Female community tank?

Phloxface

Member
I'm just not liking this divided tank setup...  It makes the tank look ugly and Lava looks so sad as he peers through the wall wondering why he can't go to the other side.    I am considering moving him to Aenara's 5 gallon Hex tank and moving all the girls into his 10 gallon together. At least in the Hex tank Lava wouldn't be segregated from one part of the tank and wondering why he can't go there. He'd have the whole tank to swim through.  The girls are all very young still and don't seem at all aggressive. I think they'd get along. I'd like to make sure the tank is well planted and has several caves and hiding places so each can stake out her own territory. I was hoping to do this over the fishmas holidays  ;D so I'd be home to observe them during the transition phase and make sure no one is getting hurt until they've established themselves.
Is 3 females the maximum number of fish I should keep in a ten gallon or would 4 be okay. I've heard the more females there are the better. I just don't want to overstock the tank.

When I was at Petsmart yesterday I noticed they had put 4 of the female Bettas from the cups into the large tank full of tiny Rasboras. The females were getting along and even hiding in a little tube thing together. They were chasing each other a little but no real aggression. It was nice to see at least 4 of them were out of the cups and in warm, filtered water! I don't know why they don't keep ALL the females in one tank together. They are all very young (5-6 weeks) and would be fine.  It broke my heart to see the ones in the cups. One male was on his side on the bottom gasping for air. He didn't have the strength to swim to the top. I picked up the cup but he still couldn't swim. A few minutes later he was drowned.  Several females were dead too.  It's all so unnecessary!  :'(

It would be so nice to see my girls playing together. Maybe the competition for food would convince Aenara to stop being so picky too.
 

AesSedai

Member
Did I see your name in a post...I think it's Natalie?  Sorry for the memory...it's going some.

Certainly wait for others pov's because I'm soo new to fishdom but I wanted to share my thoughts.  I have a 10 gal tank and having it underpopulated has been a top priority for me, and that it be a tank for Zen and not a tank for me (in tankmate choice) so this is how I worked it...

Following the 1" per 1 gal of water rule for tank population... I told myself that I have 8 inches worth of fish total for the 10 gal. tank.  I gave 2 inches to the gravel, caves and plants.  Zen I gave 3 inches to even though he'll only get 2" big.  That left 5".  He'll have 2 Otos soon at 2" each so I have an inch to spare and I'll leave it like that.

For your girls though...if you went with 8 (depending on how much you have in the tank), you could fit all 4 girls at 2" each (do girls get much bigger than 2" in adulthood?  You go by how big they'll be as adults and calculate that way).

And with all the plants and hiding places you're giving them....I think they'd all be pretty happy together.  It's certainly worth a shot.

Again, get other opinions too cause I'm not sure the approach I used is the best one.

Karyn
 

Butterfly

Member
Yes I think the four betta girls would be fine, just watch them while their acclimating to a new kid on the block. If need be you could take all of them out and rearrange the tank slightly and add a couple of new things (plants, decor etc.) that way they would all have to claI'm new territories at the same time instead of defending their already established territory from an invader. just some thoughts
Carol
 

chickadee

Member
I will say that whenever you put more than one female in a tank there IS going to be a struggle to establish a DOMINANT female. Until that happens the tank is not going to be a happy one. You will notice some chasing and some females will be chased away from the food and not allowed to eat. Unless you are having trouble with a weak one it should be okay but please make sure that they are all introduced at the SAME time. No one should go in ahead of the others by even so much as a few hours or there will be CHAOS. They are just as territorial as the males if they are allowed time to themselves but do well if they are made to live as a group from the beginning in a particular tank.

Just watch the feeding issue and if it looks like one of them is not getting to eat on a serious basis it means that the rest of them have decided to eliminate her from the group and she will not be allowed food until she dies. If however, they are all eating after a period of about 4 weeks then all will probably be okay. Mine were all under 3 months but 3 of them arrived together and Misty had already been there. The 3 that came later decided she did not belong and I had to remove her but it was too late and she would not eat (was too afraid) and died anyway. Then Emma went after one and then the other of the other two and even two of the Cories so it does depend on the Betta, but their behavior in the first month will tell you whether it is going to work or not.

Good luck, there is nothing quite so sweet as a tank of little females when they are getting along, but also nothing so distressing as one when they are attacking each other.

Rose
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
Here's a photo of one of the new girls. I still have to think of names for both of them. This photo doesn't do her justice. She is very irridescent turquoise and under lights her fins are glowing! You can see a little of the color here but the photo was taken with no lights or flash. You can see at the top of her tail where she was nipped. She's a sweet friendly fish and should make a great community fish.
The other red female is still shy and I don't want to startle her with the camera or flash. I'm hoping she isn't so fearful that she'll be afraid to come and eat when with the others. I guess we'll have to see.

