Help/advice For Starting A Betta Sorority


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meyowmeow

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After some great advice from other members on the forum I've decided to use a newly acquired 29 gallon to start a betta sorority. From what I've read so far I've learned that I'll need at least 5 females around the same size, different colors, and need good hiding spots for all of them.
I am wondering if anyone has any other hints or tips that I should know or other factors I should consider.
Also would love opinions on the best filter and substrate options.
Thank you for your help!
 

Al913

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You will have to go through the process of returning and buying females. It can sometimes take awhile to find the perfect match. Also you must always watch the tank, people have had the bettas change personality which caused a disruption in the structure. Female sorority will have a pecking order. You must make sure that the head is not too aggressive and that the bottom is not getting aggressively picked at.

Betta sorority are great but they are hard work to create and maintain. The betta sorority that I have seen that were successful had lots of plants and obstacles for bettas to hide and get away. I would focus on the plants and any decor you wish to ask first, before worrying about the fish. If you just have a newly planted aquarium it will not work as well since the plants won't offer enough hiding spots. By hiding spots I mean that you can't see the fish when it goes in that area. One good way is to put yourself as the betta and if there was a bully you would want to hide.

Some people kept a betta sorority for a couple months and then the system crashed. Just because the first month or two was good does not mean your set as many people have had to end the betta sorority due to complications.
 

meyowmeow

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You will have to go through the process of returning and buying females. It can sometimes take awhile to find the perfect match. Also you must always watch the tank, people have had the bettas change personality which caused a disruption in the structure. Female sorority will have a pecking order. You must make sure that the head is not too aggressive and that the bottom is not getting aggressively picked at.

Betta sorority are great but they are hard work to create and maintain. The betta sorority that I have seen that were successful had lots of plants and obstacles for bettas to hide and get away. I would focus on the plants and any decor you wish to ask first, before worrying about the fish. If you just have a newly planted aquarium it will not work as well since the plants won't offer enough hiding spots. By hiding spots I mean that you can't see the fish when it goes in that area. One good way is to put yourself as the betta and if there was a bully you would want to hide.

Some people kept a betta sorority for a couple months and then the system crashed. Just because the first month or two was good does not mean your set as many people have had to end the betta sorority due to complications.
Thank you for this advice! How many females would you recommend for a 29 gal?
 

Sushi'skeeper

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Your tank should also be so heavily planted that you can't see the back of the aquarium glass. But keep in mind that even if you do find "the right pair" of females, things can go bad at anytime, so it's good to have backup tanks.
 

Al913

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I would do 5 to start off with! The more you have the more personality and factors you add. Although we can't guarantee a successful betta sorority you can increase your chance of having one.

I think that you actually have to wait 3 months or more before adding fish since you want the plants to grow! However one way to step up this process is trying to buy bigger plants! Places like Ebay and Aquabid are great places for buying plants in bulk or just bigger plants.
 

iamclaire

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Lots of decorations. As long as they have a way to break another females line of sight, they will be fine. They don't exactly have the longest attention span. Just make sure the leader doesn't bully the bottom fish out of all the food. You have to watch that
 

meyowmeow

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Lots of decorations. As long as they have a way to break another females line of sight, they will be fine. They don't exactly have the longest attention span. Just make sure the leader doesn't bully the bottom fish out of all the food. You have to watch that
When picking the bettas out, put them next to each other to see if they flare. Little to no flaring is ideal for this step.
Your tank should also be so heavily planted that you can't see the back of the aquarium glass. But keep in mind that even if you do find "the right pair" of females, things can go bad at anytime, so it's good to have backup tanks.
the more females the better. plants are a plus and i would add them all at the same time.
@Al913
Thank you all for this info! It is a lot to digest but I'm a good eater Here is what I've gathered from what you've all said so far. Please feel free to keep adding more ideas!
· Focus on the tank and décor before adding fish

· Caves and lots of hiding spots for each fish

· Heavily planted (possible 3 month outgrow before adding fish)

· Lots of plants and décor to help break up lines of sight between Bettas

· At least 5 females

· The more difference in color the better

· The younger the better

· Before introductions set up in containers next to each other to check reactions and flaring

· Females should be similar in size and introduced at the same time

· Have backup tanks for females that aren’t suitable for the sorority – i.e. too submissive getting picked on or too aggressive

· Be prepared to return and replace females to find the right matches

· Always watch the tank for changes in personality that may cause disruption in the structure
 

meyowmeow

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@Al913 @TexasDomer @iamclaire @Cycerath @Sushi'skeeper @ILLBETHEJUDGE @CindiL
So far I am still working on decor for this tank - I have 14 caves so far - 6 within the back wall decor (spaced fairly evenly), 6 along the bottom of the tank, and 2 at medium depths mid tank.
I plan to stock with 7 female betta, 8 kuhli loaches (open to recommendations on qty for these), mystery snail or two, and cherry shrimp.
Tank will be well planted with mature plants before I add any inhabitants.
Do you think this will be enough hiding spots or should I plan to add more caves?
Your help is greatly appreciated!!
 

CindiL

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Hi, my 33g betta sorority right now has 8 girls, though I've had as many as 12 or so. I'd probably start with 3-5 and then add in another 2-3 at a time until your numbers are where you want them. Maybe I've been lucky but I've had really very few issues at all. I really love my girls, probably won't go back to other fish.

Here is my advice.
Buy young girls, juveniles. Its usually easy to tell which ones are young because of size alone. I have found personally that buying them young like this they quickly adapt to being with others again like where they came from.

The first couple of days some will chase others and some will hide a lot. They usually work this out and start all eating together within a couple of days.

Check to see if the store will take one back if you end up with one who is overly aggressive (nipping others fins or causing injury to the others). I've only had to do this once. Sometimes you can just move out the perpetrator for a few days while the others adjust and then put her back in to see if pecking orders have established and can keep her in her place.

Color doesn't matter, I have all kinds of colors and I've never seen this make a difference.

Bettas are mid to top dwellers and I don't know if they'll use caves at the bottom unless they're very sick or are petrified and trying to hide. I'd get some fake bamboo like at petsmart, they have this really long vine of it that you can cut strips of. They can have some line of sight blocking in and around the floating leaves and they'll like resting on the leaves too and being close to the top where they can get their air.
Having some driftwood whether real or fake gives them a break in line of sight too. Once they adjust to each other you'll find they don't really hide from each other and will live together socially similar to guppies.

Some floating pennywort will make a nice plant for them if you start growing it too.

They are very curious and love exploring. They will eat small cherry shrimp so make sure you have some Christmas moss or other similar plant for the cherry shrimp to have their fry in where they can live until they're large enough.
 

iamclaire

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Sounds great. I would add in a few plants, real or fake but other than that, it sounds just perfect!!
 

iamclaire

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Sorry, I missed the part where you already said you were going add plants. Sounds like a heavenly tank to me!
 

iamclaire

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You could add a school of Sterbai Cories if you wanted. They like it in the upper 70's to low 80' s like the bettas. But see how the princess squad gets on together first.
 

meyowmeow

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You could add a school of Sterbai Cories if you wanted. They like it in the upper 70's to low 80' s like the bettas. But see how the princess squad gets on together first.
I was actually thinking of going with kuhlis, what are your thoughts on them as tank mates?
 

iamclaire

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They would do well with kuhli's as they wouldn't really wind up crossing paths too often and the kuhlis would be too quick for the bettas to catch
 
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