Betta Sorority

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by NancyD, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. NancyDNew MemberMember

    Hello! I've been wanting to start a betta sorority tank and I've been researching how to successfully do so and everything, but would like to hear from a real person who has successfully done so before. Any tips or advice for a first timer? (A first timer for a sorority at least)

    Here's where I'm at currently.
    I have a 40 gallon tank cycling right now. It's currently filled with fake plants, (just for layout ideas) but I would like to have live plants in there before I get the fish in. Any suggestions on what kinds of plants to get? (Especially floating plants,) and how heavily to plant it?

    Also, how many female bettas should I get in order to make this work out? I currently have four, but they're each in their own separate 1gal bowl for the time being until I can put them in the aquarium. I plan on getting more fish because four is definitely not enough, and I want to be able to put them all in at once so that way they all have a chance to get a territory. I have heard people say the more the merrier, but I don't want to overstock, so how many more should I get?

    Should I make it a betta only tank or should I put a few others in? (If so, what kind) Which would be more wise?

    I do have two smaller tanks in standby, a 5 gal and a 6.5 gal as a backup in case it doesn't work out for some fish.I

    Any warning and what NOT to do's would be most helpful and appreciated, along with any other tips of advice. Thanks!

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  2. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    I HAD a betta sorority. It worked for a while, and then they formed packs and turned on each other.

    What you DO WANT TO DO

    Get sisters. Bettas that were spawned together have a better chance of not killing each other.

    Plant heavily. Create many line of sight breaks. Plant high. Plant low. Use frogbit or other plants that float and trail long roots.

    Use hardscape to create hides.

    Be vigilant. A little fin nip might be a correction to an overzealous subordinate or it could be the first salvo in a major turf war. Be prepared to remove everyone and restock the tank periodically to decrease aggressive behavior.

    Take a tip from the cichlid keepers. Overtocking is actually a good thing in a sorority. It helps supress aggression.


    ADD TANKMATES. NOT EVEN A FEW BOTTOM DWELLERS. They will be the first casualties of war. (*shrimp might be okay. Don't use expensive stock. Use culls or excessive stock from another tank. Self replicating snails are also acceptable. )

    Relax your vigilance . Young fish tend to get along fine. When they hit maturity, all bets are off.

  3. AdriifuWell Known MemberMember

    I've never done a betta sorority because I believe it's too stressful, but I do know a lot about them.

    You'll need to heavily plant this tank. Some easy plants to take care of are amazon swords (need root tabs), anubias (rhizome above substrate), java fern (rhizome above substrate), anarchis (medium lighting/root tabs), ozelot swords (medium lighting/root tabs), narrow leaf (medium lighting/root tabs), water lettuce, duckweed, etc. Make sure there are a lot of hiding places. I would personally go for a rocky aquascape. I bought sixty pounds of rock at a tree nursery for $13.00. I set them up so they provided a lot of caves and crevices for my albino rainbow shark to hide in. You'll need a lot of caves and a lot of plants to simmer down aggression.

    I would start off with four and continue going up from there, adding maybe 2-3 at a time until you reach a maximum of 15 or so.

    Only thing I would suggest for this tank is maybe some snails/shrimp.

    Try to find the most peaceful betta possible. Do not purchase anybody that seems sick or lethargic, as other healthy bettas may pick them off. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? You'll need to cycle the tank before adding any of these fish.

  4. NancyDNew MemberMember

    Okay sweet, so it looks like I'm off to a pretty good start, the list of plants was most helpful, I will definitely see if I can find some of those, and yes, I do know about the nitrogen cycle, I'm not sure if you caught that part in the beginning where I said I was currently cycling my tank.
    All four bettas are juviniles, I figured that would help a bit. If I get any more I will make sure that they too are small. ☺
    You guys have been most helpful, if anyone else wishes to ad a pointer or a warning feel free. Thanks again.
  5. Small TanksValued MemberMember

    Okay a 40G is PERFECT.

    I recommend lots of tall plants and wood that provide line of sight breaks. Like LOTS.

    No dead ends (flower pots), where one can get trapped, use tubes and tunnels instead.

    Tall plants like Vals and large anubus and and java fern are good choices too.

    If you're going to add dither fish (like rasboras or tetras) add them FIRST and then add the bettas in order of smallest to largest.

    If you put their 1 gallon containers side by side you will get an idea really fast of which bettas also are going to be an issue. If any of them is relentlessly flaring I wouldn't add them to the sorority
  6. Small TanksValued MemberMember

    Oh and in a 40 G I would do 5. For some insane reason I've always had the best luck with odd numbers.
  7. BettaFishKeeper4302Well Known MemberMember

    Whatever you do do not get 3. One WILL get bullied to death if you don't save it. Get 4 at minimum and get tons of plants and hiding spots. For the next few weeks they will be chasing eachother. As much as you might want to do not intervene unless absolutley nessesary. Why? They are developing a pecking order. Basically whose in charge, second in charge and so on. So for the next few weeks they will be chasing and challenging one another. After world war betta then your fish should get along. BUT if you really want to have bettas together successfully get wild bettas. You have a 40 gallon so you could have a group of wild bettas. Ofcourse with plants and hiding spots. In a 40 you could probably have 8. Maybe more but i'm not sure. Hope all goes well! Goodluck!
  8. NancyDNew MemberMember

    So, really random, but where does one get driftwood? That is an accessory that I've never had in a tank before, can I use regular twigs from outside or is that a bad idea?
  9. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    Your friendly neighborhood LFS or online. Mopani wood lasts a long time (it's a dense hardwood) and it leaches beneficial tanins.
  10. NancyDNew MemberMember

    Do I just put it directly in, or do I have to rinse it and let it soak and stuff all before adding my fish?
  11. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    That rather depends on how you feel about blackwater tanks. Note that bettas enjoy them and the dark water may lead to a more harmonious community.

    Most people soak their wood long enough to get it to sink. Then they change the water until they are happy with the degree of staining.
  12. AdriifuWell Known MemberMember

    Ah, my bad. I was mostly skimming through.
  13. NancyDNew MemberMember

    haha! You're fine,

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice