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Old 08-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #1 
OrangeAugust
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One of my females in my sorority is "antisocial"

I have a sorority of 7, and they're in a 55 gallon tank with neon tetras, zebra danios, julii cories, and oto catfish. But one of the girls is always off by herself and she's so much smaller than the other girls. I know bettas are not "social" fish in general, but mine seem to be. They're almost always together in the same area of the tank (or maybe that's only when I'm home because they hang out in the same area where I always feed them lol), and I'll only see a ripped/nipped fin once in a while. But I have one girl who stays by herself mostly. Actually a lot of times I can't find her. The thing that worries me, though, is that she doesn't seem to have grown at all. I've had one of the girls for about 8 months, another for about 4 months, and then I got the remaining 5 the same day about 2 months ago. They've all grown a lot since then except for this little one (she's only about the size of my neon tetras). She also never comes up at feeding time. Some of the girls get annoyed by the other girls taking all the pellets and a lot of times they will instead go eat the sinking pellets I put in for the cories. But I don't think she does. So she's really skinny and hasn't grown at all, and now her caudal fin got pretty nipped up last week.
Is she sick, or should I consider putting her in her own tank? Maybe she feels too intimidated by the other girls, or is just not as social as they are and therefore gets nervous being around them?
Anyone else have an experience like this with a sorority?
Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:35 AM   #2 
Sena Hansler
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She is the lowest on the totem pole. She's everyone's punching bag, and she doesn't really look like she has a purpose. If you are concerned, you can remove her... They will re-establish who gets to be who fairly quickly as she is not the alpha (or runner up).

I've seen this in almost all my sororities. Even the 4 sisters had the smallest gal, but they were not as aggressive to each other.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:26 PM   #3 
OrangeAugust
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Aww! How do the lowest fish in the pecking order feel? I mean is she actually bothered by the fact that she gets picked on sometimes, or does she not mind being kind of the drifter around the tank? I'm just worried because I don't know when she eats and she's kind of skinny.
I'm not sure who the alpha is. I think it's either the red one or the pink/orange cambodian. I haven't really been able to discern the order of the rest (except for the smallest girl).
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:30 PM   #4 
Sena Hansler
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It depends on the fish themselves. There always has to be an underdog... However, if there is constant pestering to a point where they gang up on here, she ends up with wounds (besides ripped fins), then I recommend removing her. I've always noticed n my sororities that there is the alpha, a runner up, the fellas inbetween, then the drifter... Who does not have her own territory, tends to stay at the bottom or back. However, will eat. If you are worried she is not eating and you see her at the bottom, sink some pellets while the others are distracted.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:42 PM   #5 
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Yeah, I never actually see her getting picked on. I just noticed that she had a chunk taken out of her tail within the past few days.
Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:07 PM   #6 
Sena Hansler
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Just keep an eye on her then :) If she becomes lethargic, remove her!
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:05 PM   #7 
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Honestly, I would move her to her own tank or find a large internal or external breeding box (they make 1 gallon sizes), put some moss or plants in it and then you can just leave her in this so she gets the benefit of a cycled tank but doesn't have to compete with the other females.

If she is skinny she is being run off the food, and I have had females like this in the past, and it is better to remove them early than let them continue to degrade in condition.

For some reason some fish just end up on the bottom of the pecking order. It doesn't have to be the runt or the least aggressive female. I had a mature and quite large female end up being in a similar situation to your fish.

I found my females always had a very loosely defined and fluid pecking order. There was never only one female who held the top position and what I thought were submissive fish based on previous behaviour would often challenge and dominate 'higher ranking' females.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:33 AM   #8 
OrangeAugust
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Thanks to both of you. I will keep a closer eye on her, but I started dropping in a sinking pellet for her on the opposite side from where I feed the others, and she was actually eating it the other day (but competing with a Julii cory). Yesterday I'm not sure if she saw it, but hopefully she found it.
LittleBettaFish- where can I get a large breeder box? I was looking for them at the Petsmart website and they only have really small ones.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:49 PM   #9 
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Hm, not really sure where you find one there. You might need to either go to a mum and pop type store to find one or have a look at online stores outside of the big box ones such as Petsmart.

My one is a breeder net, but you can also get larger plastic external breeder boxes that run off an air pump and circulate water through. Marina is one that I have seen that looked pretty good but I am not sure if they do larger than a 1/2 gallon size.
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