20 Gallon Tank Betta Sorority Tank Fail?

DaisjahMonay1

Hey guys! I’m new to FishLore and have recently started a betta sorority. Yes I’m new to the sorority scene but did a ton of research before introducing the girls. So I’ll tell you everything I’ve done to start my tank and hopefully someone will have a reason/solution to my girls starting to die one by one. (They’ll be swimming/acting/eating fine and then within a few hours they’re dead.)

So I have a 20 gallon tall tank and have had it up and running for a few years now as a community tank. I decided to do a sorority and that the fish in it currently would do fine with the female bettas. I had a black loach and 2 gourami’s. (I’ve heard that gourami’s can be aggressive especially with another gourami in the tank but since I’ve got them they have done 0 chasing or nipping, with each other nor any other fish.) So I went and got about 10 female bettas and kept them in their cups for about two weeks, doing water changes on them every few days. Monitoring their health and behavior aswell as letting them get used to seeing each other. During this time I heavily stocked my tank making sure that you couldn’t see the other side of the tank in any direction you look at it. I also went and got a few tank ornaments for them to hide in.

After the two weeks I acclimated them all to the tank for about 12 hours and released them all at the same time. There was minimal flaring or chasing except for a couple that were acting a bit too aggressive that I removed immediately. So with the 8 of them in the tank they were doing fine until I fed them. As soon as I fed them all they were all extremely aggressive and territorial. Even with all the hiding spots in the tank. I’d hoped the aggression would diminish after maybe 30 minutes but it didn’t. I then had to remove three more because they were being too aggressive and nipping fins. So now with the five females left that were previously doing perfectly fine they started acting extremely aggressive towards eachother. So I thought that being in a 20 gallon tank they needed more bettas to keep the aggression down. So I bought 5 more bettas and put them in the tank. These gals all did pretty well together and minimized the aggression. I saw absolutely no nipping or chasing with any ofBut the next day I notice a betta dead. Which was strange because there was NO nipping chasing or anything happening with any of them. The next day, I found 3 dead. and then the next day another one dead. They all were swimming and acting perfectly fine and then a few hours later they’d die.

know that typically you should only add 5 fish to a tank at a time but in many videos and articles they said that you should add 1 female betta per 2 gallons of water to reduce aggression. I didn’t know if the amount of fish I added was too much but in removing 5 of them, I thought I would be able to add 5 more. That might be where I went wrong. If so, if anyone has advice on how to stop this downhill slope or if it’s inevitable that the remaining 5 will die let me know.

I forgot to add that before I introduced the bettas I tested the water and everything was perfect. I also tested the water when the first bettas died and when I did a water change after the three died and everything was perfect.
 

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BigManAquatics

Not sure if this has to do with anything, but it is typically best to add all bettas at the same time, so none have territories set to defend.
 
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jackywacky

no gonna lie its a bit over stocked, i would take out at least 3 of the bettas or the gouramis,
 
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AloeInkblots

I really don't know what the thought process was here? Bettas are aggressive, even the females... They need lots of room. The solution is to have a large enough space for the Bettas.
You can either have the 20 gal for a sorority or have a community tank, pick one.

Also, fish have personalities too and bettas that were together from birth are going to have an easier time because they grew up together.
So you would need to find a breeder really.
But going and buying Bettas individually is probably never going to work out.

Gouramis are related to Bettas, and are also territorial. They owned that space first, and are probably larger. I would think they're your culprit.

Sororities are great, but Bettas aren't community fish, plain and simple.
 
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DaisjahMonay1

Not sure if this has to do with anything, but it is typically best to add all bettas at the same time, so none have territories set to defend.
Yea, I added them all at the same time. And then the 5 I added in later I rearranged the tank ornaments and such and put them in.
I really don't know what the thought process was here? Bettas are aggressive, even the females... They need lots of room. The solution is to have a large enough space for the Bettas.
You can either have the 20 gal for a sorority or have a community tank, pick one.

Also, fish have personalities too and bettas that were together from birth are going to have an easier time because they grew up together.
So you would need to find a breeder really.
But going and buying Bettas individually is probably never going to work out.

Gouramis are related to Bettas, and are also territorial. They owned that space first, and are probably larger. I would think they're your culprit.

Sororities are great, but Bettas aren't community fish, plain and simple.
Okay Thankyou for the input. I’ve read on many different articles and videos that Betta sororities do better with other tank mates but if that’s wrong than I apologize. Also like I said earlier. I’ve spent hours watching the gouramis before and after putting the bettas in and I’ve yet to see them nip or chase. Like you said about bettas, gourami’s (like all fish) have different personalities aswell. I wouldn’t of put them with the bettas if they were being aggressive and I would of removed them if I’d noticed any signs of aggression, like I did with the other bettas.
no gonna lie its a bit over stocked, i would take out at least 3 of the bettas or the gouramis,
Okay gotcha, I removed the 4 pearl danios almost instantly because they were nipping fins. I heard that it should be a bit overstocked for bettas to lessen aggression and such but I definitely could of gotten false information. Thankyou for you input!
 
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JustAFishServant

Hello friend, how's your sorority? I'm not a sorority expert but I have kept 2, currently have 1 and have had bettas for 10 years. I can help if you need :)
 
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