Okay so ah.. I didn't start off my girls in the recommended way.
My roommate and I were told that girls and boys could be kept together because females were more docile, so we had one girl and one boy. They got along for a couple of days until he started chasing and nipping her real bad and made her tail all ratty, so we separated them. Then someone Else told us that girls could be kept together because they weren't as territorial as the males, and we got a 2 gallon tank and an extra girl, and we were waiting for them to acclimate to the water temp when I started doing some research and had to go "Ack! Stop! It says we need at least four or they'll fight each other!" Not really 100% clear on the rules of female engagement, we ran back to Walmart to get a couple more girls, but there was only one more, who was the sister of the girl we had acquired earlier in the day (Or so we assume, since they're about the same size and had the same freckles on their dorsal fins). So we decided to tentatively try three and see how they got along, since two were sisters and maybe they would kinda protect each other from outsider bullying.
Maybe that was too much to expect...
Our girls (Skyfire, Silverbolt, and Starscream - we're ah... we're Transformer nerds heh...) weren't docile from the moment Starscream saw them. She's the littlest and the one we had first, so I guess she didn't like new people sharing her space. We kept watch and I kept expecting them to settle down since the other two girls were bigger, but Silverbolt's tail started getting kind of tattered and Skyfire had some cuts along her gills, so I snatched Starscream out and put her in time-out. I waited a day and put her back, but she started chasing them again, so I scooped her right back out and put her back in her tank. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, until I left her by herself for a few days. I thought that would be that, she'd just live by herself, but she started sulking at the bottom of her tank with her fins tucked up all submissively and sad, and I worried that she was lonely.
SO back to get a nice 10 gal tank, some more gravel, plants, more hidey holes, filter, etc., and three more girls, one from Walmart with the same freckle fins as the other two girls, and two from Petco that I picked because they were lighter than all the other girls for some color variation. So we set up the tank, got the gravel and plants and hideys all set up, and put the girls in their bags. Starscream was livid
. And I don't know if it's normal or not, because I've searched the threads some and haven't heard anyone mention it so far, but she's normally blue and white when she's calm, but she turns blue and black when she's mad. She's black and nearly neon blue and flaring and darting against the bag trying to get at the other girls, so we peg her as clearly the most aggressive and start putting the girls in after a while, starting with the tiny new girls from Petco, a sweet little pale-mango one (Slingshot) and a white and red girl (Fireflight), and let them explore for a while since they're pretty much ignoring each other while they look around. Then we add Silverbolt since she's always seemed pretty docile and submissive, then the other new girl (yet unnamed) and then Skyfire, and Starscream last at somewhat irregular intervals. I was worried for the tinies that she'd bully them and hurt them, but Slingshot is spunky for a fish only 2/3rds her size, chases Starscream around and slaps her in the face with her tail.
There's been some attempted bullying, Fireflight seems to be very timid and sweet, and the unnamed girl tried to corner her in some plants to beat her up, and Slingslot swam right up and smacked her around until Fireflight got away. A few girls have knicked tails from the skirmishing but things seem to have settled down, at least for now. Slingshot has claimed a corner with a moonrock and a nice tall plant as her own and nobody else had better dare
come over there because the pint-sized fry will chase them right back out. It's pretty funny in that regard, that I was so worried about her.
So day 1 of a sorority tank - Hope I'm doing it right...