New/First sorority tank

  1. Hawk1018 Member Member

    Ok...So I had a 10 gal tank lying around and figured after a little research I was going to start a female betta sorority tank. I thought it would be a really cool project and not to involved (boy was I wrong on that one). At first I thought 3 would be enough and for a couple of days it was ok...I thought they were just nipping and fighting for position in the tank hierarchy. Well needless to say I checked on them that afternoon and one of them was beat up real bad. So I separated them and rushed out to buy more girlies and more plants...turns out 3 is not really the minimum. The one that got beat up did not make it and my daughter cried for a couple of hours. I now have five girlies that seem to be fairly happy. Oh and I almost forgot I have a african dwarf frog as well I don't think he is doing to well his buddy passed away about a month ago and the ones I saw in the pet store were a lot bigger then him. I see him about once a day searching the bottom for food. My tank has about 50/50 plastic and real plants...the real ones don't seem to want to grow. This set up has been going for about 8 days now. I am going to try and post some pics so you all can see them. Please feel free to give advise going forward or tips/pointers. I realize now that I bit off a big bite but there is no turning back now.....the personalities of these girls is just amazing they all come out to see me when I step in the room...(don't know how the see me way across the room ):D

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  2. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!!

    :( I'm sorry you lost the first betta.
    Sadly, imo you're setting yourself up for failure.

    Not only are sororities extremely risky to begin with (as you found out) but now the tank is overstocked with aggressive girls.
    Some have had some luck with sororties but in much larger tanks.
    In a 10g there isn't enough room for territories. As they mature they will grow larger.
    Their personalities will change and someone will most likely get beat up or killed again.

    What are you feeding the ADF?
    Betta's can be little pigs and ADF's are slow to find food.
    You might want to try to spot feed him frog appropriate food.

    Not all bettas accept frogs as tank mates.
    ADF's have no way to protect themselves from aggression.

    By your aquarium information, it says you don't know about the nitrogen cycle.
    Please click and read.
    It's a very essential part of fish keeping.

    Imo, it would be a good idea to get the girls seperate tanks or at least another tank and divide them so they can be separated.

    I'm sorry this wasn't a more positive reply to your thread.

    :) Your girls are pretty though!

    Good luck!
     

  3. Hawk1018 Member Member

    thats ok...I am very concerned that they are going to run out of room and am in the process of finding a larger tank. In the mean time I am thinking if I get more plants it may provide more cover. But you are right ..I think they will get bigger, a couple of them were listed as babies when I got them. This group seems fairly calm at the moment. However I know all that can change in a flash. I am trying to find something around 20-50gal. I am feeding my frog some some reptile food for frogs that sinks to the bottom. I started this a couple days ago...before that I was feeding him the stuff that came with him. We got them in this little cube at a school store...thought they would be a cute little pet for our daughters. but it got broke hence the reason for the 10 gal tank. my wife is gonna flip when I tell her I need a bigger tank....LOL! she will think that was the plan all along.
     

  4. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Spouses get over larger or more tanks after a while. LOL

    Glad to hear you got the frog out of that cube. Not a nice home at all for an ADF!

    Do you have a test kit?
    The liquid kits are more accurate and less costly in the long run than the strips.

    Be sure to read about the nitrogen cycle.
    Basically, ammonia builds up from fish waste and left over food.
    After a few weeks bacteria begins to develop that 'eats' the ammonia and converts it in Nitrite.
    After a few more weeks another type of bacteria starts to develop. It will convert the Nitrites into Nitrates.
    Your goal is to have a reading of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite with some nitrates. Like 5-10 ppms.

    :D Confused yet? We was when we first started!
    Some poor guppies paid the price.

    Ok, ammonia and nitrites and toxin to your fish and frog as are nitrates in high amounts.
    Exposing fish and frogs to these toxins weakens their immune system leaving them open to a variety of illnesses as well as the possibility of death.

    When you're cycling with fish it's important to do frequent (every day or every other day) water changes to keep the toxin level low until the tank fully cycles.
    Use a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. Prime is highly recommended.
    Don't be fooled by the many products that claim to cycle the tank.
    Most are a waste of money.

    Many members have had luck with Tetra SafeStart.

    Stress can also cause fish to become ill so please keep on eye on things.

    Again, I'm sorry for throwing all this at you at once.
    It's a lot to take in.
     

  5. soltarianknight Fishlore VIP Member

    You didn't separate or QT any of them before adding did you? If even one of the girls had any disease, parasite or such on that you cant see yet, you can now assume all the girls have it.
    6 is a bare minimum for a sorority, and 10gal is as well. But your new to this, and i would recommend a 20gal for that crew, or to get a second 10gal, cycle it and divided both tanks 3 ways so they can each be alone. I can tell you right now that a few of the girls looks a little pale from stress. Your big blue and your Cambodian show clear dominance by being at the top of the tank.
     
