Betta Sorority Warning

wrs2

Member
I just wanted to make a post to add to the countless others about why sorority tanks are a BAD idea! To start, this was my 3rd attempt at a sorority tank. I knew they were bad news, but I wanted to try again anyways. I thought I had a successful sorority as it has been at least 6 months with no major issues. I thought there was some nipping a month or so back, so I removed the Rasbora from the girls tank and the nipping if fins stopped. One of the Rasbora was a bit of a jerk. They’re in a nice heavily planted tank always swimming around with each other. The tank had a Blue Green Algae outbreak so I had to take everything out to try and remove the algae. It was everywhere! I added some fake plants and hardscape to the tank so the girls still had territory, but they still schooled around together like it was nothing. I found one of the girls dead while doing the algae removal and thought nothing of it as she was a bug girl and thought maybe she was just bloated from eating too much. Now that she’s gone the heirachy is ina disarray and the girls, over night, look like they went to war! All small bites all over each other and now covered in what looks like fungus. I had to separate them all and try to treat them. Two died already and two more will likely soon as well. This tank was a mistake and I want everyone out there who thinks they want a sorority to reconsider because they may be good one day but the next can be a total war! Be warned!
 

TheWanderingFish

Member
A sorority was something I was considering trying and after reading all the horror stories I decided it wasn't worth it. Reading your post has reinforced that so thank you. Much as I love bettas, here it does indeed seem to be a case of 'too much of a good thing is bad (for them)'
 
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wrs2

Member
Yes definitely! I thought because they were getting on so well they would be fine together during the algae fight, but nope! There was one girl who looked perfectly fine too, but she was dead this morning as well. I don’t know how many will survive the fight. I wish I caught it sooner and separated them, but this would’ve likely happened at one point or another with the one betta dying, this was inevitable.
 

w3amz

Member
It's unnatural and as you said can go wrong in a heartbeat even after time. In the wild bettas have about a square meter each (3 feet by 3 feet) between their territories. This is like having a 100 gallon tank each and even then it's fully covered with vegetation so they can't see each other.
 

CanadianFishFan

Member
Well now I am more Pernod of mine. My 4 have never nipped. Sororitys are risky but I am going with it!
 

Happy Mama

Member
wrs2 said:
I just wanted to make a post to add to the countless others about why sorority tanks are a BAD idea! To start, this was my 3rd attempt at a sorority tank. I knew they were bad news, but I wanted to try again anyways. I thought I had a successful sorority as it has been at least 6 months with no major issues. I thought there was some nipping a month or so back, so I removed the Rasbora from the girls tank and the nipping if fins stopped. One of the Rasbora was a bit of a jerk. They’re in a nice heavily planted tank always swimming around with each other. The tank had a Blue Green Algae outbreak so I had to take everything out to try and remove the algae. It was everywhere! I added some fake plants and hardscape to the tank so the girls still had territory, but they still schooled around together like it was nothing. I found one of the girls dead while doing the algae removal and thought nothing of it as she was a bug girl and thought maybe she was just bloated from eating too much. Now that she’s gone the heirachy is ina disarray and the girls, over night, look like they went to war! All small bites all over each other and now covered in what looks like fungus. I had to separate them all and try to treat them. Two died already and two more will likely soon as well. This tank was a mistake and I want everyone out there who thinks they want a sorority to reconsider because they may be good one day but the next can be a total war! Be warned!
I’m curious...what size was your tank? Before adding to a community, did they come from separate cups?
 

BettaBelieveIt123

Member
Yeah after hearing horror stories I would not attempt one, Yet after I bred my Plakat male and koI female, I was left with around 15 females and removed all the males, so far the girls have been tolerating each other, with daily hierarchy challenges. I'm hoping since they grew up together that maybe it would work out. If I notice too much aggression, I will be forced to remove and separate.
 
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wrs2

Member
Happy Mama said:
I’m curious...what size was your tank? Before adding to a community, did they come from separate cups?
It’s a 20 long and yes they were all from different places and separate cups.
 

Rtessy

Member
Dang, so sorry to hear that
Unfortunately, I keep hearing that they fail after 6-12 months, personally I don't think I'll keep one.
Maybe next time (if you're up for it, sorry man ) try some wilds? I've got a 20 long that's got quite a few imbellis, they get along well. Had a m/f pair, but honestly I think you should go with more, when it was just them it didn't go all that well.
 
