Sorority: how much fin nipping is too much fin nipping? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Sorority: how much fin nipping is too much fin nipping?

Three or four weeks ago I had to remove my smallest girl from my 55 gallon sorority. She got picked on really bad - her fins were almost gone- and she wasn't doing well competing for food.
Anyway, since then two of my other girls have gotten their fins nipped up pretty badly. my red VT never has nipped fins and neither do my two CT, but 2 of my VT's have a lot of rips in their tails and one of them has some chunks taken out. She has started clamping up a bit. Is this too excessive? will my sorority fall apart? I don't have enough tanks to remove two more girls. If I do, then I'll only be left with four girls in the 55 gallon.
What should I do?


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 11:26 AM
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provide more cover for them to hide in, would be my first suggestion. The more densely planted/decorated a tank is, the less the fish see of each other, and they should calm down quite a bit.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 09:46 AM
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You've more than likely got a bully in the tank. Keep a close eye on it and remove the bully to time out for a week or two, then see if she does better. Can be hard to spot sometimes but if you look hard enough should be able to pinpoint which girl is the meanyhead.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to you both.
Right now I do have a lot of cover. Most of it is on the side and along the back half of the tank but they like to stay at the front for some reason. Once in a while I will see one or two in the amazon sword.

I guess I'll have to pay attention more closely to see who the bully is. I have a feeling it's one of the crown tails.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 12:57 PM
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Is there a fish that is not particulary nipped? I would breeders net the fish with the least nipped fins one at a time and watch to see if there's any improvement when each unnipped fish is captive. The other thing is that it doesn't sound like there's enough fish in the tank to mediate agression for such a large tank from your description. How many girls do you have in the tank? What other fish are in the tank?


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the red VT has never been nipped and it was obvious since the beginning that she is the alpha, and I haven't noticed either of the CT's ever having nipped fins.

Right now there are 6 girls in a 55 gallon tank. I had 7 but had to remove one because she got picked on real bad.
I also have 6 neon tetras (I had 9 but 3 of them disappeared at the same time), 6 zebra danios, 5 julii cories, 3 otos, 3 amano shrimp. I'm planning on getting maybe 12 purple passion danios at some point.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-01-2013, 08:56 PM
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From what I read that is not enough bettas for a 55 gallon. It's not enough to dispel aggression they have so much room it's like meeting each other all over again when they encounter each other. I have 15 in 29 gallon right now. Since housing more fish is problem buying more fish sounds like an issue.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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YES an excuse to buy more bettas!
lol. I'm afraid my tank will become over stocked, though...
I really want some of those purple passion danios, too. Meh. Maybe I can find someone to take my neons. Neons are so cool tho!!! Hey, can 6 neons go in a 10 gallon?


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 09:57 AM
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Yeah you can put your neons in a 10 if there aren't other inhabitants, you could do the neons and 1 Betta if you wanted to.

I agree, it's too much space. I did want to comment on one thing though for Time Outs. Make sure you float a container with the bully in it so they can still see each other but they can't touch. If you fully remove her from the tank then you'll have to do that all over again so floating in the tank is the best way to do a time out. I usually just use those cups but in your tank you could easily float a 1 gallon so that you don't have to do water changes daily/every other day on it. But as long as the container is mostly clear you can bascially use anything as long as they can still see each other.

The point of the time out's are so they can see but not touch, this generally diminishes the want for ripping fins from the bully. Each bully is different and each need different times in time outs. I had one girl that only took two day's and she was fine but another girl needed a full two weeks in time out for her to calm down. And don't worry about removing the alpha, as long as they see each other she will still remain alpha generally. But again, if you fully remove anyone from the tank, you'll have to reintroduce all over again

RJ (H. Lifalili), Acara (EB)
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-02-2013, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, awesome! Thanks!
How many more bettas do you suggest with the fish I already have and with the purple passion danios that I want (I was thinking 15 of them but now I'll probably reduce the number to 9 or 10)? When my smallest girl gets big enough I am going to try to re-introduce her to the sorority tank. Right now she's in a divided 10 gallon and growing a good amount now that she gets enough food. Once I put her back in the big tank, I can move the 6 neons to the 10 gallon with my male betta and remove the divider.


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