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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone

So, I have brought home 2 females Dumbo home to add on the tank where we have already 1 common young female Betta.

Unfortunately as these females have just landed from Thailand they came in 2 different packages. So no socialisation for a while. One of them is very aggressive while the other is peaceful.

Taking that during the first 2 days the most aggressive one was persistently pursuing the other I have decided to keep her into a enclosure to see if that would help her to get used to the other Bettas on the tank. Now I have the other one who looks either sick or injured. She stays all time hiding under a piece of drift wood and avoiding to eat.

I am a little concern on what I can do to help. I am preparing a quarantine tank to move her in with Almond leaf with some expectation that would help her in case she is sick.

I would appreciate any recommendation from the Forum on what else I could do.


Thanks
 

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Sororities are tricky. You have to have the exact right balance but because Betta are so volatile success is not assured. We have a member who has had vast experience with sororities; I'm hoping she will see this as she can explain better than I. But I seem to remember her telling members that three is not a good number as two females will gang up on the third.

Can you post a photo of the entire tank? It should be so well-planted that you can't see from side-to-side or front-to-back to break up lines of sight.

I think separating the female that appears ill is the best thing you can do as, because it's such a stressful environment, disease spreads like wildfire. You may have to maintain three separate tanks or divide on into three sections.

PS: If they seller had shipping the girls together on probably would have killed the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have yesterday prepared a tank for her and this morning I have moved her over. I will be monitoring and sharing my experience here.

To be honest, as you will see on the picture, the tank is not mature with plenty hiding areas and I may have misjudged the fact that Females can share the same tank. I had succeed on that before where 3 females were living nicely on the same tank but now it seems that I have been unfortunately to see one female highly territorial. At least I was given the option to return her and get another one to smooth out the situation.

One thing that I am concerned about this tank is the Sand "Super Natural", I am not happy with the week results that it has on the plants and I am not confident that is a good substrate for the Betta tank.
 

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I have yesterday prepared a tank for her and this morning I have moved her over. I will be monitoring and sharing my experience here.

To be honest, as you will see on the picture, the tank is not mature with plenty hiding areas and I may have misjudged the fact that Females can share the same tank. I had succeed on that before where 3 females were living nicely on the same tank but now it seems that I have been unfortunately to see one female highly territorial. At least I was given the option to return her and get another one to smooth out the situation.

One thing that I am concerned about this tank is the Sand "Super Natural", I am not happy with the week results that it has on the plants and I am not confident that is a good substrate for the Betta tank.
I agree with what you've said. Your tank probably isn't mature enough (plant growth-wise) to successfully house a sorority. They need LOTS of hiding places and plants. Regarding your choice of substrate, Super Natural sand is an inert substrate meaning it offers zero nutrients to plants and does not help them grow. If you're really set on plants, you could add a bag of substrate or soil specifically for plant growth and "mix" it in with your inert sand. Root tabs too would really kick up your plant growth a notch or two. Hope this helps!
 
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When using sand of any kind you always need to add root and Iron tabs for rooted plants. "Super Naturals" sand is not advertised for plants. The problem with substrate that already has nutrients is the nutrients eventually deplete you wind up having to replace or use root and Iron tabs, anyhow. That's why I don't use them; replacing is a PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah. I will work on the tank this weekend.
Definitely the sand was a terrible option.
I got a better substrate for plants today and I will get more plants to add once I re-do the tank.

So, as for the female Dumbo as you can see on the picture she actually started to swim on the little tank. I see this as a positive moment although she is yet refusing to eat but hopefully things will get better for her.

The bullying one will be exchanged during the weekend, I won't have enough heaters to keep her on a exclusive tank, so I will see if I will get lucky with another female.

But lesson learned.
Better substrate
More plants

Another day another battle IMG_20180222_191252.jpg

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Also, having 5-9 females in a sorority is better than just 3. With higher numbers aggression can be dispersed more. I would also recommend more plants.

