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Hey everyone, I'm planning on starting a sorority sometime soon but I have a few questions first.
1. I'm using a ten gallon tank. How many females would you recommend for my sorority? I was thinking six, but i heard somewhere that odd numbers work best. True?
2. Will I need a filter? And this might sound stupid, but can someone explain how to use a filter? I keep seeing things at pet stores like filter cartridges and filter media and I just don't know how any of it works.
3. Your guys' feeding method?
4. Does anyone know the policy that Petsmart or Petco have regarding returning/ exchanging Bettas? I'm not going to have enough separate tanks to house each of them if the sorority doesn't work out, so I'll need to get the right girls or exchange one of them if they're too aggressive
5. Do colors ever affect the behavior of the fish? Or the tail types? I know that's a strange question but I want to get the right combination
6. Is there a way to tell how aggressive a fish is when you're just looking at them in the stores?
Thanks for the help!!!
 

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My sorority is 6 females in a 10 gallon and its done just fine. A lot of people recommend 6-8 for a 10 gallon. For feeding I just drop pellets in and watch to make sure all my girls eat. Yes you need a filter, a filter cartridge is what goes in the filter and what the water passes through. Petsmart has a 14 day return policy with original recipe. Tailtypes and colours don't matter. Regarding looking for the right girls in the store, you can't really tell how they behave because they're in a sad cold cup. Make sure that you quarantine your girls for 2 weeks, all you have to do is float their cups in your tank so that it keeps them warm and they get used to seeing each other. Pack your tank with lots of real/silk plants and lots of hiding places. I think that's it
 

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I'm planning a 5-6 girl sorority in my 10g right now, and that's definitely not too many. Odd or even numbers make no difference as long as you have at least three- bettas can't count after all!

There are four main types of filters: HOB (Hang-On-Back) also called Power Filters, Internal Filters, Sponge Filters, and Undergravel Filters. HOB are the most common and probably the easiest to use, they simply hang off the tank with the intake tube and outlet in the tank. You remove their lid to see the cartridges/media, which you'll only need to replace when it falls apart- just rinse it out in old tank water ever week. Internal are entirely inside the tank, and they're pretty much the same as HOB but are usually seen in smaller tanks. Sponge filters are driven by an air pump, the only part inside the tank is a sponge and a little bit of tubing. They're great since they hold the Beneficial Bacteria well and can't break down, but most pet stores rarely sell them because they don't make enough money. Undergravel filters are usually seen in smaller tanks, they are also powered by an air pump and act similar to a sponge filter only instead of a sponge they use your gravel to grow BB; their downside is they get clogged easily.

I personally like HOB and sponge filters the best, and I've got both running in my tank currently. One filter is going to be plenty as long as it's rated for your size tank. For a HOB or internal you might need to baffle it so that the water current is less strong, this can be done with some aquarium sponge or or a cut-up water bottle (There's a sticky at the top of the habitat forum showing how).

Take your time introducing your girls, and don't pull them out at the first sign of aggression. Bettas need to posture and even nip at each other to establish a hierarchy, so make sure there are tons of plants to break up their line of sight and hide in- it stops chasing. Tall and floating plants especially are recommended, since bettas spend so much time at the top. If one girl is getting very beat up on or is very aggressive, try a "time out" for a few days before giving up. Simply float her in a clear cup, or have her in a clear/mesh breeder's box, so that she can't touch the others but they can still see each other. After a few days let her back in and most problems will probably have cleared up.

The worst thing to do would be to just dump them all into the tank once you buy them. Let them float and see each other for at least a week (You'll want to make sure they're healthy anyway), so that they're used to each other at least a little. Some people suggest letting the most timid go in first & ending with the most aggressive, others let them go all at once. You may need to stick a net between any serious fights you see, so make sure you have time to watch them for at least a few hours.

You can't tell personality by their appearance, so the smallest palest girl could be the alpha while the largest brightest is the underdog. Tail types are just like types of human hair- curly or straight makes no difference in personality. And like Elvette Emmete said, they're not going to be at their best when you pick them up from a store anyway. Go for the most lively, healthy seeming ones you can- a sorority is no place for charity cases, since it's so stressful on the fish.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
 
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