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Old 04-26-2012, 02:26 AM   #1 
sparkyjoe
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Is a sorority possible for a new(er) betta owner

I'm fairly sure I'll soon be getting a 29 gallon and I can't decide between setting up a community tank or a sorority.

Even though I've only had bettas for a few months, I've thought I would love to do a sorority some day, but the aggression kinda scares me and I'd also like this to be my main Cherry Shrimp tank but I'm afraid with so many aggressive fish the poor shrimps might not live for long.

I've read about the need for lots of cover and hiding spots, so I understand that, but I'm wondering if this is a bit beyond me and maybe I should stick with peaceful fishes.

Any input is appreciated.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:57 AM   #2 
Hallyx
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I hear your reasons and considerations. To me, it sounds as though you're trying to talk yourself out of a sorority, even though it seems like a fun thing to do.

Remember, you're doing this for yourself and nobody else. Go with your instinct.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:10 PM   #3 
sparkyjoe
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Well I hope that I'm not trying to talk myself out of the idea. It *really* appeals to me, but I read sooooo many stories about fights and dominance problems and having to remove any extremely aggressive girls that it makes me wonder.

I love the idea of those pretty girls running around but I'm hoping to hear stories of success to help me figure out if this is something I can accomplish.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:57 PM   #4 
LionCalie
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I was considering doing a sorority but decided against it. I do not have enough space or time to dedicate to each female if it were to not work out. That is something to take into consideration. The scary thing about them is how unpredictable they can be. Things can be going good until one morning you wake up and everyone is torn up.

Don't let me discourage you though. There are members who have been very successful. If you decide it is something your heart truly desires then you can find a way to make it work. Just prepare for the worst case scenario and hope for the best. Oh and research, research.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:13 PM   #5 
kfryman
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My sister has a 29 gallon, it is super tall, which is kind of bad for bettas. Bettas can do it but the tank should be more long. They may only use half of the tank, they may use all of it. Make sure that plants cover from the bottom, to the top. You shouldn't be able to see the other side of the tank.

At the start I had a problem with one girl. Usually you will only have problems with one or two girls. Using timeouts, in tank with a breeders box, can help her. The thing to watch out for is getting the males that are still young. It can cause lots of problems. You can find my thread titled My Sorority for how dense your tank should be.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #6 
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Well I hope that I'm not trying to talk myself out of the idea. It *really* appeals to me, but I read sooooo many stories about fights and dominance problems and having to remove any extremely aggressive girls that it makes me wonder.

I love the idea of those pretty girls running around but I'm hoping to hear stories of success to help me figure out if this is something I can accomplish.
How about awnsering these questions:
Can I treat and identify wounds?
Can I provide hiding spaces?
Can I provide a home for a female that must live alone?
Can I support these fish with all they need?

If you awnsered yes to these questions, then go for it! :D
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #7 
jaela
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As a somewhat newer betta owner who recently started a sorority after LOTS of consideration, here's my take on it:

I think you could pull it off, if you have a lot of time to monitor, especially during introductions, and set up the tank carefully. A 29-gallon sounds great for a sorority. For multiple girls, the bigger the tank the better, honestly. This way they can stay out of each others' way. All the same, you're going to want a LOT of ornaments, plants, caves, floating decorations, etc. Your tank is ideally going to look quite crowded. This will help your shrimps to stay out of the way, and keep your girls busy with patrolling and interacting with things in the tank. The busier the girls are, the less likely they are to get bored and go picking on each other/other tank inhabitants. The more tank/tube/hidey-hole type things you can get in there, the less you need to worry. There are fake-rock cave things made for reptile terrariums that are aquarium safe and PERFECT for betta girls to hide out when one of them is throwing her weight around.

The thing you need to keep in mind is that most likely, during introductions, there WILL be some aggression. Your girls are going to have to establish who's in charge, and they're going to do it the hard way. You can expect some fin damage. The good news is that with some extra care, this will heal up very well. Once a pecking order is established, the aggression will go way down, and you'll mostly just see the girls chasing each other off from time to time if they're feeling crowded or territorial.

If you decide to go ahead with the sorority, I'd recommend starting with a smaller number first and working your way up if you want to add more, since the girls will feel less crowded and be able to hide more effectively if there aren't as many. 7 is probably a good number to begin with. It may also help to use IAL/oak leaves/PLAIN, ORGANIC rooibos tea to darken the water, at least at first, as this calms the girls down and can help with fin damage from the initial scuffles. If you don't like the darker colour, you can always filter it out later once everyone's settled in.

It's also a great idea to have a place to separate them out, say if one particular girl is being a big problem and needs a time out, or if someone has been been picked on a lot and you want to monitor her individually while she heals up.

All in all I'd say starting a sorority can be nerve-wracking and stressful at first, but is ultimately very rewarding. It's amazing to see so many personalities and beautiful colours in one tank. And sometimes you get girls who even get along well -- two of mine who are at the bottom of the pecking order hang out in the same cave together, go up together for food, rest on top of one another, etc. with no aggression at all between the two -- I've never seen anything like it.

With that size of tank, it might also be possible to consider dividing it and having a small community with the shrimps on one size, and one betta or a small sorority on the other, depending on whether your tank is more long or tall. Not to complicate things with more options, but just throwing that out there. =]
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:55 PM   #8 
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Can I provide a home for a female that must live alone?
My answer to that was "no" so that and a few other considerations made me go with a community tank. Still want a sorority, tho

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
I hear your reasons and considerations. To me, it sounds as though you're trying to talk yourself out of a sorority, even though it seems like a fun thing to do.

Remember, you're doing this for yourself and nobody else. Go with your instinct.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:59 PM   #9 
Sena Hansler
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Have a couple 2 gallon or so tanks sitting around :) this'll ensure that if someone gets hurt (as my Tina did when Zebra snapped!), or if someone is a right-down gritty bully you can remove them!
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:14 PM   #10 
sparkyjoe
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My answer to that was "no" so that and a few other considerations made me go with a community tank. Still want a sorority, tho
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Yeah, I'm beginning to lean towards a community tank. I really would like a school of small corys, maybe pygmy, but in this size tank I could probably go larger. Also I really want to look into Pacific Blue Eyes. I'm thinking maybe a Gourami of some type so I'd have something at every level. I'd consider a male Betta but I fear he would be frustrated by the Blue Eyes.
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