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Old 04-02-2013, 07:44 AM   #51 
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Beautiful tank, and such lovely girls!
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:43 AM   #52 
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Location: Champaign, Illinois
Awesome, Ayala! I finally decided to get my girls out of quarantine too, but was so entranced by them I forgot to shoot video. They'd been in there three weeks, but on Friday, one of them got a chunk bitten out of her tail and I decided it was best to get them in their real home since they seem to be getting ready to establish territories.

Since it's a planted tank, they spent the entire night exploring and hunting for scuds.

I didn't see this in the original post, and Ayala mentioned turning DOWN the filter, so I thought I would mention it... One trick I learned from Chard56 (who I got all of my girls from) is that high filter flow helps mitigate aggression -- the water flow can interrupt an attack by forcing the two to have to swim hard to stay in place.

Videos of my girls instead of pictures:
Quarantine tank:
Display tank:

I still haven't found good names for my girls yet, so I'm still identifying them by body features.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:15 PM   #53 
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The thing with the outflow - my girls do that too! They will "ride" the moving water all the way from the back to the front, and then often peel out, go back and do it again! I imagine they are doing the fish equivalent of yelling "Wheeee!" as they go.

It looks nice and I'm glad they are settling down
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:53 AM   #54 
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Got a question for you all. I had to take my sorority apart because one of my ladies ended up being a boy. I got a female to replace him with last night. While I acclimated her & put her in her QT tank she was fine. A little stressed and kept swimming all over the place, but no stress stripes or anything like that. I put her QT tank by the other girls so they could get used to the site of each other & that changed. She lost all her color and very prominent stress stripes showed. All the sudden she clamped up a little and seemed to try and make herself as small as possible. She's twice the size of my other ladies, but it was obvious the site of them really upset her, so I blocked her view of them & when she didn't start relaxing I blocked her view of everything else overnight. This morning the stress stripes are gone, she's swimming like normal, no more clamped fins or anything. When she see's the girl it's the same reaction, so I've isolated her again. Am I handling this correctly or is it better to leave her where she can see the other ladies. She's in QT for 2 weeks and the sorority won't be going back up until then at the earliest, so I can take it slow if she just needs some special attention and time to relax.

What I know of this females past is this - some lady had 5 bettas and for some reason had to get rid of them, so she gave them to the pet store to sell. Being as she gave them 5 bettas at once and said they were all female I think she tried a failed sorority. When I bought the boy from the tank all the females were hiding behind the filter and absolutely colorless. So she's been rather stressed lately anyway.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:36 AM   #55 
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What's with all the spam and eggs lately?
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:46 AM   #56 
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Originally Posted by Stone View Post
What's with all the spam and eggs lately?
This post was in reference to several spam bot posts that got put here that were deleted by a mod and left without an answer.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:39 PM   #57 
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Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
I've seen a lot of threads on sororities asking pretty basic questions and although I know that there is a thread already dedicated to this, it seems kind of disorganised and the OP doesn't cover as many areas as I think it needs to.

I had this floating around on an unfinished site of mine so thought it might be helpful to those thinking of starting up a sorority tank.

Feel free to add any of your own experiences to this post. I think I covered most of the major areas where people run into trouble but if you think something is important post it up.

Introduction to Betta Sororities
Your first question might be, ‘What exactly is a betta sorority?’ In short, a ‘sorority’is a group of female Betta splendens housed together in the same tank.

A sorority is usually one of two things: a brilliant success, or a spectacular failure. There is more to a successful sorority than just putting a group of females in a tank together and expecting them to get along.

Below, I have outlined a list of steps that should hopefully help you on your way and tilt the odds of success in your favour.

Any sorority tank should be a minimum of 10 gallons
Female bettas can be as aggressive and unpredictable as males. Domesticated splendens have been selectively bred for generations, and were never really intended to live peacefully with others of their species.

Therefore, it is important to provide each female with enough space to get away from an aggressor, and to lessen the event of territorial flare-ups.

