The only reason that it turns out bad for them in stores is because they don't have enough water changes. Since you can do water changes for them every day or every other then nothing bad will happen to them. You can use the .5 gallons if you want but trust me, it's going to be more of a hassle fitting it all in there or using extra heaters. Breeders do this all the time.
Also use the lids that the cups come with so they can't escape, much easier to work with
As far as tail types, that's just it, they're tail types. There's nothing different between a CT, a VT, a DT or DeT, HM and so on except that some have different ray counts. They are all the same species though. In my sorority I have everything from VT, CT, HM, HMPK, DeT and DT and they all do fine oh yeah and one regular PK too ^_^
And stress stripes are very normal, anything from moving to being introduced some where else, different water parameters, different food, different girls. I have one girl, actually my DT Phoenix who always gets stress stripes at feeding time as does Cherry. it's their way of saying "you can go first, I don't want any trouble!" same goes for "breeding" stripes which can also act as submission stripes, just telling the other girls that she doesn't want any trouble! Baby Betta's can exhibit this as well.
And for the length of time, you are certainly over thinking this ^_^ I keep my girls in their QT cups for at least 2 weeks and that's with water changes 3-4 times a week (depends if I'm there or not) and sometimes I keep them in even longer! One of my girls; Lady, she was super feisty and had gotten out of her cup once when I didn't have the lid on and she started to try to attack her sister who was in another container. So the three sisters all had a vendetta against each other. So the smallest of the three, Jewel was the first to come out after 2 weeks then her sister Emma after 4 more days and then Lady came out a full week and a half later to make a full 3.5 weeks in the cup. I thought she was going to be super feisty still but the time in QT when she realized that she can't get at her sisters and the other fish made her calm down and she's still one of the sweeter girls in there right now!
That brings me to another point, sometimes you'll come across bullies like my girl Lady there and you'll see her picking on some other girls or just one girl in particular. If you see this continuing for a few days then you can scoop her up and keep her in either a clear breeder box or a cup like that for a week or so to calm her down. Basically they can still see each other but inflict no harm and after some time in there they realize how stupid it was and they kind of forget about it and then when you release they're just like "eh". I once did this to Stardust for 2 days because she had claimed the entire water sprite floating on top as "her" spot so in order to let the other girls actually swim around, I QT'd her in her cup for 2 days and let her out and she was totally chill!
But at the first two-three weeks you're going to see lots of aggression most likely, some flaring, biting, nipping, body slamming and chasing. This is completely normal and you need to let it run it's course. This is their time to pick their leader or Alpha and get things in order. If you disrupt the process it's going to take them much longer to get over things and realize that they'll be living together. However, that said, if you see one girl that is seriously ganging up on one other girl, you need to QT that bully and put her in time out so that she can see the girls but can't do anything about it. Make sense?
I just get very worried about fish in small containers for any length of time, but it does make sense to keep them in the cups for at least a week or two. So I think they'll be okay n_n And the cups they have are bigger than the cups they used to use at my local Petsmart, so there's that, as well.
What would be the best way to change the water in the cups. I've never had to deal with a container so small. Do i only do 50% or should I do 100% water changes? I haven't changed any water since I brought them home yesterday afternoon, should I get rid of the store water right away? Its kind of got a blue tinge to it that I've never been sure about when I've seen Bettas in it. Not like bright blue, but like a very pastel blue tinge. I just don't want to end up shocking them or anything. But I can't imagine what might be in the store water.
Keeping them in the cups will also give me the opportunity to go out and grab a bottle of stress coat. Any time I've needed it, I've borrowed a little from a friend, but I would be good to have some on hand for the girls when anyone gets hurt. I'll also probably grab a breeding box, because I think it might be better than just floating in cups if anyone needs to be put in time out or needs to be temporarily separated for whatever reason, since water can circulate in and out of it.
Goodness, my shopping list keeps getting longer, haha. But I'm sure it will be worth it n_n Even if it doesn't work out, it will be a learning experience I can rememeber in the future.
Right now you can empty out half of their water down a drain or bucket or something and then pour in water from the tank every 10-15 minutes or so to acclimate them to the tank water. Then after it's full again empty out half again and continue to tablespoon in water from the tank every 10-15 minutes until it's full. That's step one ^_^
So now they're acclimated to the tank water and the good thing about this is that you don't have to worry about getting the temp right from the tap and all.
So take your extra container (preferably smaller than their cups because they'll only be in it for like 2 seconds really and you don't want to take out a ton of water from the tank) so put some water in the small container. Now take the girl in her cup, pour out half her water in the bucket and then keep going and hold a net at the end and pour her into the net. Then you can plop her into the small container while you rinse out her actual cup if needed. If it's not needed then just go right ahead and fill that cup back up with new tank water, leave some room and take the small girl and pour her and the water into that cup to top it off. Leave about half an inch or so of air space just so they can't jump out or whatever.
You can do that everyday or every other day, really doesn't matter and do the full 100% to get rid of any ammonia and dissolve organic compounds in their cups
And yes, breeder boxes are good for time outs but not QT, obviously as QT would be trying to get rid of diseases or whatever and breeder boxes would not do that haha.
Yeah, Stress Coat is great, i always use it in my sorority tank because there's always someone with ripped fins or whatever but they heal really fast ^_^
Oh and when you do release the girls you can do it all at once and just watch them for an hour or so. You can feed them once they're released as well, this will take their minds off the fact that they can now touch each other. Then they'll explore and start staking out their territories ^_^ When you get new girls to add, you MUST QT them for at least 2 weeks if not longer if you can. You really don't want to have to deal with disease in your tank, it's much easier to treat one girl rather than 6 ><
And I do understand that Breeder boxes can't be used for QT, I would only be using it as a barrier.
