New Sorority Already Falling Apart - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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New Sorority Already Falling Apart

I have a 20 Gallon Tank and 3 betta females. Yes it's heated. Yes it's filtered. Yes it has been cycled. Yes there are many places to hide (plastic plants, tunnels, etc) They were introduced at the same time. It has only been 24 hours.

Unfortunately one of my girls, Isobel, was a bit of a brute and keeps chasing one of the other girls, Sparkle, and constantly flaring. Sparkle does not fare but does not back down, either. Isobel does not like it and keeps nipping at her. My third girl, It Zwibble, keeps to herself.

I have removed Isobel and placed her into the container we got from the store. It was stressing me out to see what was happening and I"m sure stressing the other's out more. Now I"m left with two and I'm debating on whether I should leave the two (which I"ve read is not a good thing) or trying another female (and hoping it's not aggressive). Or adding even more?

I'm fraid if I add even more like many sites suggest that the flaring will continue.
What do you think?

P.S. My 2.5 year old named the fish. " It Zwibble" is a name of a dinosaur fairy in an obscure 90's children's book (that we found in my old stash and now read to my kids)
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 09:24 PM
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I would definitely add more females - you should have at the very least 5 or 6 (but more is always better as long as you don't overstock your tank). Female betta's establish a sort of pecking order among themselves, and the more females you have, the chance of a single fish being singled out and picked on by the others is greatly lowered. You should also make sure that your tank is very heavily planted/decorated to give the girls plenty of places to hide from the more aggressive fish.
And this thread may help you - it tells about the basics of sororities and how to help the girls thrive together.~ :3

*Betta Boys* Loki, Koda, Domino, Kankri *Lizards* Leo, Gatorade, Ruby, Sozan *Snake* Nagaina *Tarantula* Pepper
*Hermit Crabs* Broseph, Sheldon, Pickles *Rabbits* Cloud, Peter *Conure* Frankie *Horse* Tango
*Rat* Snowball *Puffers* Mr. Puffer Fish, Lady Puffer Fish *Cats* Sammy, Rusty, MJ, Snipe, Sakura, Terezi

Last edited by xXGalaxyXx; 02-04-2012 at 09:29 PM.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 10:12 PM
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+1 to Galaxy.
i never have less then 5 girls in my 20 at a time.

Betta-less at the moment :(

"Some people are like slinkies... completely useless. But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs."

I is GaB. Blessed Be. (GaB is a girl)
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 10:51 PM
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I would say 10 females for such a larger space would be a great number, but no less than 5 or 6. That should fix this for you. Make sure to take all out, change the tank up and then add all your new females and old females back together into the tank at once. Having female tanks isn't easy lol Good Luck!

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I was hoping to get away with not rearranging since they have been in a short time. I have no idea how short a time it takes to establish territory.

It Zwibble and Sparkle are hanging out together right now and it seems they are happy. No Nibbles, chase, bumping, or flaring. That Isobel is a fiesty one. I plan to keep her isolated until I can get some more girls.

My worst fear is that it'll be a major fail and I'll have to return/rehome the fish. I'm already so darn attached and I feel terrible for putting them in a bad situation.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 11:17 PM
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I had 9 or 10 in my 20 gallon but I had to ban 2 of the original inhabitants and replace them with other females. You may find out that you have a female that just cant be with other females but the only way to know is to give it a try. I would add a few more and see how it goes - just keep an eye on them for a while incase someone gets too rough. Luckily for me, "Most" of my females were mellow.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 11:42 PM
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OH MY! Listen to the other posters. Sorry you've got a feisty one. ):
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Galaxy- I read all the pages of the forum and am feeling a bit more confident. Thank you for the link!

Also learned about "stress stripes"? Little sparkle has those, maybe from being bullied.

Anyhow, I look forward to hanging out on here and posting some pics!
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 12:25 AM
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I have one little one, Suki, that is usually nice and dark but the moment she sees me, she stripes right up lol

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 02:57 AM
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My littlest girl has been stripey since I got her a couple of months ago. I suppose she thinks she's pretty that way. Or maybe she thinks that if she goes dark, I won't be able to tell her apart from Hera, since they are the same colour. Whatever her reasons, I can't seem to persuade her otherwise.

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