I'm currenty cycling a 10 gallon heavily planted tank to start up a sorority. I had a question about adding the girls. I don't want to stress the new tank by adding too many fish at once, but I've also read that only adding one or two at a time almost guarantees fighting and possible death. Yikes. Should I start with three and then add two more (going for a total of 5 girls). Space them out more than that? I'm scared to start with just two in there. Any suggestions? Thanks!
I don't know too much about sororities but I do know that that plan is not a good idea!!
They should all be introduced at the exact same time so they have an equal oppurtunity to claim territory/establish a pecking order. Having only 2 or 3 to start will very likely result in bad injuries/death of one or both of the fish, they can't spread out the aggression with that little a number (that's why more 5+ are recommended), and by the time you added the rest of them if the others hadn't mauled eachother to death already, they will then target those new ones because they have already "called" their territory.
Anyhow, someone else can probably elaborate more, but i would cycle your whole tank or whatever first and then add them all at once.
If it's already cycled it shouldn't be any problem. As was stated before, the girls should be added at the same time so no one has a chance to claim territory first. There will be some nipping and chasing while they are establishing a pecking order. Be aware that sometimes sororities don't work. Sometimes they just aren't compatable with each other.
When I started mine, I added the smallest, least aggressive one I had... Which was Mew by the way, and let her swim around and explore for about 10-15 minutes, after which I floated the rest of the cups in the tank for a bit, and released them in order of least aggressive to most 2 at a time. They all flared, locked lips and bit each other constantly for the first hour or so, then they explored together and all that, while still showing some aggression. I only had one troublemaker (Daiquiri), who built a rivalry with Faye, but they've since settled their differences. lol... When I do 100% changes, I do the same thing. Based on my observations I release the least aggressive one first. It doesn't even seem to matter anymore since there's barely a pecking order anymore. If I'm introducing a new betta she's always the one to go in and explore first. Eh, some people may not agree with the way I do things, but it's evidently worked so far.
My only contribution to this post would be, "The more the merrier". You didn't say how big your tank is so I couldn't make a suggestion on the numbers you would need to create a fairly peaceful tank. I have a 100 gallon tank for my females and have 150 to over 200 in there at any given time. There is a big power filter at one end to give a decent current without blowing them around. By the time two of them square off 3 or 4 more come by and they forget what they were doing.
I'm currently cycling a 10g, filtered, heated tank to get ready for them. Lot's of hideys and heavily planted. I thought the tank was cycled and was planning on getting the girls this weekend but my tester snail went belly side up (I've got another post out there about this) so I might wait a bit longer to get the girls. I've been reading up on other sites about sororities and the general consensus is the more the merrier. Would 7 be ok in my 10g?