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Old 08-18-2013, 04:00 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: South Florida
Unhappy Sorority Tank Failure; Dealing With Fin Bites

I attempted to try my hand at a sorority tank after doing well with maintaining mostly males and one female betta for two years until my fish contracted parasites and I was unable to save them.

I have a 10 gallon tank divided in a 1:3 ratio with a male in the 1 and decided on adding two female Bettas on the 3. Now I know better than adding less than 4 female Bettas as well as starting a sorority in less than 10 gallons. But the females I picked were actually both very young, two totally different colors/types (1 black CrownTail and 1 white viel tail) and I had tons of plants and hiding spots in the tank. So I figured what could go wrong?

Well nothing did for two weeks. In fact they both appeared to be schooling and everything. They'd swim together, wouldn't fight against food, wouldn't chase or bite or body slam. Up until the other night I came home and found my white one with half her tail gone. All bitten up. I felt horrible. Immediately I took her out and set up a new tank for her.

Long story short my question is what is the quickest and best way I can get her back to 100%? I put her in a tank with pre cycled water and sediment as well as stress zymes and stress coat. How long do you expect it will take for her tail to grow back?

Here's a video of my tank before the fighting:

Here's a photo of my poor girl after:

Last edited by loveiszen; 08-18-2013 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: North Carolina
Poor girl! You've learned your own lesson on what can go wrong when a sorority is started in less than 10 gallons, and with less than 5 girls to lessen any challenges or stress. Putting two girls together is the ultimate no-no (it is mentioned time and time again here on this site), even if they appear to be best buds in the beginning. With only two, it's only a matter of time until one decides to claim the tank as her territory. The male nearby could have also contributed to the stress of the environment.

Clean water, time and a calm environment is the best way to heal her right now. I'd definitely plan on putting the male in a tank by himself and adding 4-5 more girls in the WHOLE 10g, if you want to re-think a sorority again. Add lots of hiding places and plants. Sororities can be successful, so please re-think sacrificing this poor girl again to the abuse of a poorly thought out plan. :)

Last edited by VegasShimmer; 08-18-2013 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:30 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, Australia
This is why I always advise people never to go against the grain when starting a sorority. You can never predict how these fish are going to cohabitate long-term, and when something does go wrong, it can be startling how quickly and how viciously it can occur.

Like Vegasshimmer has said. Warm, clean water will help heal up most fin wounds. I never use products like stress coat, but a higher protein diet while she is trying to heal should help speed up regrowth.

She doesn't look too bad, so you were lucky in that regard.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:01 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Tennessee
I have a 30g sorority with seven girls in it, and as many plants as I can physically get in there and still see my fish... ;) (I've probably gone overboard) And sometimes mine still get tail bites. But, I totally agree with what Vegas and Little have said, more room, more girls, and as many places to hide (and at all levels of the tank, top, middle, and bottom) as you can cram in there.

My guys all typically grew their tail notches back in about two weeks, maybe as long as a month? since the girl's tails are so much shorter, they grow back in pretty quickly as compared with the males. :)
I've read that high-protein frozen food helps.

Also, one more suggestion, you may want to get at least five may want to get a couple of extras. Two of mine were healthy until they went into the sorority (30g, LOTS of plants), but they couldn't handle the stress and died a few days later despite having been pulled out within the hour. I started with nine, but I'm at seven now, with another in QT until she can grow a little more. Now, mine are also coming from Petco and Petsmart, so their health, even with a 2 week quarantine, is probably not the best anyway. This may not be so likely with breeder fish or fish from a more reputable source.

I'm sorry about your girl, but I'm glad you were able to save her, and hopefully things will go more smoothly for you in the future. :)
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bite, female aggression, sorority, tail

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