Help! I have a 12 gallon tank that I originally had divided in two with a male betta
on either side. They were the only fish in the tank. One of the bettas
recently died. I then took the divider out and redesigned the tank decorations. I thought I'd like to try to have a community tank with the remaining betta. I did a LOT of research about possible tankmates and decided on three male platies
-- each a different color. I picked out three of the calmest looking platies at the pet store and added them in the tank. At first my betta was just stalking them and flaring. After a while, all seemed well, but the betta seemed very upset. The platies were happily swimming around and scooting away from the betta when he got too close.
After several hours, I noticed the betta was still stalking them very menacing-like. He will stalk and then rush one of the platies with his mouth open. I saw him bite a piece of skin off the back of one of the platies and eat it. He then proceeded to go after a red platy
and got a chunk of that fish's back and ate it too. Then the red wag platy grabbed a bit of the betta's tail fin and ate that. Good thing I was watching!! I practically threw the divider back in the tank to separate the betta as fast as I could. The platies seem OK -- looks like the betta just took off some surface skin/scales. The betta looks much, much more at ease now that the other fish are "gone". My question is this. Will the three platies be OK in the 6 gallon space? Or should I just take them back to the pet store and just get another male betta. I think the platies are beautiful and would like to keep them but only if they will be happy in a smaller space. What a nightmare!!! I never anticipated such problems!! And this betta seemed pretty non-aggressive (for a betta) before. He hardly ever even flared at his old tankmate betta.