I usually ensure each of my females has at least 1 gallon of space per fish. However, you may want to increase this minimum if you have particularly big or hostile females. Unless your females are very young and it is only a temporary solution, I would never recommend a sorority tank be anything less than 10 gallons.

Finally, an ideal sorority tank is one that is wider rather than taller. You will often find the more dominant females will spend most of their time near the surface and may bully the others when they come up to breathe or feed. Therefore, it is best to give your females enough room to spread out.

You should provide as much cover as possible
By blocking the line of sight from one end of the tank to the other, you can drastically lessen aggression and prevent chases from happening.

In a sparsely planted tank, there is nothing to prevent one female from chasing another around for as long as she wants. As you can imagine, this is obviously stressful for the fish being chased, and usually once the fish is caught, there is nowhere for her to escape from an attack.

Ideally I like to see most of the tank covered with either artificial or live plants. You want plants that provide cover at all levels of the tank. It is no use having lots of very short plants at the bottom, when your females are chasing and fighting up top!

I found my females rarely if ever went into hides such as terracotta caves or PVC pipe tunnels. Other people may have different experiences, but I have found the most favoured hiding places were in amongst the plants, particularly up near the surface.

You need a minimum of four-five females
A successful sorority is often one that is over rather than understocked. Indeed, you will find it very difficult to maintain long-term a sorority that has only 2-3 individuals. Generally the most dominant individual(s) will attack the weakest until she is either dead or extremely stressed.

To avoid this from happening, you want to have enough females that any aggression is dispersed rather than targeted at the weakest female. Some people are much more conservative with the stocking of their sororities, but I feel that the more females you have, the less prolonged aggression you will see.

If you cannot purchase or house any more than 2-3 females, I would advise against a sorority. It is only be a matter of time before you see the results of poor stocking, in the form of disease, injury and even death. An alternative solution in these instances is to either divide up a single tank, or house each female separately from the other.

It is best to choose the youngest females possible
Older, mature females that have lived alone are more inclined to react with extreme aggression when placed in a sorority environment. While most tend to adapt and become part of the community after an initial introduction period, some will continue to act aggressively and will need to be at removed.

Younger females (siblings from the same spawn are often the best candidates for sororities particularly if they have yet to be separated) are usually much less territorial and aggressive. There is usually much less serious fighting between individuals while sorting out a hierarchy, and they tend to be much more flexible with the introduction of new tankmates.

However, one danger in choosing young females is that you will end up with a male plakat instead. This has happened to me once or twice, and for those without separate accommodations, can be quite the headache.

Females tend to have a rounder body shape than males, and in light coloured females, you should also be able to make out the ovaries as a small yellowish triangle behind the intestines. Male plakats will often have longer ventrals, a pronounced beard, possibly a fuller caudal, and generally a sharper angle to their anal fin. While they may not have a visible eggspot, it is not uncommon for younger males to have an ovipositor as well . Therefore, the presence of an eggspot alone is often not a good determinant of gender.
The best advice I can give, is that if in doubt, don’t purchase.

Ensure that your water parameters are nothing short of perfect
Living in even the most peaceful sorority environment is often quite stressful for a female betta. She must not only compete for food and for territory, but also must deal with the close proximity of equally territorial and aggressive fish.

Stress in fish is one of the number one causes for outbreaks of disease. While poor water quality may not kill your females outright, it can compromise their immune system, leaving them vulnerable to diseases a healthy fish may otherwise have managed to fight off.

In poor water conditions, when one female becomes sick it is usually quickly spread to every other female in the tank as well. This is why it is important to monitor your water parameters and ensure that they are always within an appropriate range. Any readings less than ideal demand an immediate water change and a look at the way the tank is being maintained.

Aggression in sororities
The question I often hear from most of those new to sororities is "What is too much aggression and when should I intervene?"

