36 Gallon Bowfront Betta Sorority

Discussion in 'Members Fish Tanks' started by Muzen, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Muzen

    MuzenNew MemberMember

    Here's my 36 gallon medium planted bowfront. Not much activity during this photo. It was a quick turn the lights back on, snap a photo, and turn them back off activity...

    Stocking includes 9 female betta, 1 male betta, and 9 cherry barbs.
     

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  2. OP
    OP
    Muzen

    MuzenNew MemberMember

    I'll have to post another photo during daytime feedings or something... I'm sure you'll want to see what 10 betta living together look like (I would). It's a relatively new tank that I set up with this composition on June 21.

    Honest truth so far? The male shouldn't be in there. He's looking way worst for the wear compared to when I bought him. The thing is, I've never seen HIM being bullied. It's almost like he gets sniped in the night while nobody is watching. He doesn't act like a bullied fish at all. No hiding in the upper rear corner. No cowering. In his mind, he rules the roost.. But the 2 Koi females clearly have no fear, and generally ignore his fearsome displays...

    Honestly, this dynamic doesn't seem to be much different from the many mixed cichlid tanks I've had and seen over the years. There's definitely a pecking order. But now that its established, the female betta's seem to mostly ignore each other. If the male had been something other than a "Halfmoon Double Tail", I honestly think he'd do a better job watching his six.

    But things may now be settling down. I would say the male hasn't gotten any worst in the last 2 weeks. So we may actually have a balance.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Muzen

    MuzenNew MemberMember

    This was my favorite large tank setup... 150 gallon with a custom cabinet (back when I was more into woodworking).

    I miss the tank, I miss having a "pet" fish (jardini) - there's just something about the personality when you have and care for a single fish this size.
     

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  4. treadingwater

    treadingwaterValued MemberMember

    Id be terrified to have an arowana. :wideyed:

    I also think you need to get your betta boy out of there. I've been researching sorority tanks and they all have said that a male is an absolute no no. And to have "emergency mason jars" on hand for quick removal.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Muzen

    MuzenNew MemberMember

    Arowana's are great pets honestly. Obviously, they require a very large tank, and in the case of my Jardini, he was aggressive with other fish. But if I was ever going to keep monster fish again, there's just something about the prehistoric gracefulness of those fish.

    This guy was also pretty easy to take care of since I got him to accept Hikari Food Sticks.

    The sorority (+ house boy) has seemed to reach a pecking order, and I really don't see any aggression. The appearance is that the male betta's fins are growing back a bit (still looks bad). Generally, were I to compare the behavior of the betta sorority social dynamic to the cherry barb social dynamic, the barbs exhibit significantly more chasing and pecking (if you will). While it's still early, and I suppose I can't allay detractors with their prophesy's of inevitable mass kill-offs just yet. So far, for a relatively experienced fish-keeper, I honestly don't see anything controversial here... Results always vary, and you can always have a single fish with abnormal aggression... But that's not a betta-thing, it's a general fish thing and is applicable to many families of fish.

    For photo's...RESPECT to you guys on that. It's HARD getting photo's of moving fish... Bare with me on the amateur photography...
     

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  6. treadingwater

    treadingwaterValued MemberMember

    No one really ever said why it was bad to have the male in but I assume it has something do do with aggression during breeding as males have been known to frequently kill the female.

    Keep us updated! I have a new 55g that I’m considering turning into a sorority and I’m eager to see your experience. It’s a very pretty tank.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Muzen

    MuzenNew MemberMember

    I'll definitely update with any changes. I've been reading through WRS2's account today, and it definitely has me wondering if I'm just lucky so far, or if his/her 20 long may just be a bit small for a sorority.

    So far, my male betta has displayed plenty for the females. But no chasing or violence. Less displays over the past week... If I could go back in time, I'd probably do it without the male to be safer. But as long as nobody looks stressed (which they don't), I want to give the guy a chance.

    This is also an a-typical case study because these are my first betta's. I just kinda took the plunge with both feet, and am finding out whether I can swim. :)

    I didn't mention it, but the 9 cherry barbs were added two weeks after the Sorority had been in place. So their immediate social dynamic was already "worked out". I do think there's something to having an active dither species in place to discourage / distract from fixated attacks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  8. david1978

    david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Don't feel bad I too jumped in with both feet with bettas. I have 15 females and 3 males in a 55. Over 3 years now and other then the girls occasionally chasing or the males displaying I see no aggression.
     
  9. treadingwater

    treadingwaterValued MemberMember

    I found this woman the other day and she has 3 stunning sorority tanks. She gives fantastic advise that brought on more research topics for me.

    Minimum 15g and 5 fish is her recommendation.
    Her tanks are my life goal at the moment.

