I've asked something similar before, but I have 7 female bettas in a 55 gallon community tank. The lowest in the pecking order is really tiny and stays to herself a lot. But I noticed in the past week, her fins have been nipped at pretty badly. I'm thinking of putting her in her own tank. But my question is, if I remove her will there be craziness among the rest of them because they will establish a new pecking order? Because right now I'm not certain of the rank. I have an idea of who might be the alpha (it's between two of them), but there doesn't seem to be an obvious order for the other 4. And since the rest of them are all about the same size as each other (full-size, I think), will the fighting be worse when they establish who is on the bottom?
Also, I noticed something interesting. I did a blackout in my tank for 3 days or so because I got an infestation of hair algae. Anyway, once I turned the lights back on, it seemed like my girls had been fighting a lot while it was dark. Most of them have at least one tear in their fins. Any reason why they would have been fighting more in the dark?
The pecking order in my sororities was always very fluid. I never had any one female that I determined as alpha, and I think in many cases there isn't one.
It sounds like your female is not fit for the sorority environment whether it's just her small size or something else that is making her the target.
I don't think by removing her you are going to throw your sorority into chaos. I doubt the other females are even going to notice she is gone.
I noticed some of my juveniles were much more aggressive when they were undergoing a blackout during treatment. I am not sure why this happens. But there were definitely more torn fins when I removed the towel.
As for the sorority pecking order, I've had the same experience as Little Betta, my girls are fairly fluid (though the *two inch long* alpha female (who is, truly, enormous) always stays at the top, the other six move around pretty constantly. I second Little in saying that when I've removed any of the others, there is no disturbance, they just fall into line wherever they were before the one was removed.
As for the blackout...could it be a lack of stimulation, so they're turning inward? That would be my only guess, without having people/windows/things to look at or experience, they're turning towards each other...and they're aggressive by nature...and the end result is nipping and in-fighting?
Also, when you move the smaller girl into her own tank, watch to make sure that she's not sick or feeling otherwise less-than-great. I know my guys will pick on one who is weaker than the others, even if it's something really minor like fin rot. Once the infection cleared up and she went back into the tank, she was right there with everyone else, no problems. I'm not saying that your fish is sick, but it is something to consider if she *does* turn out to be a little under the weather that she may be able to return to the sorority once she's 100%. :)
Oh, they really are eating her up, poor little thing! Maybe once she grows a little bit you can try her back in and see what happens. :) I'm glad she's got her own space now, looks like she needs some recuperation time. :)
I bet she's really cute with her colors when she's feeling better. :)
The weird thing is that she never grew since I got her. I got 5 of the 7 at the same time, and they're all really big now, but she's so tiny! But yeah, I'll see if she gets bigger and then I will try to put her back in.
My little girl hide all of the time too but here fins are fine.
You might want to at least get her a two gallon if you want her to grow more. My experience has been that young fish that stay in a one gallon for a long time tend not to grow much. If you are short on money this works really well: