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Old 05-14-2010, 12:06 PM   #1 
rdolphingirl
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Want advice ... sorority tank issues

I recently sorta "inherited" a tank from my sister who decided she no longer wanted to keep it.
Its fully cycled, has some live plants, and has been up and running for some months now. (not sure exactly how long)
When she set it up there were some water issues, she is on well water and found out its copper content was way high. So it was put on RO water under her care and has done fine (other then algae overgrowth) since then.

She brought it to me about a week or so ago, it had 3 female bettas, 1 platy, 1 whitecloud, and 3 otos in it. I have given away the platy and the whitecloud. I also added another female betta (after jarring the whole lot of um for a few days)

I have kept fish before, so am not a novice at this. I also have a 5gal and a 2gal both with just a single male betta each. The 2gal is unfiltered, the 5gal is newly set up and cycling right now (with a piece of sponge from the 10gal, and a deco piece also from 10gal with some algae along with a few pieces of hornwort)

My questions have to do with the sorority thing though. I've never had female bettas before, much less in a sorority so I'm still learning about this aspect.

The newest one (also smallest) seems to be the bottom of the pecking order. While this is no surprise, I am a bit concerned because the others keep preventing her from eating. I just put them all in the 10gal night before last, so I know she won't starve anytime real soon, just wondering if anyone has experience with this?
Also she seems to be resting mostly on the bottom today, she is going up to breathe though so I have not pulled her out.
The tank got fairly cool (about 72) overnight as we had a cold front come through with storms and the house dropped farther then I expected. Could this temp drop be the cause of her bottom resting?
Obviously the tank is not heated, since my house normally sits at about 76 in the spring and summer, and my sis never uses one, I had not even seriously considered putting in a heater. I have a couple, from the years of fish keeping before, but have never used one either. I keep seeing people say the bettas need them though? Any thoughts on heat vs no heat? Also is the sorority more important to keep heated? As I said I'm still learning here, crash course, about keeping a sorority!

Thanks in advance!

~Rachel
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:57 PM   #2 
rdolphingirl
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Ok ... updating already ... *sigh*

Checked on her again, and found her stuck the to intake of the filter!

I turned it off, and she slowly drifted/swam away.

Left it off, and went to prepare a jar for her, and she is now looking ok and swimming around normally??

Could it be she can't handle the current? The tank has one filter on it, a HOB style, aqua-tech brand, 5-15gal. I also have a spare Whisper Internal Filter 2-10i that I could use ... it creates less current, its the same style I have on my 5gal and the male there seems to be just fine with it.

Any ideas here?... I'm leaving the filter off for now as she seems to be doing much better without it ... and yes I can transfer filter material to the new filter.

I'm feeling a bit lost here ... and any help would be appreciated!

Thanks!
~Rachel
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:30 AM   #3 
rdolphingirl
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Anyone have any helpful ideas for me ???

I found instructions for a baffle, so did that instead of switching filters. Also stuck a bit of sponge into the intake. She is not perking up well though. Still staying mostly at the bottom, and won't eat ... even when I drop a piece right by her and the others are not there ... *sigh*
I will be going to the pet store later today ... is there anything I can do for her? Could this just be low temps? (72-74 the last couple days)

Thanks for reading ...

~Rachel
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:39 PM   #4 
Cyphus
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*NOTE: I've never set up a sorority, but here's what I know.. with a lil grain of salt ;) *

Yes, fluctuations in temperature can also increase stress for bettas~ Bettas are tropical fishies after all, they do like some heat =] I would recommend getting a heater that self-adjusts itself to a certain set temperature. I've heard great things about the Marineland shatterproof heaters!!!!! Also: they also prefer 'still/stagnant' water. However, the use of a filter will help keep the tank clean (& help cycle the tank), so it's best to continue using one!

Is she showing any other symptoms..? i.e. white flecks on her body, clamped fins, gold flecks (when you shine a flash light on her), is she rubbing herself on things? Does her belly look fat as if she's bloated?

