Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, Australia
When I was new to sororities I had 5 females in a 6 gallon tank, which is basically the same sort of stocking as 8 females in a 10 gallon excluding the ghost shrimp.
I didn't cycle that tank but instead planted heavily with milfoil and did 25% water changes every second day for the first couple of weeks.
I have only ever had four instances out of the three sororities and 30-40 odd females in them, where a fish has not been compatible with sorority life. One was due to aggression, one was due to blindness, and the other two just did not like living in that kind of environment.
These females have come from AB, pet stores and breeders. Some are young, some are mature. I don't bother floating newcomers or rearranging territories. I just dump them in and let them sort it out amongst themselves.
Setting up a sorority was definitely not the doom and gloom I was expecting from the majority of posts on here. Mainly I think the problems are that people go in either unprepared or unfamiliar with displays of aggression amongst bettas, or they are so convinced that their sorority is going to implode they yank females and fiddle so much they stress everyone out.
Bettas fight. Bettas will always fight, but your set-up will determine the severity of their fights. A well-planted sorority will let the losing fish get away, and this is so important in an enclosed area where there is no room for a proper escape.
Personally I think it is better to overstock than understock a sorority. It's why people with cichlids usually have overstocked tanks. It spreads out aggression and stops the targeting of individual fish. The trick to a successful sorority in my experience has been overstocking, excellent water quality and lots of food.
You will always get females that are bullies or victims, but by culling them out of your sorority at the start, you end up with a group of females able to live together at least relatively peacefully.
I would not do the ghost shrimp as I mentioned before, or only have a couple in there if you absolutely can't do without. However, 8 females in a 10 gallon is manageable if you are willing to put in the work. Also, just because someone is new to the forum doesn't mean they were new to fishkeeping in general. When I joined, I still knew more than some members who had hundreds of posts. Post count does not make someone an expert on all things bettas.
Edit - I would say it's likely the OP is still lurking and reading. Besides, the information in this thread could be valuable to other members and guests.
Last edited by LittleBettaFish; 06-11-2012 at 04:38 PM.