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Old 05-27-2012, 08:56 PM   #1 
SpookyKitten
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Want to start my first sorority... Help!!

I'm always in the market for new tanks so I've always got adds up on Craigslist and Freecycle and whatnot. Anyway, a guy contacted me getting rid of some tanks for insanely cheap; a 40 gallon, 10 gallon and I THINK 25 gallon for ten bucks all told. Naturally I snapped it up figuring to resell them as I don't have space for a rectangular 10g or the 40g. The 25 (ish) one is a hexagon shape so it could fit somewhere if I played tetris with furniture and tanks. I was still gonna sell it. Then, surprise surprise, my boyfriend (who I'd always worried I drove crazy bringing home new bettas anytime I saw a sick one) found out females live together. I blew it off when he said we should use the 25 for a sorority as I thought he was just being supportive. So today we're at Petsmart getting some snails for three new boys and he brings it up again. I think the exact quote was "I want girl fishies! We only have boys and that's just sexist." which I found hilarious.

ANYWAY (I talk to much, sorry), I have no earthly idea as to how to set up a sorority except that I need at least six, lots of hidey holes, and a filter. Kinds of filters (it'll have to stick to the side of the tank or something 'cause there's a fat lip around the top), plants to balance ammonia, etc etc I am completely baffled. I read the sticky about sororities and it gave some good advice but not so much for exactly how you set it up to begin with.

Some questions I have are:
I use mystery snails to help keep my smaller tanks clean; will they help enough in a tank that size or do I need cleaner fish?

Are ghost shrimp an option?

What kind of live plants would be good to keep water qualities right?

Do I treat the water with anything besides conditioner?

With a filter, live plants and some sort of bio-cleaners (fish, snails, shrimp) will I still need to take everybody out and do 100% water changes? If so, how often?

Does each lady need her own hide out or will some bigger cave type ones do?

HELP!!
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:58 PM   #2 
Bombalurina
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I'm massively jealous of all those tanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpookyKitten View Post

ANYWAY (I talk to much, sorry), I have no earthly idea as to how to set up a sorority except that I need at least six, lots of hidey holes, and a filter. Kinds of filters (it'll have to stick to the side of the tank or something 'cause there's a fat lip around the top),
The filter I use in my sorority is the Hagen Fluval Internal U2. I also have the U1, which I have had to baffle.
plants to balance ammonia,
You don't need plants. They are just handy. :)
etc etc I am completely baffled. I read the sticky about sororities and it gave some good advice but not so much for exactly how you set it up to begin with.
You also need a heater. :)

Some questions I have are:
I use mystery snails to help keep my smaller tanks clean; will they help enough in a tank that size or do I need cleaner fish?
It's a common misconception that snails clean. They really don't. Mystery snails will eat some types of algae, but not many. Nerite snails do better. Cory cats will eat fallen food. Otos and plecos will eat some types of algae. None of them will make the tank cleaner by removing waste, or do anything for water chemistry. They all create waste rather than removing it, so adding "cleaner" fish just contributes to your bioload and means more water changes.

Are ghost shrimp an option?
They are, if you want them. :) They need lots of hiding spots so the bettas won't eat them. I prefer cherry shrimp.

What kind of live plants would be good to keep water qualities right?
As I said, you don't need them, but if you want them, look at beginner plants such as anacharis, hornwort, java fern, java moss, anubias, ambulia, duckweed and water wisteria.

Do I treat the water with anything besides conditioner?
You can use plant fertiliser if you like, but dechlorinator is the only vital thing. I recommend Prime.

With a filter, live plants and some sort of bio-cleaners (fish, snails, shrimp) will I still need to take everybody out and do 100% water changes? If so, how often?
As I said, the "bio-cleaners" increase the need to do water changes, no reduce it. However, a cycled filter prevents the need for 100% changes. :)

Does each lady need her own hide out or will some bigger cave type ones do?
Girls don't tend to use caves as much as boys, I've found. I have one cave in my sorority, but that's for the cories. The girls tend to prefer swimming through the plants. Having lots of plants at all levels - bottom, middle and top - create hiding spots on all levels. :)

HELP!!
I hope this helps! I'll try and get you a picture of my sorority as it looks now to give you an idea of what I mean. :)
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:21 PM   #3 
ttubbs
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i dont think the hexagon is the tank to use only because there more deep then wide and bettas would rather have a home more wide then deep from my understanding bettas dont like deep water anyone feel free to correct me if im wrong
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:23 PM   #4 
Olympia
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Just one thing.. What are the dimensions?
Every hexagon tank I have seen is ridiculously tall and probably not all too practical for a sorority. :(
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #5 
ttubbs
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thats what i was going off of because i have a hexagon 32 gallon and its way to deep for a betta
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:55 PM   #6 
Bombalurina
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My tank isn't a hexy, but it is a lot taller than it is wide - 18 inches tall, only 14 inches wide, and my sorority does fine. Whilst longer, shallower tanks are more practical, a sorority can still work just fine in a tall tank. :) Females can cope with the depth.
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:23 AM   #7 
SpookyKitten
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Thanks guys!! I really appreciate it!!
Think the hexagon would be okay if I had floaty plants up top for them to nestle in?
I have my first betta, Killian, in a ten gallon hex tank that's taller than it is wide and he's super pumped and happy (I put his hammock up top of course so he can rest up near the surface).