  6. Hawk1018 Member Member

    I don't mind. I was going to do a 1/4 water change a week but I suppose I will up that to twice a week. I also just have a dechlorinator I use in the tap water. Is that not sufficient? Is this also why my plants don't seem to be growing yet....maybe I am just expecting them to grow too fast. They are supposed to grow pretty tall and I thought my bettas would like it....looking on craigslist now for bigger tank.

    Yeah...the big blue one and the white/peal one were from the first 3 that beat the other one up. The red one and the small fuzzy one were listed as babies but guy at LFS said they were big enough to hold their own as long as I had a place for them to hide. The other Red one was purchased with the two babies. the big blue one with the whitish gills is the top of the chain.
     
  7. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Craig's list is a great place to get a deal on extra tanks.
    Especially his time of year people are cleaning stuff out!

    Check the lable on the dechlorinator you're using.
    It'll say if it detox's ammonia.

    I can't comment on the plants.
    They don't like me. lol
    Growth depends on the plants and the lighting.
    I'm sure someone else can help with that.
     
  8. Hawk1018 Member Member

  9. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    That will be fine once the tank is cycled.
    In the mean time get one that detox's the ammonia also.
    Be patient, it can take a month, give or take.

    Once you get a test kit, post your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, we'll see how the cycle is doing. :)
     
  10. Hawk1018 Member Member

    I took some water to the LFS (PETCO) and had them test it for me. They used about 5 tubes and put drops in each one. The guy said everything is good ..except the Nitrates were a little high they were between 10-20. everything else was on the lightest color. I did about a 1/3 water change. I have not found a new tank just yet....but all the girls are getting along pretty well. The little purple one is turning more of a blue color and is less stressed she actually chased off some of the larger girls this weekend and is holding her own. She occasionally shows her stripes so I know she is still stressed but more and more she is without stripes.
     
  11. Hawk1018 Member Member

    ok... so my girls are still doing good. There is a little nipping going on but I just changed the decorations around a bit to possibly slow down the current. I have found a couple of larger tanks I am interested in one is 30 gal and the other is 55 gal....leaning towards the 55 gal as it is the same asking price. My question is are there any other types of fish I can put in with my betta girls when I get a larger tank or am I better off getting a some more betta's? When I put them in new tank if I use the water from the ten gallon will it help with the cycle or should I just start over? I also have added 4 amano shrimp to help with clean up.
     
  12. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    Just so you're aware, every time you change the decor around, the girls will have to establish their hierarchy all over again. This can actually create more of an aggression issue than you had in the first place.

    I've had a successful sorority in a 25 gallon and would not recommend it in anything smaller. I actually wouldn't recommend it at all, to be honest. It takes due diligence to keep the sorority alive and well and free from stress-related disease.

    I wish you well, but just know you won't be the first to crash and burn in this endeavor, if it doesn't work out.

    If you get the larger tank, know that bettas, both male and female, usually don't do well in communities. You would need to focus on stocking with semi-aggressive tetras or the like.

    The water from the 10 gallon will not help you cycle, as there is negligible beneficial bacteria within the water column itself, however, you can utilize the existing filter media to assist in cycling. You just would not want to add to the stocking of the larger tank until the tank is fully cycled.
     
  13. Hawk1018 Member Member

    thanks for the advise. I am really hoping to get the 55 gallon...but it is a hard sale if I can't add some additional fish to it...I mean my Betta's would be happy with all that room. Are the Semi-Aggressive tetras the neon ones?
     
  14. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    Nooooooooooooo, neons would get beaten up by the bettas, most likely. I'm talking about something like red-eye tetras or even serpaes. Nothing tiny.
     
  15. Hawk1018 Member Member

    ok...

    maybe Gaurami's? Aren't they semi-aggresive?
     
  16. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    Gouramis are also anabantoids, so it wouldn't work for that reason alone.
     
  17. Hawk1018 Member Member

    ok...settled on the 55 gallon used tank. When I get it what are the steps I should take to prepare it for my girls?
     
  18. soltarianknight Fishlore VIP Member

    Cycle it, heat it and get a TON of decor and plants in there.
     
  19. LyndaB Fishlore Legend Member

    Good advice.

    The more separate "areas" of the tank that you can create, the more peaceful the tank will ultimately be.
     
  20. soltarianknight Fishlore VIP Member

    fake silk plants are your best buddy. trust me. One, because they are guaranteed and dont die(though lives are just as effective). Id always have some in there in the event you need to break it up more. Get 4-8 cave like structures going on towards the bottom and mid section. Some large ornaments. Floating top plants and ordainment can be a make it or break it sometimes. Especially when more then one fish wants to be on the top of the tank. When you do get it up and running and get your girls over there keep the smaller tank running. Use it to QT new females one a a time for 2 weeks a piece. This way you can up the female count to 10-18. A much safer number.