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Old 09-25-2014, 10:36 PM   #1 
pro001
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Am I overstocking my tank

I currently have four females and a mystery snail (kind of, he never comes out of his shell during the day, and doesnt eat, but hes in a new spot every morning) in my tank. I had started off with just three girls, but noticed that weeks later one was still stressed, so I decided to up the numbers. I bought two, but because one was so small they ate her so now I have just the four, but I noticed two of them still have stress lines throughout most of the day, and my dominate girl sometimes has a stripe. I have been thinking about adding more betta girls to my 10 gallon tank, but I don't know if I should get one, or two more, because I am worried about overstocking my tank and hurting my girls more.

Additionally, if I get more fish, would it be OK to get them from a different pet store? So far I've gotten all my girls and my snail from PetSmart, but when I was at a different store I saw they had YELLOW!! girls, but I was concerned about potential issues with different breeders.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:52 PM   #2 
RussellTheShihTzu
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You might want to read this if you haven't already. And Welcome to the Forum!

Important tips to a successful sorority
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:57 PM   #3 
pro001
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Thanks :) I've read lots of stuff saying they need like a gallon per inch of fish and people say my snail needs like 2.5 gallons even though (right now) he's smaller than a ping pong ball. like I've said, I'm trying to keep my girls from being stressed and over crowded which is why I'm starting to consult forums before making serious changes like new fish.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:51 PM   #4 
farmgirl82
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If your mystery snail is hiding that much & not actively eating your fish are probably picking at him/her & eating its antennae. If they are comfortable they are usually out of there shell & very active all the time. It will probably not live long in that situation. Do you have another tank it can live in or can you return it to the pet store?
Sorry I have no experience with sororities but I have read they can be very unpredictable & volatile situations. Female bettas are territorial & need room to stake out there turf or hiding hole. Most people on this forum do not recommend them at all.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:57 PM   #5 
RussellTheShihTzu
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Can you post a photo of your aquarium? I understand how you plant goes a long way toward cutting down on sorority aggression.

+1 Farmgirl82, as well. Snails are only "shy" when stressed and if yours is only coming out when the lights are off that's a sure sign.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:09 AM   #6 
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Wait, they ate another betta? How small was she that she fit in another fish's mouth? You need to try to make sure the fish are at least somewhat close in size.

IMO, four is not enough. While more fish is not always a guarantee of success, I've found that the likelihood of success is greater with more fish to spread out the aggression. I would buy three more females, take EVERYBODY out of the tank, rearrange it, and then reintroduce everybody with the new girls first, then the least aggressive of the girls you have, and work your way up to the current alpha. This should be *relatively* safe.

Also, the likelihood of your girls being spawn sisters is small. Petsmart and other stores may be supplied by the same breeder, but these fish are usually bred in massive betta farms that have multiple spawns going at the same time. I would say you are no worse off going elsewhere for your fish than you are right now with the 4 girls.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:16 AM   #7 
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I'd be more worried about introducing disease into your sorority than potential issues with fish from different breeders. I hope you are quarantining any new female that is going into this sorority for at least a couple weeks, as disease seems to be the number one killer of females in sororities. Fish from stores can introduce all sorts of nasties into your fish tank, and if your females are already stressed (it sounds like they are), this can cause a very big problem.

Like Russell has said, stuffing an aquarium full of plants goes a long way to easing aggression and stress in sororities. It means females aren't in constant sight of each other, and the less aggressive females can get away if they are being chased or harassed.

Is your tank cycled? A sorority is a stressful environment for fish, and you don't want to exacerbate that with poor water quality.

I'm assuming maybe the small female died and then the other females ate her, as I introduced very small females into my old sorority that had a couple of giants in it, and they never bothered them.
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:52 AM   #8 
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I have no advice on the sorority, however, mystery snails are usually incredibly active snails. I have a number of them. If he's hiding all the time, he's definitely being harassed so please get him out of there. Put him in a big clean sterilite container (they are cheap) and just do lots of water changes until you can get him his own tank, or get the sorority tank heavily planted. And good luck with your girls!
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:10 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
I'd be more worried about introducing disease into your sorority than potential issues with fish from different breeders. I hope you are quarantining any new female that is going into this sorority for at least a couple weeks, as disease seems to be the number one killer of females in sororities. Fish from stores can introduce all sorts of nasties into your fish tank, and if your females are already stressed (it sounds like they are), this can cause a very big problem.
Agreed totally. Disease is a HUGE problem among pet store fish.

I'd separate them personally, but I don't care for sororities in the first place. This is just my opinion, but it seems that housing multiple females together has more detriments than benefits. Most pictures I've seen have shown fish with obvious stress stripes and bite wounds, and although they can work out for a while, I've also heard a lot of horror stories about sudden sorority genocides occurring seemingly out of the blue. It just doesn't seem worth it to have a bunch of stressed, unhappy females; I'd rather have a fewer fish that each live a stress-free life in their own territory. Just my 2 cents.

Since it would be a big expense to buy 3 more tanks, I'd probably look into getting a larger, divided tank for your females.

Oh, and please remove the snail too! As others have said, there is probably something bad going on if he isn't coming out of his shell at all.
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Old Yesterday, 05:50 PM   #10 
pro001
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OK, my sister is going to be adopting my snail because her male betta is totally fine with the one she has, and I felt so bad for poor Salazar getting attacked all the time. I have him in one of the cups my girls came in rubber banded and suction cupped to the side of the tank. It took me a while (mostly because I was waiting to get paid) but I bought two more females so now I have six. I also bought five ghost shrimp because I heard they're good for betta tanks, especially because they are hard to see. I'm at work right now so the new girls and shrimp are in a box in my room (it's really warm I have yet to use my heater and the tank is always between 76-80). I didn't realize how much smaller the fish they ate was, so this time I purposely picked out two who were about as big as the others.

Once I get the tank set up and have some extra time, I'll try to get pictures to post here. This is my first time owning a pet that is actually mine and I have to take care of, so while I'm really proud of it, I'm also a little scared whenever something starts to go wrong.
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