So I recently splurged on a 10gal, and I intend on starting my very first betta sorority. Long story short, I had purchased a female (Emilia) and had her in her own 2g tank for a few days, but the tank was leaking so I exchanged it for the 10g. Now I'm wondering if Emilia will be more aggressive towards other females, especially since I have put her in the 10g alone for now (wasn't going to put her back in her cup!) ... should I take her out for a little while before introducing new females?
Also what is the recommended number of females for a 10g? Lastly, is it possible to add a male to the tank in addition to the girlies?
I believe five to seven females is generally the recommended number for a sorority in a 10 gallon tank. I have also heard of people saying that eight or nine, or even ten, is a better number because it disperses the aggression. Going on the assumption that you should allow two gallons per fish, I've been thinking that I'll probably start with five in a ten gallon and go from there. (I've been researching this for a month or two, but right now my two girls are living separately, one in a 5 gallon filtered tank with live plants, the other in a 2 gallon heated, unfiltered Kritter Keeper on which I am doing 50% water changes daily and 100% every other day. I'm on the lookout for three more females, and I'm going to try to start cycling my tank this weekend and hopefully by the time the tank is cycled, I'll have my girls and the quarantine period will mostly be over.)
Experienced sorority keepers often recommend mesh breeders and/or the little plastic breeder boxes as ways to keep fish separated in the tank while still next to each other during the acclimation period. I would think you would want to do something like this for your one girl during this time so she doesn't try to prevent the others from horning in on her territory.
Absolutely a NO on the adding a male in.
Hope this helps.
I would also recommend that you read the sticky about how to have a successful sorority, if you haven't already. It's really great info.
I have a sorority with six girls in a ten. It works great but I do have both a filter and live plants which are handling the bio-load amazingly.
You will absolutely want to quarantine each girl for 2 weeks before introducing them all and you will want to have either a cycled filter or tons of live plants or both. They will get sick easily when first introduced because of stress and one sick girl can possibly wipe out the whole tank. I put tall one gallon canisters floated inside the tank for warmth to QT them and six fit perfectly. They could all see each other through the QT process, too.
Important things for a sorority to remember are TONS of cover, at least 4 girls but more is better, and to release them at the same time, but people can sometimes overlook the fact that they need absolutely perfect water parameters, QT is almost mandatory (this is really not optional if you want nothing to go wrong) and where you get the girls CAN make a difference. My girls are young, from breeders, and they were already socialized and have strong genetics.
IMO, you can't regret getting a sorority IF you set it up right. They are fun!!! But I put a LOT of money into mine to try to set it up perfectly. You can spend less than I did and still have a successful sorority but you're out a lot more money if your sorority doesn't work out because you didn't plan enough.
To put it into perspective, I planned my sorority for 3 and a half months.
@AyalaCookieJar, is there a thread or sticky that details your planning and execution? I REALLY want a sorority, but I'm kind of nervous to take the plunge, and I keep going back and forth between "should I or shouldn't I?" and I'm a big reader/planner/researcher, so any info I get, I just love to soak it all in. Realistically I know that I won't ever be satisfied if I don't try it, so probably sooner or later I will, and I want ALL the info I can get.
The only place I really have it planned out is my journal which goes back into December when I got the tank, so you'd have to search through a bunch of pages and pick out the sorority bits, lol.
I started like you are right now, sort of. I got three girls back in January on the 11th from a breeder in Texas and they were separated in the same tank so they could see each other but couldn't get to each other. I started attempting a cycle in a separate tank in December. One of those three females got dropsy from a power outage and passed on Febuary 3rd.
After an in attempted cycle for about 3 months, I ordered live plants and QTed them and then got my other four girls from Chard56, which I QTed for 2 weeks. I also got VitaChem for the tank to boost their immune systems, and ordered meds, particularly Kanaplex, just in case.
I set up the tank with the filter that finally cycled an live plants as well as a ton of big silk plants to "fill in" for the live plants until they grow big enough to provide enough cover.
I floated my girls in ziplock bags and released them all at the same time. I had to move them in those bags to a different tank to rearrange the ten gallon first.
I also decided against decor. Anything that does not have many holes to swim in an out of can be a "trap" for girls being chased.
You are all welcome to message me with any questions you may have in the future.
I hope all goes well!
Edit: also I do not want to discourage anybody from getting a sorority. They are very fun and are a HUGE learning experience, both before and after the tank is fully set up. I say that anyone with the time, money, and patience should try one if they wish.
Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 04-18-2013 at 10:49 PM.