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wrs2

Member
I'm so over betta fish to be honest. The quality of bettas has gone down hill. I find it difficult to keep them alive for more than 9 months. Something always seems to go wrong health wise. These girls were doing great, but now 4 of them have died, one of them is a complete disaster and the other 3 looks somewhat okay, yet they are covered in fungus! Well not really covered covered, just in a few spots. I am trying to treat them, so hopefully they will be okay! I never even saw them fight with each other. It must have happened over night. It's just very sad.
 

Rtessy

Member
Aw man, I'm so sorry! Gosh, that sounds like it's just awful
I feel you though, I can't seem to find any normal bettas without serious health issues. Sure, they're fine for about 3-5 months (not all are, some passed before then), then some random obscure thing pops up. I think I even had one with scoliosis.
Fingers crossed that the rest pull through!!
 

SM1199

Member
Rtessy said:
Aw man, I'm so sorry! Gosh, that sounds like it's just awful
I feel you though, I can't seem to find any normal bettas without serious health issues. Sure, they're fine for about 3-5 months (not all are, some passed before then), then some random obscure thing pops up. I think I even had one with scoliosis.
Fingers crossed that the rest pull through!!
I had a rescue double tail with scoliosis, it's certainly possible! It's a genetic defect that double tails with two copies of the double tail gene will show, along with a few other odd physical abnormalities.
 

Rtessy

Member
It's not letting me quote posts, but how odd! I'd heard of it happening, but it was a normal long tail (halfmoon or delta), and just the way the spine curved, I'm not sure it was scoliosis or something else. At first, I thought it was SBD, but soon it became apparent that the spine bent upwards, almost a perfect curve, but the head was sitting about 1/2-1" below the end of the tail (not fin). Poor little dude!!
 

SM1199

Member
Rtessy said:
It's not letting me quote posts, but how odd! I'd heard of it happening, but it was a normal long tail (halfmoon or delta), and just the way the spine curved, I'm not sure it was scoliosis or something else. At first, I thought it was SBD, but soon it became apparent that the spine bent upwards, almost a perfect curve, but the head was sitting about 1/2-1" below the end of the tail (not fin). Poor little dude!!
That's really strange, I've never heard of that before. I know some bettas will have "hunchbacks," but that sounds different, or maybe just a very exaggerated hunchback. I don't think it would be scoliosis, since scoliosis is the spine bending laterally off-center, and that sounds like the spine was bending dorsoventrally. Really strange either way though, poor guy!
 
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wrs2

Member
I don't usually have as many issues with the girls as I do with the boys - especially the fancy tail ones.
Of course I say no issues with the girls as these 4 are dealing with fungus. Tomorrow I'm going to start a fungus med. 1st day I did Methalyn (sp) blue baths. Then kanaplex. Why I have no idea. Fingers crossed these 4 do okay! I wish I could just do a peroxide swab, but I'm unsure if that would treat a fungus.
 

Rtessy

Member
Best of luck dude!! I'm rooting for you!

And yeah, it wasn't a hunch back, because it never went back down, just looked like half a parabola
 

AbraCadaver

Member
Try ich-x. It’s wonderful, and treats multiple things including fungal infections. Most of my fish are Bettas, and all of them but 3 are ones I rescued and treated for fin rot or ich. I have 3 males and 7 females in the same tank, it’s gorgeous! Some of my males are cranky so they have their very own 10 gallon tanks. But yeah, try ich-x. I purchase mine from aquarium co-op. It usually takes about 3 days to see improvement and 5-7 to totally heal the fish of the disease! I swear by it. It’s saved a bunch of lives in this house.
 

imba

Member
Sorry to hear this.

There are so many other options for a nice community tank, I feel that I'd never want to risk trying a betta sorority
 
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wrs2

Member
All but one of the girls ended up passing away. The only one that survived this sorority failure survived the previous sorority fail. I’m going to give her her own tank. Currently she’s back in the 20 gallon, but I’m making that a themed tank if black and white fish, so she doesn’t fit the color scheme.
 

MrBryan723

Member
Ok, lots of fun misinformation and good facts here. For one, sororities are super normal for bettas. The females school, the males don't. 20 gallon is too small for one tho. 55 is good and you can have several. The more the better. Bare absolute minimum would be 5. What happened with your tank is the matriarch(alpha) died. A male will help with hierarchy in a larger tank.
 

david1978

Member
Fun misinformation I like that.
 
