To those of you with sorority tanks... - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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To those of you with sorority tanks...

A few questions, as I'm new to the sorority game, and I want to stay on top of things so that none of my girls get hurt, and they're separated in time if necessary.

1) When do I need to worry about aggression levels? One of my bigger girls seems to make a game of chasing the two small girls around, although she doesn't seem to nip at them when she catches up to them.

2) How long should it take to establish a pecking order? They seem to have already determined the dominant fish, although i think it alternates between Scarlette and Twilight depending on the time of day, but if they start chasing and nipping, how long should I let this go on before deciding that there is a problem?

3) If it comes to a point where one fish is bullying another, should I remove the aggressor or the girl getting picked on? Lily seems to be stressed more often than any of the other girls, I assume this is because she has been out of the sorority lifestyle flying solo with me for a couple months, while the others came from tanks full of other girls. Her stress stripes do fade away for a while, and then come back if she's chased again.. should I remove her if things start to look worse, or the aggressive fish causing her stress?

4) I'm thinking about adding 2 more girls to complete the tank, although I've also pondered the idea of some non-aggressive fish to distract the girls.. with the tank stocked as it is there wouldn't be a whole lot of options besides maybe a small school of minnows or some cleaners or something.. any suggestions?

So far everything seems to be going exceptionally well, but I don't want to miss any warning signs and wake up with dead girls on my hands.. although I know it's still a possibility.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 11:40 PM
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I just heard odd numbers work better. I don't have much answers for you. But ill feed off this thread when I start my own.

Vancouver, B.C. Canada
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 12:04 AM
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sorry no help either but i m with rohland! need help so i can establish my own eventually!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 07:02 AM
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I have 5 females in my sorority tank, but its 55 gallons. 4 in a 10 gallon you will probably always havee a little more aggression that the average because they really dont have enough room to spread out. mine still get "pissy" at each other occasionally, but they swim 30 gallons away. lol so im sure i can add even more.

make sure theres plants and maybe some plant pot "caves" for someone to retreat to and feel safe. i dont think id personally add anymore. i dont think other fish will be a distraction either. mine only bother each other, they look "right thru" the other fish as if their not even there.

hope this helps. also, hobbylobby has a sale thru today, betta gallon vases are half price. 3.75 = 2 vases, where i am

maybe you could get two of them and put one in each,

also did you get them all at once? i know that if you take them all out and change the tank decorations around a little bit, then put everybody back in, they reestablish territories. so when u put everyone back in the tank they all feel like their in a new home, it could help
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 12:01 PM
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If i were to start a 20 gal sorority, how many females should i start the cycle with? 4-5?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 05:16 PM
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If your girl is stressed..I would remove her...
And if they arent nipping at each other and not so damaged fins then I am sure your girls will be fine...
Also make sure they have many plants..and hiding places!
I currently have 4 betta females, 3 neons, two cleaners, and like 7 snails in my 10 gallon!! And they are doing PERFECT!!!
I really wouldnt recommend more then 4 females to a tank..
But neons, and mollies do great with Bettas
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 08:58 AM
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Well, I love my sorority tanks - I can and do spend hours watching them.

I started with one 20g high - and had luck with 5 girls in it - when I increased to 8, they seemed to be more vicious.

When I got a 20g long tank - I moved the 5 girls who were in the high tank, and had about 8 others I'd bought - and, the tank with 13 (lots of floating plants) was way too difficult on the smaller girls' stress levels. One girl died a day later, and then with 12 there seemed to be some girls who were stressed to come over at feedings...

within the week of setting up that tank, I moved 4 of the girls out of the long tank and into a 12 gallon eclipse.

The four girls are still working out their pecking order and it's three days later. The red/purple crowntail seems the most dominant, followed closely by the muddy brown betta with purple fins rimmed in red. This brown betta was very stressed prior to moving into the eclipse, pale and stress striped - and she's definitely coming into her own now that she's got more space to herself and less totem pole of competition.

The blue betta with black face comes third even though she's the biggest of them. She's a veiltail and very pretty. Yes. I have pictures but need to download them.

And, the one who hides in the large castle ornament? - a white betta with painted red splotched face and red fins. She's as docile as they come, but she does protect her lower caves from entrance.

The blue betta is the only one who seems to have nipped fins of these four. And she spends most of her time beside the wall closest to Lancelot's 5 gallon hex. I think she likes to look at him. :)


TheJewels... 20 g H plantedsorority - 4 princesses & 3 zebra otos
Ladies of Camelot - extended visit of Rome - 7 pretty girls & 7 cories - 20G Long.

Gawain - hM (2.5 g planted tank)
Lancelot - hM (5 gallon tank)
Roland - CT (5 g)
Galahad - deltatail (15 gallon divided)
King Richard the Lionheart- king betta (12 g Camelot)
Tristan - VT- (15 g divided)
Robin of Locksley (20g H w/threadfins/neons)
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 09:54 AM
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i now have 13 females in my 55 gallon. there are a few "cliques" that have formed. lol
a few groups of 3 who hangout together and a couple of pairs who do the same. my new white female decided that this is her tank and has taken over as the alpha female. the former alpha female could care less it seems.
maybe the white one drove her crazy. all she does now is swim in circles around a particular plant. lol its comical really. and every once in a while she swims all over.

31 Betta Males
12 CrownTail
7 HalfMoon
5 DeltaTail
4 DoubleTail
3 Veil Tail

44 Betta Females
Round, Crown, Spade

65 gallon
55 gallon
35 gallon
2 - 20 gallon
4 - 10 gallon
16 - 1.5-2 gallon

MTS has struck, resistance is futile
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