I think it would be to your best advantage and less strain on your wallet if you got the plants bought, QT, settled and adjusted to your tank, that way you wont buy them, stick them in with the fish within the same week and have them just wilt and die. Just a suggestion. Patience will save heartache and a broke wallet in the fish world. unless you plan on QT the girls in a circle for 3 weeks on your kitchen counter I am not sure what else hasn't been said for ya.
Why would they die if I put them in the same week as my fish?
And what is QT?
If it would be better to set up my tank the way I want it for my sorority now, then I can do that, but I only have a one gallon bowl to keep Mystique in until I get the rest of the fish, and then when I get the others, how long can they stay in their little cups for? How long should I let all their cups sit by each other so they can see everyone before they're in the tank?
They mean that have the plants adjusted to the tank- but you can actually just add them in there.
QT mean 'Quarantine'. You'll want to have your tank cycled and ready to go before you add any fish. You can QT the girls in their betta cups (just do daily 100% water changes for all of them to maintain water quality).
Adding live plants will help with ammonia and nitrates. So It will lessen your water changes by a little bit.
What size tank did you say you were getting?
Thanks, and I already have a ten gallon tank, cycled and everything, it's where my current girl is living, she did have a plant.. but I didn't know about filter sponges and my filter sucked it out of the gravel and destroyed it. If I get everyone in the tank and they start fighting(again, when do I seperate them, how much biting or whatever should I expect that's normal?) can I just put them back in their cups and try again later, or send the most aggressive fish back to the store? Because I can't keep a fish that can't stay in my tank, I don't have the room or a separate tank for it to live in.
O__O That must be one strong filter ya got there...woah.
You should just add everyone at one time (littlest girls first) and then just observe. It's normal to have pecking for around 4-5 days or so, and you'll see some nipped fins, but if it's anything too dramatic, I don't think it will work. As stated before, you'll have the alpha basically picking on everyone- the key to making a good sorority is having lots of hidey holes! :) (and lots of plants)
If you don't want to care for live plants, silk plants work very well too.
So I should just let them get to know each other for a few days? How bad do they usually get at each other?
Ok, so I think I understand now.
Take out my current fish for about two days and put her in another place so she won't feel territorial about the tank. But also completely rearrange the tank and get as many plants and hiding spots as possible. Get all the fish from the same store, put their cups around each other so they can see who their new tank mates will be. Put in the smallest fish first and so on. Fighting a bit is normal. And, if they're all alive and well in a week after living in the tank, that means that they sorted everything out within the sorority and I should expect them to be fine from then on?
While the pecking order is being established if there are not enough hiding spots or just things to break vision, such as plants, some girls may never be able to get to the top to feed or breathe and then you'll have some keeling over from the stress or agression.
As far as establishing the plants, they are like fish sometimes. Most of the time you do not have problems and they just look a little sick for a few days then they perk up and grow well. Sometimes they just die out and then you hvae to deal with dead plants along with the girls fighting. You don't want to lose your hiding spots since that is really key to making a sorority work in a small tank.
Ok thanks! I plan to have a bunch of planted..plants, but also many just floating around the top so my fish can hide, and I'm going to have some caves or other decorations. I'll try to set it up in a way that the plants cover the middle of the tank well enough. I can't wait to get this going! :)
Just another question. How long can they stay in the cups they come in? Because I think I might get them tomorrow but I don't know if I can get the plants tomorrow too. And how long should I let them see eachother with the cups before I place them in the tank?
Would it be ok to keep them in the cups for like, two days?
As long as you do daily water changes it would probably be fine, but honestly do you have a dollar tree near you? They have tall jars in there for, of course, a dollar and they're ideal temporary homes. The cups are usually just soo small. Or plastic containers cleaned out really well, they work too. :)
Thanks! So I'm really excited because I've started the process. I've bought some plants(I'm still going to buy more, though) and my Mystique has been away from her tank for a day or so, I think I'm getting my new Betta's tomorrow! YAY! I'm still not completely clear on the best way to introduce them to the tank(put them in one by one, smallest first?), do I need to place their cups around each other beforehand, and for how long? And I went to petco today, and they did not have a filter sponge, pretty lame, the store clerk said they don't carry that, and I looked but they just didn't have it. So I have plants but none are on the side of the filter because I don't want them destroyed.
How does my tank look? Are the plants enough(on that side, at least?) I have a plastic plant on the other side, but I'm going to get that out and put real plants in tomorrow. Unless it would also be ok to just put another decoration on the side without plants and then just add one plant? Like a rock and one plant, what do you think?
I'm probably going to get my fish from a really popular fish store down the street, I went in today and the guy said they get like 20+ female Bettas shipped in tomorrow! Cool! Hopefully they have a sponge to cover the filter thing. :)