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Old 11-25-2011, 11:31 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Interested in a Betta sorority-advice, please!

Hi, I went out to Petco today with the intent of starting a freshwater aquarium. I spent quite some time talking to a lady who really seemed to know her stuff, and she helped us get a 15 gallon tank with a heater, filter, lid, etc. We made sure to get 1 lbs of gravel per gallon, and we're currently heating the tank in preparation for the fish.

The lady I spoke with advised starting out with tetras because they are so hardy and look quite nice, but I am very interested in a betta sorority. I have helped take care of a lone betta in a bowl (after some reading, I realize it probably needs a heater), which is going on a year and belongs to my sister.

Attached is a picture of our aquarium. Please leave advice, as I have done some reading, but the information is often conflicting. Should I get starter fish before bettas, or should I jump right in with the sorority? Will the tank be ready after the 24 hour waiting period?

Thanks, and sorry for any ignorance on my part. That's why I'm here. Remember, it's a 15 gallon tank.

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Old 11-25-2011, 11:46 PM   #2 
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
You need to absolutely STUFF THAT TANK with plants, real or fake. Have lots of hidey places on the bottom as well. If you can see the back of the tank, or the other side from the side of the tank, its not full enough. About 7-10 females, 10 being the max I think. I think if you can survey the tank often, and keep up with water changes, you can get a sorority. There will be a bit of nipping, but from my understanding it settles down. I've been extremely lucky with mine that I just set up. :)

Also, I would baffle the outtake of that filter with some aquarium sponge. Girls can tolerate the current better than male bettas, but not by much more.

Edit: Plants floating on the top are a must as well, so girls can get air without being seen by the others.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:50 PM   #3 
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Location: Seattle, WA
Nice Tank!

Tetras are good fish to use while you're cycling your tank... that might be why she advise you to "start" with them.
Many people will keep hardy fish during the cycle and then change to whichever fish they actually wanted.
There's other methods to cycle your tank but the process takes minimum a week and this is by using substrate and filter media from an established aquarium.

Of course, you could do a fish-in cycle with the bettas but you would need to keep a close eye on the water conditions to avoid any poisoning.

For a 15 galon, I would suggest no more than 8 females.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:53 PM   #4 
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Originally Posted by vilmarisv View Post
For a 15 galon, I would suggest no more than 8 females.
I don't know, I've got 7 in my 10g. For an extra 5 gallons, I think you could do 9, with 10 absolutely pushing it. Of course, OP, if once the tank is cycled you want to add tankmates such as cories, then 7 would be teh max I would think.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:25 AM   #5 
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The most important part of having a sorority is to have the tank absolutely full of plants and make sure they are really thick. You are going to want to add in a small cave or something that each betta will be able to claim as they are territorial fish and require that.

Also you can put 7-12 betta fish in there. I know from experience because I have housed up to 14 bettas in at once and they were fine, though I am a little experienced with keeping a sorority in a 15 gallon, but I only suggest up to 12 because any more and they will keep bumping into each other and want to fight.

They will nip and fight at first to establish the dominant female and then after a couple hours or a day, they should be fine. If they continue to fight with bad aggression, then you must have a spare tank to separate the one that is causing trouble. A couple fins will be lost in the beginning and then restored with regrowth and they should be fine after that.

Oh and I have to say that the whole zen theme in the tank looks beautiful! I really like it!

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