You have to remember when dealing with bettas, that aggression is a perfectly natural behaviour. However, this does not mean that your sorority tank should look like a WWF wrestling match.

It is common for there to be some fighting when you first introduce your females. This could be anything from posturing, body slapping, flaring, chasing and biting. This usually settles down within a couple of days although it is perfectly normal to see occasional flare-ups.

For me, the time to intervene is when there is more than a couple of minutes of sustained fighting between two females in which obvious damage is being done. I separate out whoever looks to be the aggressor, and put them into a breeders' net that sits in my sorority tank. I find this is often the best method of introducing particularly aggressive females as by the end of the week, they are generally accustomed to the other females being nearby and less inclined to over react when reintroduced.

I also intervene if it is obvious one female is being continually bullied by the others. If a female is starting to lose a lot of condition, or has severe fin and scale damage it is time to pull her from the sorority. It can be difficult to understand why certain females are targeted by the others. Just because a female is small or less aggressive does not mean she will be the one bullied. Therefore, it is important with a sorority tank that you find the time each day to check on your females and see that everyone is in good physical shape. I speak from experience when I say it does not take long for things to suddenly fall apart.

Sorry if there are any spelling mistakes or issues. I went through it in Word but may have missed some of the less obvious grammatical errors.
Great thread! I had two females in a 55 gal before and 3 in a five temporarily without problems. I think it really depends on the individual fish though
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:39 PM   #58 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Davis, CA
Started my sorority 2 days ago. I started with 10 females in a 15G. I will pull out females if they're not doing well in this setup. So far they all look healthy and good, none of them have stress bars or paleness (some of them actually turned more colorful!). There's some minor chasing and 2-3 nips that happened, but in general they don't flare at each other much or harass others around them.

These pictures were taking right after I fed them, which is why they're all up top. They don't seem to mind feeding together either.

Lets hope it keeps up this way >.<!

Thanks for this awesome guide : )
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:03 PM   #59 
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Wow!!!! Really great thread. Will be coming back
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:39 AM   #60 
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Location: Central IL
Thumbs up My Sorority Tank

I have a sorority tank of 5 females. I love this tank. I researched for weeks as far as how many females to add to tank, hiding places, other possible tankmates, you name it. Even people at the LFS tried to tell me I couldn't do it. Well, I did and so far (knock on wood), my tank has been a success.

This article is amazing. I had not found this article while researching but I will say that I sat my tank up almost exactly like this article describes to do. I do believe that a lot of cover and hiding places are the absolute key to success with a betta sorority tank.

I have 2 oto's and corydoras (tiny cory) in the tank to eat any uneaten food and to eat algae. (I also feed my cory and oto fish an excellent diet). Everyone in the tank is living happily together.

I have a heater in the tank, filter, air stone and I always have clean water in the tank. It's a 10 gallon tank but will soon be a twenty gallon.

I also believe that feeding a sorority tank (and all betta fish) an excellent well rounded diet keeps them much healthier, especially in cases of stressful situations, such as aggressive fish being housed together.

They tell you to feed your mating bettas frozen blood worms, brine shrimp and such two weeks before breeding to get them into tip top condition. My reaction to this is to ask why wouldn't you feed them the best possible diet every day??

Excellent diets for the betta do help their immune system and helps keep them healthier during stressful times.

Constipation you say? No problem with it. Once a week I feed them blanched cucumbers, zucchini, or unshelled peas. (all blanched) My oto's love the veggies too. Once a week, my babies fast.

Their diet and frequent 20% water changes must be working because Mr. Blue blows a bubble nest one day and once it's gone, he blows another!! He's a happy boy. My males have 3 gallon tanks with filter, pump, and heaters. I will NOT keep a betta in a bowl.

I want to thank for for posting this complete how to article. It took me rummaging the internet and reading many many articles on how to's for a sorority tank and then putting my own thoughts and ideas together with what I read to get my sorority tank............When all I needed was this one article. It's wonderful. Thank you so very much.

My Sorority Tank
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