Originally Posted by Myates
You should have them separated, as by the time the 55 gallons cycles through (a few weeks at minimum) you will end up having many issues with just the 3 girls.. most likely one will be killed and a second one just about close to that by the end of a couple weeks. Highly recommend you separate the 3 girls until you have the appropriate number.
You can always just clean out the algae yourself so the oto can be placed in the group it needs.
As for introducing the girls.. once the 10 gallon is empty of all other fish, rearrange it and float each girl in their own cup and acclimate to both temp and chemistry as you would normally. It's always a risk when setting up sororities, as we are forcing them to be together when they naturally wouldn't be constantly together. Having only 3 right now, 2 will gang up on 1 and wear her down til she can't take it anymore, then the 2 will battle for the tank. The reasoning behind 4/5+ is that it allows the fighting and chasing to be spread out between enough of them as to hopefully avoid just one being bullied. Even then it's still a risk- weeks, months later a fight can easily break out and you will have to separate them all and keep them separated. One of the general rules is make sure you have enough spare tanks to home each girl permanently if the need arises, as it's a high risk enviroment. So would be recommended to separate them for their own safety and health for now. Or.. clean out the algae on the glass yourself, grab a couple of ghost or cherry shrimp to put in to clean the tank so you can get the other girls in there asap.
First off, I have other tanks that are cycled (including the 10 gallon) so I'm using some filter media from an established tank to cycle my 55 gallon. I know 100% how to cycle a tank so that is not an issue for me. The cories will be in there as soon as the test results come up good. Just had to clear that up so people don't waste time telling me things I already know lol.
I have tried cleaning the algae out myself but a lot of it is on the leaves of my live plants and I don't want to damage them. I'm going to get some duckweed today or some other plant that grows quickly to outcompete the algae for nutrients and see if that works. The oto is quite busy now eating algae so I'm not too worried if it's just for the short term. He has a group of 8 or 9 of them to go back into, I suppose I could put 2 more in my tank to give him some buddies?
Either way, I will be getting two more females as soon as the cories can be moved to the 55 gallon. I will get a few new live plants and rearrange the tank a bit when adding the new ones. Thanks for clarifying how to put new ones in, I'll post again how it goes.
I have the necessary spare tanks incase they need to be separated. I am going to keep it heavily planted with lots of hiding spots to reduce the stress and fighting that may happen. I have always wanted a sorority and feel as though I am experienced enough to do it. I was a bit led on by the guy at the fish store who told me they are great community fish and 3 would be enough to spread out any aggression, if there even is any. I knew enough not to get 2 of them but at the same time I didn't want to overstock my tank before being able to move the cories. Guess I should have waited before getting any females but now I'm just trying to deal with the situation I'm in. Should be sorted out within a few days but I'll keep a close eye on them in the meantime.