Edited to say, I now have names for the two new girls. The one pictured here is Angel and her sister, the red Cambodian is Whisper (because she is so shy and timid)
 

chickadee

Member
Such a BEAUTIFUL little fish and with cellophane fins! They are so delicate and whispy but get finrot very easily and it is very hard to detect. Since she has had a fin injury, it is wise that you purchased her as she would very likely not have made it in the store. She is so lucky to have gotten such a good and gentle mommy.

Good luck and we will wait patiently for pictures of Whisper as we would not want to see her upset with a flash or scared on our account. I am sure she is as lovely as her sisters.

Merry Christmas and Welcome to Angel and Whisper. You got a mommy for Christmas!!

Rose
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
I put a little BettaFix Remedy in her water to help heal her fins. It's not dangerous like MelaFix and I use half the dose they recommend. I find it works well very quickly to perk up a sick fish and help heal small injuries. I checked her tail with a magnifying glass and I see no signs of finrot yet. It may even be an older injury and is starting to heal. Thankfully it doesn't cause her any pain at least.

I can't wait to see her in the tank under the lights! In the lighted tank at the store she was just glowing!
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
Whisper seems to have come out of her shell a bit and is playing with her sister Angel. Their tanks are next to each other and they are looking at each other and wiggling. I think they are going to be best friends.

I managed to get one somewhat clear pic of Whisper. Here she is...
 

chickadee

Member
Misty's fins were like that, she would look fluorescent sometimes. It is so interesting but really hard (almost impossible) to photograph as the angle is never just right. The professional breeders get the look somehow in the demo pictures but I do not know how they do it. I sure would like to know how. I am getting to know some of them, maybe I will squeak the information out of them.

Whisper is gorgeous and such a different rosy red. It is so different from the overwhelming reds that a lot of the males have. It gives her a definitely more feminine look and she looks so dainty.

She is going to be a real little beauty. She looks VERY active.

Rose
 

cherryrose

Member
You have very lovely bettas. I'm sure they will be very happy together in the 10--gallon tank. Congratulations!

CherryRose
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
Well, the girls are all together now and so far so good. I will be setting up the blog area soon. I have company tomorrow and need to clean here so for now I'll just give a quick update.

I bought lots of new plants and a cave ornament and set up the ten gallon. I moved Lava to the Hex tank and he seems a little confused but he's okay. He looks SO big in there! I'm used to little Aenara in there!

The girls were all released at once (within minutes of each other) and there was a lot of excitement at first. No one was fighting. They were happily exploring the tank. After about an hour of playing sweetly together I started noticing which fish was challenging the others. I expected it to be Noelle and at first she was. She had discovered the air bubbles and was having a grand ole time playing in them. The other 4 were playing nicely together and Noelle was being anti-social and playing alone in the bubbles. Whenever anyone came to play with her she started pushing and shoving and chasing. She had taken control of the bubbles. The others respected her but to my surprise, Angel (the one with the nipped fin) began challenging Noelle. They mostly swam circles around each other closely (for a while they looked like syncronized swimmers) and there was some nipping, but nothing too serious yet. Noelle backed down and swam away and Angel began shadowing her. It looks like these two will be trying to be the alpha fish. Odd considering Angel was the lowest fish at the store.  I guess it goes to show you never know what to expect...
The other 3 fish, Karma, Aenara and Whisper have been playing together and swimming in a group. It's just adorable to watch! They became friends instantly. Angel has been taking turns with each fish, posturing and flaring. They do a funny dance and kind of shove each other. No serious nipping. It looks like they are just figuring out what place in the group each one has. They haven't yet figured out their own territories such as plants and caves.  Karma is so overjoyed to have her sisters with her that she's been zooming back and forth practically doing back flips. She so excited it took a while for her to calm down.
As long as it doesn't get any worse than some flaring and shoving then it should be okay.
It's so much fun watching them play together and I'm trying to resist the urge to tap on the glass and shout "Hey you, stop that!" whenever I see them shoving and lunging at each other. I have to keep telling myself that no one is getting hurt right now and I just have to let them work things out for themselves for now.

I'll get that blog set up soon and keep reporting on their progress.

Have a great holiday everyone!
 

chickadee

Member
Sounds okay, just make sure everyone gets to eat and all should be well. Sounds like television will take a backseat for a while. They will be much more entertaining.

Merry Christmas.

