As a cheaper option to separate them, you can always go to a thrift store or the dollar store and get some LARGE vases. I no that's not recommended, but as long as you clean them 2-3 times a week, it should suffice until you get the 10g?
Its not that anyone want to hurt your feeling, it's that most of us were in your same place and want to see the best for you and your fish. But at least you came online and asked for help, so your just a few steps toward becoming a better fish owner :)
Sorry if I came off as attacking last night. I was just so exhausted from studying. It did not warrant me to talk to you that way (I even mis typed some words)..
So, you have the three females. What to do. What to do...
1- get some cheap thrift store vases/tanks. People usually give away small tanks up to 5 gallons which are gold to us fish hobbyists because they're so cheap. Some even have filters and heaters.
2. put the purple female in your mom's 10 g. I assume she has some sort of undecorative live bearer? If you're concerned for the babies yet do not want to keep them, try selling or giving them away to a petstore or someone on kijiji/craigslist.
3. If your mom's fish do go, then clean the whole thing well, buy another female and add all 4 at once. The conflicting info I think you might have mis interpreted: People were saying not 3, more than 3 to a sorority. This means 4+. Even my sister slapped together a loosley planted, cold water 4 girl sorority in a 10 and they got a long mostly (I think the water was too cold for them to fight, then they all died due to weal immunes).
4. find a cheap underwater heater. WalMart sells these for as low as 12$ and PetSmart and other chains usually have sales.
The wave of info will be confusing at first to beginner betta keepers. What works in the end is individualised methods, often a conglomeration of everybodies ideas and suggestions. And what works best for that person.
Usually it is recommended to avoid listening to the advice of most pet store employees. They are paid minimum wage and some store hire people will little knowledge of the animals they sell so the store increases its profit (Imagine if the members of this forum were working at the store you bought your females at... It would be a whole different experience wouldn't it? You probably would have just walked out with nothing) So, you will find tonnes of helpful advice here on this forum. Your best bet is to browse the forum and read other people's posts on sororities and heaters and space requirements. You will find a wide array of differences. This is how we all started too (I kept my first VT in a .5 g with no heater for a few months before upgrading bc I didn't know)..
I would like to formerly welcome you to our community :)
Many people successfully keep 2-3 females together in tanks of 5g and less. Is it recommended? Meh.. depends on who you ask.
Sorry in advance if I am repeating anything said to you already..
The two girls you had originally became "friends" and worked out any dominance issues early on and they are now able to live peacefully together regardless the size of the tank.
With the introduction of a 3rd girl what happened was the hierarchy changed suddenly.. "a new fish just invaded our space, she better not try to take my position!" While the new girl is like "Woah! I was just dropped in here, don't kill me! I better defend myself because I don't know what these other fish are going to do to me as I had just invaded their territory!"
Granted, females don't create territories such as males, and generally in the wild they are happy being alone or in large groups. While in groups they create a hierarchy similar to a dog pack. Once in a while you will get a female that is overly aggressive.. which in your case the original two weren't that type, otherwise you would only have one left.
So.. you may be able to get away with the new girl together with them with no trouble.. the longer they are together the less of a chance they will kill each other. I'm talking many months - years. But the first few months expect there to be nipping, chasing, flaring, different alpha girls when you have more than 2 girls together.
2.5g is a bit small, but many people use them with 2-3 females with success.. it's all going to come down to your girls. Your first two seem to be a bit passive, why they quickly were able to cohabitate relatively easy/quickly. You will want to watch them very carefully for the first few weeks - expect some chasing, fin nipping, body slapping. What you want to avoid is excessive fighting/flaring.. pretty much non stop chasing/fighting... and chasing that lasts for longer than a few seconds.
A quick chase off is fine, all animals have moments where they want others to go away. You will be able to tell the difference between wanting to kill the other and working out their differences.
