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Betta Sororities


Josie

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Hey all!  How does a betta sorority work?  How many betta girls equal a sorority, and how much space do they need?  This is not something I plan on doing any time soon, but I have been wondering about the details of setting up a successful sorority.  I have read that it is okay to have a sorority of 5 in a 10 gallon tank, but to me that seems like it would not be enough space for them.  Does anyone have any ideas on this?

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They need LOTS of plants and other items to break up their site line :o they are still territorial, just less so than the boys. Homerjay and mernany keep sororities of them and hopefully will chime in ;)

5 in a 10 gal sounds like trouble to me, but :idont

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I had 5 female Bettas in a 10 gallon but only temporarily while the 30 gallon finished it's cycle. Before that I had 3 in a 10 gallon, but most people will suggest 5 or more adds up to a good working sorority. I'd go with a 20 gallon for 5 Bettas so they have more room to hide and space to call their own. A 10 is a bit too small even for 3 Bettas, because even with 3, mine would chase and pick on the others. When they went into the 30 they stopped this behavior. After a while I added 5 more female Bettas. Each time you add a new Betta you should rearrange your décor and some plants to break up their usual territories. My first 3 I bought all at once, then added the others one by one over the next several weeks.

 

I only had one really mean Betta that couldn't get along with anyone else. All of my other Bettas swam together, ate peacefully together and even a few followed in small groups together. When I pick out Bettas to be together I buy from my local independent little pet store where they keep all of their female Betta in one tank together so I can see which ones are peaceful or bullies. In Petco Or PetSmart I hold the cups next to each other and if they flair their gills or act aggressive I don't pick that one. I choose the ones that seem calm around the other Betta or ones who seem to care less about the other Betta. It has worked for me so far that way. No guarantee but it is worth a try to see who is compatible or not. Some chasing is normal at first but just watch for non stop harassing and fin nipping that doesn't stop.

 

My last little sorority of 4 Bettas was in my 30 gallon Tropical fish tank with my other mixed tropical fishes. They kept getting sick and one died in the 30 gallon, so the last 3 were in QT for weeks. Only one has survived and I didn't want to put her back in the 30 gallon so she has her own 5 gallon tank. My one other Betta that wasn't in the 30 and wasn't sick also has her own 5 gallon tank too. I may use my spare 20 gallon long tank for a new Betta sorority some day, but I may need the 20 if my Goldfish have any fry one of these days LOL.

 

But yeah lots of plants, hiding type decorations and you should be good having a Betta sorority in a 20 gallon or bigger tank. ;)

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I would use at least a 20. I just had 11 in a 40GB and they managed to get along, but not without squabbles. There were always ripped fins on everyone but the dominant female, so I know they were never really settled. I lost 2 of them along the way, one disappeared and I have never found her, and the other I had to put to sleep as I came downstairs and they were all tearing at her while she was still alive. I'm not sure if she was sick or if they had attacked her. You can see how many plants I had in the tank if you go to the current tank of the month poll. It was still not enough to prevent them from fighting with each other. I recently brought them all back to my LFS to change the tank over to goldfish again. It was hard knowing that the ones down the pecking order were getting beat up so I called it quits. I have read many stories like this, but thought I would be OK. I wasn't :no: Good luck if you try it, but be prepared with a backup plan.

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I currently have 3 in a 20 gallon along with platys, guppies, and neon tetras. I started out with 4, but one passed away from unknown causes :( I have 4 new girls in quarantine right now that I will be adding into the tank in three weeks.

The more females you have the more the aggression is spread out so no single fish will be picked on the most. I think 5 would be pushing it in a 10 gallon, shoot for a 20 gallon if you can. 

The key is LOTS of plants and hiding spots! You shouldn't be able to see clearly from one side of the tank to the other. Break up the line of sight.

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I would use at least a 20. I just had 11 in a 40GB and they managed to get along, but not without squabbles. There were always ripped fins on everyone but the dominant female, so I know they were never really settled. I lost 2 of them along the way, one disappeared and I have never found her, and the other I had to put to sleep as I came downstairs and they were all tearing at her while she was still alive. I'm not sure if she was sick or if they had attacked her. You can see how many plants I had in the tank if you go to the current tank of the month poll. It was still not enough to prevent them from fighting with each other. I recently brought them all back to my LFS to change the tank over to goldfish again. It was hard knowing that the ones down the pecking order were getting beat up so I called it quits. I have read many stories like this, but thought I would be OK. I wasn't :no: Good luck if you try it, but be prepared with a backup plan.

I'm sorry Rob :bighug I felt this way about my african cichlids :( too much violence. Goldies are such happy go lucky food hounds :heart

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I would use at least a 20. I just had 11 in a 40GB and they managed to get along, but not without squabbles. There were always ripped fins on everyone but the dominant female, so I know they were never really settled. I lost 2 of them along the way, one disappeared and I have never found her, and the other I had to put to sleep as I came downstairs and they were all tearing at her while she was still alive. I'm not sure if she was sick or if they had attacked her. You can see how many plants I had in the tank if you go to the current tank of the month poll. It was still not enough to prevent them from fighting with each other. I recently brought them all back to my LFS to change the tank over to goldfish again. It was hard knowing that the ones down the pecking order were getting beat up so I called it quits. I have read many stories like this, but thought I would be OK. I wasn't :no: Good luck if you try it, but be prepared with a backup plan.

I'm sorry Rob :bighug I felt this way about my african cichlids :( too much violence. Goldies are such happy go lucky food hounds :heart

 

I agree. I have had many african cichlid tanks over the years. They were all I kept for about 15 years, and they are nowhere near as bad as my sorority. Maybe I just had a tankful of angry women :hide:  My Africans would chase each other, but I never had the actual fin damage like I saw with my girls. I did keep my favorite girl though, and she is doing well.

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Thanks for all the input!  Like I said, this is something I am interested in but not for a while.  Probably not until I finish school and can afford a 75 or larger for my goldies :)  To me even a 20 gallon seems like it might be iffy for 5 bettas, but if I get my goldies into something bigger I would have the 60 gallon for a super sorority LOL!  And all my tanks are pretty heavily planted, so that is definitely something I would want to continue with if I do get a sorority of my own someday *sigh*

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