community tanks and sororities - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 95
community tanks and sororities

I'm used to Betta care and many other fish, but I've yet to do a community tank with a Betta or a sorority, and I plan to try both soon. I'm cycling tanks and gathering the last of the supplies I need.

As for previous community tanks, I've done various combinations of Mollies, Plecos, Tetras, Danios, Cory Cats, Angels, Hatchets, Guppies, and some others. (I've had 2 saltwater tanks and a few freshwater.)
I've had many Bettas, but never in a community.

I have LOTS of questions still:

On sororities - Is it better to do just your females or a community w/ the sorority? What's the MAX you would put in a 10gallon tank? Does having them all the same color/size make any difference? (I know it's going to be mostly dependent on personalities.)

On community tanks with 1 male Betta - Can you do any sort of 'community' type with a 2.5gallon? (snails, shrimp, frog, or any dwarf fish maybe?) What's the MAX you would put in a 5gallon & a 10gallon? (I realize it depends on the other fish, like the number of neon tetras you add might not be the same number of plecos you add.)

My local PetCo is HORRIBLE!! They've been flushing all the dead fish, as well as many that are still alive just because "they'll be dead soon." Half of these 'almost dead' fish have nothing wrong with them! My newest fish, Hart, was about to be flushed for being too lethargic, but he looked perfectly fine, so I brought him home and within 5 minutes he was acting just fine. I tested the water still in his PetCo sale bowl, and the Nitrites was on the high end of the 'danger zone' plus the PH was waaay off.

Anyway, PetCo has told me I can take all of their 'almost dead' fish they're about to flush home for free, but I don't have all the space for them, so I'm going to try a sorority and if I can keep it going a while, I may do a couple more.

I also want to try a community with Hart because he just loves to follow me, the dog, the cat, and anything else near the glass, including other fish in near tanks, but he doesn't seem very aggressive. He's very active though. I'll continue to observe his personality more, but what would you suggest putting with him if I do a community tank?

I have four 10gallon tanks, one 5gallon tank, and one 2.5gallon tank to mess with/stock. I use the 2.5 gallon as a hospital tank, for fry that I know probably won't make it to adulthood, and as a "quarantine" tank when I bring a new Betta home from Petco. If they make it past a week in there, they can move up to a larger tank as soon as it's cycled. I also have a very small plastic 'tank' that I plan to start a brine shimp hatchery with.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 07:01 PM
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On sorority tanks: I personally highly suggest to keep to just females, especially if going with a 10 gallon tank. You want to spread out the aggression as best you can so that means, the more females the better. But I've had neon's in with my girls before and they stressed my girls out to no end. Not because they were picking on them because they weren't, but because they were being rambunctious within their own group which caused the girls to get angry and nervous which lead to much more fin nipping and chasing than usual. I took the neon's out and all was well.

Technically speaking you can have 10 females in a 10 gallon since they don't technically have just 1 gallon, they occupy the entire 10 gallons. But it is recommended to have less than that, I would go with 8 as my max and the only species in the tank, not even a snail or shrimp. If you want a snail then go with 6-7 depending on the snail type.

Color, size and tail type absolutely do not matter. I know there are some reports about crowntails being more aggressive and red fish also being more aggressive but turns out that my red fish was actually my most passive so it's not always true. But as far as being alpha, it doesn't go by size at all. In fact one of my smallest girls was the alpha for a month or so but she gave up after a while to my second biggest girl. So size, color and tail type absolutely do not matter.

And as far as taking home the sick or almost sick fish to do a sorority, I do not suggest that at all. If you want to heal them up completely first then go for it but you need to be absolutely positive that they are carrying no disease. You need to QT for at least two weeks if not more when throwing any fish into an aquarium, especially with Sororities. The girls are not social fish and are not together in the wild, they only tolerate each other but it's enough that we condone them to be in a tank together. So stressed out fish means more opportunity for disease, so that's why you need a really good planted tank (I suggest NPT) with lots of hides and plants and they need to be healthy fish to begin with.

I had what I thought was a mostly healthy girl from PetSmart, I got rid of the disease externally but I didn't realize she was carrying something internally until later and she's the reason my sorority was destroyed/currently being deteriorated. So I will warn you to use caution when putting girls in a sorority. I'm not trying to talk you down from it at all, but if you want a good, lasting sorority then I do suggest you use healthy fish and those that come in sick to quarantine for at least a month with treatment if necessary.

Rembrandt II, Suiché
Leopards: 1:4 Hawkeye, Luna, Astrael, Dorian, Cullen
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper and Toothless
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 07:10 PM
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Lilnaugrim pretty much covered it.

Although, I have had problems before with size. In two different sororities of mine I had the biggest harass the smallest for the longest time. I try to always stick with generally the same size (it might just be me having bad luck)

Also, I would report your local Petco to corporate. That is so messed up. I'm sure something would be done about that.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Oklahoma
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I QT for one full month when I buy from PetCo/PetSmart, 2 weeks when from a private breeder.
Idk if I've explained it here, but Petco has been giving me 'sick' fish for free..most of which aren't actually sick. Some have dropsy, some have popeye, some have SB, etc. (I don't take those home because I don't have time/money to manage so many hospital tanks and treatments.) MOST of the 'sick' fish they're getting rid of are just lethargic, and I've discovered it's from improper water. I've been testing the water in the original little plastic sale bowls when I bring them home, and the PH is way off, the Nitrites are extremely high, and the temperature is far too low. Once out of those conditions, the fish are doing fine. That's why I've considered doing a sorority with the girls.

Last edited by summnd; 10-22-2013 at 09:19 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-23-2013, 06:31 AM
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Yeah, that's fine. As long as you are positive they are okay otherwise as I explained before is all.

Also the pH doesn't have much to do with anything, Betta's are remarkably adaptable as I'm sure you've seen They can go in any pH from 5.0 right up to 8.6 if they're acclimated right ^_^ But yes, from being in the cups the ammonia and nitrite are more poisonous than anything else, even temperature. They can be in temps right down to 60, they just slow down their metabolism's much like we do so that they conserve energy for heating themselves. Of course it's not ideal, but that's usually how they survive years in those bowls where people use them as decoration.

Rembrandt II, Suiché
Leopards: 1:4 Hawkeye, Luna, Astrael, Dorian, Cullen
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper and Toothless
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