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Old 09-03-2011, 10:11 PM   #1 
Cascademaster
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Betta in a 30 gal tank

So I want to start a sorority. I have a 30 gallon tank right now with one male betta in it. The problem I'm having right now is that the betta isn't eating. He'll eat the food but then he'll just spit it all out, big and small pieces. Is 30 gallons of water to much for a single betta? I've heard bettas might not do well in a tank over 10 gallons. Also, would a male betta do well in a sorority?
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:07 AM   #2 
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How long has it been since you have had that male betta? Have you always had trouble getting him to eat? If he is new, try feeding him other foods to see which he prefers. Usually most will gladly take bloodworms, could be freeze-dried or live, it doesnt matter. Also, there is never really too much room, but some bettas do prefer smaller tanks primarily because of territory and wanting to have a good grasp of it. A male could be okay in a sorority, but that really depends on the betta. Most males dont do too well with others and I really dont suggest you do it, if you want a sorority, then stick with all females. I'm not too sure why you want one male to be with many females. If you could please give more info that would help.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:14 AM   #3 
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I agree a bit more info on the eating situation would help. He will eventually eat though. Try different things.

As far as a male with a sorority. Just don't do it. It's way too much stress and someone will get hurt and probably die. Only experienced betta keepers should have sororities since most of them fail. And only EXTREMELY experienced fish keepers can keep males with other males or females. The ONLY people who should be doing it are people like Old Fish Lady.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:06 AM   #4 
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Female Betta Sororities can be quite fun and amusing if done properly....but disastrous and stressful if done improperly, and even sometimes so when done properly. If you are really interested in starting one and are aware that even if you do everything right it still may not work and are prepared with separate tanks for all of your girls just in case....then you can try it.
But first, ask yourself a few questions...
-Sororities need to be heavily planted....great emphasis on the heavy....to help break up the line of site and minimize aggression. Can you afford to drop a nice chunk of cash to heavily plant a 30 gallon with silk/live plants and various hiding spots?
-Are you prepared/are you read to prepare with properly-sized separate tanks for all of your girls for QT/if you need to separate them in the event that your Sorority doesn't work out for whatever reason? Do you have the time to keep all these girls separately/prepared to find some/all of them new homes in the event that things don't work out?
-Are you prepared/do you have the time to do proper and extensive research so you understand what your getting into/all the risks/how to do it properly?
-Do you have the time to watch your Sorority carefully to make sure everything is running smoothly, especially for the first few weeks or so?

If no to any of these....don't attempt a Sorority. As stated previously, only a more experienced keeper really should attempt this as they are risky even then but if you do your research and are prepared you should be alright.

As for the subject of your male....
Get him his own tank before you start your Sorority(if you choose to). If you keep him in with the girls most/all of your fish will end up dead. Bettas are aggressive fish....males should never be housed with other males OR females.
How long have you had him? If not long, keep offering him pellets....he will eat eventually when he is hungry enough.
Can you tell us a little more about the tank? How long you've had it set up/had the male in it? What sort of plants/hiding spots does he have?

See, no tank is too large for a betta so long as it has enough plant cover....bettas come from densely planted, dark waters in the wild; what leads people to believe that they like smaller tanks is that they tend to feel 'exposed' without proper plant cover, and therefore stressed in larger tanks when there is too much open space. But if you have enough plants/hiding spots for him to feel comfortable....no tank is too large.

I hope I have been able to help and answer some of your questions :)
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:30 AM   #5 
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Dragon gave you the proper info.. just please please please don't leave the male in there with the females when/if you start it up. No reason for any of them to die =(
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:33 PM   #6 
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Ok, so first thing first. I will not put the male with any of the females.

I've had the tank for about a week now, my girlfriend gave it to me as a present with already cycled water in it and everything, its got a heater set at 78 degrees, a filter (biowheel style) and a bubbler. There are plenty of hiding places for the betta, including plants (fake and real) and a couple of caves. Some of the plants floated to the top, and he likes to hide in them. The bottom of the tank is covered with fish food that he keeps spitting out.

I have an extra 2.5 gallon tank that I'm probably going to move him too. I put a male in the tank because the 2.5 gallon tank had a sick Bushfish in it at the time (the water is going to be changed btw).
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:43 PM   #7 
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Could you post a picture of the 30 gallon so we can see how much there is in terms of hiding places? Also, it'd be best to clean out the left over food before putting the females in and just in general.

How often are you doing water changes for the 30 gallon? It shouldn't be too difficult because of the volume of water, the filter, and the lack of fish.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:10 PM   #8 
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I don't have any available pictures of it at the moment, and unfortunately I'm not around it right now to take a picture. I plan on doing my first water change tomorrow. I'll try to have a picture up by tomorrow. I'm going to try and give him a couple different types of food and see if he eats any of those. Right now I'm feeding him Aqueon tropical flakes.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #9 
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Maybe he'll like pellets. Flakes are notorious for causing bloating issues and clouding the water. You could also try frozen or freeze fried blood worms too. If all else fails, try soaking whatever food you're going to feed him in garlic juice.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #10 
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While, as stated previously, flakes tend to cause bloating issues and cloud the water, the more picky eaters won't even touch them....plus, they aren't very nutritious anyway.
You should feed a good pellet as a staple(New Life Spectrum, Omega One, even the Aqueon brand Pellets are all good...you could even get more then one brand to mix it up a little for him); 2-3 pellets, twice a day. For variety, you can also feed a few frozen bloodworms/brineshrimp in place of a pellet meal 1-3 times a week. I'd steer clear of Freeze-dried.....They have very little nutritional value, and with all the possible bloating issues they could cause its a little more trouble then their worth IMO.

It sounds like you've got hiding spots and everything in order....try getting some pellets and see if he'll eat those. You can pick up some frozen food too, but I wouldn't advise feeding frozen until you can get him going with the pellets....otherwise he might just refuse the pellets, and you might have to forgo feeding anythign else anyway for longer until he finally gets hungry enough and eats his pellets.

It also wouldn't hurt to, if you don't already have one, purchase an API liquid master test kit to keep an eye on the levels of your tank. Its always a wonderful tool to have on hand when fish keeping.....sometimes issues can be solved simply by testing the levels of your tank and preforming a water change to correct any imbalance.

Also, just to check....you have water conditioner for when you preform your first water change, yes?
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