     
  10. OP
    OP
    Muzen

    MuzenNew MemberMember

    That's funny you post that. Seriously, that was the video that green-lighted the idea for me. Yep, i'm not sure if she's the pioneer for this concept. But she's definitely helping with marketing. :)
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Muzen

    MuzenNew MemberMember

    That's awesome!
     
  12. treadingwater

    treadingwaterValued MemberMember

    Have they ever tried to breed?
     
  13. david1978

    david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    So far I have 1 baby born in my tank. I didn't help in any way as breeding them wasn't a consideration and its probably almost impossible in a community tank.
     
  14. Fishproblem

    FishproblemValued MemberMember

    Just FYI her sorority tanks all crashed and she was not remotely transparent about the reason why. I’ve followed a lot of sorority keepers and it ends the same way every time. “Tank crashed, I have no idea why.” She’s also consistently losing bettas to jumping out of the tank.

    Sororities sound and look super cool, and I’m in love with the aesthetic. But I have a gut feeling that it’s not truly sustainable, though there’s always an exception to the rule.
     
  15. treadingwater

    treadingwaterValued MemberMember

    Yeah, I’ve been researching crashes lately too. I had no idea her tanks crashed but I’ve seen several people post about their crashes. I also just saw that a major fish store was considering promoting sororities in their stores.

    I’m sad because I am in love with the idea but after continuing my research I just don’t think the risk is worth it for me. I saw that it might work with wild caught bettas but I’m not for wild caught aquariums unless you happen to luck upon a baby that won’t know any better.
     
  16. Fishproblem

    FishproblemValued MemberMember

    It's such a bummer because believe me I was starry eyed at the thought when I found a_betta_world and motherofsharks on IG. I'm glad I didn't have the space or money at the time to start a sorority then! That said, I do think there are people breeding wild type bettas that can live with one another. B. albimarginata is one that I know of. They're gorgeous, but definitely not the rainbow of color you get with a splendens sorority. (Do go look at motherofsharks' older posts on IG if you want to feed more of your sorority fix though.)

    However, @Muzen already has a sorority, and I'm definitely going to follow for updates! You, too, should go look at those two IG accounts if you can. From what I learned there, the more heavily planted your aquarium, the better.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Muzen

    MuzenNew MemberMember

    Still OK on the home-front here. My primary concern at this point is whether there is a seasonality component I've yet to be faced with - a breading season or something.

    But I'm a true novice with these fish, and would be lying if I tried to claim a high degree of sophistication or a violence-avoidance strategy I've implemented in my approach. I knew I needed a lot of plants, and my primary effort has been in trying to keep them alive (something I've never truly put forth the effort on). While the tank is reasonably planted, I could probably add some floaters to achieve more of that ideal (probably will at some point).

    The various crash stories have me somewhat reminiscent of the several times I've had red-bellied piranha - many many years ago when I thought that would be cool. It wasn't, and they're truly boring fish. But if you started with 4-5 in an ordinary sized tank, a crash was inevitable, and you could guarantee you'd be left with a single fish in the end... It's possible that a sorority goes that route. But I just don't see that in these fish - at all. Then again, I guess piranha's never let on that cannibalism was an inevitability either. So I guess that example doesn't prove anything...

    For a (mostly) community cichlid / tank-buster keeper (as I would summarize the majority of my tanks over the years, it's just hard to fathom these fish could so suddenly turn on each other so suddenly. Now believe me, I respect and believe the stories, and plan to be as vigilant as possible, because I really do love this tank so far.

    We have a camping trip in the early stages of planning - possibly a couple weeks from now. That has me a bit nervous. My tank has a timed day / night cycle. But the feeding would be non-existent for a week - or I'd have to pick up an auto-feeder. I'll think on it...but regardless, I'm going to be nervous being away for a week.
     

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  18. OP
    OP
    Muzen

    MuzenNew MemberMember

    Can't imagine I'll have a problem with jumpers...
     

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  19. scotty81

    scotty81New MemberMember

    Nice Saratoga Jardini. I used to have one a few years back. Great pet. Mine used to eat out of my hand.
     
  20. treadingwater

    treadingwaterValued MemberMember

    Healthy fish can go a week without food, so I think you will be ok that way. As for aggression while you're gone, I would suggest separating them in compartments inside the tank...kinda like those Christmas ornament storage containers? They still get the water flow of the main tank but they will be separated so they cant attack each other. If you're crafty you could make something out of plastic canvas stitch cards that would not be as expensive as buying these breeder nets and you could customize them to your own size and needs. The plastic would also give a little more opaqueness to the setup than the net would. You have plenty of time to play with the design and figure out what would work best for you.