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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I've been reading through here for a few days an decided to register and get my own advice:) So let me start by saying I'm not a complete Newb to fish keeping(no seasoned expert) but I do have a planted 55 community, and a very happy male betta in his own heated 5.5. So here's what I've got, a 38 gallon currently fishless cycling. I would really like to turn it into a sorority, so I need lots if advise. I know I need lots of hiding spots, but I feel I have the space to pull it off. My boyfriend says and I quote,"that's lame to have just one kind of fish." So I'd like some options there, I already have neons, black skirts, guppies, kuhli loaches in my 55 so I'm looking for a different variety:) I know this seems lengthy but I want all my bases covered. If I left anything out, or you have any input I would love to hear about it. I'm only a week in my cycle so I've got time, just preparing:)
 

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I don't advise sororities, but if you really want one then you need to buy the females as sisters at the same age that have never been apart. Don't get frustrated if it doesn't work out, some females are just very anti-social....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am prepared to seperate, return as needed. I forgot to ask what would be a good number of bettas, I don't want anything huge like 25 lol, but a good solid number to go with other fish.
 

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I succesfully set up my sorority with no problems.
I had them all in separate containers with constant water changes and then it all came to me in a dream :roll: SOOO much easier if I had them all as a sorority DUH!
I placed them in beanie baby boxes all next to eachother for a week so they could see eachother and interact. Then I placed them all at once in the tank. Mine aren't sisters and had been living on their own for a while at my place. Once the chasing stopped they all get along just fine. There was no nipping and no one is running for their lives.
 

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Yes, but you still have to be very careful. My females were fine for months, then fighting broke out, they got stressed, and then got diseased and died. OFL said the same thing in reply to my thread. However, you could do 13 or so if you want.
 

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Also, as for other fish many of the smaller plecos will do great. Corydoras catfish as well. These are some of my favorite fish and I wouldn't set up a tank without them. Don't get a common pleco, they grow huge. I would recommend Bristlenose for first time pleco keepers. You can any corydoras, so long as their are at least 4. Hatchetfish are great too! Shrimp are definitely good. You could also do glass catfish, if the betta is gentle with them. Glass catfish are clear!:shock:
 

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Welcome to the forum...so true, sororities can be a challenge especially in smaller tanks, however, I see you have a 38gal-this will work much better and increase your chances for success

I would get tall plants and plant them in several different places-back, sides, middle-this will help to break the line of sight-since Bettas are more top dwelling fish-by having tall items to allow them to get to the surface without being seen can sometimes help with aggression issues...true they need lot of hiding places-but most of these hiding places need to be at the surface as much as the bottom and mid section-low growing plants work well for this too....someplace for them to run and hide behind.....

Since you have time-you may want to look around for local fish club and/or Betta clubs-this is a great place to get your females....then you can get a young group of sisters-this will really increase your chance of success and they may be cheaper to get 12-15 females.

In a heavy planted 38gal-I agree with shinnybetta-you could also add 6-8 corydoras and either a BN pleco or 5-6 ottos to give more interest/movement to the tank and a little help with algae and clean up of left over food, however, mixed species with Bettas can sometimes be a feeding challenge...lol.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ohk, so 12-15 will be my magic number? And I basically watch my aquariums like tv so a constant eye will be there:) I really like hatchets and glass catfish, I know one school will end up in my 55, now the other can be in my 38, best of both worlds! I'll look into some taller decorations like plants, maybe driftwood. Thanks so much, this is all very helpful!
 

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That's a nice size tank, you will be fine. I have a 5 female sorority going in my 14, frankly am surprised with some negativeness towards sorority tanks as I am real pleased with the direction mine is going. Yes there are some give me elbow room moments during feeding time but it's never a constant thing. One female may chase another for a second or two but then ignore em for hours on end.
 

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live bearers bad

Don't have any fertile live-bearing fish larger than guppies in your sorority, I ran into a near apocalyptic event with a female molly dropping babies. My girls swarmed the babies and stuffed themselves on toxic new fry. Live bearer babies have exceptionally high toxicity when they first come out and I lost quite a bit of social continuity because I had to replace half the sorority wherever I could get girls. Ended up getting from four different stores.

Two of those baby males are in the tank half grown with my sorority and they're fine happy tankmates, constantly chasing each other around. I also have a pair of bloodfins or you can go with roberti bloodfins "green fire" NEVER any trouble between the bloodfins and the girls.