So live plants wouldn't be helpful for ammonia levels and the like?

Thanks again guys; especially Bombalurina!!
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:47 AM   #8 
Bombalurina
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Live plants are helpful for ammonia, but they aren't necessary. :) I wouldn't be without them, though.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:57 AM   #9 
Tikibirds
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Some questions I have are:
I use mystery snails to help keep my smaller tanks clean; will they help enough in a tank that size or do I need cleaner fish? do you mean like algae eaters? snails will eat the algae, and any debris they find on the ground like fish food but they poop alot and they may or may not eat live plants depending on the species. Some will and some will only eat dead or dying leaves. you still need to do water changes and gravel vaccuming

Are ghost shrimp an option? Yeah but from what I hear some bettas will eat the shrimp

What kind of live plants would be good to keep water qualities right? depends on what kind of light and soil you have. The only live plants I have in my soerity is Anacharis because it floats.

Do I treat the water with anything besides conditioner? nope

With a filter, live plants and some sort of bio-cleaners (fish, snails, shrimp) will I still need to take everybody out and do 100% water changes? If so, how often? Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? If you have a filter, the tank will try and cycle. Once the cycle is finished, you only have to change out 25% or so of the water. I do about 50%, sometimes 70% because I have 2 big trapdoor snails and about 30 babies plus 4 bettas in my 10G. I'm not sure but I think I'm overstocked. depending on the amount of live plants you have, it messes with the cycle because the plants also use up ammonia and I think nirtItes? I'm not sure how that really plays out.

Does each lady need her own hide out or will some bigger cave type ones do? I've got a few but I seldom see them go into ANY of the decor with holes in it. My last soerity girls never really did either. I had a variety of random stuff thrown into a 20G long.

I would say get more plants - either real or silk ones - ones that fan out with lots of branches with leaves. That will help provide cover by breaking up the line of sight.

Longer tanks are better but I have seen people with 20G tall tanks, bowfront tanks and Hex tanks with soerities. As long as you have cover for ALL levels of the tank, I would think it would be OK. Unless the tank is incredibly narrow...you ca use either live floating plants or plastic ones by tetra work well too. I think they all them water wonders? They will float if you don't anchor them with gravel and work nice for floaters.

you want to pack the tank as full as you can get it- to lessen agression.




Last edited by Tikibirds; 05-28-2012 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:02 AM   #10 
Tikibirds
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Some questions I have are:
I use mystery snails to help keep my smaller tanks clean; will they help enough in a tank that size or do I need cleaner fish? do you mean like algae eaters? snails will eat the algae, and any debris they find on the ground like fish food but they poop alot and they may or may not eat live plants depending on the species. Some will and some will only eat dead or dying leaves. you still need to do water changes and gravel vaccuming

Are ghost shrimp an option? Yeah but from what I hear some bettas will eat the shrimp

What kind of live plants would be good to keep water qualities right? depends on what kind of light and soil you have. The only live plants I have in my soerity is Anacharis because it floats.

Do I treat the water with anything besides conditioner? nopebut I added in some Krodon's fish protector the first few weeks to help with any missing fins and whatnot.

With a filter, live plants and some sort of bio-cleaners (fish, snails, shrimp) will I still need to take everybody out and do 100% water changes? If so, how often? Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? If you have a filter, the tank will try and cycle. Once the cycle is finished, you only have to change out 25% or so of the water. I do about 50%, sometimes 70% because I have 2 big trapdoor snails and about 30 babies plus 4 bettas in my 10G. I'm not sure but I think I'm overstocked. depending on the amount of live plants you have, it messes with the cycle because the plants also use up ammonia and I think nirtItes? I'm not sure how that really plays out.

Does each lady need her own hide out or will some bigger cave type ones do? I've got a few but I seldom see them go into ANY of the decor with holes in it. My last soerity girls never really did either. I had a variety of random stuff thrown into a 20G long.

I would say get more plants - either real or silk ones - ones that fan out with lots of branches with leaves. That will help provide cover by breaking up the line of sight.

Longer tanks are better but I have seen people with 20G tall tanks, bowfront tanks and Hex tanks with soerities. As long as you have cover for ALL levels of the tank, I would think it would be OK. Unless the tank is incredibly narrow...you ca use either live floating plants or plastic ones by tetra work well too. I think they all them water wonders? They will float if you don't anchor them with gravel and work nice for floaters.

you want to pack the tank as full as you can get it- to lessen agression.

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