Rose
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
Feeding them this morning was quite a sight! As soon as I turned on the light they all lined up at the top. I put in the food and a feeding frenzy broke out. There was much pushing, shoving, head butting, nipping and lunging. Very little eating... When they were through bickering amongst themselves the food had sunk to the bottom and they had to go look for it there...    I think it will take some time for them to work out these issues. I put in alternate food sources for now until we can make sure everyone is eating. I have dropped one of those weekend Betta feeding blocks in and several of them have been picking at that. Also, they have a vitamin pyramid (it releases vitamins over the course of 10 days) just to help give them a little extra in this stressful time.
After the feeding frenzy died down the girls have been getting along well. They are playing together, no one is hiding or being bullied and they have begun forming friendships. Noelle and Whisper had challenged each other yesterday by flaring and dancing around each other. After a few warning nips they split up. Today they seem to be the best of friends, swimming side by side and exploring together.
It's so fascinating watching them interact!
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
Here's some pics of the girls together. You have to kind of search hard to find them. They tend to blend into the plants. It's like "Where's Waldo"
 

chickadee

Member
I can really relate to the feeding frenzy. It sounds like you have some back-up until you can see if there are any little bullies in the making. They should do fine.

The pictures are beautiful and the top one was really like a Where's Waldo for sure. I only found three of them.

Rose
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
I think there is only 3 visible in that pic. It's hard to get all 5 in the foreground at once.

Dinner time was much more civilized. I am feeding flakes to the girls as pellets are just too hard to control. It has taken a few meals but they are enjoying the flakes now. I crumble them small so they can eat them easily and spread them out over the whole top surface so that they don't have to eat so close together. Everyone was hungry at dinner time (even my picky Aenara) and were enjoying their Christmas dinner with no fighting.  They've been good girls all afternoon playing gently together. Angel has emerged as the definite Alpha female but is not bullying any one fish in particular. I guess that why more fish is better. There are so many fishies swirling around her that she can't focus on just one. None of the others are particularly afraid of her. The other 4 get along great and Whisper and Noelle seem to be best friends.  ;D

Hopefully things keep going in this direction and that Angel doesn't get more aggressive.
 

cherryrose

Member
What a beautiful tank and what beautiful fish! Thank you for the pictures. They look so happy.

CherryRose
 

chickadee

Member
It will be very easy to notice, because the dominant female will encourage the others to begin picking on the one to be singled out to be bullied and she will not be able to swim or eat without being chased or nipped or bullied. So if they are doing as well as they seem to be, you may be one of the lucky ones.

Rose
 

BettaBuddy ~ Miley

Member
wow! you all have such truley beautiful bettas! I used to have like a navy blue color betta. she just recently pasted though :'(. you guys are such dedicated mommys and daddys too!! good luck to you all!!!!!!!!!! Miley
 

chickadee

Member
Maybe someday you will feel like you can get another betta. Just take a while to decide.

Rose
 

BettaBuddy ~ Miley

Member
I hope so - they are really great fish. and thnx - you have been just so nice to me and given me the best advice and helped me with all of my fish issues!! thank you so much Rose!!!!!!!!! thnx , Miley
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
I don't know what went on last night after I went to sleep but this morning almost everyone has ripped tails or chunks missing, including the Alpha fish Angel. They seem to be getting along though... They don't seem to bite each other when I'm watching.
Should I just medicate all of them together with BettaFix to prevent finrot?
 

chickadee

Member
Might not be a bad idea. Oh my, I thought perhaps you were going to be able to get them through this bloodlessly.

I would run the temp at 82 as that is where the Bettafix is supposed to be at its best and just watch them. If you have a repeat performance tonight you may have to separate them. They can be very naughty, believe me I do know from experience. It is so hard to think of the little darlings being so mean to each other. They are being a little wise though, they do not do it in front of Mommy. Stinkers!

I wonder if you left the light on all night for a couple of nights and got them really tired if that would help. They would not know if you were there or not this way. (??)

Sorry this is happening, I hope they turn it around.

Rose
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
That's what I was thinking... leaving the lights on. I wondered if maybe they bit each other because it is so dark they couldn't see and got scared when one would touch the other by accident. I've got to find a very dI'm light for them to use at night so they don't bump into things and each other. It's possible they could have ripped them stumbling around in the dark and bumping into things...

All day today they've been so good. They are playing together nicely and have even accepted the Alpha female, Angel, into their play group. She was being shunned yesterday because she was being a meany and being territorial over areas of the tank. Today she lets everyone go where they want and is playing gently with everyone. Breakfast was calm and orderly with no fighting. Angel has chased the others only a few times today but it didn't seem aggressive. She may have been playing. She stops immediately if I shout "Angel!" and shake my finger at her. She swims right up to me looking all innocent like "What did I do?" No one is being singled out or being prevented from eating so I guess that's good.