The "magic number" for a sorority is how many you can give attention to about three times a day. They can get just as depressive or scared as males.
 

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^^ I have a sorority with 7 girls 3 corydoras and 2 snails in a 20 gal, Your gonna need a hide for each girl to claim and TONSSSS of plants for them to hide in. plus places for any other fish you want to add with them. BUt you will always need tons and tons and tons of plants. These girls are evill when they are mad, and often times they will chase and nip each other. Nips and Tares in the fins are common however as long as you keep Aqua salt in the tank your girls should be fine. As long as no one is stress striping your good. Some will have bad days though :{ and go on a rampage and lash out at the others. The key to a good sorority is Plants plants plants plants plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I will definitely get the plants, I'm trying to avoid real. I'm always worried about lights, ferts, etc in my 55 gallon so I don't want too much hassle there. Especially if i have to rearrange lots if theres too much aggression. But I will get nice silk, I just have to get a nice set up so it doesnt look like a hodge podge of things lol
 

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Well I will definitely get the plants, I'm trying to avoid real. I'm always worried about lights, ferts, etc in my 55 gallon so I don't want too much hassle there. Especially if i have to rearrange lots if theres too much aggression. But I will get nice silk, I just have to get a nice set up so it doesnt look like a hodge podge of things lol

Apnogoten bulbs are a nice one even if the rest are silk, they're easy to keep, don't need tons of light and you can trim off leaves when they take a little damage without worry of harming the plant. They're also the easiest ones to get to reproduce, they'll toss out shoots that turn into floating bulbs. when the leaves on the bulblet are about inch and half long, just pinch the stem leading to it and plant or throw out the bulblet. Soft long leaves and lots of gentle shade underneath they're commonly called betta bulbs. If you buy them as bulbs, don't buy any that have white fuzz on them in the packet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I bought a pack of those a couple days ago, and I have them in an old fish bowl with a root tab under a light to see if they'll grow. If it works out and does well in my planted I'll definitely buy more for the 38 gallon, have you ever tried the Lilly bulbs. Also, do you think banana plants would be ohk, with the low light I don't think they'll make it to the top of the tank, but I think it would me decent mid coverage?
 

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Don't have any fertile live-bearing fish larger than guppies in your sorority, I ran into a near apocalyptic event with a female molly dropping babies. My girls swarmed the babies and stuffed themselves on toxic new fry. Live bearer babies have exceptionally high toxicity when they first come out
I have never heard this before.....I keep livebearer with my Bettas to free range feed off the newborn fry for at least the past 10 years now and have never had any problems....do you have a link I would love to read it....

Long term aquarium salt is not recommended- when used in the wrong dosage, duration, reason- it can create resistance issues and long term high dosage can cause kidney damage not to mention a lot of the aquatic plants and other species of fish can be sensitive...

Its a great product to use for short term controlled treatments when used in the correct amount, duration and reason....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know I have time before I can add my fish, but should I start purchasing bettas now, so I can watch their behavior and make sure they are healthy? I would keep them in they're containers and do daily PWC's. Then when everything is ready add 3 at a time 3 days apart till I hit all 12. I know you should add together, but that's a lot for one time. Any other suggestions? Oh and if theyre tails are ratty should I get somethinglike bettafix to add to they're containers?
 

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As a fyi one of the main issues in sorority setups as you will soon find out is how to control their feeding. A single male betta setup, the fishkeeper may drop 2-3 a pellets twice a day etc. A sorority community it's not so easy as the faster more alert female(s) are gonna end up getting the brunt of the pellets.

I do recommend you purchase Daphnia as this sort of food type will spread out atop the water and the slower less alert females will get equal share this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't think I've ever noticed daphnia, where exactly is it sold? I will check my LFS, but I have petsmart and petco around here. And for the ratty fins (which I think is almost always in the ones I've seen around here) just good water quality and PWC to do the trick?
 

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I don't think I've ever noticed daphnia, where exactly is it sold? I will check my LFS, but I have petsmart and petco around here. And for the ratty fins (which I think is almost always in the ones I've seen around here) just good water quality and PWC to do the trick?
I get mine at Pet Supplies Plus. Our local Petco / Petsmart does not carry Daphnia, maybe yours will ....
 
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