Would this community work well in a 20 gal HIGH vs. LONG? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Would this community work well in a 20 gal HIGH vs. LONG?

I have a 10 gallon low tech planted tank. I'm thinking about upgrading to a 20 gallon, but only have room for the HIGH not LONG tank. I like the idea of a HIGH because I could stock fish at all levels: 6 pygmy cories and 40 red cherry shrimp at the bottom (lots of babies!), 6 harlequin rasboras in the middle, 3 female bettas at the top. Would this community work well in a 20 HIGH verses LONG?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 03:13 AM
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From everything I've read here and elsewhere, three females is not good. Should be a minimum of five to help displace aggression. If there are three then two will gang up on one.

Pygmy Cory are not bottom dwellers; they are more mid-tank. Habrosus are the bottom dwellers of the dwarf cory.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 08:19 AM
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Russell.... I think it depends on the girls. I might just be lucky, but I originally got 5 girls and 3 died. I didn't have the tank to separate the two and they were in a community, so I left them. They seem to be doing fine, though they're in a 20G LONG with lots of inhabitants.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatFishThough View Post
Russell.... I think it depends on the girls. I might just be lucky, but I originally got 5 girls and 3 died. I didn't have the tank to separate the two and they were in a community, so I left them. They seem to be doing fine, though they're in a 20G LONG with lots of inhabitants.
Losing by attrition is one thing but sororities are stressful enough without intentionally stocking them improperly. Success is measured in years; not months. It's one reason so many people get out of sororities: Long-term success is more rare than hens' teeth. I've been waiting to use that expression.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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I was thinking females are not that aggressive. I haven't had one before. Even 5 females are risky? I don't want that. What if they are only 10 weeks old? Or from the same "batch"?


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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I did more research and found that young females from the same batch can fight. Drats!


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:28 PM
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Unfortunately, any Betta can fight. I've had males live quite peacefully in communities for a couple of years. Then one day I find the Betta stalking a single fish the way a cat stalks its intended prey. Betta are unpredictable. However, five baby females from the same spawn are less likely to fight than others.

The problem with sororities is they are volatile and extremely stressful which means disease goes through them quickly. We see lots of "success" stories under few months. Very few over that. Not saying they aren't out there but as I said on another site, long-term successful sororities measured in years seem to be scarce as hens' teeth. Many also find their sororities winnowed down to one or two because of disease or death.

If you decide against a sorority, a male HMPK or a single female would be good in a community. I had a copper female, Minerva, in a community and she was great.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:41 PM
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As @ThatFishThough said, the bettas personality plays a role in it, however, like @RussellTheShihTzu said, 3 is not a good number. 2 most likely will gang up and attack the one. I bought 3 female baby bettas a couple months ago and raised them together, their tanks were right next to one another, never flared at each other, they were actually quite happy with one another. I tried putting them all together and 2 started fighting while the other just swam peacefully. All of a sudden, the 2 girls that were fighting just stopped and literally ganged up on the other betta and started ripping her fins apart. They had pieces of her fins hanging out of their mouths. Luckily, she was okay. But 3 is not a good number at all. If you're going to try a sorority, 5+.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Sororities sound like a recipe for disaster. Not what I want!

My dumbo HM had an internal injury 5 months ago and is no longer very active. He got caught up in a current and was slammed into driftwood sideways. Now 95% of the time he is resting his giant fins on brazilian pennywort at the water surface so he doesn't have to swim around. He is in good health, just looks like a paraplegic fish.

A couple weeks ago I added harlequin rasboras to my tank. Give him something stimulating to look at. I love how active the are! That's when I thought about upgrading to sorority community. More fish, more activity.

Since he doesn't swim much and prefers still water, I thought about placing him in a larger breeder box/specimen container inside the tank with a community. He would have floating plants, fish to look at, and keep his own territory.

RussellTheShihtzui - About a HMPK male or 1 female, I can imagine shorter fins would work better in a community. Be able to zip around faster too? That is probably what I would want.

My dumbo HM is a beautiful fish, but his fins are SO big and get caught up in the slightest current. I wish I could help him out and give him a "hair cut."


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 10:44 AM
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Yeah, I think just one betta in the community tank would be a good idea. Sororities are tricky and I've never had the guts to try one.
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