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number20121

How many in a community-sorority?

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I can't find much info on this.

I know a "normal" sorority in a 20g tank needs 5-6 females.

But what if it is a well planted 55g with non-betta tank mates? How many females are needed? I currently got 4 in QT and wonder if I should get more now? I would kind of like to NOT, but to wait until I see a couple females that really strike me time in the future.

This tank has peppered cories, otos, black neons, bloodfin tetras, a pleco, an angelfish and two platies. Aside from the platies (marigold and orange tuxedo) none of them is very colorful.

My thought is that with the size of the tank (almost 3 times "your average" sorority tank), lots of plants (you saw my cabomba wonder topic, right?) and non-betta tank mates as distraction, four should be fine... or not?

I just want an honest and sincere answer. If more than four will be better, I will just go out and get a couple at the LFS tomorrow. :)

Also, don't get me wrong: If it will make the "community" "easier" with more than four right now, I am absolutely willing to get some more tomorrow, even if I'd love to wait for "that special" fish in the future. The well being of these girls and the community inhabitants means more to me than me wanting a certain color fish.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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Interesting question, Fang.

Not knowing the answer, I turned to YouTube to see if we can get a clue. There appears to be only one person who has a betta sorority in a 55, who states that clearly in the title description.

From the video, I counted 4 females. So, we can tell that at least in the 55, 4 can work.

I do wonder one thing though. It may be that you have to add them all in at once, and that future additions will be harassed. So, if you think you have a sort of magic number you'd like to go for, I think I would do that right at the beginning. :)

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I was wondering about this too! Because the ones that are added know will establish their "territories" etc. and new ones might get kicked in the butt.

I might just go to Petsmart tomorrow and see what they got. I know last week they had a gorgeous pale yellow regular female, that I almost bought, but didn't because I already got a pale yellow crown tail.

Maybe I can get hubby to take me to a couple Petsmart/Petco that are not in town, so I can browse and look around :D

Thanks a lot! :)

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I think maybe Hidr might have some good input on this ;)

And I know when I tried my 29 high back on 04-05 I was told to start with 5 (an odd number for a reason I can't remember) but I also had no other fish and ended up moving them all to individula tanks in a few months time :(

just my 2 cents ;) lol

Also you do want to introduce them all at the same time and it will take a few weeks for them to sort out who's the boss and lower ranking and such ;0 be prepared it can get scary :(

Edited by shellbell4ever

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You can actually put more depending on how territorial the females are. You can put several males in larger tanks and they will never cross paths. I've noticed its surface area for territory, not the depth of the tank. If your females each want larger territories you can expect to only house a few. If you have females that don't take big territories you can house quite a couple. Most the times you will get a mix, someone will always want it all and someone who doesn't mind a small corner. For the most part, just observe the females you have and where they roam and stay. If they don't spam the length of the tank then you can add accordingly. The number is not set because the bettas themselves will set it for you. I've had one female own an entire 20 gallon, while i've had 10 females in a 20 gallon and so forth. Observation will be key in what you want to do here.

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I had mine for a while in a 30g with heavy planting, and I think I had 5 in there - it did work pretty well for 90% of the time - they fought initially for a while (non lethally) til they set up a territory and hierarchy and after that theyd only really flare at each other at feeding time rather than actually fight it out. The only time they really fought after that was if I rearranged plants/decor and then it would be like starting all over again and they have fights till they claimed new areas.

I did at one time have to remove one female to treat her in isolation for egg binding - I was pretty anxious about readding her after she had been out for two weeks and when I finally did put her back in she was very badly harried by the others - to the point I took her out and kept her in a seperate tank from then onwards.

Because of this id think its best to add as many as you want all at once, or if you want to add more in future maybe add them in groups rather than one at a time - and perhaps re-arrange the tank when you do, so that everyone gets "reset" rather than the newbies being singled out.

I sometimes miss my sorority, but ultimately I took it down because I liked to change my tank around too much and this meant there was always fighting, which never really caused any serious problem for the bettas (they are pretty robust) but it did stress me a bit to watch. I think id do it again if I ever got that tank to a point where I wasnt shuffling stuff about as often as they are really interesting fish to keep and very different to the males.

Edited by Lucerne

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Alright then. I will probably get one or two more females and add all five or six at a time. By that time, some of the plants should have grown even more, providing a lot of cover in this tank :)

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I have a sorority going- 6 females + some other tropicals in my 50 gallon tank. They get all sassy with each other when initially added, but calm down within a week. They even started out as 5 ladies in a 10 gallon tank, with lots of decor. No major issues at all, after establishing the order. Some of mine can be VERY sassy and aggressive, as well. They all mellowed out after a little bit. I have also added more to the colony a couple months ago, and it is really funny, as the larger females don't even acknowledge the smaller females to try to fight. The little ones got in their faces & puffed out, the bigger girls just kept about their business like they didn't care at all. I have added 2 this way, recently. The established ladies were in there for about a year together before one passed, and I added another- with a second new girl following about a month after that. Zero issues. They have gotten so acclimated to each other, that they even sleep side by side, and only occasionally have tiffs & a little bit of shredded fins- usually over special food treats, if I put something in there that they don't get often, but like. I think the key to adding more later is in waiting for your adult females to be fully grown, and add very young juvies to their colony, with lots of plants and cover. Totally worked for me!

*edit* you DEFINITELY want their non-betta tank mates to be established in there before they are, though... from the experience I have had with mine- they can pack hunt, and will gang up on new non-beta fish, if the mood strikes. It's almost like they develop a group territory, and will defend it together. I can add other tank mates to the tank, now... since they are used to other fish being in with them. (breeder net for 2 days, for safety of the other fish, and so the girls can check it out & get used to it before close contact- no issues this way) They can be difficult when they are alone in a tank, and then others are added, though.

Edited by JamieMonster

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Thanks, Jamie! My current 55g tropical is set up and established for quite a while. The only additions I'd make would maybe be adding a couple more of the already existing tetra types, to make their schools a bit larger.

My main concern is that they might harass my angel and the two colorful platies. In that case the girls would have to move out.

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Guest sharpchick

Thanks, Jamie! My current 55g tropical is set up and established for quite a while. The only additions I'd make would maybe be adding a couple more of the already existing tetra types, to make their schools a bit larger.

My main concern is that they might harass my angel and the two colorful platies. In that case the girls would have to move out.

I'd be very concerned about the angelfish and the bettas. I guess if the tank is really densely planted you could hope they would never see each other.

With female betta sororities, the reason for the recommendation of 5-6 is to spread out any harrassment. And the recommendation is to add them all at once, because bettas, male and female, are highly tank territorial and you don't want the first fish establishing territories and then injuring or killing new tankmates, who are liable to be smaller and younger fish than your existing ones.

Adding others after the first batch usually needs to be accompanied by tearing up the existing territories and rearranging the tank, so everyone starts in "new" territory.

I've done the less than 5-6 thing, and it was an absymal failure.

Edited by sharpchick

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I like following these betta topics and I'm excited to see yours setup, so don't forget pictures! :)

I would think it would be stressful watching them establish territories but you must get used to it with these types of territorial fish.

I still want to get one in the future and I sure learn alot by reading topics like this.

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Thanks again, everyone!

sharpchick, as said the angel is my main concern too. If the sorority does not work out in this tank I will either hold on to my two favorite girls and rehome the rest, or try to fit a 20g tank in somewhere.

I have also just returned from Petsmart with two more female crowntails, which brings me to six bettas for the sorority. I'll probably make a photo topic of these girls some time later :)

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