I have had a sorority of seven females for several months now and apart from a little chasing there has been no nipping or injuries and they all seem to live quite happily together...but two of the girls still have the stripes they had from when i bought them even though they are not singled out or picked on.
Hi, I purchased a small blue veiltail female betta from Petco a few days ago, I wanted to get more and do the sorority but she was the only one they had. The sale associate told me I shouldn't get more than one betta for my 10gallon tank but I could get any other fish to be a tankmate but all the other fish were under quarintine. My question is can I still start a sorority if I have the one and later purchase more? Or will the one I have now become to territorial once I introduce more? If I shouldn't get more betta what are some good colorful tankmates?
Actually, for the 10g, provided you have numerous plants (fake are ok, but I would go for real), a sorority of at least 5 but no more than 7 (some might argue that 7 is too many for a 10g, but in my opinion, it's a good # for a sorority in this size tank) is probably a better bet than other species of fish since bettas are so picky. If you go for sorority, purchase at least 4 more at same time (good idea is to buy from a local breeder who can give you same age and size...juveniles or young adults from same spawn are ideal)...remove female you have already purchased, move decor around a bit (so existing female might think she's in New tank...will hopefully make her less territorial!), and make sure you have "cave" for each female and lots of plants for breaking up line of sight and giving additional hiding places. Then you can introduce all females to tank and each other at same, including the one you already have.
It should be ok even if the one you already have is a bit older...if you get more from petstore, chances are you will be getting juveniles anyway (in fact, monitor sorority closely for a while as it is quite common to purchase a young female complete with "egg spot" only to find she has grown some amazingly long and colorful fins...in other words, he was mislabeled as a girl:) and so they will be able to get to know each other before becoming adult and territorial.
If you want to get other fish besides 1 betta, be careful as your betta will have issues with: schooling fish that are too energetic such as danios, too flamboyant such as mollies or guppies, or any other aggressive, territorial fish. Ember, neon, or glowlight tetras are good choices as they have color, are quiet and stick to themselves, and they live in middle area of water column. They are schooling fish and are only truly comfortable with at least 6...so 6 neons, etc.
Another good choice are corydoras catfish, smaller ones such as panda, dwarf, (or my favorite) sterbai. Not very colorful but beautiful patterning. Very playful but since they live on bottom, shouldn't upset betta....schooling fish that work best w/at least 6.
Problem is that you asked about colorful tankmates. Most mates that won't upset your,betta are going to be your quiet schoolers and the minimum # for a school is also going to be maximum for your 10g...1 betta and 6 neons....1betta and 6 corydorus catfish....in other words, don't overstock your tank or it will always be dirty which leads to death.
If it were me: I would build the sorority as you will have more flash and color with 5-7 betta females than with 1 betta and 6 ember or neon tetras!
Biggest newbie mistake is to overstock in a variety of ways. Second biggest mistake is to disregard how a particular species lives: when I first started out, I put in a 20g 2 mollies, 4 guppies, 4 neon tetras, 2 white skirt tetras, 1 kuli loach, 3 green brochis catfish (like a corydorus), and 1 plecostamus(probably spelled wrong) who was not a bristlenose and grew to 14inches in length before dying after 9yrs! After lots of research, I got more tanks and made these poor abused (yes, abuse, since in my book ignorance doesn't give you a free pass!) fish as happy as I could make them.
So, forgive me if I sound short or mean...I just don't want anyone making same mistakes! Use us on this forum, we're here to help! :)
Fairy74: my experience is like yours. I have had 2 successful sororities with only one fin biting issue (just moved aggressor to other sorority after a "time out" period in a 1.5g vase/jar...no more issues after that)! Occasional chasing but that's it!
I had 1 female who stayed hidden most of time, but she came out for meals and wasn't chased off, but...she was always striped w/ stripes going horizontally from nose to tail. These are called "stress stripes" and that is what they are and why most bettas have them while living in a dirty cup at Walmart/Petco/Petsmart! If you have only a couple bettas in your sorority, it is probably not a water quality or water temp issue....BUT, if the stripes are there, they are stressed even if,not picked on :(
Some bettas, probably due to how they were raised, simply cannot acclimate to a sorority no matter what you do. You can try moving caves and other decor around and adding more plants but if that doesn't work, try separating them into their own jar/vase or a Kritter keeper (with plants and a cave)....I did this with mine and within 36hrs, her stripes disappeared! And within 3 weeks, she was so full of eggs, she saddled!
Thanks for all the great advice everybody! I've also been combing through the stickies and old threads and have learned a lot. I am about to prepare my 10gal for a sorority of petco fish (yet to be obtained.) How do I quarantine so many at one time? Do I need 1 completely functional cycled tank per fish? What is the process of quarantine? How long should it last? I don't want to expose healthy fish to an unknown illness. I didn't see a sticky on this but if there is one, feel free to direct me there. Thanks.
So when you first want to build your sorority your going to need some things. First is a hammer you need to straighten everything out. Lol jk.
Alright so if you are willing to do more water changes you could have 12, LittleBettaFish did this it worked out great it is just much more work. So 5-7 is a good number, but you always have options. When you get all the other females make sure to have them at least cupped in the tank side by side to see who is aggressive or not. It is recommended that you quarantine then and let none of their water get into another's. Diseases are really common with females since usually the get left on the shelf for a long time. Make sure you have at least aquarium salt and epsom salt on hand, that way you can combat both external and internal problems for the most part. Release the girls from least to most aggressive to your understanding.
Also, try not to listen to petstore employees, 90% of the time they don't know what they are talking about.
Ok, so my understanding of quarantine is just not to let their water mix. I've read about the use of salt to treat disease. Should I just treat everyone in their cups regardless just to be safe. (I realize dosing would be tricky). Or do I wait for symptoms to appear once they are all together in the new tank? I'm worried that the salt or medicine might adversely affect the plants. Where did I put that hammer. . . ? I'm already starting to think that I might want to switch to a 20 gal tank. I decided to do a 10 because I'm doing a Walstad type planted aquarium and she suggested that beginners start with a 10. Really I've been wanting a 20 long.
Im just popping in here, but i speak to all of my fishies too, just like how I speak to my cats :). My sister and dad think I'm weird for it, but the fish hear us I think, and when I talk to them, they "respond" to me. Its adorable :3