta who was fierce and hounded the male platty to death! Plecos are quite docile, the only issue is that after a few years they may get too large for your tank.We have had no problem with our one in a community tank.

EauRouge Wed 14-Nov-12 11:50:48

Depends on the plec. I wouldn't recommend buying a common/sailfin plec. They get to 18" long and even if you do have the good fortune to rehome it it's better not to encourage the trade of these fish since so many of them end up getting dumped in the local river or flushed once the owners realise how big they get.

There are loads of smaller plecs that stay around 5-6 inches that might be an option.

Marne Fri 16-Nov-12 10:14:07

I have 2 tanks with livebearers in, one of my tanks has a good survival rate for fry (just mollys and guppies in there) the other doesn't (have only had one fry survive), in that tank i have Danios, corys and a female betta, i susspect the betta or the danios (maybe both) eat them up smile.

I cant kill fry, i have some defformed guppy fry which i realy need to get rid of but i cant do it sad, i could probably fish them out and feed them to my male betta?

Marne Fri 16-Nov-12 10:15:27

We have a plec too (in the molly and guppy tank) but i have never seen him eat fry, he happily lets them swim around him smile.

lurcherlover Sat 01-Dec-12 17:35:30

Update to the thread - my betta died this morning sad. He was fairly old though I think. I'm not going to get another betta, so any more recommendations for a fry-eating fish? Just the tetras and gourami to worry about now!

EauRouge Sat 01-Dec-12 18:28:22

Aw, sorry about your betta sad Remind me again how big your tank is and what you've got in there.

HeadfirstForAMistletoeKiss Sat 01-Dec-12 18:36:33

Sorry about your betta. You could get a couple of angels now he's gone, they will eat anything the greedy sods! They will nip at any fish with long tails though, like guppies.

EauRouge Sat 01-Dec-12 18:50:19

They'll eat the neons as well once they get big enough. If you've got the space then some mid size tetras would probably be a good option- depends how many fish you have already.

lurcherlover Sun 02-Dec-12 12:49:29

It's 120l, and there are loads of platies, a gourami, a shoal of neons and a couple of corys in there. I would love an angel but I would worry about the neons...although I've read a baby angel who grows up with the neons wouldn't regard them as food when he got big enough to eat them? Too risky?

EauRouge Sun 02-Dec-12 13:05:33

How many of each?

I've heard the 'baby angel' theory before, sounds like a load of bollocks to me- they are predatory by nature and in the wild they would grow up amongst their dinner, no reason why it should be any different in the aquarium. I would never trust any fish with something small enough to be eaten.

lurcherlover Sun 02-Dec-12 14:23:28

Not sure how many platies as there are always new fry appearing - about ten adults at a guess. Two cory, five neons, one gourami. I would feel awful if any neons got munched so the angels are out then!

EauRouge Sun 02-Dec-12 14:25:58

What sort of gourami is it?

lurcherlover Sun 02-Dec-12 19:11:56

A dwarf, I think? Silvery-blue in colour with darker blue mottled patches. He's quite shy and hides in the plants most of the time.

EauRouge Sun 02-Dec-12 19:19:10

Doesn't sound like a dwarf, I've never heard of that colour variant. Could be this guy maybe?

lurcherlover Sun 02-Dec-12 19:28:25

I think I didn't describe him well! He looks like this one only with more of the darker patches. Having said that, the fins on mine don't look quite as big, so perhaps mine's a girl!

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