Platies are one of the fastest growing fish species when it comes to their popularity within the fish keeping hobby and we only expect their popularity to continue to grow in the coming years.
Not only are they very beginner friendly but they have beautiful colors and patterns while also having a low price tag. This seems to be the secret sauce for keeping the fish so popular within the community and although they are easy to care for, some people do have issues.
One problem that we have seen people mention time and time again recently is about their male platy chasing their female constantly. Although the reasons for this may sound obvious, you may be surprised as it is not always just part of the platy breeding process so we wanted to publish this article to help any of our readers having this issue with the platies in their tanks.
Is It Normal For A Male Platy To Chase A Female Platy?
Before we get into how to stop your male platy from chasing your female platy, we first wanted to quickly touch on whether it is something that is considered normal behavior.
The answer to this unfortunately is not as straight forward as you might hope but in our opinion and the opinions of many experts, a male platy chasing a female is often considered normal behavior.
Although the reasons behind it are not always desirable, wild platies will commonly chase each other, especially the dominant male in the area.
If you are keeping your platies in a small, heavily stocked aquarium, the chances of the dominant male in the tank chasing the other fish be them male or female platies or other species altogether will increase so keep this in mind!
Why Do Male Platies Chase Female Platies?
Male platies usually chase female platies as a part of their breeding behavior and this is often the most common reason that you will see a male platy in your tank chase a female.
Although male platies only usually show signs of aggression towards other male platies they can sometimes chase and nip female platies too.
This is usually more common if a male platies in your tank has not managed to establish itself as the dominant male yet as multiple male platies will be chasing the other platies to try and become the dominant male in the territory.
Platies are commonly kept in over stocked tanks unfortunately and we have seen a large number of people reaching out who have far too many platies in their tanks. Aggressive behavior and chasing is far more common in most fish species that are kept in small tanks that are heavily stocked.
Platies love to hide for a couple of hours each day and as we covered in our article on why your platy is hiding in your plants, if you have a tank without any hiding spots in it, your platies can become more aggressive and chase the other platies in their tanks.
Why Do Male Platies Chase Female Pregnant?
Male platies can sometimes chase female platies but the reason for this is not totally understood.
Some people think that this is due to the male platy trying to chase a pregnant female platy off his territory due to her having been impregniated by another male.
Although many people do seem to agree that this is why a male platy would chase a pregnant female platy, there are plenty of reports out there about a male platy chasing a pregnant female in his own breeding tank where the male and female platy are the only fish there.
This does suggest that there are other reasons why a male platy would chase a pregnant female but you could argue the stress and anxiety in the male platy is causing this behavior due to being in the new environment of the breeding tank.
As we covered in our article going over our tips for raising platy fry, removing the male from the breeding tank is highly recommended once he has mated with the female anyway. Not only will this stop him from chasing the female and stressing her out during her pregnancy but it also stops him from eating his own fry too.
How Can I Stop My Male Platy Chasing My Female Platies?
The best way to stop your male platy chasing your female platies is by giving them plenty of hiding spots in your tank.
As we mentioned earlier, male platies will often chase female platies when they are trying to establish themselves as the dominant male in the area so if you have multiple male platies in your tank, only one of them is likely to be the dominant male.
Plenty of other suitable hiding spots in the tank with your platies gives your female platies somewhere to go and hide while the males battle it out.
Thankfully, the female platy going and hiding can be a sign of submission to the male platy and may be enough to cause him to stop chasing her around the aquarium in some situations.
How Do I Know if My Platies Are Mating Or Fighting?
If you see your platies chasing each other around, it can be difficult to tell if they are fighting or if they are actually mating.
Males will often chase females around as part of the mating process but the male platy may nip the female platy while he is doing this.
The male platy will also often circle the female platy and you may see the male platy darting in and out of plants while he is chasing the female platy.
If you see your platies fighting, they will often be biting each other and you are unlikely to see the male chasing the female around in a circle.
You may also see the male and female platies butting heads with each other which is another sign that they are fighting rather than mating.
In most cases, you can tell the difference between platies fighting and platies mating but if you are unsure, it is always best to err on the side of caution and assume they are fighting.
If you are using a breeding tank for a male and female platy, it is likely that they are getting ready to breed. Just keep in mind that a badly setout breeding tank without any decorations, plants or hiding spots will increase the stress in the male and female platy potentially causing them to fight.