I'm new to the forum because I'm looking to get a beta for my daughter this Christmas. I'm not new to caring for delicate creatures and I have a very good understanding of the maintenance of aquariums.
I currently have 2 Red Eared Slider turtles in 90 gallons of water and a Bearded Dragon. I have read the general care post on this site and have been reading around the net a bit but I find it's always better to get the advice of people such as yourselves who own betas and are passionate enough to be a part of a site like this.
So my questions are these:
1) Can I have 4 females in a 10 gallon tank...or should I?
2) Will 10g be enough for the bio load?
3) What is the best thing to feed them?
I don't want to do it if "it should be ok", I like my little creatures to thrive, not just survive. I already have everything I will need for the set up, I just need to know if 4 in a 10g is feasible. I read that to keep multiple betas you need 4 or more females so I would like to do that.
Acording to the rule of 1 gallon to every 1in of fish, it is perfectly fine. Just make sure that you have the hiding spots for the to flee to. Agression will be normal for a little while. Other than that... Go for it, let us know how it works.
It won't. Have you done a fishless cycle in the tank?
Also, if you're worried about over stocking (or ammonia build up) you can add live plants, if you weren't already planning to do so. They will need quite a bit of decor anyways so they can retreat to hiding spaces if they need some peace and quiet.
Edit: Oh, and as for food, Omega One betta pellets and New Life Spectrum betta pellets are the favorites on this site because they both have very good ingredients.
I'm not sure about the bio load and all that for a sorority (I only have 1 female in a 5 gallon all by herself - she's incredibly aggressive, so I don't think I could ever keep her in a sorority no matter how big the tank was.)
But as far as feeding, you'll want to look for a high quality betta pellet where at least the first 3 ingredients are a fish protein source. You'll also want to find one that has very few filler ingredients added, such as wheat, barley, etc. Bettas are naturally carnivorous, so you don't want to fill them up on a cheap pellet or flake that hardly has any meat in it. You can use a high quality flake, but be aware that many fish don't like flakes and they can get messy because they tend to break apart and fall to the bottom. My girl LOVES flakes, but I only give them as an occasional treat for that reason. You will also want to get something to feed them as treats such as freeze dried or frozen blood worm, shrimp, fruit flies, etc. Those are meant as treats only, maybe once or twice a week.
I use Hagen's Nutrafin Max Betta Pellets - they are very small and easy for smaller mouths to eat in one bite. I also use Hagen's Nutrafin Max Color Enhancing Flakes for my girl to eat as a treat (my male doesn't like them) and I use freeze -dried blood worms for treats as well (mainly for male, as my female will eat them, but doesn't like them as much as her flakes). My female was very picky and it took me several tries on pellets to find one that she likes - they are high quality in that they are mostly protein and very little filler stuff, but there are higher quality and more expensive pellets. I had to order mine online.
I hope that helps with the food question.
4 females in a 10 is good, the max you could have without overstocking I say would be 7, assuming there is no other tank mates like bottom feeders or snails. Also if you are worried about the bio load being too much live plants will help keep it down.
There are several different recommended types of food, I think the top suggested are; new life spectrum, omega one betta buffet, and my mind is blank on the 3rd. Pellets are generally better than flakes. Also If you want to try a different brand, just look on the ingredients. Also you should supplement their diets with frozen or live treats on occasion such as blood worms, brine shrimp, etc
Thanks for all the responses. I feel confident now that my set up is fine and I know what to feed them.
I have not started the fishless cycle yet. I ordered some k1 and am waiting for it to arrive. I'm doing an in tank, fluidized bio filter. I plan on using some cycled water from the turtles aquarium to get the colonization started. I think using the fluidized filter will give the tank a little extra appeal plus the constant moving k1 should keep the betas entertained.
I will post pictures and maybe a vid of the filter going once it's all set up and they are comfortably swimming in their new home.
One more thing; I've never had a sorority, and I don't know if it's necessary to QT every one of your females before adding them to the tank but I figure one other person who replied to this thread may know. The only reason I bring this up is because I know if you have a divided tank, you should QT any new fish you're planning on adding beforehand in case they happened to have a sickness when they were purchased.
I would do that regardless of whether or not it is necessary, better safe than sorry. though it is a good point to bring up, Ayala. a good point indeed since one tends not to think about this sort of thing.