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Old 07-30-2013, 08:58 PM   #1
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Help! Betta sorority in community tank

I have a betta sorority set up in a community tank with 6 platys, 7 neons, 5 kuhli loaches, ghost shrimp, and 2 Chinese algae eaters (which are barely two inches long at the moment). My sorority has gone down from 5 to 4 this week due to one of my girls getting a swollen belly whenever she eats and, needing to monitor her better, I took her out. This is a 30 gallon tank with a power filter with a modified cover to reduce/redirect exit flow. One of my girls has had constant stress marking for a month since I got her, and another started showing her lines yesterday. ( horizontal lines, not vertical)
This is the 10th day since adding them into the community tank. Heavily planted with both live and fake plants, lots of floating anacharis and lots of hiding places. No signs of fighting or tail nipping and they all seem relaxed, even the neons ( not schooling). My loaches always come out and play all day, and there is no frantic swimming, though I do think some of my platys may be doing their breeding "dance".
Took a water sample to the store for a more accurate reading than test strips can give me, and water quality is fine. Water temp is steady temp btwn 78.2-77.8F. Tank is near a window that gets sun in the morning, and it has painted sides and backing.
If anyone has any ideas on what could be causing the stress and/or a way to treat it I'm am all ears. ( I prefer not adding chemicals to my tanks so I am looking for something more natural)
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:10 PM   #2
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Some females just get stressed easily.
Is she young/small? My younger ones seem to show their stripes a lot, while the older ones hide them better, but I used to have a girl that had them any time I got close to the tank. There's others that'll use it as a form of camoflauge, and some that never show. They all have their own quirks and personalities.

If she is still behaving normally then I wouldn't worry about it. Maybe add some stress coat to the water and see if that helps, but I personally don't think there is anything to worry about. Is there places to hide in there besides in/behind plants? And do the plants reach the surface? Neons are pretty active fish, so maybe she's stressed out by them since Bettas are generally pretty lazy?
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:29 AM   #3
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Yeah. They are all pretty young. They are all similar in size, but the one with the constant markings seems to be the smallest. Especially now that they are growing more. She likes to tag along with the neons funnily enough. I left the lights off in the tank and in that area all day, and I think that helped the one with the acute stress lines.
I love watching how all my fish seem to learn things from each other. When I first got the neons they wouldn't eat unless they saw the food falling down in front of them. Once the platys were added they learned to go to the surface to eat. Yay!
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:12 PM   #4
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Yeah, then she's probably still got her camp markings from when she was growing up. How long have you had her/them together?
Sounds like she is doing well besides the lines, so it's nothing to worry about. If she starts acting lethargic in there then it's probably time to remove her and add some AQ Salt to perk her up.

That's the funnest part! When I first got my GBR's they wouldn't go anywhere near the surface, just wait for food to come to them, but now that they have been around for a while they act exactly like my Bettas and hang out near the top with them. Actually, I even caught one resting on a floating plant with a Betta before. That was pretty hillarious
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:39 AM   #5
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Still a little stressed. The girl with the acute lines I noticed showed her lines more during the feeding frenzy. Probably because the platys and neons go crazy. I try to spread the food out but it doesn't seem to matter. ( yes all my bettas seem to eat the flakes I have for my platys. So I rotate feeding betta pellets, fish flakes, and freeze dried bloodworms so everyone gets food they need).
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:33 AM   #6
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Yeah, it's probably from all the other fish's activity. She'll eventually get used to it, give her like 2-4 weeks and if it doesn't help them try her on her own a while.

Feeding flakes occasionally is okay. My sorority is in a community tank as well so when I feed it's hard to know if my Bettas are actually eating the pellets I give them rather than the flakes, but I try to drop a few pellets over each of their heads if they are near the top, and then spread the flakes around the entire length of the tank and that seems to work in my favor, except that my angels seem to love their pellets and now they have stopped eating their flakes. I'm considering switching over to plain small cichlid pellets so most of them will get what they need, but we'll see what happens, I'm still trying to figure out the best way to feed too lol.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:54 AM   #7
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Update! All my girls are fine. The one I had to remove is still happy, but still has a bit of a belly. Girl with the constant stripes still has them but she is no longer the small one of the tank. She now happily hangs with the other bettas and platys and is the same size as the other girls in the tank. Everyone is getting along and they are all pigs! Everyone eats everyone else's food. I now rotate flakes, freeze dried bloodworms, and zucchini. The peas come out every other week. So far the favorite of the tank seems to be the zucchini. They all go on a feeding frenzy when I drop it in. My loaches and algae eaters always finish off the skin too. Overall it is quite entertaining to watch the zucchini disappear. Going to try to introduce some cucumber this weekend. 😄
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