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wrs2

Member
They did school around at times and I have read that females like being kept together. They seemed to be fine with each other until they weren’t. I think I definitely panicked and make some mistakes and if I just left them alone and did water changes and turned up the tank temp they would’ve done better and more than one would’ve lived from the fight. I’m not opposed to do a sorority again one day, but I think I’d want a larger tank for sure and to set it up more like a biotope tank.
 

david1978

Member
When mine die out that will be the end of the harem for me. For people that know about fish Its an awesome setup. For those that don't its a boring tank. To me its just so limiting on what I can add and stocking density. Even trying to add swordtails was a flop.
 

MrBryan723

Member
david1978 said:
Fun misinformation I like that.
Well they're not totally wrong. Just how you go about things. When I was breeding them I had 12 females and 1 male(2) in a well planted 100 gallon with some small community fish. And didn't lose a single one in well over 2 years. I bought them all at once tho, from Walmart lol. It took over a year for the final one of them to die. Nowadays I don't keep short lifespan fish because it makes me sad.
 

MrBryan723

Member
david1978 said:
When mine die out that will be the end of the harem for me. For people that know about fish Its an awesome setup. For those that don't its a boring tank. To me its just so limiting on what I can add and stocking density. Even trying to add swordtails was a flop.
I originally bought them to help control the hundreds of guppies I had at the time. But they did real well with mid and lower dwellings fish.
 

david1978

Member
I just down graded my 3 males and 16 females from the 75 to a 55. So it can be done. I have had a few die here and there but nothing I would attribute to how they were kept. Mine were added at different times as baby betta from petco and I also gave some away. So threw the 3 and half years of the set up I can say it was successful. They don't seem to bother the glowlight tetras or the cories but detailed the swordtails in a matter of days.
 

MrBryan723

Member
Wow, I thought I could do 2 males I'm my 100, but that lasted a week before I had to move one to another tank and swap them out. But yeah, they aren't fond of other top dwellers. And I will never own another guppy in my life unless I'm feeding it to something. (I heard a rumor guppies could distract the males enough to keep thI'm civil with eachother). This was like 5 years ago tho.
 

david1978

Member
Its weird. With the males watching them you would think the tank has dividers. They each have their area and pretty much stay in it.
 

MrBryan723

Member
david1978 said:
Its weird. With the males watching them you would think the tank has dividers. They each have their area and pretty much stay in it.
That's actually really intriguing. In the wild that's about normal for them, but the water is murky and there's lots of plant growth so they can't see very far. It's like the same behavior in a tank. I wonder if it's actually not too uncommon.
 

david1978

Member
The tank looks like a jungle so that might help.
 

Koiboibettabutt

Member
In 2 years I have found sororities to be fairly uneventful. They remind me of horses in how they socialize. I find that some of mine prefer to hang in a group and others claI'm a quiet corner for their own. Usually its the younger or newer ones who do so and they eventually join the group.

I keep my girls in a 125gal indoor pond and there are 15 of them. They flare up and nip a bit but they still choose to be together. During feeding time I drop a cube of dried worms in and they work together to break it down and divy it up. I intentionally overfeed so they don't need to be grumpy and I keep duckweed in the pond so they have fiber. The fiber helps greedy eaters pass their food and we never have swim bladder issues. I find female bettas are more curious and active in a group. I find they do get stressed with a male present. It makes them more territorial. I have not had any issues with fish getting sick but I imagine a stressful event such as a fungal infection could make them act out. It sounds like the op had dirty water given the sickness and algae.

Keeping a betta sorority will clue you in on how much stress your aquarium is putting your fish under. If they are content with their tank they will get along. It might not feel like it because they socialise a lot like the mean girls in highschool but if the movements are calm and the fins are relatively full then its not that different from how horses socialise.
 

pongoandfriends22

Member
AbraCadaver said:
Try ich-x. It’s wonderful, and treats multiple things including fungal infections. Most of my fish are Bettas, and all of them but 3 are ones I rescued and treated for fin rot or ich. I have 3 males and 7 females in the same tank, it’s gorgeous! Some of my males are cranky so they have their very own 10 gallon tanks. But yeah, try ich-x. I purchase mine from aquarium co-op. It usually takes about 3 days to see improvement and 5-7 to totally heal the fish of the disease! I swear by it. It’s saved a bunch of lives in this house.
I’ve tried that and it’s absolutely amazing. The fungus my Betta got was gone in 3 days of treatment but I made sure to do the full week but man did it work well. I also used it when my guppies got ich! I have to say, WHAT A LIFE SAVER! They all survived and even gave birth to about 30 babies. I’m probably going to grow up the mutt guppies and sell some!
 
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