I don't recommend people doing this in general as many don't care to, or don't know to watch carefully.. usually it's a toss in and forget sort of thing. But with submissive/passive girls this is doable. Don't mess around with them too much if you are able to introduce the new girl - once they settle down you don't want to move around the decorations a whole lot, or remove any of them for any extended period of time as it can mess up their fragile coexistence.
It is what it is, so there is no point in yelling or telling you that you did wrong. There are a ton of misinformation out there, and a lot of people doing exactly what this forum says not to do. Personally, this is all a personal choice.. yes, a 10g is more ideal as it helps reduce the "trapped" feeling smaller tanks can create with multiple fish. Yes, having 4+ girls is ideal to help spread out any aggression.
But it's not a set in stone rule, and it can work out under certain circumstance.. I don't suggest setting out and trying to do this purposefully, but as a new owner you had no ideal and I rather help than criticize.
I would upgrade the tank soon if you can.. a 5g isn't a whole lot bigger than a 2.5g. But you have what you have and your choice is either try to work it out with the girls, or kill one.. I vote you give it a chance with the awareness of the risk and the ideal that as soon as you can, you will upgrade to at least a 5g.
Alright, so after keeping the new red one in the protective container, which was then placed inside the 2.5 gallon tank overnight, we have moved them into the 10 gallon tank. I am at work so I can't observe the behavior, but I am told that they are getting along so far. I am told that the red one seems pretty excited, and the blue one was hiding in a decoration. I have no idea what the purple is doing. I have asked my mom to keep an eye on them for the time being. I hope everything goes well.
I assume that she moved the male into then 2.5 gallon tank, like I had asked. I am just wondering, how often does a half moon male spread its fins out? I have only seen the tail completely spread out once or twice since I got him last night.
You knew the 1 g was too small for 2 females, so you moved to a 2.5 g, which you knew was too small for 2 females, but instead of separating the 2 females (1 in the 1 g and 1 in the 2.5 g) you bought a male and put him in the 1 g and added another female to the 2.5 g, that you already knew was too small for the 2 females. You knew the conditions were inappropriate for the females, but you are angry that people are frustrated that you are insisting on keeping females in a potentially dangerous situation for them when you had a solution to the problem when you purchased the 2nd tank (you could have split the females into two tanks, and left the other two fish at the store, until the point that you could move them into a 10 g).
Now, at this time your fish are not fighting. Correct? However, are you prepared if they do begin to fight to separate them? Are you prepared if they do decide to kill each other one night while you are sleeping?
If this came off as rude, I do apologize, we are all new at one time to fish keeping. I am still learning as well. But, it seems odd to me that you would research and discover something was not recommended, yet still attempt to do it. I had a 2.5 g and wanted to have a sorority, I discovered that it was not recommended, and I did not start a sorority. I moved my female to a 10 g, and discovered that I would have to have at least 4 females, and I would have to be prepared to separate those who did not get along into other tanks. I did not want to commit to that, so I did not start a sorority.
I see since I posted you have moved everyone into the 10 g. That is likely the best and most healthy choice for your fish.
It depends on each male.. I would exercise him though, daily 10-15 minute flare sessions once or twice a day with a mirror.. that will help build up his muscles (sometimes being cramped from the jar when they were separated by the breeder to the cup) they often will lose some strength.. so building it up will help increase the chances of him having it open more often than not.
Can even buy one of those floating betta mirrors to put in his tank all the time.. he may have a blast with it.
I never understood the items designed for bettas.. Like those mirrors lol. A regular makep mirror or small vanity mirror is all you need and they're at dollarama for 1$. ZooMed charges a lot more for the floating one. To each their own. But I also just saw for sale a Marina "betta bowl cleaner" which was a 6.99 turkey baster!!
I don't know what the other fish are. They're kinda silver in color. I know that that's a vague description, but I can't take a picture right now. But all the fish seem to be doing fine and no one is bothering anyone.
Anyway, I used a mirror on my male betta and put him into attack mode lol. He looks awesome with his fins spread.