I'm nowhere near an expert on sororities, heck I have never had the guts to try one (though have thought about it), but just what I've read up on them whenever I Have the urge to go for it.
 
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Three is definitely a bad number for a sorority. Unless you are fortunate enough to get a group of extremely docile females, what normally ends up happening is that the lower ranking fish is constantly bullied and harassed by the dominant fish. Even if there's no physical injury being caused, being constantly chased and intimidated is extremely stressful.

Personally, I think one of your biggest mistakes, was in not quarantining your new fish before adding them to the tank. It sounds like your females were only newly arrived from overseas, so they have gone from one highly stressful environment to another. Stress can have an effect on the immune system, making stressed fish more susceptible to disease. There is a reason Columnaris is so prevalent in sorority tanks.

When we force aggressive and territorial species of fish into close confines, we need to do our best to mitigate stress where we can. Ideally, a sorority tank should be densely planted to not only provide fish with hiding places, but also allow them to carve out small territories within the tank, and break up lines of sight. While some hobbyists have success with keeping females in pairs or trios, it's generally advised to have a minimum of four or five females. You want aggression to be evenly dispersed among a large number of fish, not concentrated on one or two individuals.

Below, is a photo of one of my previous sorority tanks. When I am describing a 'densely planted' aquarium, this is what I am talking about.



With that said, some females are simply unsuitable sorority candidates. You can also find the dynamic of the group changes as females reach sexual maturity. This is when you start to see an increase in aggression. As RussellTheShihTzu has mentioned, these fish are unpredictable. A fish they tolerate one day, they may try and kill the next. I know, because I've witnessed it in my own tanks over the years.

This is why I stopped promoting sororities on this forum. There's too much risk involved, and it's the fish that suffer from our mistakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Three is definitely a bad number for a sorority. Unless you are fortunate enough to get a group of extremely docile females, what normally ends up happening is that the lower ranking fish is constantly bullied and harassed by the dominant fish. Even if there's no physical injury being caused, being constantly chased and intimidated is extremely stressful.

Personally, I think one of your biggest mistakes, was in not quarantining your new fish before adding them to the tank. It sounds like your females were only newly arrived from overseas, so they have gone from one highly stressful environment to another. Stress can have an effect on the immune system, making stressed fish more susceptible to disease. There is a reason Columnaris is so prevalent in sorority tanks.

When we force aggressive and territorial species of fish into close confines, we need to do our best to mitigate stress where we can. Ideally, a sorority tank should be densely planted to not only provide fish with hiding places, but also allow them to carve out small territories within the tank, and break up lines of sight. While some hobbyists have success with keeping females in pairs or trios, it's generally advised to have a minimum of four or five females. You want aggression to be evenly dispersed among a large number of fish, not concentrated on one or two individuals.

Below, is a photo of one of my previous sorority tanks. When I am describing a 'densely planted' aquarium, this is what I am talking about.



With that said, some females are simply unsuitable sorority candidates. You can also find the dynamic of the group changes as females reach sexual maturity. This is when you start to see an increase in aggression. As RussellTheShihTzu has mentioned, these fish are unpredictable. A fish they tolerate one day, they may try and kill the next. I know, because I've witnessed it in my own tanks over the years.

This is why I stopped promoting sororities on this forum. There's too much risk involved, and it's the fish that suffer from our mistakes.
Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge. It is great to hear these level of details.
The only sorority that I have succeeded with Betta was more a community tank. With neons and guppies along the female Bettas.

I am getting back to this game after nearly 20 years apart. I see that I will need to learn all back from ground up.

I will keep my eyes on these females and see how things will develop.

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Just got home now and she is doing GREAT !!!!!!!

She has refused to eat bloodworm but has accepted to eat a few microworms that I dropped into her tank.

Now I am working on the 10g tank, got some extra plants and drift wood. Hopefully I will do better on this new set up.


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