3 girls, 3 problems

Bad Wolf

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First off, I've named my three female bettas, so I can make posts about them easier. Dark blue - Vanessa. Light pink and red - Ffynyx. Light cream and pink - Serena.

Now you've got names, it should make this post a little easier to describe.

Just last night, my axolotl died (made a previous post about it for more info). His leaving made a 15 gallon tank available for the taking. About an hour ago, I started cleaning, and redecorating the tank suitable for a small community tank.

I introduced these little girls to each other. There greetings weren't so polite. Ffynyx and Serena were the first to rumble. In this time, just flaring. After about 10 minutes of flaring, Vanessa joined in. After another five minutes, Vanessa wimped out and fled. Now, it was just Serena and Ffynyx left.

Eventually, the two left in the rumble starting nipping each others fins. I grew concerned. I was hesitant to separate them, only because I posted a previous post about the same girls with the same problem about a month or so ago. Nearly everyone told me too separate them, but I remember one person said something along these lines, "there will be nipping and tearing of fins, and that is okay, so long as it isn't to bad.

"If they fin nip, they are just trying to see who's boss. They are trying to create a peking order. Slightly teared fins is not to worry, but if there is an open wound, separate them immediately. Eventually, they will stop, and leave relatively peaceful, but if the two last females are equal in strength, and continue for to long, you should separate them. Two females cannot live together, it has to be three or more, otherwise one will pick on the other non stop."

I took his advice just then, and watched as my three precious babies fins got torn. Eventually, Serena and Ffynyx stopped fighting, with what I guess to be Ffynyx is the overlord. Serena and Vanessa are now avoiding her as much as they can. They have stopped flaring completely, though Ffynyx is still having a go at Vanessa.

So, I have figured out the possible pecking order. Ffynyx is number 1, the one who has true power of the tank. Serena is number 2 in the ranking, she has the power to chase away Vanessa, but not enough power to stand up to Ffynyx. Number 3, with little, if not, no power in this tank at all, is Vanessa.

Ffynyx is still chasing the other two (mostly Serena, though) around, and Serena is chasing Vanessa around still. They haven't established a permanent territory yet, so I'll just leave them too it for the next few days.

I have come to an agreement with my self, and if these girls don't stop harassing each other in the next week, then I am going to have to separate them, permanently.

Anyways, I have three problems. Problem 1. During the Fight, Serena and Ffynyx locked lips for about 30 or so seconds. Is this bad?

Second problem, if I do a water change and move the plants and rocks around, will the pecking order still be the same, or will they have to establish a new pecking order?

Problem 3. If they continue to fight, what do I do? Or if their injuries don't heal soon, what do I do? So far, it looks as if Serena and Ffynyx has the most cuts.

Any information will be much appreciated.

Thnx
 

Aquarist

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Shawnie

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Nearly everyone told me too separate them, but I remember one person said something along these lines, "there will be nipping and tearing of fins, and that is okay, so long as it isn't to bad.

"If they fin nip, they are just trying to see who's boss. They are trying to create a peking order. Slightly teared fins is not to worry, but if there is an open wound, separate them immediately. Eventually, they will stop, and leave relatively peaceful, but if the two last females are equal in strength, and continue for to long, you should separate them. Two females cannot live together, it has to be three or more, otherwise one will pick on the other non stop."
not sure where this info came from, and not that it matters, but these fish are not community fish by nature...not even females (which is evident by the injuries you are seeing now) PLEASE divide the tank or get them their own tank before one of them ends up dead......they will not stop harassing eachother no matter what....its not a pecking order, its aggression....they are going to need pristine water, stress coat, and some vita chem to heal them up...otherwise, you could be looking at fin rot and other issues with the poor girlies....
 

Lucy

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If I recall, several members advised to separate the bettas. Not sure why the decision was made to take one post out of many and keep them together.
Imo, nipping and tearing is not ok and can lead to the problems Shawnie stated above.

The answers to your questions, in order are:
1) Yes, it's bad. Separate them now.
2) Separate them now
3) Separate them now, they are being injured and stress is going to take it's toll.
 

Meenu

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good morning, Shezz. I am sorry that you are having trouble with your fish. I agree with the others, these girls need to be separated as soon as possible. If you don't have enough tanks or one that's big enough to divide, is it possible to rehome some of them?
 

Furallicah

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Well then....Ok first you need to sepreate those little ladys. There isnt anything you can do if you rearrange the tank either they will choose another pecking order or it will still be the same. Once females begin to fight thats pretty much the end of the community betta tank. Second locking lips is ok unless their still like that...Thridly once you have them sepreated by either sepreate tanks or what Meenu & Shawnie suggest and divide the tank...(which is a good idea)...treat their water with stress coat+ and treat their food with garlic juice or garlic guard. Thier fins will regrow with time, so dont be to worried. I would still suggest moving them asap before something really bad happens to one of them. The others have suggest great advice. And the links Ken provided have a ton of good info. Best of Luck!
 

Deeps

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yeah, bettas cannot stay together, its with the females as well.... they might settle for sometime, but will nip and peck some other time, and might end pretty bad... so as suggested separate them.....
 
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Bad Wolf

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Well, after a day of a few fights, the girls are settled in, along with 3 danios, and 3 cory's. They are doing well, I've figured out that Ffynyx is number one, constantly reminding the others who's boss, with Serena on second, and leaving Vanessa with no say.

I don't plan on keeping them here for too long, as my auntie has a back up tank for me.

All is well for now,

thnx
 

fishtroy

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I am glad that all is well for now however I wouldn't sit too comfortably.
You are right with pecking orders. I have observed others sorority girls (would never keep one myself) and it is easy to figure out especially in such a small group. We must remember, they are fighter fish. The pecking order will never be cement, it is in their nature to keep fighting to become top fish or to be the last survivor standing. If you are right and Ffynyx is top dog then her actions could go either of two ways.
1. She will zone in on Serena to knock out her next closest competition.
2. She will decide to take out the weakest link Vanessa so she has one less problem to deal with.
I might not happen quickly but most likely it will gradually. If Serena challenges Ffynyx's authority one too many times, it will be her neck on the line. At the end of the day, the bettas want their own territory. To be the last one standing.
Perhaps the cories and danios are acting as a buffer distraction to keep them away from each others throats. However, I would reccommend separating them as soon as it is possible.
 

Tigerfishy

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I'm sorry to hear of your problems, keep an eye on them with the danios, these are notorious fin nippers. "Pesky danios" are what I call mine for that reason.

As above, I'm sure you're bored of reading it, but get your lovely girlies their own space asap, they will be very appreciative and get very nosy and interactive with you once they are by themselves!
 
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Bad Wolf

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I"m guessing a danio has starting nipping on Vanessa's tail fin, only because there are tiny cuts/rips. Too small and to even to be another betta. The spare tank should arrive Thursday, if not, the following Monday.

Thnx
 
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