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Old 01-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
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Betta Sororities

I am curious about people's experiences with betta sororities. I do not have one. I have not started one, but I have thought about it. Anyway, I have heard most people say "don't bother" because they tend to be difficult to maintain long term. So, I am just curious about people's experience with them, the specifics of the tanks (size, stock ect), and how long it was maintained. Specifics defintitely help more than just saying it did or didn't work. I have experience with bettas in all sorts of settings, but I have only ever had 1 female.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:23 PM   #2
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Oops, I should add that I meant betta splendens.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:32 PM   #3
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You beat me to it... I was just going to post the exact same question!

I have managed to keep three females together in a 20g for short periods of time. seems like something always goes wrong eventually - and i am definitely learning as I go -- and I end up separating everyone. but I've wondered lately if anyone had any positive experiences with having MORE than three. Two females together definitely doesn't work IME!
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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You beat me to it... I was just going to post the exact same question!

I have managed to keep three females together in a 20g for short periods of time. seems like something always goes wrong eventually - and i am definitely learning as I go -- and I end up separating everyone. but I've wondered lately if anyone had any positive experiences with having MORE than three. Two females together definitely doesn't work IME!
Lol, yeah, thats what I am wondering too. I have not really heard too many success stories. Honestly, I am thinking about switching to a different betta species, but I am not sure.
I got a female splendens awhile ago and she has a pretty cool personality. It makes me like the idea of a sorority more, but I would have to get another tank to even try it since my only currently available space is a 10g.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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How do you tell for sure the sex of a betta? This sounds very interesting, but I would be worried I would buy a boy!
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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Following this! I've been wondering the same thing and have been contemplating putting them in my 55g...
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #7
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Well, usually people look at color and fin length, but those are not entirely reliable methods in all cases.
Females tend to be chubbier while males are more elongated in the body. Females often have a tiny white spot between their ventral and anal fins (not always relaible either).
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:16 PM   #8
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Sounds challenging!
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:18 PM   #9
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Yeah, I know a few people who have bought fish labeled as female who ended up being short-finned males.
People who breed them and look at them all the time say it gets easier to tell them apart though. I am planning to get all my next bettas from breeders anyway, so I am also hoping they will identify them correctly for me.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:24 PM   #10
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I have heard of a few people who have managed to do it. I will try and find s link but they should have their own territory as such. For example each have a cave to say that is theirs and natural dividers like plants that will shield them from each other
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:25 PM   #11
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Hmm I'm not sure if I'm right but correct me if I'm wrong.
From what I noticed when females are stressed their bodies lose color and a stripe that runs along their body becomes visible. As for males I don't know, you just know they are males.
That's how I tell em apart
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absolutangel04
Yeah, I know a few people who have bought fish labeled as female who ended up being short-finned males.
It doesn't just happen with fish. We just bought our daughter a rabbit, two people at the petstore said it was a girl. We got it home and...it was a boy. So we exchanged it, and they were like "how did we miss that?" Same thing I was thinking!!!
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:51 PM   #13
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Here's some post on other websites that I thought looked good and knowledgable:
10g Sorority Tank
Overview of Sororities
Experiences
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaKai
Here's some post on other websites that I thought looked good and knowledgable:
10g Sorority Tank
Overview of Sororities
Experiences
Thanks for these! Seems like a fine balance between giving each Betta enough space and also having more than three in the group-- I definitely lean in the "add all of them at the same time" (in a cycled established tank of course) direction but I liked the suggestion in one of those links to add them in order of most peaceful to most aggressive.

I might try 4-5 in my 20g and see if that goes any better. Too bad the LFS doesn't have a "foster to adopt" option on Bettas!
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:08 PM   #15
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I had a 10 gallon with 5 females. I had two crowntails and 3 veiltails. They were all introduced at the same time, and one of the CTs took the lead role. This lasted 4 months, thing went haywire. Other females competed for alpha, then would settle. But within a couple days all we're completely torn up, by the time I could separate them, only one survived the damage. She didn't live much longer after that. So IME, turned into a slaughter house, quick. I know have 5 males separates into a 5 gallon, and 2-10 gallons divided. When a space clears up, I plan on another female in the 5 gallon, they have such good personalities, but are secret killers!
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:00 PM   #16
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I had a 10 gallon with 5 females. I had two crowntails and 3 veiltails. They were all introduced at the same time, and one of the CTs took the lead role. This lasted 4 months, thing went haywire. Other females competed for alpha, then would settle. But within a couple days all we're completely torn up, by the time I could separate them, only one survived the damage. She didn't live much longer after that. So IME, turned into a slaughter house, quick. I know have 5 males separates into a 5 gallon, and 2-10 gallons divided. When a space clears up, I plan on another female in the 5 gallon, they have such good personalities, but are secret killers!
Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:11 PM   #17
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Thanks AquaKai. I appreciate the links.
From all the research I have done, it really seems like one of those things that is highly variable. I still have not found many examples of it actually working out in the long term though. People will sometimes say it worked out for them, but do not give specifics on the tanks. I just am naturally a little skeptical about info like that with no data to back it up.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:23 PM   #18
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Well, I have had one before. So... I can give you my experience.

Bought six same-sized females and put them in a well planted 10g with about fifteen little caves on the bottom made from broken ceramic bowls (sharp edges filed down).

Went rather well for the first few weeks. Some nipping and definitely could see the pecking order, especially during feeding time. And then, one day one of them snapped and started picking every one of them off. I could never figure out which one it was until, well, there was only one left. I gave her away out of frustration and apparently she got dropsy and died.

Even with me watching intently at all hours of the day, I could never figure out who went rogue and my fish suffered. Sororities are great, but I personally believe to be successful, you need a larger tank with much more females and snagging one up on the first sight of a nip.

It will not be an easy ride and I, personally, would never do it again. Fishkeeping to me is my relaxation, so I would never take on this stress again.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:29 PM   #19
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from what i've read it needs to be a LARGE tank (55 gallons is the one they used) for 6-10 bettas. heavily planted, loads of hiding spaces, with a school of dither fish to keep them somewhat distracted.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #20
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Well, I have had one before. So... I can give you my experience.

Bought six same-sized females and put them in a well planted 10g with about fifteen little caves on the bottom made from broken ceramic bowls (sharp edges filed down).

Went rather well for the first few weeks. Some nipping and definitely could see the pecking order, especially during feeding time. And then, one day one of them snapped and started picking every one of them off. I could never figure out which one it was until, well, there was only one left. I gave her away out of frustration and apparently she got dropsy and died.

Even with me watching intently at all hours of the day, I could never figure out who went rogue and my fish suffered. Sororities are great, but I personally believe to be successful, you need a larger tank with much more females and snagging one up on the first sight of a nip.

It will not be an easy ride and I, personally, would never do it again. Fishkeeping to me is my relaxation, so I would never take on this stress again.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Do you feel it may have worked in that size tank with fewer females? Or do you think that it has to be that many females to distribute the aggression? I have read that 4-6 females is the minimum that should be attempted some places, but other places just say get more than 2.
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