10 Gallon Betta Sorority

penguin02

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I have heard mixed opinions but I want to try it with 5 female bettas. I know this is controversial, and fishkeepers could go back and forth on this for pages and pages supporting both sides. But I kindly ask that instead of telling me I can't do it, please only reply if you're willing to help me make it work. I've already done my research and made up my mind I've been in the hobby for a year and a half and if it doesn't work out, I can find them great homes.

For this to work, the tank will need to be heavily planted. I already have some water sprite that's growing inches every week, so I'll be cutting some stalks off and making a little forest in one corner. Also, I plan to add some anubias nana from my 26g, as well as some various plants from liveaquaria or my LFS. As for decorations, there's a piece of spiderwood (that I'd like to coat with christmas moss someday) and a rock cave formed with some random stones. I have another hidey hole decoration that I will add as well. This should provide sufficient cover for the shrimp, AND provide enough spots for the girls to claim their own territories.

Currently my 10g is stocked with the following:
2x male endlers
4x guppy fry
8-15x cherry shrimp and blue shrimp as well as shrimp babies
3x mystery snails
1x nerite snail

The guppies will be going to the LFS, and I'm hoping to leave the endlers in the tank. I'm attached to both of them (Indiana Jones and Melon ) and I'd prefer not to give them away. If the girls start picking on them I might risk putting my little buddies in the 26g with a juvenile angelfish. That's the last resort since she might eat them someday.

Anything else that might be helpful? I'll probably rescue the girls from Petco and Petsmart, but it depends on what I find. If I only find a couple one day, I'll have to leave them in the cups until I get five.

Thank you!
 

varmint

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In my experience, to make a sorority work you need space and a heavily planted tank. I'm not going to harp on the fact your tank may be too small. If you plant it heavy enough it may work. Here'[s what I would suggest: rehome the Endlers as well as the Guppies. Reason being endlers prefer cooler water than Bettas, weather male or female. Try and get your girls from the same tank at your lfs, if that's where you're getting them. They will have come from the same batch, meaning they're sisters. That's some of the things that helped me with my sorority of 7 girls in a 20g . Hope this helps.
 
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penguin02

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It will be heavily planted for sure. As for getting the girls.... my LFS doesn’t really carry female bettas so they’ll have to be rescues. It’s not ideal but I want to at least try it out.

I just remembered that I wanted to try a Madagascar lace in that tank it’ll look way out of proportion but I’m not really going for a particular look.
 

Mazeus

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Now, correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't you add the fish at the same time? I believe staggering their addition to the tank is likely to cause problems in terms of hierarchy. Could you not ask your LFS to order you some?
 
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penguin02

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Mazeus said:
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't you add the fish at the same time? I believe staggering their addition to the tank is likely to cause problems in terms of hierarchy. Could you not ask your LFS to order you some?
I stated above that I’ll be leaving them in cups if I can’t find them all on the same day. So that I can add them at the same time
 

KakeHugs

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It's do-able
Like you said keep them all separated until then. keep us updated! And since you plan on heavily planted I think the endlers are fine in there.
 

Mazeus

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I guess I don't understand what you mean. If you can't get them at a FS are you not getting them from individuals who no longer want them? How can you be sure you will find them all in a similar time frame?

Edit: never mind, I see that you are buying them. I guess I don't understand the terminology as I am not clear how they are rescue fish? Doesn't matter really though, just my musing.
 
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penguin02

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Thanks Kake! I really don’t want to lose my buddies!!

I’m getting them from chain pet stores unless my LFS has them. So I’ll probably be able to find five that I like if we go to enough stores.
 
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penguin02

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Ahhh! Forgot to update you!

We went to Petsmart about a week ago and picked out 5 girls. Names are Tiffiny, Bunny, Beth, Martha, and Eunice. I put their cups next to each other for a full day while I got the tank set up (a mixture of real and fake plants, as well as some rocks and a piece of spiderwood). Martha seemed the most aggressive while in the cups, so I was fairly certain she would come out on top.

BOY was I wrong. Eunice started chasing everyone around the minute I added them to the tank. She has no nipped fins while a couple of the others had several nips. Now things have calmed down and there's no longer any chasing. Eunice will occasionally nip at the others (she picks on Beth the most) but they appear to have plenty of hiding/territory spaces. Beth has claimed the plants in the back (she doesn't even come to the surface for food; instead she waits for the shrimp pellets that I feed my RCS) while Bunny and Martha hang around the floating water wisteria.

Hopefully things continue to work out! I will try to post some pictures soon. Right now I'm a little too embarrassed because of all the algae. I can't seem to get it off, even with my algae scraper.

One more thing. The tank still looks fairly empty, and Aqadvisor only has me at 77%. Could I up the females to 7? My LFS has a bunch of females that are the same size as my current girls (and they have some gorgeous ones!! ). If I take out my five females, acclimate 2 new ones, then add them all back at the same time, will they accept the new ones? Or do I risk destroying their hierarchy and killing the fish? I think my tank has enough hiding spots to create enough territory for 7 bettas. I'm more concerned about aggression when adding new ones, especially since there's not much space to work with.
 

emmysjj

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Ooh, this is a cool idea

I wouldn’t. You are already pushing it with the five and it’s not a great idea to add more.
 
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penguin02

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There were seven in there for a while, successfully, with very little aggression. Two died while I was on vacation due to an ammonia spike caused by rotting plants.
 

emmysjj

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Oh ok cool, I’m glad it worked

Sorry for your loss as well.

Pics of the tank?
 
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penguin02

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I had to tear down the tank due to disease and algae. Rn it’s housing a sick fish and the girls are in my 26g community
 
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penguin02

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I’m pretty sad because the first picture was the girl that I was going to breed with my male, Tony.

7613566A-81A8-4B7C-93B8-CA8598AE307A.jpeg


She was one of the dead, so now I have to find a new mate for Tony. 4 of my girls are veiltails, so I definitely don’t want to breed them. But I do have a pretty crown tail named Donna that I might use for the breeding.
 

wrs2

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Sororities are terrible IMO! I had one that after a week turned into a disaster. You are lucky that you ended up with only 2 dead! Especially since they were in a 10 gallon.
 
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penguin02

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The 1o gallon wasn't the reason they died. No fish was injured, and there was a clear ammonia spike when I tested the water. All of my females were peaceful and never got very nippy.

Any sorority might not work out, no matter what tank size. A 10g is WAY riskier, but I never had any aggression issues.
 
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