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Old 03-18-2011, 01:07 AM   #1 
Sasusc
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Worried, female betta playing dead?

I just set up a sorority in a 5 gallon tank with 5 females. I can home from work (I wished I had more time to watch them before work, but they seemed fine with a few chases and nothing serious) and checked in on them and they killed one. Another one, Ginny, looked half dead but she swam fine when I scooped the dead one out. I've been checking on them every 5 or 10 minutes. It doesn't seem like Ginny has rip fins or anything--can't really see any kind of damage on her. She's just laying on her side like she's dead, but as soon as I move things around to check she moves pretty fast. I decided to put her in a net breeder so that she's separated from the others. I'm not sure if the others hurt her badly or she's playing dead or if there is something else wrong with her.

Is there anything I can do for her, or do I just have to wait and see?
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:43 AM   #2 
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Im no expert, but I would try putting her in a separate container and treat her with some salt and medicine. I tried putting one of my females with my male the other day and he ripped part of her back fins, nothing too serious, and I used API BETTAFIX (available at a local pet store) and her wounds were healed and her fins grew back the next day or so. Stay by her side, read her a story, and remind her not to go into the light and hopefully everything will eventually be alright! :(
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:47 AM   #3 
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hold on, if you see nothing visibly wrong with her I wouldnt treat she may just be doing it to get a reprieve from the others keep her in the breeders net for a day or so and see if she stops.
MY three female tank has a really bitchy alpha and she tore the other two to bits, Agent 88 hid in the drift wood for three days.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:51 AM   #4 
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Im sure Abby knows better than I do, since, as I said, Im no expert lol. Earlier my male was acting up, had his tail on the bottom of the tank and his head was pointing up...I thought he somehow messed up one of his fins because only one was being used to keep him somewhat afloat. I was wondering what was going on, but he just seemed like he was resting (although he could have rested on his plant and not scare me!). Perhaps she is, indeed, just trying to recuperate.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:10 AM   #5 
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5 females in a 5 gallon tank sounds like it's a recipe for disaster. It's too small a space to provide an escape from attacks, and this is probably why you have ended up with a dead female.

I would recommend at least a 10 gallon or larger if you're going to attempt a sorority. They are volatile at the best of times, and it's really important to give each fish as much space as possible if it's being harassed.

If you've only got three females now I'd watch them carefully. The two strongest will usually gang up and heckle the weakest one until it either dies from stress or injuries.

Sororities are not something to be entered into lightly. They require a lot of vigilance, and someone who is experienced enough with betta behaviour to pull out an aggressor before it gets out of hand.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:20 AM   #6 
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i havent had any problems with my ladies, ive three in a 5 gal and 4 in a smaller tank waiting on the other planted tank to cycle. my females are all sisters from one spawn so i dont expect many issues :)
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:55 AM   #7 
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Well, Ginny died so now I've only have 3. I'm going to keep a close eye on them. Two of them dont seem aggressive at all from what I could tell. They've all just seem to be keeping to themselves and not bothering each other when they swam pass each other.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:13 PM   #8 
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That is too small for a sorority. You need at least a 10g and it should be planted like a jungle.A sister sorority might follow different rules but if you are combining strangers, of different sizes, ages and temperment they will need plenty of room to run, places to hide, and plants to block their view.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:16 PM   #9 
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I would definitely upgrade to a 10 gallon. They need lots of hiding spots and plants. My tank looks like a silk and plastic forest.

I have a sorority that started out at 7 and am now at 4. It is extremely stressful. What was most stressful for me was that mine didn't die from fighting and being picked on mine died from bacteria infections (which I did treat the whole tank numerous times for). It was just one day they were fine and the next dead. One got sick and it was a domino effect. I finally got everything under control and my 4 remaining are super happy and healthy. One girl I thought would never lose her stress stripes finally showed me her true color 2 days ago. I had almost given up on the whole sorority until she did that which gave me hope that they really were ok now. I have considered introducing 1 or 2 more back in but I don't know. It's a lot of work.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:36 PM   #10 
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I've moved them to the 10g with the platys I have. The remaining ones are doing better. I know I should have more than three, but I'm afraid to introduced more right now.
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