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Old 04-08-2013, 12:14 PM   #1 
bniebetta
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Post Things to Know BEFORE You Start a Sorority

Hey everyone! As a lot of you know I am starting a sorority and it is going well. I have learned a lot and I thought I would give anyone who is considering or planning on a sorority a heads up on some of the costs and other things to expect. There is a lot of great information on how to make a great sorority work, but it can be difficult to get an idea of exactly how the process of starting one goes.

1. One of the best tips I can give is to START EARLY. My plan is not to have everything set up with fish in it for another two months, but I am still thinking of things I need and the costs keep adding up every day. Give yourself time to afford the things you need, or make sure you have enough if you want to buy all at once.

2. KNOW WHAT YOU NEED. Many people start out with few of the things they really need if they are a first time betta owner, which is usually fine and is remedied quickly. This is NOT the case with a sorority. In order to make sure the tank is a low stress environment, you need to have the water parameters perfect, plenty of hiding places and cover for the fish, adequate filteration, etc. Beginning without any one of those things could mean disaster for your tank. Even if you already have some fish equipment, such as a gravel vacuum, you may still need to get more of the same thing because it is dangerous to share equipment between tanks. Most of my equipment was used, and it is still costing me a fortune to get everything set up.

3. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Know what kind of setup you want. If you want a planted tank (which had many advantages), plan on the costs of the pants, special substrates, light requirements and various fertilizing options. If you want a non-planted tank, make sure you have enough hiding places, plant cover, and understand the cleaning and care requirements of that kind of setup. Many people say that planted tanks are more expensive, but I have found that is frequently, but definitely not always, the case. If you want tank mates, calculate the base cost and additional costs such as bioload control, separate food, kinds of substrates etc. Have a very solid understanding of the risks of a sorority so that you will know what to do if disaster strikes or be prepared to house females alone should they not get along with other members of the tank. Know what kind of fish you want and where you are getting them to avoid having to settle for fish you would normally pass up in a heartbeat.

4. One factor that seems to me to be overlooked is TIME AND SPACE. For example, my sorority will be half female giants, half average size. This means that since fish are usually sold young, I am having to get my average females early to grow them out a little in order for them to coexist with the larger females. I also plan to have conditioning sessions to get the fish used to each other. Your fish need to be quarantined thoroughly (many suggest two weeks). This means that I need to have a place to put them all for two weeks PLUS the time I am going to take to condition them all to each others presence. This also means that I have to find adequate housing and heating for all of them, which is not an easy task. In addition to all of that, I am using live plants, so I have to sterilize and quarantine them and then let them grow out a little to provide plant cover for when it comes time to add the fish. Last but not least, the tank they will be in has to be cycled. There are many ways to do this, and it can take up to two months. When all that is said and done, you really need to plan to set aside an entire day to acclimate the fish to their new home, make a plan and execute it for releasing them, and the time to monitor the tank for the next "however long it takes" to make sure everyone is getting along.

As you can see, there is really a lot more to planning a sorority than you might originally think. I am guilty of being ignorant of these things when I started, but I do not regret starting it at all and the process is a lot of fun and will be totally worth! I hope this helps anyone who is looking forward to a sorority and good luck!!

(These are just things I have realized so far. If I have neglected any tips or factors, feel free to add on!)
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #2 
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What about floating QT's in your main tank? depending on how many ladies you'll be getting, that'll keep all of them warm, and condition them as neighbors simultaneously. If there's no holes in the smaller containers, it also keeps them from contaminating each other.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:48 PM   #3 
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thats the plan! :D for most of them haha
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:57 PM   #4 
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great minds think alike!
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:14 PM   #5 
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Here is basically why "most of them" are being housed that way. Because it will be a while until everyone gets put in and I had to get them early to grow them out, I didn't feel like it was suitable to put them in containers small enough to fit everyone in the big tank. The giants definitely need like 5 gallons for that amount of time. SO. My pan is the put the smaller of the two giants in a 1.7 and the other one in one side of a 10 gallon. After two weeks, I will take the smaller out of the 1.7 and put it in the other side of the 10 gallon with the other giant (partially to conserve space but also to get the giants used to other fish so they dont hurt anyone), so my giants will be covered. I currently have two mini heaters to heat the quarantine bowls of the two average females I have, but If I get any more soon then I am going to float the bowls in the big tank to keep them warm. Since they need to be in the bowls so long they have to be in the large bowls which wont all fit in the 20 gallon. So I gues as long as you get all your fish at the same time (which can mean you might get boring fish), it won't take as much work as mine is taking. Everyone thinks I am crazy or overthinking things, but they aren't members of bettafish.com :PP
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:25 PM   #6 
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Good post but sharing equipment between tanks isn't dangerous at all if you quarantine properly!
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:01 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattsBettas View Post
Good post but sharing equipment between tanks isn't dangerous at all if you quarantine properly!
I guess it really depends on who you ask haha. I have seen both ways. I personally an choosing not to, but most of the reason I got a new gravel vac was because it took an UNCONCIEVABLY long time to siphon water out of a 20 gallon with the vac I use for my five gallons. Like.... I could not even believe how long it took! But just in case I wouldn't want to expose a large tank like that to anything in my other smaller tanks just to make positively sure :)
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:02 PM   #8 
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or is it "inconcievable"? I guess I'll have to watch the Princess Bride again....
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:56 PM   #9 
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I only share the same bucket/siphon between a couple of tanks rather than a whole lot of them.

I accidentally unplugged a heater in my fry tank once and gave them ich. Being fry I didn't notice until I spread it to several more tanks because I shared my equipment.

So it isn't just new fish that can bring disease into your fish room.

Quarantine is so important though. Especially with sororities. I never realised just how important it was until I had something go wrong. Now I quarantine everything 100% no exceptions.
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