1. In your experience, do elephant ear females not do as well in a sorority? Do they get nipped at more with bigger pectorals?
2. I've heard many horror stories with sororities like all of the females mysteriously dying within weeks or none of them getting along at all and needing to be separated. How often does that really happen? Particularly with females purchased from a breeder and not a pet store?
3. Also, for some reason I get the impression that sorority tanks just don't last very long sometimes. How long have you guys been able to maintain a sorority?
I'll soon be setting one up hopefully and I am just curious.
1. no experience with elephant ears, but that'd be a concern of mine as well, I believe they swim slower, and their fins are a huge target for anyone else wanting to show them boss, if it was me, I'd either have an all ee sorority or regular sorority.
2. I had no problems with illness in my sorority until I added some live plants I didnt QT long enough. I think if you QT your females and anything else you add into your tank for atleast 2-4 weeks (4 being preferable) you will be able to stay away from illness just fine! - and I've never had any issues with over-agression or anything, even when I added someone new without rearranging or removing the other girls/plants&decorations - But its always a possibility.
3. This is/was my first sorority. Had it going for 3 months (i think) before they started dying off
I had my sorority for two or so years before I made a stupid mistake and killed half of them. This was nothing to do with it being a sorority tank, but rather that I had pH crash which caused my beneficial bacteria to essentially stop doing what they are supposed to do and the resulting ammonia killed several of my nicer females.
If you quarantine anything going into your sorority for two weeks or so, you should generally be able to avoid introducing anything nasty into your tank.
Also, I think a lot of people's sororities break down because they are improperly set-up at from the start. Sororities can be extremely stressful if done incorrectly, and this stress can translate to outbreaks of disease later on down the track. I find some members on here have extreme difficulty in reading fish body language, and what may seem like 'play' to them, is in actual fact quite a serious display of aggression. Just because there isn't any actual physical damage done, doesn't mean there isn't some psychological warfare going on.
I personally enjoyed my sorority. And while it did have some ups and downs until the day I broke it down, there was nothing too serious I ever had to deal with. If I wasn't limited space and budget wise I would probably start one up again. If things go right, they can be a lot of fun.
I just added females to my 29g sorority today. So far all 8 of my girls seem to be getting along okay, there is definitely some showing of dominance (pretty mild, no biting) but they are able to get away from each other and hide in plants and only one is still showing stress stripes.
I'm curious to see everyone else's answers to your questions, I'm hoping my sorority is a success for a long time!
Me, too. Unfortunately I only have a 10 gallon for now but I have soo many plants for it. I decided already that my sorority females will all come from a breeder and not a pet store as they will be more socialized. I am also going to keep them QTed in one gallon tanks right next to each other to see how they will react to each other. Hopefully, this will allow me to kind of judge their individual personalities and aggressiveness. I have one 4 gallon tank that I'm planning on using if any of them are too aggressive for sorority life, but I may put a male in it if all my females DO work out, which hopefully, I'll have no problems.
I just get a little scared seeing problems with the females in sororities dying off one by one :/ but seeing all the videos on YouTube, they look like so much fun! I don't have much sickness problems currently like the ones I see with sororities because my males are in separate 5 gallon tanks.
I also know they can be a lot of work, but very rewarding!
Dont stress about it too much! Sounds like you have everything planned out very well, and as long as you QT everything and keep water quality good, then you should be fine.
Sounds like you have more than enough places for them to hide and plants to obstruct the view as well, so I dont think you will have a problem with over-agression, but if you do, then atleast you have a back-up plan!!
I honestly think that you will do fine with as well as you are trying to prepare for one!
And yes, they are very rewarding. To see animals nick-named "saimese fighting fish" (even if they are females) all living together, is amazing!