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Old 04-15-2013, 05:54 PM   #11 
Roemgie
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Originally Posted by Xeek View Post
Lock jaws to drown others - not something fish do. You do realize how long a betta can stay under water without coming to the surface? You also realize that labrynth fish (Anabantoideis) do have gills and do breathe under water as well as the air above water.

So part of your answer to #1 would be out of speculation and not really what is happening.

Females do not pair up they don't have that kind of social structure. That would imply they make friends and they don't. They live alone in the wild. It's often recommended that if you add females to a sorority to not add one, but 2 or more so the 1 isn't totally picked on by everyone else - that's likely the reason you heard that.

Actually several experienced betta keepers told me of the lock jaw. It is possible to drown a fish since they still are getting oxygen from the water. I have been told to 'drown' a fish you just pull them backwards. Although I would never EVER try it.

Pairing or friends I mean that they mutually agree to not go after the other. They do have that ability and I've noticed that with my girls so far and that's probably why that's the best and that there won't be just one 'new girl' in school.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:54 PM   #12 
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Handling aggression.

Starting up is the difficult part. You need homes for each of the girls. When you begin you will likely want to find as many unique girls as you can and this could take some time! It's best you add them all at once so don't buy 2 add them to the main tank, find another 2 later, and so on. I tried to find as many unique colored girls as I could starting out and it took me weeks to find the ones I wanted that I felt were healthy. In the pet store watch them, pick their cups up, tap at them, get them to move, put them next to another cup see how they react. You want a betta that is active, energetic, moving around, and one that tries to attack the other cup! Really you do. That aggression is showing you health, you can try to control that later.

If you start with 6 girls then you need storage for each of them. For me it was a 2.5G, a divided 6.6G and two breeder boxes, as well as one already introduced into the main tank. If I did this over again I would have bought or found 6 good sized jars or transparent containers to keep them in. I want them to see each other! They need to start learning to be communal with one another and that starts with getting comfortable seeing each other. They will attack on occasion but eventually stop, they're smart enough to know there is a barrier. I've always had them calm down in just a few hours. By the next day they're only mildly flaring at each other or just watching and completely content with their situation.

It even got to the point that the 2 girls I had in the divided tank (which they had full visual access to one another) were able to coexist together on one side - so I placed another girl on the empty side. This took a lot of supervision, but after 3 days of absolutely no fighting between the 2 I let them stay together until it was time to combine the sorority. That's a rare thing, but one of them did prove to be super aggressive later. I also moved the girls around ever couple of days with the least amount of stress possible (catch them in a cup not a net, or knock down the divider and use your hand to guide one to the other side). They all need to meet at some point before the day comes.

Ok now you have them all together. I have found no point in adding them one at a time and waiting. I have also found no point in figuring out who was more aggressive and adding them last. It turns out they have different feelings about different bettas! One might always attack one girl but leave another one alone. So in all at once.

Supervise! Amazingly after keeping them together for so long (weeks) in between barriers with visual contact I rarely see any real fighting at this point. It's as if they've already worked out their pecking order through the glass. They will flare at one another or you may only see one flaring as she swims by others. You can predict a fight if they come to one another and curl their tails and do this dance - a fight is imminent or one will give in and swim away. A chase may occur. How do you tell if one is overly aggressive? Does she chase and keep chasing without giving up until line of sight is broken? Does she keep picking fights? Take her out and put her in time out. I do this in a transparent breeder box so she still remains in full visual contact with everyone else. I'll keep her in that box for a week or more then add her back to the group. Often this works for me and she seems to have taken a place lower in the social structure. I have had one girl who still remained aggressive. She went back in time out. The second time worked and she was no longer attacking or chasing anyone.

Unfortunately often much of what people will tell you is what they believe what they are seeing but are probably not getting it right. Ive read research papers on female bettas (they cost money usually on various websites) that show good information about how their behaviors actually are. For example it's nearly non-existant for a female to attack another female going up to the surface for air, they will even break off attacks just for air. It's like calling time out.

To really understand their behavior you have to study hundreds of these fish and not make conclusions based on what you see with how just 2 react to each other.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:55 PM   #13 
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It's hardly unethical. It's not like each female was cramped into 1 gallon of space. They had the whole 10 gallons to move about in, and I actually had less issues in regards to aggression, injury and general health than I did when I had less females in a bigger space.

I have had at least 50-70 females splendens and used to run a couple of sorority tanks. Only reason I don't any more is because I had a cycle crash and lost half of my sorority to an ammonia spike (my test kit was faulty and was telling me everything was fine) and I sold the rest because I was so devastated.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:56 PM   #14 
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I had 3 in my SPEC V for now. Curious Grace is adult or young adult and she is the biggest CT. Wee is a Petco baby that is almost a young adult and it is CT as well. The last one is another Petco Baby, Jes, that is either a HMPK or VT. The pecking order is established by size, even though Jes started flaring at the bigger girls when introduced. Now she is in a breeder box because she cannot get to the food as fast. I will hold her there until she grows a bit.

