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Old 03-06-2012, 04:19 PM   #1 
cp6445
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Smile New bettas, vertical stripes, and shoelaces, not necessarily related

OK so I got the betta bug and decided to add to my betta collection (had 1 male VT Keller, in a 10gal). Decided to get another aq with a female, as i've never had female bettas.

So I go to my local petsmart, and 2 females were just dying to be bought:) And I figured I could likely house them together, so I got both. Fishy and Wishy, blue and red. Then I noted that they had crowntail males! I'm partial to VTs, even though they seem to be thwarted by those that show... I love them! But from the pics on this forum i love the CT spikey fins so I HAD to grab one, and one really danced for me, so I had to have.. so I leave petsmart with 2 new 5gals, heaters and thermometers and plants etc...

I take my new cuties home but petsmart only had 1 of my favorite heaters so I go to another LPS to get another heater and pass by the bettas... there's is like the sickest betta ever, an orange male VT so stressed, he will likely die in a few days in his cup so I have to have him..

So now 2 heaters, another 5gal aq, plants, substrate, and a sick betta later I head for home.

Rundown: Now I have Keller, my original and favorite ever! in his 10gal alone b/c he loves the space, just got over finrot, and is so active I cannot bear to add to or divide his tank. He is the sweetest and most personable and curious fish I've ever had.

The newbies: A gorgeous male (i think) red and blue CT, in his new 5 gal- he's quite active but timid, only had him a few hours.

An orange, sickly male VT, in his own 5 gal... He's perked up, a good eater. I don't even know where to start with antibiotics or anything. Right now with him Im just going with clean conditioned water, stress coat, and IALs. He has improved though, I think he is just more mellow than Keller.

And 2 girls, in another 5gal. Wishy seems fine, but Fishy has stress stripes. Though they seem to like each other. I'm not sure why one is stressed...

Any advice, should I separate them? All my fish have filtered, heated tanks to about 80. Water quality strips are all within normal ranges.

thanks for advice!

On a last note, Some of my newbies have had some issues with filters, even baffles ones. Especially my sickly new VT, he was having trouble not being sucked up... The filter was already baffled, but I found that sticking part of a clean shoelace into the hose seems to work well... just an fyi.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:54 PM   #2 
Myates
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Female bettas should be housed either separately or in larger tanks (10 gallons being very minimum) with very dense plants in groups of 4+ to spread out aggression.

Highly recommend dividing the 5 gallon, or upgrading and research how to maintain a sorority and go that route.
But they are definitely stressed and in a short time you will start to see the one least stress continuously harass and attack the weaker one until she is dead.. females are tricky to house together under the best conditions, having just 2 or 3 is considered a death sentence overall :( Which sucks, would love to keep just two females together, but in such a small tank, just not ideal.

Shoelace may work- also using panty hose tied on with a rubber band (cut to fit) to the intake part works good too :)
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:47 AM   #3 
cp6445
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Thanks for the advice- The stress stripes are gone and they seem to be 2 peas in a pod (they spit out their food and then the other one eats it, and vice versa, YUCK.) But yes, everywhere I read reiterates the dangers of only 2 females, and need of larger tank. I want to go the upgrade route so I am getting a 10gal and 4 more females. However I need to do some researh first, as I don't want to do that until I've gathered a little more knowledge... So for now I will separate my girls until I can put them in a more proper environment.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:14 PM   #4 
Draug Isilme
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I've always read the minimum is 6, but after seeing what happens with less than 6, I personally wouldn't be comfortable with... well, less than 6... but yeah, you can always divide the 5g temporarily.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:21 PM   #5 
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I agree, the more the better.. I don't like 10 gallons for sororities, but understand that larger can't always be done.

So definitely 3-4 more females (at 6 females, I wouldn't add in any other fish as the tank size won't hold them all stress-free). You can also get 2 more females and then a couple platies as sometimes other species of fish help keep the girls in check (not always though).

keep in mind when making a sorority you need the tank to be very densely planted. Having medium and tall plants primarily, and laid out at all areas of the tank (front and back) to help break up the lines of sights when a chase begins.. will help the one being chased escape a little easier.

Good luck to you and your sorority :) Keep in mind they can be great fun, but they are also a loaded gun- so make sure you have a back up plan of housing one or two in case you need to remove an overly aggressive one. Females, by nature, do not live with other females.. so sometimes they just don't want to share a tank.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #6 
Draug Isilme
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^ Just to add, you can also ask your pet store if they take back fish; that way if you're unable to accommodate one or more femmies that have trouble coping with a sorority, you can return it and hopefully it'll end up with a better home.
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