I set up my sorority two months ago. I have a 20 gallon, filtered, heated tank with plenty of places for bettas to hide. I started out with 11 females, which I discovered was too many female bettas in a 20 gallon. However, they all seemed to get along fine. I didn't see any torn fins and very little fighting. However, very suddenly, all of my females except for two had bites taken out of their tail fins. I've since found three dead, eaten by the looks of them. All but two of the remaining females have tattered and destroyed fins (one of them has no tail fin at all). There isn't a single fish that's more aggressive than the rest as far as I have observed. What's going wrong? Is there anything I can do to save the rest? Things I've run through my head are more tall plants, a change in diet, an increase in diet, an increase in temperature (the water is about 72 farenheit)?
Sororities can be time bombs, something can go wrong at the drop of a hat with no warning at all.
72 degrees is a bit too cold for bettas, they like temps around 78-80. Warmer temps will also help promote fin growth, as well as a high protein diet.
The girl with no fins should probably be put in a QT tank until she gains her fins back, the sorority isnt safe for her right now and will probably kill her.
I think you should take everyone and cup them, do a water change and rearrange the tank, maybe add more hiding places if you can. You can never have too many hiding places in sororities. When you release them, release them in order of least aggressive first so the more timid girls will have a better chance of staking their own territory.
When some of the girls died in your tank (sorry to hear about that by the way D: ), it may have left the alpha spot open for grabs which could be causing most of the fighting. Rearranging everything will reestablish territories and hopefully will cause one of of your females to become the alpha and quiet things down.
Keep an eye on them too, it might just be one or two girls being bullies and nipping everyone, they'll need a home of their own if they are. The 2 with no nips are probably your culprits so keep a close eye on them.
Sorry to hear your sorority is not working out. True sisters tend to live together more peacefully than unrelated female bettas. Eleven girlies in a 20 gallon is not overstocked. Is it possible that they may have been exposed to a disease or parasite?
frozen brine shrimp go along well with the frozen blood worms.
Sorry to hear about the trouble, fish you get from a pet store in a cup often have issues with getting along with others. Hope you can salvage the sorority and help the remaining girls heal up.
Thanks for all the help! I got some high protein pellets for now, and I'll look for frozen worms and shimp. I got some more hiding places and a warmer heater. I think I got them in time. Do their fins grow back after they've been destroyed like that?
yes, some girls take longer than others, others might grow there fins in 2 days (all of the fins)
am very sorry about your lost and i hope everything gets better for you and emerald your right on everything you said, well when you said betta's need to be kept in 78-80 mines where in 75 o-0. lexiloo when they do get better i would love to see some pics of you girls ;]
Last edited by betta lover1507; 11-10-2011 at 05:02 PM.
The fins do grow back...when i first set up mine months ago Lily went right after Dori really bad...I just set Dori up in her own tank and she healed up pretty nicely...it helped to take Lily out for a little while also. When all the girls were put together again after some time out they all got along well =)