Bettas are usually complete food-pigs~ if she's not eating, she's most likely sick with something......

And if she's sick: it's best to isolate her in a separate hospital tank/jar. Hopefully, she'll perk up more~ maybe she was harassed too much by the others? =X You also might consider lowering the water level (to maybe 4 inches?), so it's easier for her to get to the top to breathe~

Also: it'd be great if you had some Indian Almond Leaves to add to her container, it creates a brakish environment which would make her feel less stressed~ IALs are hard to pick up at a pet store though (I bought mine from Amy-lim on eBay!), but you'll find a product called 'Atison's Betta Spa' which contains IAL extract.

You might need to add medication or aquarium salt........ but.. please don't listen to me on this point~ I'm not too experienced with this >.>
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:43 PM   #5 
Cyphus
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http://www.bettatalk.com/water.htm
Best temperature: "75F to 82F", use heater for tanks > 5g big only, any smaller and you risk cooking fishies.......

oh yes, invest in a thermometer too! (one that hangs inside the tank- more accurate-, not one that's stuck on the outside of the tank)f kept in less than 5 gal tanks you cannot use heaters, they might heat up the water too fast and cook your fish. Instead, keep your jars in a warm room.775F to 82F75F to 82F75F to 82F
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:36 PM   #6 
rdolphingirl
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Cyphus,

Thanks for the reply!

No other symptoms that I can or have seen ... the other 3 girls are all doing well ...

I will see about getting a heater for them I switched out thermometers so they have the in tank one. Its reading about 71-72 right now.

However I pulled her out, shes now in a rubbermaid cereal container and seems fine other then NOT eating still.

I will also see about picking up some different food choices for them today... all I had was Betta Bites. My males are doing just fine on them, as are the other females ... however I know they should really be getting some variety in their diet.

She doesn't seem to be having any trouble swimming or getting up to breathe, in fact if I didn't know she wasn't eating I would say she now looks very good. *sigh*
I did add a bit of salt to her container, can't hurt her and just might help while I try to figure this out. She also has a small terra cota pot, and some hornwort in there. Her color is good, she only very minorly stress striped from the move. I will keep an eye on her until I leave for town.

Thanks!

~Rachel
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:22 PM   #7 
Welsh
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I have a betta sorority in a 12 gallon heated and filtered tank, betta females are best kept in 5-7 as they are territorial fish just like the males. I would reccommend getting a heater as betta fish thrive best in temperatures between 78-80 degrees, if you have a heater you will definately see your fish at their best, you will see the best of their colours and they will be swimming around more actively. Some betta fish are prone to cold waters, they become lethargic, etc so a heater is reccommended. Females as well as males love heavily planted tanks and hiding places.

As for your betta, I'm not too sure what is wrong with her, just keep an eye and make sure she doesnt have too much stress as this can make her worse.

I hope this answer makes sense, the internet and a few glasses of wine shouldnt be mixed lol
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:50 PM   #8 
rdolphingirl
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Hmm ... internet+wine ... nah doesn't seem to mix well ..

Ran out of time today to fiddle with the heater .. so it will have to wait until tomorrow after I get home. Was out later then I planned.

For now I have left her out in the plastic container. The other three seem to be getting along quite nicely though ... go figure!

Much to the delight of ALL the other bettas in the house ( 2 males / 3 females ) I now have freeze-dried bloodworms and frozen brine-shrimp ...

She will NOT eat either one! ... half considering seeing if she will eat pea tomorrow ... however I am calling it quits for tonight.

Also bought and set up a new tank today, from a fellow fish keeper. Nice thing is its fully cycled as its been set up for 6 mths. Got a trio of guppies ... hope to make fry betta food .. lol

Thats about all I have to say for now ... sure hope this little one makes it ... whatever is wrong...


~Rachel
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