I guess it would be unrealistic to expect them to get through the first few days without a few fin nips. All in all it could be worse. At least they are all getting along now and seem to have figured out their place in the "pack".
 

AesSedai

Member
I think you and Rose are onto something. Reading around the net the other day, I read about a man that had an open tank and wondered why some of his fish over the years have met death by floor. He left a light on and it hasn't happened since. He thought that maybe in the dark a fish would brush another fish which would freak and leap out of the fish's way but not being able to see where he was leaping, leaped to the floor instead.

Makes a lot of sense. I imagine it'd be scary to be a lil fish in the water and it be totally black/dark at night and have something brush against me....

Have you started the journal? Where can I find it if so?

((Phloxface))
 
  • Thread Starter

Phloxface

Member
No, I haven't started the journal yet. I'll contact him today and then transfer what I've noted so far over to there.

I think I may have figured out what happened during the great tail massacre the other day. I don't think they were nipping each other. This morning after I fed them (they were good girls and everyone ate with no aggression) I noticed they all gathered around one of the plants (see tank photo on previous page, the tall thick green plant on the left side behind red plant) and started burrowing into it and weaving through it by furiously wiggling their tails. I don't know what the plant is called but it's taller than the tank and the stems are thin like wire with very soft heart-shaped leaves. It bends at the top of the water and drapes down like a canopy. It's a beautiful plant and the girls really seem to love it, but I think this little game of their's, playing follow the leader through the plant could have shredded their tails. I'm going to try to separate the stems if I can so they don't have to fight their way through, They seem to enjoy sitting amongst the jungle of leaves. If I can't untangle this plant without breaking it I'll have to remove it and give it to Lava. He doesn't tangle himself into things the way the girls do. I'd have to find another plant that provides nice cover but isn't thick enough make them fight their way through.
As for light, I'm going to buy them this:

It's a small spotlight that goes right under water and gives them just a little night light so they don't hurt themselves bumping into things, but dI'm enough so they can sleep.
I had a bit of a fright this morning at breakfast. Four of the girls came to the top for food and one was missing (Aenara). She is the lowest member of the group, last in the pecking order and I was afraid something had happened to her. I called her and tapped the glass all around but no Aenara... Finally after about 3 frantic minutes her sleepy head appeared from behind a plant. She had just been snoozing. Phlox is a heavy sleeper like that too. He freaks me out all the time!
I'm getting extra paranoid now because yesterday I ran into Petsmart to buy another bottle of BettaFix so we can get their tails fixed up. I looked in on the tank with the females Bettas where I had gotten Whisper and Angel.  Out of the 4 females who were left after I bought my two, 3 were lying dead on the tank bottom. They were all in a pile and were covered in disgusting pond snails who were eating them!  :'( :'( They may have been dead all weekend!  >  The one female who was still alive sat on the tank bottom right beside her sisters and looked SO sad. She was downright depressed. It was heartbreaking. If I hadn't gotten Whisper and Angel out of there they might well be dead too! I wish I could have saved them all. I just will never understand why they treat the Bettas SO bad!  > I didn't even want to go look at the boys. I was afraid to!
 

chickadee

Member
I am so sorry you had to see that disgusting sight!! > It had to be very hard on you as I know you have such a big heart.

The light is such a good idea I just ordered 4 of the blue ones with 2 hubs for my tanks so I could watch my tanks at night. I had some nocturnal lights before but they were not the kind that were submersible and I could not figure how to attach them to my hoods so I could not use them. These look really neat. Your little ones will of course need the white light though as the fish cannot see the blue light and it will not help them to have the blue if they are having a problem with the dark.

I think the plants could have been part of the problem but I would still watch as I am doubtful that it is the whole thing. Also watch poor little Aenara, you see this is exactly how my little Misty began to act (she was also the lowest on the pecking order) when she was afraid to come out because she was "not welcome". I did not notice until it was too late that she was very subtly being bullied and she got so nervous that she was at the bottom all the time. By the time I moved her to a tank by herself she was so afraid she would not eat and she died soon after. It may not be the reason but then I would rather give you a heads up and be wrong than not say anything and have you lose one of your precious little girls. I would not have worried but when you mentioned that she was the lowest on the pecking order, it concerned me.

I do wish you and all of them the best of luck and by the way, how are the boys doing?

Rose
 

Most photos, videos and links are disabled if you are not logged in.

Log in or register to view



Top Bottom