(facepalm) 6 Female Bettas In A 3 Gallon Tank

nikm128

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First thing I want to get out of the way; not my tank it belongs to a friend and she insists she can put three more females into her three gallon tank.
She wouldn't listen to me about how bad it is so I said I would post a thread on my "fish website" so she could see what y'all say. Obviously that's what I'm doing right now so...
Comments/thoughts?
 

nope

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Definately not. Besides the overcrowding causing water parameter issues, the limited space would most likely cause aggression and fighting between the bettas.
 
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nikm128

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she says they technically only need a quarter gallon each and she's giving them half a gallon each so it should be fine....
In all fairness though she has managed to keep the three for an impressive amount of time
 

Platylover

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Ok, here are a few reasons why you shouldn't do this(I know it's not your tank op, but if you are showing these to your friend I'll address it as if she wrote the post).

1. Aggression. Contrary to popular belief, females can and will be aggressive too. It's not just the males. Females can be kept in a sorority, but they need a lot of room (and heavy planting) to be able to get away from each other and be able to properly spread out the aggression. A 20 long is the minimum to try such a thing in.

Because of their aggression you also need to be prepared for the worst which means having an emergency tank ready to go for each female in the tank. Without doing some of these necessary things for a sorority, sooner or later you will have a tank full of sushi.

2. Hormones. Ok, so maybe you've had luck thus far. I'm glad as that means none of the fish have been injured, but it will likely not stay like this. As bettas mature their hormones change. They can go from peaceful to "I'm going to kill everyone in this tank and their families." rather quickly. Eventually the hormones do stabilize a bit, but prior to this, disaster can occur. This is why you hear stories of people who had a community betta who was fine, but then they woke up one day with everything dead. That's with one betta, imagine 6.

3. Stress. All the aggression and cramped space is going to cause significant stress. Even if these lovely girls would be ok in a sorority under proper settings, in a 3g they are going to be even more so prone to aggression and illness from the stress. This stress also reduces their lifespan. Just like people, stress is killer in fish.

4. Bioload. If the stress and the bettas don't kill them, the bioload will. 6 bettas in a 3g is going to wreck whatever(hopeful) cycle you have and spike the ammonia and nitrates. These will easily kill the fish if left in the tank for to long.

Lets go out on a limb and say that your females will not cause distress and danger to each other, I guarantee their existance in that tank will not be a happy one. Imagine this, you are in a bathroom with 5 other people. You only have one toilet and it can only be flushed once a week. I doubt anyone would enjoy such an existence, but this is similar to what those girls will be going through.

Those are a few reasons as to not do this. I've also attached a thread to proper betta care-
Betta Care Sheet
 

david1978

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I know even in my big tank occasionally one will get grumpy and chase another clear across the tank.
 

Rtessy

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As someone who keeps WILD bettas, they need a massive amount of space... Also, where is she getting her information? I bet the tank isn't anywhere near cycled, aside from aggression, they're going to be burned to death from ammonia poisoning or suffocate from nitrite poisoning. My bet is on ammonia, which would kill them in the first 1-2 week, nitrite doesn't appear till later, but I bet they won't make it that long.
Bettas cannot exist in a quarter gallon. Wild bettas have access to miles upon miles, and trust me, they use every inch.
Bettas need a MINIMUM of 2.5 gallons, not each. If you want two, divide a 10 gallon in half with a divider, do not let them see one another.
6 in a 3 gallon will either outright kill one another or they'll all succumb to ammonia poisoning.
 

Prest12

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I probably wouldn’t even put one betta in a 3 gallon, let alone 6. Females can be just a aggressive as males, and that is WAY too much bioload for such a small tank.
 
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nikm128

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thanks everyone
I saw this a few times so I'll just skip the quoting. Her tank (surprisingly) is cycled and somehow the water is kept pretty clean.
I'll definitely tell her about the effects on the cycle from doubling the bio load
 

david1978

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The other issue I see other then aggression, tank peremeters, stress, over crowding would be something we can't measure. We know it exists but have no way to measure it. That would be hormones that our fish release in the water. Both to signal spawning and also to out compete fish for size. Even as adults they still release the growth inhibiting hormone just at a lower concentration.
 

CanadianFishFan

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On Instagram I got to see 5 females in a 0.25gallon. And 13 in a 3gallon. Id post the screenshot but not sure if thats against the forum rules?
 

david1978

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On Instagram I got to see 5 females in a 0.25gallon. And 13 in a 3gallon. Id post the screenshot but not sure if thats against the forum rules?
I'm not sure how much of that stuff I see to believe. I could put all mine in a much smaller tank and I'm sure they would play nice at least for a 5 minute video.
 

VSA

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Apart from all the other issues, I'm actually struggling to imagine how they all fit in to the tank
 

Dave125g

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I don't know if your friend seen these posts yet, but I'll echo what others have said. A 3 gallon is barely big enough for 1 betta.
A betta sorority is not easy. 6 of them can get aggressive with each other in a 30 gallon. In a 3 gallon there will be losses due to fighting.
 
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nikm128

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What are the exact ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings? Unless she does large water changes every 3 or so days, it's not going to be good...
Ammonia needs to be zero, as does nitrite (toxic at 0.25ppm) but nitrates are good up to 20 ppm.
I don't remember what they were exactly since the last time I tested her tank was a while ago. All I remember is that it was cycled

Ok, now she wants to know what size tank she would need to do this
 
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