Sorority help needed! - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Sorority help needed!

I have 3 females in a sorority started yesterday, at first all was fine but now one of them is bullying the other two. Constant chasing and nipping, its not very nice to watch them being terrorised. Ive been told just to leave it and let nature take its course but im just not willing to let my two other sweet girls get further injured by this one betta (she has torn the fins of one of the others). The tank they're in is well planted so they're able to hide but i watch the bully seeking the other two out just to chase them!

Any advice would be great, thank you in advance!

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 01:28 PM
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How big is the tank? How many plants? Are the lines of sight broken? Please post a photo of the entire tank; doesn't matter if the fish can be seen.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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How big is the tank? How many plants? Are the lines of sight broken? Please post a photo of the entire tank; doesn't matter if the fish can be seen.



There are two in there, the bully is in the cup of shame

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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My other two are fine together. They swim right with each other without any signs of aggression

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 01:47 PM
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What size is the tank? People who keep them say 10 gallons is the minimum.

Not nearly enough plants; they need to be from front to back and side to side. Did you read the sticky on sororities? Even the person who wrote it no longer recommends sororities. The levels of stress alone can impact the females' health.

Your one girl is not a "bully;" she is exhibiting natural behavior and establishing her dominance as Alpha; same way wolves do in a pack or horses in a herd. There can be only one "leader." Sororities, for me, have always been tempting. Unfortunately, from what members have reported on the forum, long-term successful sororities are few and far between.

https://www.bettafish.com/30-betta-fi...-sorority.html
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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6 gallon tank. My first very heartbreaking fish keeping mistake.
Thank you for the advice, I'll figure it out. Probably just get another tank to separate

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 02:12 PM
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It's such a neat idea, though, don't you think? What about trying more plants? Not sure if there's a minimum number but I seem to believe it's five so agression can be spread out. If you really want a sorority perhaps you could get a 10 and see what happens with two more girls? If it doesn't work you could divide the 10 3x and the six x2?

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yes i am kinda disappointed but I'll figure a way. Im not concerned about any of them being in deathly danger so i have time to consider my options and figure my next step. I will probably get a 10, even though i was hoping not to buy a new tank but i guess needs must!

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 04:38 PM
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This is why it's advised to get more than three females. What tends to happen is that the most dominant or aggressive female will continually pick at the weaker females (or female if you only have two), and usually once started, this behaviour tends to escalate.

The problem as already outlined is you have too small a tank, too few females, and not enough cover. So it is not surprising you are having issues with aggression.

You need to either separate the females permanently, or invest in a larger tank (I now recommend a minimum of 15 gallons), increase the number of females to at least five, and drastically increase plant mass.

Even then, there is no guarantee that you will have long-term success. Sororities are a high-risk and high-stress environment, and if you do a search on this forum, you will see that the potential negatives far outweigh any positives. Realistically, a sorority environment offers zero benefits to the fish.

Be careful with your two females. Even if they seem to be cohabitating without issue, it's still very early days yet, and you may find that as they start to settle into their new environment, aggression starts to rear its ugly head.

I also wanted to ask, did you cycle this tank before adding the females? Stressed fish, coupled with deteriorating water quality is a huge trigger for disease, and if the tank is still cycling, you need to be testing your water religiously and doing frequent water changes to ensure that your parameters stay at safe levels. If the tank isn't cycled, you need to be testing your water daily for the next 3-4 weeks.

Finally, if you do add any further females to the sorority I strongly advise quarantining them first, even if they came from the same source as your current females, and even if they appear healthy. Over the years here I've seen so many hobbyists wipe out entire sororities from a simple lack of quarantine. I also say this as someone who personally has lost over 100 fish, because I failed to quarantine new arrivals.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldnt add anymore until i got something bigger. The tank previously housed a male who is in good health so the parameters of the water are fine. I've seen a sorority happen well for so many hobbyists on youtube and elsewhere in my research. I guess they were just lucky or more well prepared than I. Thank you for your advice

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