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Old 11-28-2011, 05:46 AM   #1 
Edifiler
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Beginner Starting A Sorority?

Hey guys so a few months back I brought home a Betta for the first time in ages. At that time I was a complete beginner and had no idea what I was getting myself into without doing the proper homework for it, my Betta died within the week. ._. ( I really regret it though, he was really pretty :()
And so after researching more and preparing a better tank for my next Betta, I brought home a nice Purplely /blue Betta :D I named him Peaches and put him into my 25L or 6.6 gallon tank after I was done filtering it :D He now lives happily beside my computer table.
But last week, I saw an advertisement on Gumtree ( For Perth residents) and i purchased a 35L or 9.25 gallon tank off some guy. It came with 3 slightly old air pumps that worked fine, a wool* filter ( not sure what it is called but it had wool in it) , an over-sized under gravel filter which i had to cut in order to fit into the tank. I've always wanted to try my luck at breeding but i know now is not the time for it because i dont have the resources required. So i would like to start up a sorority but i have a few questions that Google couldn't answer ._.

1) Would a 9.25 Gallon tank be too small to become a sorority? Or would it be better if i just partitioned it and make it home to some other Males?

2) If 9.25 Gallon is a big enough tank, how many female Bettas should i house it to? I read that around 4-6 is a good amount but for a small tank size like mine i should stick around 4 - 5

3) Would a under gravel filter as well as a wool filter ( Which i plan to remove the wool and put in some ceramic rings and some sponge and new wool) be enough to keep the water clean?

4) Could I squeeze some of the water from my existing filtered tank into the new filter to jump start the cycling?

5) Would a 50W Heater be sufficient in keeping the water at a good temperature?

Thanks in advance, sorry if my post may contain information that could be found in some other post ._.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:50 AM   #2 
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Going to bump this up so you get more responses.

I would say 9.25g is a bi small, but people have gotten away with less. I would do 5 girls in your tank, 6 is too many. Could you put a piece of wool in your main filter for a week, and then put that wool into your sorority filter? Would take some planning but this is the best way to get that cycle going. Also, you could take a handfull of gravel from your cycled tank, put it in some panty hose, tie it up and place it in your sorority. After 2 weeks, you can take it out. This is what I do with mine, I usually have unused gravel sitting in my tanks just for this purpose, and extra filter media in my filters :)

I have no idea about the filter set up that you have, I just have a HOB for my 10g. Works well for us. I don't like undergravel filters, it pulls everything under really.

50W is fine :) I use 50w in my 10g tanks.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:19 AM   #3 
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Hey thanks for the respond :D
I dont think i'll be able to do the gravel trick because I dont have enough gravel in my main tank ._. Im also not sure if i can do the filter trick because i went out and buy a sponge filter since i read from many places that they are alot better compared to the wool filter etc. I also have a bottle of Betta Bio Start which i used to quicken the cycle in my main tank too. So i'll be sure to put that in too :D I just filled the tank up with water and it looks nice and clear :P time to get the cycling started :D
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:46 AM   #4 
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I'm going to answer in order, cause it's easier :p

1) 9.25 is a little small, but not by much. It could be done. The thing is though, sororities do best in bigger tanks. And they are more successful when the fish keeper is experienced. If you consider yourself a beginner, do more research before you decide if you can handle it. Females still have aggression towards each other and getting non-related females adds to that. You will need a lot of hiding places and you need to know when the aggression is too much and if they need to be separated. Each female should have a back up in case the sorority doesn't work. You can basically be guaranteed some nipped fins and maybe some beat up females and you should know how to care for that. (Not saying you can't, just things to consider :) )

2) I would do 5 as well. Just make sure to keep up on water changes. The higher number you can fit in the tank, the more the aggression gets spread out.

3)A lot of people here don't like under gravel filters. I would get a hang on the back one. The point of the filter is mostly to house good bacteria and oxygenate the water. The bacteria break down waste. But the filter's purpose is not mainly to get the solids out, for that you still need water changes.

