I have a 5 gal that I want to start my sorority in. How many girls can I have in there? And do you think I could have a snail with them? I have the tank all set up and ready to go (with heater and filter and plants and hidding places). So any suggestions or tips and if possible, answer my questions?
In a 5gal....1 female.....10gal or larger is what you will need for a sorority......20gal is best IMO....with lots of decoration...... especially live plants that go all the way to the top...this is to give the less aggressive females a way to the top without being seen.....
Ideally you want 5+ females starting out, so you would need to give them the appropriate space for each. I personally like to give females 2.5g of space in a tank. 25g would be what I would put 5-6 females in. Good luck!
Here are my tips to starting a betta sorority. From the first day I started my sorority up until now, there has been minimal shows of aggression. My females each have a territory staked out in their tank that they patrol, and aside from my derp female, no one really gets beaten up or chased around.
Make sure your tank is very heavily planted/decorated - This doesn't mean one plastic plant and a cave to hide in. You need to have cover at every level of the tank so that the less dominant females are able to reach the surface without being harassed.
My tank is planted so I can't see from front to back or side to side. You need to break up the line of sight so if one of your females is being chased, there is enough cover to slow the pursuer and let the other escape more easily.
Choose the youngest looking females you can find - My sorority females are all much younger than any of my others. Because they are younger they (hopefully) are less inclined to show aggression/fight than older, more dominant females.
They were also all in the same tank at my LFS so I had a chance to watch how they interacted together before I purchased them.
Ensure your water parameters are perfect - Because sororities are usually overstocked, you really need to stay on top of your water quality. It is stressful for semi-aggressive fish like bettas to live in a group situation, and stress coupled with poor water quality and harassment is going to lead to disease.
Diseases can decimate a sorority so you need to ensure you are familiar with each of your female's personalities, and can distinguish between normal behaviour and the tell-tale first signs of illness.
You need to know when to take them out, and when to let them sort it out - If you are not experienced with aggression in fish, it's hard to know when you just need to let your females sort it out between themselves, or when you will need to intervene. Everyday bickering is to be expected, and this might include posturing, flaring, and even a small amount of chasing.
However, if one of your females is being relentlessly hounded and bullied, or one of your females won't tolerate any of the others even after a temporary 'time-out', you may need to remove those females from your tank permanently.
In these instances letting them sort it out by themselves is going to end in the death of one of more of the females involved.
I hoped I've given you some information to think on. I only set-up my sorority a month or so ago, but the only issue I have had so far is that one of my females is a suspected male. Other than that, I have no problems housing them together.
I think the idea of a sorority tank is a good one if done right, I have actually fancied the idea of getting rid of all of my guppies and turning my 55 gallon into a huge betta sorority with even a male or two in there...I can't help but think that huge tank all planted and prettied up would look gorgeous with a few betta's in it...
Good luck with your sorority, I might be posting my own Sorority thread in about a month or two
And don't give up. It may take several tries before they come together. I put my girls together and separated them on three different occasions. The fourth time I put them together, they came together as if they'd been in the same tank their entire life. Before, they were bent on murdering each other. I'll never quite know what was different but the bottom line is, don't give up.