I currently have two male bettas. Narcissus and Charlemagne. I was planning on buying three females tomorrow. I was reading online that you could mix female and male bettas. I read several stories where a male and female betta lived in harmony together even without spawning. They slept together even! Also there were multiple female with a single male. So here is my question. I want Narcissus or Charlemagne to have that sort of relationship with a female. I completely understand that it's not for all fish But I want to know how I would go about finding out if my fish would do it. How could I introduce a female to my betta? How do I know I can release her into the tank? What precautions should I take? I do have tanks for the females to be separate or together when I get them. So if it backfires I have an escape plan. Thank you!
I don't think it would be a good idea to have them together like that unless they have been together since they were fry, and I don't think even that is the best idea. Unless the males AND females were extremely timid/shy and gentle, You should probably just have them together for spawning.(If that's what you intend to do in the future.)
Really I only see this ending badly. Splendens are not fish that can live happily in male/female pairs or as a single male with multiple females. There are rare instances where it does work for some time, but usually the wheels fall off the wagon and it all ends in disaster.
I know as I had the females in my sorority basically kill a male that had lived peacefully with them for a year and a half.
Fish do not have relationships. They are not people, and splendens in particular being aggressive and territorial fish usually only pair up for spawning purposes. After the spawning is over, the male will chase the female away from the nest and their time of being together is over.
I'm not quite familiar with sororities, as I prefer females only to spawn and in my opinion I believe they are just to drab for my taste. Maybe someone with more experience in that area with post soon.
Actions & pictures to verify such claims speak louder than words on the Internet.
Don't believe it can be done unless you have a really LARGE tank 30 or 40 gallons with tons of live plants & arranged like a underwater jungle.
I'm sure it can happen, on very rare occasions, but from what I know and experienced, I highly doubt cohabitation is possible & even if it seems peaceful @ first, I highly doubt this PEACE will last longer than 1-2 months MAX before one or both fish end up killing each other.
Feel free to experiment on your two male bettas and prove us naysayers wrong.
Sororities do best with a minimum of five females. High stocking levels help to disperse aggression and prevent individual weaker fish from being continually harassed. It's the same kind of method people use when housing aggressive African cichlids.
You want a lot of cover in a sorority tank. The weaker females need somewhere to get away, particularly around the upper levels of the tank when they come up to breathe and feed. I really like to use live plants in a sorority, particularly fast-growing stems as they provide a lot of coverage and help with improving water quality. The idea is to break up the line of sight from one end of the tank to the other.
Try and choose the youngest (identifiable) females you can. This increases your chances of them being comfortable with living in a sorority. Older, mature females tend to be more violent and territorial and are usually the ones that will need to be removed because of continued aggression.
You have to maintain essentially pristine water conditions for a sorority to work. A sorority can be a stressful environment, and stress in fish is a big trigger for disease. You don't want to be contributing to this stress and the possibility of disease by letting your parameters slip. I lost nearly 50% of my sorority (nearly all imported and expensive females) in one night because I made a stupid error of judgement and didn't check my parameters when I should have.
If a female is being particularly aggressive, leaving her in the sorority but in something like a breeders' net where she is in visual contact with the other females, can help with a more peaceful transition. I usually leave aggressors in there for a week or so and then let them out.
It is normal for females to fight quite violently for several days while they sort out their pecking order. But if it is sustained and a lot of physical damage is being done to the fins and scales, it may be time to separate one or both fish out using the above method.
Some females will never adapt to life in a sorority so you have to be prepared to have back-up plan in case things don't pan out. This could be rehoming or rehousing but it is only going to end in disaster if you continually force the issue.
An important rule, is to quarantine any new females for at least two weeks before introducing them to your existing sorority. You do not want to risk introducing a disease into your tank as this can be devastating.
Finally, the minimum tank size for a sorority in my opinion is 10-15 gallons. I would not go any smaller than a 10 unless you have extremely young siblings and you are planning on upgrading once they mature.