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Timid Platy


AC Members

I have had my red platy for about a year and a half. He is the most nervous fish I have ever had. I try to keep my distance from him, except during mealtimes and when I'm changing the water obviously. He eats well and seems happy, so I'm really not concerned about him. That is just the way he is, has always been. He has no tankmates in his 5 gallon tank. My apartment is always very quiet for the most part. I may buy another ornament for his tank to give him a little more security...

Have you had/have a nervous fish/platy?? Are platies typically nervous? Is there something I could be doing to keep him a little stress-free?


Global Moderator
Staff member
They're typically not, but I've never kept one by itself. I'm thinking that may be the cause since they tend to be a social fish. Not necessarily a schooler, but they do hang around each other.


AC Members
Buy him 2 or 3 females and that should help with his shyness. If the apartment is too quiet, some movement will put him nervous, but some company will make him feel more secure and less shy.


No freelancing!
Uh...don't get girls unless you have a plan for babies. Agreed, it's because the fish is alone. Adding 2 males and no females will be fine. They only squabble when there is a female around.


AC Members
Thanks so much for your comments everyone!

I bought him with a 2nd platy (male), and put them both in the same tank. The other platy was a bully. Tormented him something awful, chasing him all the time. I thought they might just be playing, but after 2-3 days realized what was going on. I separated them, and he has been on his own ever since. I just bought another ornament for his tank, which has helped him a bit I think.

I have been off work for the past 3 days, and have watched him closely. He seems very happy for the most part, eats well, and is actually quite active. Especially in the evenings after his lunch. He just seems to tense up when I go near his tank.

I may not get another male for the tank, I haven't decided. I might just try to keep my distance from him.

Thanks again everyone!


AC Members
Most of the modern platy strains come from crosses between platies and swordtails; so, they are not as peaceful as old platy strains. That's why I suggested to bring him a few females. Of course, I understand the breeding issues that will arrive with this action. IMHO, you did well in separating both males.


AC Members
Thanks so much for your post Forse. I am sure he wouldn't mind a female or 2 as tank mates, but his owner really wouldn't be too happy about it! haha He is doing great, eating well, seems happy, etc. Still just a little nervous when I am feeding him or changing the water...