Betta Sorority

Lynn78too

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So I have a 29 gallon that is cycled but basically empty except the snails and amano shrimp. I've decided I want to get a betta sorority. I've always wanted one but I've had a tank that was empty to put them in. I'm planning on getting 5-6, is that right? Also, I am planning on getting them when they're babies but how do I know if they'll be compatible? I know it's recommended to get them from the same batch but how do you go about doing so?

Thanks!
 

Feohw

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First of all, make sure the tank is well planted/decorated. I had a betta sorority, and to be honest I wouldn't do it again. So I don't like to recommend it. Overall it was fine, but stress stripes were common and ripped fins weren't unusual. Wasn't a great environment for them, though mine was pretty much done perfectly. The plants can help to give them places to escape if attacked. Even so those that are left are doing much better alone.

When I got mine they were in a sorority tank at the shop. So I could see that they were relatively okay. Mine was pretty much the perfect scenario. If you can do this you'll stand a better chance. If they are kept in cups (ew), then you can hold the cups next to each other to see which females react the most. Skip those that are the most aggressive.
 

Bellaona

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Lynn78too said:
So I have a 29 gallon that is cycled but basically empty except the snails and amano shrimp. I've decided I want to get a betta sorority. I've always wanted one but I've had a tank that was empty to put them in. I'm planning on getting 5-6, is that right? Also, I am planning on getting them when they're babies but how do I know if they'll be compatible? I know it's recommended to get them from the same batch but how do you go about doing so?

Thanks!
Id also say babies are much more likely to get used to each other and develope compatible personalities if raised together, from what little science there is. Also im sure you know but putting them all in at once is also highly recommended because then theres no headstart on territory.

Also have a backup plan for your backup plan,if something goes wrong you gotta be able to have a individual tank for each of the offending betta girls.
 
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Lynn78too

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Thank you. Yes, the tank is well planted and has driftwood. It's a well established tank but about 2 or 3 months ago it had ich and wiped everything out so I have been staring at a tank of snails and shrimp for the past 2 months waiting and pondering on what to do with the tank and treating the tank despite there not being any fish left. Yes, I would have a back up plan, I have a 20 gallon that I have the ability to split and my current tank has 2 filters, one being a HOB and the other being a sponge filter so they could immediately go into cups while I put the dividers in to separate them.

Honestly though, from experience, is there anyone that has had good luck with sororities? I don't want to buy fish knowing they might just kill each other off.
 

Feohw

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As I said, I had great luck with my sorority. Not everyone has the same experience. They established the hierarchy fairly peacefully. Not too much fighting took place. The females all knew each other and the tank was set up well. Every now and then there would be a fight. The least dominant female nearly always had stress stripes. The others had them occasionally with the exception of the dominant female. Mine went much better than I had expected having read online.

The dynamics were interesting and the tank looked great. It was interesting to see the lesser females vying for second place. It was clear who was in which position at any given time, and it wasn't always the same from one week to the next. The only thing that stayed the same was that the dominant female wasn't to be messed with. She rarely had to fight, her presence was enough to deter fighting. Though there were some challengers. I really did enjoy the tank. But the stress stripes and occasional ripped fins were a bit off putting, despite how well it went.

With that said, sororities can be unpredictable. There's cases online where all went smoothly, and then one day it randomly ended in disaster. It wasn't always exactly a peaceful, relaxing tank. Problems mainly occur when the dominant female dies. When that happens, the entire balance of the tank can collapse. There was a well known blogger (I think) who had this happen. Relative peace until the dominant female died, then absolute chaos and multiple deaths. Lately I have seen some newcomers claiming to have absolute peace in tiny, sparsely decorated tanks with two females. So it won't always go badly, as it didn't with mine.
 

AquaCaitlin

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I have had a few betta sororities that have worked great! My little trick is to add guppies or neon tetras too. Since both of these fish are very active they distract the females from each other.
 

Truckjohn

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I have a sorority that is going fine with twelve. I have seen several others that are fine too.

The #1 thing I found is more fish works better than less. 2 or 3 = endless fighting. More than 5 = fine even with the same fish that fought before. And if you are down to 5 which are doing fine and you pull out 2 - the remaining 3 will be fighting in a day or two. Weird...

There will probably be some fin nipping, a challenge here or there, and some food obsessive behavior - that's normal with any schooling fish. They will sort it out.

The other main thing I found is to hit the 5 fish minimum all at once. Keep them in bowls till you have all 5 - then add them. Then you can add more one at a time with no big problems.

On one fish bullying.... often one will try this initially and the others will put her in her place and it sorts out in a week or so... It usually works out fine and everybody behaves.... But if you have one that is continually trying to kill everybody else - pull that one out and put her in a tank by herself.
 

Bellaona

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Lynn78too said:
Thank you. Yes, the tank is well planted and has driftwood. It's a well established tank but about 2 or 3 months ago it had ich and wiped everything out so I have been staring at a tank of snails and shrimp for the past 2 months waiting and pondering on what to do with the tank and treating the tank despite there not being any fish left. Yes, I would have a back up plan, I have a 20 gallon that I have the ability to split and my current tank has 2 filters, one being a HOB and the other being a sponge filter so they could immediately go into cups while I put the dividers in to separate them.

Honestly though, from experience, is there anyone that has had good luck with sororities? I don't want to buy fish knowing they might just kill each other off.
KGTropics on youtube has a 120 gallon 5p fish sorrority that works well. And before they were in 5 separate sorrority tanks thst were fine. They do a livestream every week where people can ask questions she might have tips for you
 

SPiNoVA

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I have a Betta sorority in my community tank. It’s too soon to tell if there will be a problem, since I’ve only had them for a couple of months. IMO, the most helpful thing for them (mine is not a jungle), has been hides. I have a lot of river rocks at the bottom, in addition to plants and other decor, and they all have their little nooks they occupy. I also make sure that the food gets distributed, so they aren’t piled on top of each other, and getting turfy. It definitely helps to have dither fish as well (I have Cardinals).
 
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