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Old 01-31-2013, 09:59 PM   #1 
BettaIsCute
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My fish are fighting :(

Hello, everyone. This is my first post on the forum. I made this account just minutes ago.

Anyway, here is the story:

Four months ago, I was given one of those fish hotel tanks as a gift. It's not very big. I checked it out at the store's website, and it turns out that it was 3.3L, which is slightly less then 1 gallon.

Now, I was never a fish-type of guy, but since I had a tank, I figured I would go buy some fish for it. I went to PetSmart, and they told me that if I was going to buy some fish, but not use a filter or heater or anything at all in the tank except for some rocks and decorations, betta fish were pretty much my only option. I saw them, and fell in love with these beautiful fish. The lady told me that they fight, and I knew that much. She told me that males can't be kept together, nor can male and female. She suggested that I buy 2 females.

I bought the fish. A blue one (Zahra Fish) and a purple one (Shaima Fish). When I bought them, they never fought. At most, they would flare up a little against each other (They don't do this anymore, though), but they NEVER fought. And 4 months later, they still don't fight, and that makes me happy.

I did a LOT of reading about these fish in what ever spare time I had. I read and watched videos about everything, including breeding. I learned that these fish should be kept in much larger tanks then the one I had them in. Since they didn't fight, and to the contrary, they seemed to love each other (I know that it sounds weird to say that, but these fish seem inseparable and playful with each other), I figured that this small tank would suffice until I could get a larger one. I also learned that females should be kept in at least groups of 3 or more, and not 2.

Finally, I bought a 2.5 gallon tank yesterday, and put my 2 fish in it. I know that this is not that much bigger, but at the moment, I have no space for a larger tank. My mom has a 10 gallon, but she has her own fish in there (Not bettas). I also wanted to buy another 2 fish (One male and one female), but they didn't have any yesterday. Today, PetSmart got a brand new shipment of betta fish in, so after work, I went and rescued 2 fish (I wish I could take them all. I feel bad for them in those tiny cups :( ). Now, I know that usually PetSmart fish are 'mutt' fish and all, and I really don't care, because I just love the fish, regardless of its genes or the way it looks, but to my joy, she told me that these are caught in the wild in Thailand, and that they don't carry fish that are bred in captivity.

So, I picked out my male, which is a beautiful blue-and-red half moon (Joey Awesomefish) and my female, which is a red veil tail, or so I believe (Her name is Yasmeen Fish). I took them home with me, and I put Joey Awesomefish in my old, 1 gallon tank. He seems to be fine, and I will disregard him for now, as he is not the problem in this story.

I was very nervous about introducing the new female to the other 2 females that I've had for 4 months. I took a chance, and poured her into the 2.5 gallon tank. All 3 fish seemed to be ok with each other at first... but then something went horribly wrong. I saw Shaima Fish eating a red fin!!! My old fish had already begun to eat my brand new, and beautifully-finned one!! I thought maybe I shouldn't panic, as this fighting would be normal as they get to know each other. Yasmeen Fish and Shaima Fish were going at it pretty hard... Yasmeen Fish seemed to be the less violent one, as it would not bite Shaima Fish; she would only give her a tail whip attack here and there. But then I saw Shaima Fish eating ANOTHER red fin! All the while, Zahra Fish is minding her own business; she wasn't attacking anyone, and no one was attacking her, which I actually found funny. I couldn't watch as she tore my new fish apart! So I took Yasmeen fish out quickly and put her in my mom's 10 gallon tank temporarily, which only has some baby fish in it, as I tried to figure out what to do (And looked in horror at my new fish's missing chunks of fins :( ).

The solution I came up with was this: I got a tall, glass container and filled it with water. I put the container in the tank with the other 2 fish (The container goes to the top of the tank, so the other fish can't get in it). I put Yasmeen Fish in the container. I am hoping that by doing this, they can see each other and get used to each other, without being able to kill each other. I hope to release Yasmeen Fish into the tank once this happens.

Will this work? And how much time should I wait before I remove the container and drop her in with the others? At the moment, Shaima Fish keeps circling the container, as they both flare at each other. Zahra Fish doesn't seem to have a care in the world (She actually seems more curious about the new fish rather than violent).

Any ideas, advice, answers or suggestions?
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:11 PM   #2 
BettaIsCute
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These are my fish.

Blue = Zahra Fish
Purple = Shaima Fish
Red = Yasmeen Fish
Red-and-blue = Joey Awesomefish
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:14 PM   #3 
Laki
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Welcome to the forum!

Firstly, I had to stop and re-read the part where you were told the Halfmoon fish was "caught in Thailand". ALL bettas in the store are bred by man in captivity. The only natural variety you can buy in chain stores are plakats and those are the short tailed bettas and even then mostly the man-made color variations sell over wild-type. SO you do have a captive bred male betta and all three of your females are man made as well.

Now that that is clear,

I hate to bring newbies down when they are in need of help but you should not have gotten the extra female. Female betta community tanks are called "sororities" because of the fighting. Females can cohabitate together but they need at LEAST a 10 gallon tank with plenty of heavy planting. They will establish a territory and fight over it, this is a natural behavior for establishing the strongest survive to reproduce in the wild.

So, as soon as you can, please get them a larger tank. The "tall" vase which the third betta is in is inappropriate since bettas prefer to swim horizonal to vertical. Overtime she will become lethargic. The 2 bettas currently in the 2.5 can become sick if they are not given enough space too.

You should clean the 2.5 twice a week in order to keep them at least half healthy. The 1 gallon with the male should be cleaned twice weekly as well.

When you get the 10g and plant it with fake or real plants, add all females in at once. This will establish a neutral territory with which they will have no choice but to get along. At least at first.

Good luck!! Keep us updated.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:25 PM   #4 
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:27 PM   #5 
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Honestly, I don't know if your current two females will do well in a sorority. Also, it's very rare that two females will get along for the rest of their lives. Eventually, one of the two will do what you just witnessed with the newest girl to the other.

Sororities are not easy and aren't recommended to anyone new to fishkeeping. They need to be set up and maintained properly. They need at least ten gallons and at least four girls, but more is better to spread out the aggression. The tank also needs to be heavily planted, and any caves need more than one entrance/exit so any girl who is being chased can get away. Sororities can also be a perfect environment to cause stress - which means that the girls can get sick easier. Slipping up on water changes and ending up with one sick girl can devastate the whole tank.

That being said, I won't recommend you get a sorority tank without a lot of live plants or an already cycled filter. I do recommend that you read up on how to get the tank started properly... and keep in mind that not all girls are suited for sorority life and one of the girls you have may chase and attempt to kill any new girls you get. I would either get a five gallon tank and divide it or purchase two more tanks and separate the two girls that are together.

Also, one gallon is not big enough to house a betta long-term. Your male should have at least two gallons to live a long, healthy life (along with proper water changes, day/night cycled, nutrition, etc...) They are fun fish and not extremely difficult to take care of but they do require a bit of knowledge and also a bit of money when you are first getting started.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:34 PM   #6 
BettaIsCute
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This is what my new Yasmeen Fish looks like now. Notice its bottom fin with a missing chunk.

I do already know much of what you told me. About the Thailand thing, I don't know what to tell you. I'm just telling you what I was told, not that I care where they came from.

I do want to get a larger tank, but at the moment, this is not an option. How come my other 2 females never fought before? I used to have them both in the 1 gallon tank, and they never had a problem. I put them in their new tank yesterday, which is 2.5 times larger then their older one. My original 2 fish are always together most of the time, swimming together and touching each other, and they never have problems. As soon as I put the new fish in, my purple female got angry and attacked her. My blue female was completely indifferent to what was going on, and does not seem to have an ill-feelings towards my new fish. I think that's strange.

I know that keeping the new fish in the container is not good, but I am doing this in hopes that they will accept her. Will this work? I have seen videos of this being done, stating that this was the best way to introduce new fish to an established tank.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:38 PM   #7 
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When adding new females to a sorority, you must completely rearrange the decor and take out current females- add them all at once.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:44 PM   #8 
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I don't think Shaima's fins look in all that great of shape, either. Her anal fin is split and her caudal fin is extremely ragged and uneven.

You can keep the two in the tank together at your own discretion, but I will warn you that they can, will, and do fight randomly even after being together for a long period of time. Yes, other people have been able to keep just two females together, but it never last forever. I would keep a close eye on them. I'm also unsure if you will be able to get the current girls to accept the new girl. You're going to have less than one gallon per fish and it's likely going to require daily water changes to keep all three healthy if they, by chance, end up getting along.

You'll also need to make sure you do it the way Saphira discribed and possibly add more plants so they kind of have places to hide from each other.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:57 PM   #9 
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I have some pictures of when I first got Shaima and Zahra. Shaima looks almost exactly the same as the day I bought her. Really, the only thing that looks different is the top fin, which looks like it has been nipped on a little bit, but other then that, she looks the same. Zahra looks better than the day I got her, because she had some small holes in her fins in the beginning, but they are all healed up.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:08 PM   #10 
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I've been watching the tank for a while... The 2 fish don't seem to be flaring at each other anymore... Is this progress?
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