But when all 3 were in the tank, Wee tend to follow CG around like a kid and that bothered CG so she had to chase her away, no nipping, just bugged by Wee. Once Wee runs off, CG is fine, she does not hunt Wee down or hurt her. Jes probably got a lesson from the older girls to mind her own business so she is a loner and bottom dweller most of the time trying to befriend the shrimps.

I also have some Amano and RCS in there and they are roaming freely without harassment from the girls. In fact, I have a new batch of baby RCS again.

I think the key was to have the babies and the adults get used to one another before introduction. I put their containers/tanks side by side and let them get used to seeing one another for about 3 weeks before my release. So yes 3 girls in a 5g, with one in the "cage" The other 2 are fine.

Oh when CG was first released she was poking at everything: shrimp and snail. She bit off both antennae Yo the GMS and it hurts to see it happened. Yo is not longer harassed but is keeping his antennae tucked in whenever there is a betta around just in case.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:57 PM   #15 
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@Roemgie, thanks for posting your experience! You may be in college (I am 42) but I have only been keeping Bettas for a little under six months so you have me beat on the experience side. I will confess, though, that I wonder if I even dare try this with crowntails ..wouldn't that just be my luck? LOL!
I am about to hit my own year anniversary! Hahaha I have to admit I'm currently 20 but don't feel like it -_-
I will say that what I did when I got my two EE I put them in their own 2.5 gallon tanks and then set them on either side of Maybelline's five gallon tank so that they could see each other and get use to the idea of each other. Towards the end of my 10 gallon cycling I moved Ceylon and Opal side by side (about a day or 2 before I moved them) so they could see each other too.

But I have to say that maybe the aggression doesn't go towards females :P I guess that means a 20 gallon with 5-7 females would be a good idea :D lol
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:58 PM   #16 
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Actually several experienced betta keepers told me of the lock jaw. It is possible to drown a fish since they still are getting oxygen from the water. I have been told to 'drown' a fish you just pull them backwards. Although I would never EVER try it.

Pairing or friends I mean that they mutually agree to not go after the other. They do have that ability and I've noticed that with my girls so far and that's probably why that's the best and that there won't be just one 'new girl' in school.
And several employees at pet stores have told me to cycle my tanks for months for plants.

You will hear a lot of unfounded information about fish from hobbyists that get passed around. It's really amazing how much of it exists in the aquarium world!
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:58 PM   #17 
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They are young Otterfun. It is when they start to mature that problems can arise. I have introduced young or very small females into a sorority with larger females no issue because they do not really challenge the other females and the older females don't really see them as a threat.

You just have to be aware that bettas are unpredictable and what works now may not work later on down the track.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:02 PM   #18 
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Petco sells transparent plastic breeder boxes that I use for around $6.00. The time-out method has worked for me extremely well. Before adding the last 2 girls they stayed in these time-out boxes within the tank for 2 weeks. After adding them to the sorority I had absolutely no change in aggression and the 2 new girls were far more docile than they were when I first got them. If they remain aggressive another time-out is needed and for possibly longer. It's a method I learned after I lost my first sorority to disease and into the second sorority I started.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:03 PM   #19 
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And several employees at pet stores have told me to cycle my tanks for months for plants.

You will hear a lot of unfounded information about fish from hobbyists that get passed around. It's really amazing how much of it exists in the aquarium world!
Yeah but pet store employees aren't meant to be completely knowledgeable because honestly if I worked at petco not a single 'betta heaven' or 'betta cup' would be sold from that store.

I have to admit I do agree with you. I haven't noticed any of my girls going for each others mouth but it doesn't hurt to share that type of information because true or not it doesn't mean life or death to anyone (thankfully!).
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:04 PM   #20 
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It's hardly unethical. It's not like each female was cramped into 1 gallon of space. They had the whole 10 gallons to move about in, and I actually had less issues in regards to aggression, injury and general health than I did when I had less females in a bigger space.

I have had at least 50-70 females splendens and used to run a couple of sorority tanks. Only reason I don't any more is because I had a cycle crash and lost half of my sorority to an ammonia spike (my test kit was faulty and was telling me everything was fine) and I sold the rest because I was so devastated.
I have to admit personally I wouldn't want to be in a tank with that many females. Of course if I was at the bottom of the pecking order maybe but really they say you need 2 gallons per fish, same for horses 2 acres per horse, cats a whole neighborhood lol and dogs you need to interact with and take them for walks everyday.
But it's the fact that they are supposed to have acres and acres of rice patties to roam around in. But I can see that the more you have the less aggressive everyone will be. I just know that although I have bought all my girls I know they'd prefer a bigger home.

And I am very very sorry for your lose! I know how it feels to just lose one at a time but to lose so many I can only imagine!
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