5 female betta sorority?

  1. BettaLovez Member Member

    Okay I am worried that i have a ticking time bomb on my hands.

    I have a 29 gallon tank.
    I had nine females in this tank, but the older and more aggressive females have killed the weak females ( in their eyes) I am now down to 5 females who are all fairly aggressive.

    In the past when i lost 3 females i re-added three more females at the same time. All but one survived from the trio.

    The only fish they tolerate, aside from themselves, is a female sword tail ( they HATE other female fish but she is twice their size, so they don't mess with her) a red tetra and a male rainbow who has crushes on my female bettas,and four cory cats.

    I have read on here or somewhere else that you have to have more than 9 females to a 29 gallon or it could be unstable ( with the other females bullying the female lowest on the totem-pole)

    I had to take out a female who was showing signs of sickness, so i got her all better and i saved another from a cup, who was near death. She survived as well. But i am worried that if i reintroduce my old female and add the newest one that they would be get slaughtered because now their hierarchy is now messed up.

    Is this a ticking time bomb, any minute about to explode or is this somewhat stable enough to be okay, but to keep an eye on?

    And yes my tank is heavily planted.
     
  2. Araielle Initiate Member

    I have two sororities myself. My advice is to always re-arrange the plants/tank before adding the new females. What I do is buy the clear plastic picnic cups at the dollar store & put one female to each cup. Keep them all close to each other so they're used to seeing each other. Re-arrange the tank & do a water change. To add them back, acclimate them all by letting their cups float in the water. They can see each other & they can see the new layout. This gets rid of any 'claimed territory' from the previous fish. They have to start new. I wouldn't say that you have to have more than nine, but I wouldn't put less than 5 to keep the attention evenly separated.. The less fish, the more space they have for themselves which lessens the feeling of someone imposing on their territory. Personally, I'd put about 13 in a 29 gallon (long) heavily planted tank with plenty of hides. Also, be sure your hides have a second entry/exit point. You don't want your fish getting cornered. In all honesty, I believe that a sorority is a balancing act that really depends on the fish themselves. You always want to keep an eye on the girls. Things can get out of hand quickly. It could be soon after you put them together or months after. It's always best to get girls from the same spawn since they're used to each other as well, if that's a possibility for you. I'm betting that you have one very aggressive fish in your sorority that may be causing the issues. You must keep an eye on them to see who is picking on who. Of course, there will always be some slapping, chasing & nipping, but if one seems to be super aggressive, you will need to remove her and keep her on her own.
     

  3. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    You should be able to catch this killing behavior before it happens. I recently broke my sorority up when they were hurting each other and let them heal up. Doing fine after the reboot. There are always some bettas that are not going to work in a sorority, either because they are too aggressive, or too timid. The aggressive ones will either kill other girls, or get killed herself by getting into fights she can't win. The timid ones will often just get sick and die from being weakened by stress.

    The best thing I can suggest, is packing the tank so full of plants, top to bottom, that it is hard for the bettas to swim without weaving around obstacles. Plants like jungle val, willow hygro, and swords that will grow up to the surface are great. Toward the bottom of the tank, pieces of driftwood with passages underneath and through. And also other such obstacle course type of decor. I would probably aim for around 11 bettas.
     

  4. BettaLovez Member Member

    Okay thanks guys.

    I do arrange the decor at least once a month, or more when i do add more females or even other fish. But that still does not help with the aggression towards other fish or even to themselves.

    And 4 females ( but only 2 of them is in the 29 gallon) i have purchased were in 20 gallon tanks with other females and males who have not shown signs of aggression so i do not think its them not knowing how to act in a sorority setting.

    But the other 3 females i got from little cups from PetCo are even more aggressive ( and the ones who have not been murdered) then the females that i bought from a store that breeds their own bettas.

    And the weird thing is that i will watch my sorority and all i will notice is some minor chasing and some nipped fins, but when i turn off the lights and go to bed i wake up and find an injured female or a dead one.

    One day one of my females is perfectly fine, then next day i find her carcass in the plants ( well whats left of her) its like they just randomly murder females that re acting slightly different. That is why i take out my blue female because she had very bad nipped fins, i know if i didn't take her out she would of have died in the next day or so.

    And right now all i have is fake plants ( but lots of them and a fake long heavy duty log thing) i want to get into the live plants but i just had a filter die on me so buying a new filter is on the top of my list but i do have 4 moss balls in the tank ( i know doesn't do much) but its something.

    And i am scared to add more female bettas to the tank is that i keep loosing them. I add them, they get bullied then maybe 3 weeks later they turn up missing, then when i am doing a water change i find them dead. and i do not really want to spend another 50 dollars on females that i am just going to loose until i know why my females keep murdering my other females, ya know?