Just one more question. At this point, I think I'm probably gonna shoot for getting six girls for the ten gallon, however, if in the future I wanted to move all the girls to a 30 gallon, would I be able to add more girls to the group, or would that completely disrupt the hierarchy and be asking for trouble? I don't want to cause any serious problems. Obviously this is currently hypothetical, since I don't think I would have room currently for the 30 gallon, but I will hopefully have my girls for a long time and I don't know how well they would react to new girls.
And what about other species? I won't be adding anything else with them to the ten gallon, but if I were to move them to the 30 in the future, would them being an established group have any effect on me adding tank mates (if I don't add more girls)?
Yeah, I was mostly joking for the breeder box thing lol that's fine ^_^
As far as adding more girls, yes you can! I add girls all the time to my 33 XD
This is why QT'ing them in the cups is the easiest way to do it. You float them in the tank with the girls, they inspect and maybe flare for a bit but both sides of the party end up getting used to each other and really don't care. So then after the two weeks they've gotten used to their presence and when you release the new girl (I release them in the back while I feed the older girls up front) they immediately go to the bottom of the pecking order usually. Once in a while you'll get one that challenges the Alpha but it usually doesn't last long and they just sort of mope around the tank and then they're fine again ^_^ girls can be pretty silly sometimes lol
But no, it really doesn't disrupt their pecking order for the most part. Sometimes there is some rearranging but they get over it in a few days as opposed to two weeks initially.
As far as other species, it depends on what you want. I tried a school of tetras with my girls and the tetras ended up getting pretty rowdy. They weren't nipping the girls or nothing but they were sparring between themselves and I could see that it was stressing my girls out. I took them out and the girls went back to being content with their tank. Corydoras, however, make great tankmates because they are bottom dwellers as you know and Betta's are mid-high tank dwellers. Although I swear one of my girls thinks she's a cory and shoals with them and is basically their leader XD
But it all depends on what you're thinking, if your water parameters are good you could even add a pair of German Blue Rams (one of my goals lol) and they'll be fine. For the most part the girls ignore each other and ignore everything else in the tank. And no you can add tankmates whenever you want if they were in the 30, since they really don't care about other species of fish.
That's great n_n Most likely, I may be adding some kuhli loaches, because I've been wanting kuhlis for some time, now. But they stay on the bottom and hide a lot, so I doubt they'd be much of a problem.
Oh goodness, they have some gorgeous Blue Rams at the place I got Ben and the Cories from. I went there yesterday to see if they had Betta girls (they didnt), and I always stop and look at all the fish they happen to have. They also have a massive, handsome resident Arrowana that I always walk over and say hello to.
By the way, I tried to get some halfway decent pictures of the girls I got. I apologize for how blurry they are, my ipod camera is horrendous.
^This is Alice, you can't see in the picture, but her ventrals are bright red.
^This is Gylfie. She's the one who keeps getting stress stripes.
^And this is Sonata. She looked black at the store, but now that I see her in better light, she's a dark blue. I imagine once she grows a bit and gets more comfortable, she'll end up being the same color as Ben. Though she probably won't have red ventrals like he does.
And I don't know if I've ever posted a picture of Ben, but this is him.Though he looks more purple in the picture than he actually does. He has patches of a red-violet color, and his ventrals are a deep blood red. His head is also a red violet color. Excuse the water color, right now I'm dealing with an algae bloom, that I'm slowly getting to clear up, but my water is a little green and cloudy from it right now. Its mostly from the heat and my light, so I'm gonna be keeping the light off until things clear up. (Also excuse the glare and the reflection of me taking the picture XD).
I'm only at +6 months, but *knocks on wood* so far so good with my girls. I have 12 girls in a 36 gallon planted tank. The only time I see any nipping is at feeding time, and that's mostly as they try to lunge around each other to get that one last pellet.
To introduce females after the initial batch, I would do this: After their QT time was up, I would put the girl back in her cup and float it in the big tank. I would do partial water changes of tank water into the cup 2-3 times a day for 2-3 days. At that point, the girls in the tank would have satisfied their curiosity about the New Girl and the New Girl had time to get used to the idea of the big tank. Each time I have done this, the sorority is HUGELY curious about the new fish, and the most dominant ones will initially circle the cup and flare a bit, but so far they get bored of that after a few hours and then don't bother with the cup at all...till it's time to release. And then....
Yes that's 5 girls that swam INTO the cup, with two more considering.
I am really pleased with how this sorority has turned out. I admit due to my own inexperience it got off to a rough start, but more research has fixed that. So far
That's awesome! I'm glad your sorority has worked out so well.
I'm so excited and anxious to get my sorority going, I really hope everything works out. I've been wanting a sorority for a while now, and didn't think I would end up doing it, but it feels good to actually be preparing for it now. I'm probably gonna shoot for getting three more girls in addition to the current three I got yesterday to start the Sorority off.
I've been reading varying opinions on this: Is it better to introduce only one new girl to a sorority at a time, or should you introduce two at a time so one doesn't get ganged up on?
I'd just throw them all in lol Don't give them down time to explore, just put them all in at once. Some do the least aggressive to the most aggressive but that's terribly hard to determine when they are in their cups.
The girl who I thought was the sweetest girl ended up being Alpha for two weeks until she gave it up to Mystique so sometimes you just never know until they're in. So just put them all in at once and it's just a lot easier.
You kind of just have to let them do what they do and leave them at that.