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Old 04-01-2009, 10:42 AM   #1 
imagecafe
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Unhappy help! my females

hello, i am a new betta fish owner. after being told they would get along, i got two females. one of them (gabanna) is quite a bit larger than the other and her fins and tail are always flared out. the other (dolce) is smaller and is very rarely flared out. dolce also usually shows horizontal and vertical stripes, which i heard is a sign of a stressed out betta? i bought gabanna because she was so pretty and i liked dolce because she was so hyper. however, dolce is not nearly as hyper as she was before, and usually stays at the bottom of the bowl and doesn't do anything else. also, gabanna seems to be quite a bit duller-colored than when i bought her. my question is, should i separate them? is their being together in the same bowl stressing them (especially dolce) out?
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:56 AM   #2 
Nataku
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Welcome to Fish Forum!
First off let's go ahead and get this out of the way - never listen to anything the employee at the pet store tells you. Never. They are interested in making a sale first and foremost, and the health of the fish and that satisfaction of the customer means nothing to them beyond that sale. Most of them know absolutely nothing about the actually temperaments and requirements of the fish they sell, and will say all sorts of things are fine when in fact they are usually recommending things which should never, ever be done for the sake of a sale.

Very important - what size tank are you sticking these two female in right now?

Second - females get along moderately well, but only in a sorority, which is at least 4-6 female bettas. Any less and they will be just like the males, and one will quickly become the dominant one, and usually pick the other fish to death.
Horizontal bars are normally considered a sign of stress. Vertical bars on females are a sign of readiness too mate.
Please separate these two immediately if you can, they are likely both attempting to establish a territory right now, which will only lead to fighting in bettas.

Bettas, females especially, often change color when you bring them home from the store. This is normally because the poor living conditions at the store are causing them to change colors. It's is not uncommon, and is not really considered a problem in and of itself. The only 'color changes' you should worry about are white dots showing up on your fish (ich) dark brown to black edging on the fins which look shreded and torn (fin rot) or a strange 'dusting' of bronze or gold across the body scales (velvet). These are all fish diseases, which can kill your fish if left untreated. Those aside, bettas come in a pretty much any color under the sun.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:09 AM   #3 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to FishForum. I agree with Nataku. Your females should be separated.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:11 AM   #4 
imagecafe
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the bowl is about 18 inches in diameter and kind of spherical just like the goldfish bowls you usually see in movies.

yes, i will separate them right now. thank you so much!
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:45 AM   #5 
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Then the bowl is probably only a gallon in size or so. If you could please, try to get a rough calculation of how much water it holds, that would be helpful.

One the current assumption though that it is only about a gallon, it is too small for one betta, let alone two. A betta should have 2.5 gallons minimum to itself. The less space the fish have, the more likely they are to be forced into each other's 'personal bubble' if you will, and bettas respond rather violently to this, with much flaring and biting. Female sororities are not really recommended for anything under a 10 gallon, because otherwise there is not enough space for each female needed to meet the normal four minimum fr a sorority, so you either end up with too little room, not enough females, or both.

Females don't have to be in sororities though. Just like males, they are perfectly fine and happy being solitary fish in a tank, and if you just want these two females, it's is probably then best they stay separated to avoid any further conflict. They are still very pretty on their own, and you can always stick their two tanks next to each other if you want to see them interact without the risk of somebody getting hurt.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:39 PM   #6 
dramaqueen
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You could even get a 10 gallon and put a divider in it.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:49 PM   #7 
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1 gallon tanks are fine so long as you have the time and are willing to take the necessary steps to keep them in fresh clean water regularly.... I have two female betta's that do very well together in a 2 1/2 gallon tank..... If you are gonna house two females it is best to start them off together when the are very young..... once they get older they become less tolerant of each other and even more room is required.... I did try experimenting with bigger communities of betta's, I had several 20 gallon tanks on the go, some contained males , some not,,, one had 4 females and two males, That was fine until the females matured, then the red devils started chasing and trying to kill everything.... had another with 8 females, and several others.... it got to be to nerve wrecking never knowing when one was gonna get in a mood and go on a killing rampage. so I separated all except the 2 I now have in a 2 1/2 gallon tank..... I started watching the red females more and it seemed to never fail, once they reached maturity they turned into little devils & made it their mission to not stop fighting till they either killed what they were after or killed themselves.......That was enough experimenting for me....

Last edited by Chicklet; 04-01-2009 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:52 PM   #8 
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it's bigger than one gallon. it's the size of a big beach ball, if that makes sense. i got another one with a different shape for dolce, and put them next to eachother. they're both dramatically happier since the separation.
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