4) the bacteria doesn't live in the water. Use the filter media, gravel or decorations from the other tank. Even if you don't have enough, put it in a cup or a nylon stocking so you can remove it and add it back to the other tank once the new one is cycled.

5)I think 50W is good. Each heater will give you the gallons recommended on the box. Go by that.


And also, any of those bio starts don't really do anything. It's supposed to be live bacteria to jump start the cycle, and there's nothing the bacteria need to live in those bottles. I personally don't think they work. But no harm in using it.

Hope this helped :)
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:08 AM   #5 
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I would think it would be OK but in the end it all comes down to the individual betta's personalities. Even if you had a 20 gallon tank, sometimes a girl is just too agressive, however the more room they have, the better it is. I would do 4 pr 5 females though - to give them more space.

I think it takes 5 watts to heat one gallon of water, so a 50 watt heater would be fine.

No idea about the filter though, never had a cycled tank.

If you feel you are ready for a sorority, I say go for it but be prepared that it may end in diaster. Not that you did anything wrong but some girls just can't live together without killing each other. As long as you have done your research, everyone has to start somewhere. If you feel you are ready, why not give it a try.

Also you may want to read the stickies in the fish disease section and keep some of the common meds on hand in case there is an outbreak of columnaris, velvet or ick. That way if you have it on hand and dont have to worry about not being able to find them locally. Also AQ salt and stress coat for nipped fins is good too.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 11-29-2011 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:45 AM   #6 
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Ok, do the tank size is alright for a small number of girls - like everyone said, between 4-5 girls :)

50 watt heater is what I use - some are preset, others are adjustable. I prefer adjustable in case there is ich or something....

I have no idea about that way you mentioned of the filters... I got cheap ones usually, or made my own sponge filter and it works :)

water does not carry the beneficial bacteria... rocks, decor, live plants, filter cartridge, all do.

Some tips about sororities...
-Lots and lots of plants and decor x) silk, live and fabric plants are best, allows them to hide if needed, escape if needed, and explore of course!
-I've had better luck getting sibling girls to get along than half siblings, or unrelated bettas... BUT people have had better luck with mix girls too... Always depends on the girls :p If you want to get live plants, get a UV light... that'll also help bring out the girl's colors, along with keeping plants more healthy.
-Expect nipping and chasing!
- add them together... after floating. any time you add another fish, rearrange everything to make everyone have to scout out new territory... rather than sticking a new one into other's territory...
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:00 PM   #7 
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hey thanks for the responses :D
From reading all your post about the under gravel filter im having second thoughts about it but i think i'll keep it in. I've put in a new sponge filter and ordered a heap of decorations and hiding spots for the females. Im also gonna try my hands at a planted tank :D.
Also if i buy the females living together already, i.e. from a pet shop, does that reduce chance of them displaying aggression against each other?
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:50 PM   #8 
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Actually, it does and doesn't... I'll tell you why.

1. does: familiarity. They all already know each other.
2. doesn't: establishing a new status. You'll be taking 4-5 girls out of an already established group. Now they must establish who is the lowest, and who is the alpha.

There will always be some aggression at first - just to establish territory, and who's who.And sometimes a little chasing and nipping.

However I have had better luck with siblings than unrelated bettas. But, others have done better with girls from different groups. :)
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:20 AM   #9 
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Oh ._. well i'll be sure to keep an eye on whos being aggressive and separate them if needed :P
Thx for everyones help :D
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:34 AM   #10 
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But, others have done better with girls from different groups. :)
I think luck is a big part of it. I added girls at different times, so they are not even the same age. it just so happens that I picked some pretty submissive girls, I can't even tell who the alpha is - although I suspect it's the giant HM. She is currently out of the tank and being treated for illness and I noticed that one of the smaller, newer girls stress stripes have gone away. Maybe it's just a conicidence but i dont think so.
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