Okay, so my sorority has recovered from the disaster that it underwent while I was on vacation, and it's actually better than ever. I have five gals that are absolute DOLLS, and don't cause any trouble with each other. Ever. I did try to add a sixth that turned out to be too aggressive, and when she'd flare up at any of the other five, they'd just look at her like "WTH is all the drama about?" and go on their merry ways.
My one problem is with the girl that I'm fairly certain is my alpha female, Erica--she's an absolute pig. I feed pellets, and do my best to spot-feed so that each of the girls gets the appropriate amount, but Erica does her best to thwart these careful plans every day. If a piece of food sinks, she will get to it before the other fish 90% of the time, even if she's on the other side of the tank. If a piece floats by her, she will eat it. And at the end of the feeding frenzy, when everyone else is just chilling, she is madly searching on the bottom of the tank for any scraps that were missed. She'll even start trying to chow down on the plants--no matter if she's already eaten enough to bloat, she'll still sit there and attack the greenery.
I have started removing her during feeding time and letting her eat in her own little cup while the other girls eat in the tank, and this hasn't caused any problems with disrupting the hierarchy. My worries are that (a) she bloats easily anyways, and (b) she hunts down any food left behind, little as it may be, after I put her back in, and then bloats more. Would it be safe to knock her down to eating every other day, or maybe two out of every five days while feeding the other girls every day? I feel like she's constantly bloated, so I'm always pulling her out and feeding the other girls just a pellet or two a piece so that there aren't any leftovers.
And for those curious, here's a few pictures! You can see the primary offender in picture #3, on the right.
Erika -- copper CT (I swear, she transformed into this color while I was gone! I always thought of her as a sort of light-blue wild type with a touch of pink, and I came back to a gorgeous copper girl.)
Nanaka -- pink/red CT (The massive damage on her tail is actually looking much better, and was from my previous sorority problems with a killer VT female.)
Yuki -- white marble CT
Linda -- multi VT-ish
Kaori -- dal VT
The one floating in the cup is aforementioned girl #6, who I need to get a new tank (or, better yet, a new home) for. She's a blue VT with a splash of white on the top of her head. And don't worry, she gets enough air and fresh water for her temporary solution. I promise. :P