Possible 50 gallon betta sorority...
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:52 AM   #1
LyzzaRyzz
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Possible 50 gallon betta sorority...


So, Ive 90% decided to get rid of my guppies. The adult ones at least, Ill be keeping my golden fry tank.
Im toying with the idea of making the 50 gallon a betta sorority!
Ive briefly read over things over the years, but never attempted it.
My tank is pretty planted, heres a picture:


The fish that would remain would be a 4 in bristlenose pleco, a 2.5 in rubbernose pleco, and eight adult cories, [four emerald, three albino one salt and pepper]

Currently also in the tank is about 20 adult guppies, 15ish just showing color juvies and random newborn fry.

So im pretty sure i could handle any number of female bettas, the question is how many is too many, whats you 'sweet spot' number?
Im even considering doing maybe a lower number and upping the cory group, or a small school of another species, or even a female bristlenose for my boy. Or whatever. Not really sure right now.

But id like your opinions, and ways you would go about doing this.

I have many questions!

Oh, what about quarantine? I imagine you cant do it in a ten gallon all at once, or all seperately? Though ive read its better to add all the bettas at once, so they can settle in all together, instead of always bing a new girl.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:50 PM   #2
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id reccomend no less than 8. but thats not a problem in such a large tank. and yeah, add them in together.
best if they were never housed alone too. when kept alone for a while, they get more aggressive and territorial.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:56 PM   #3
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If any tank has a chance to succeed with a group of female bettas, I think this one would. (After the guppies leave, that is.)

QT would have to be in the little cups, all nestled next to each other. A 10 gallon would be asking for mass murder.

Technically, it's only a sorority if there are only bettas in it. But the remaining tankmates should be good with them.

And like @marko@ said, you add them all at one time. Your most submissive one first, and then no more than about 15 minutes between additions of each fish, ending with the one who appears to be the most dominant. That gives the more submissive ones a chance to scope out a hiding place before the next one comes in.

Personally, I think odd numbers of females are better, so I'd go with 7 or 9.

ETA: Please do make sure that you have multiple back up tanks for each gal. Most often, these types of tanks do not work. Infrequently, they turn out to be wonderful tanks. You'll have to have a place to go with a beat up gal, or the terror, and when you start decreasing the numbers in the main tank, the aggression can get worse.

Last edited by Sharpchick; 03-02-2013 at 12:58 PM.. Reason: to add more
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:18 PM   #4
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I have a 29 gallon tank and it had a 5 betta sorority in it. Five bettas worked well for me.
Eventually one caught dropsy, and then before I knew what was going on another contracted dropsy. (I never knew about the disease until two were infected) Once I was down to three bettas (that had lived together for 6 months or more) the sorority fell apart. One became a terrible bully and when I removed that fish, the next in line became a terrible bully. You really need numbers to spread around the bullying so that one poor fish doesn't get it all.

Also, I don't know if this is fact or coincidence but all my blue bettas and red bettas got along well. I found a pretty dragonscale green betta and added her and she was a terrible mean fish which is currently working hard to completely eradicate all the cherry shrimp in her new tank.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:46 AM   #5
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Oh boy! That's great news!
I'm so excited!

But down to numbers..I was thinking nine or eleven?
Where do I even get that many?!
And quarantining in cups in the tank is a good idea, but how do you stop possibly contaminated water from getting in the main tank?
Obviously I wouldent use the cups they come in, but for how long could they stay that way? With daily w/cs?
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyzzaRyzz View Post
Oh boy! That's great news!
I'm so excited!

But down to numbers..I was thinking nine or eleven?
Where do I even get that many?!
And quarantining in cups in the tank is a good idea, but how do you stop possibly contaminated water from getting in the main tank?
Obviously I wouldent use the cups they come in, but for how long could they stay that way? With daily w/cs?
No, not cups in the main tank. Just cups, preferably under a light so there would be some heat. Rotate them around so each girl gets to see other girls. Make notes on who flares at whom, and if one or more of the girls flares at everything and everyone. She/they are likely to be the more dominant fish, and would need to be added last, after the others have a chance to check out hiding spots.

You can buy bettas on aquabid, of course. But most of the time, my Petco and Petsmart have a half dozen or more females. If you only saw four (just an example) you liked at one store, you could get them, line 'em up, and see what you can find elsewhere. Quickly, to get them all in your quarantine process at roughly the same time, because they all have to go into the main tank on the same day.

These animals live (note I did not say thrive) in cups for quite a while sometimes in the stores with daily water changes.

In a true sorority, the main tank IS the quarantine tank, because there are no other fish.

As to the numbers, I'd use AqAdvisor to get a rough estimate of how many before you had bioload issues. Bettas are not terribly tough on the bioload, but also keep in mind your other fish, and possible aggression toward them with an army of females.

So just because you could have 11, doesn't mean it might not be a bad idea, when given all occupants of the tank.

ETA: Also remember, the more females you add, the more back-up plans you have to have. I suspect little breeder boxes suctioned all over your main tank isn't quite the look you're going for...

Last edited by Sharpchick; 03-03-2013 at 12:52 PM.. Reason: to add more
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
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Here I come again...

You know bettas have to surface from time to time to gulp air. So your quarantine cups have to permit that, as does your main tank. In the main tank, just lower the water level about 1/2 inch, and you're good to go.

Do a water change on the main tank before you add the bettas into it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:17 AM   #8
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I saw your post on tumblr about this- my one suggestion is to be careful of heating them. When I had a mass QT, I had my splendens in their cups in a bigger bin filled with a bit of water and a weakish heater, covered. Not only could everyone see each other (sadly, all dudes) but they were warm and without swings in temp, still could maintain a day/night cycle without worry of being chilly or temps. swung, but they were safer because the lid of the tank itself prevented jumping.

I used bigger tupperware cups than what the store sells; wally world has good ones on the seriously cheap.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:45 AM   #9
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with a 90 gallon tank i would suggest you get more than 9, the more bettas you get the better the sorority will be. (more fish to spread out the aggression, so each gets pick on less by the dominate ones) Also, if you can buy them from a breeder, and get all siblings that grew up together. They have a better chance of getting along with each other.

On the bettafish forum, there is this person who has a 55 gallon with 28 bettas. It was beautiful.

You should consider getting rid of the guppies =< lots of ppl say they can keep betta and guppies together, but bettas are fin nippers =< your male guppies might be in for a bit of chasing. Especially, once the peaking order is established, they will start hunting together. My girls murdered my shrimps one by one after 2 months of living with them. They mobbed them together and each pull off a part of the shrimp =<
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:36 PM   #10
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If you decide to pick them from petstores, try to go to a petstore that keeps them in breeder boxes. They will either pay attention to you or the other fish in the tank. The ones that pay attention to you are more likely to be fish friendly.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Possible 50 gallon betta sorority...

I turned my 12g long about 4 months ago. I went to Petco when Petsmart had $1/ea sale on bettas and they matched the price. I picked 7 gals in cups and dupmted all of them into the tank. One betta jumped out that night. Twice. Second time she did not get lily. The 6 remaining are doing fine, with one clearly being the top b***ch. The only other fish in the tank are 3 baby twig cats.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:23 PM   #12
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As OVT noticed, bettas love to jump - and females have a much easier time of it than males - so you should really have a hood or cover. I see that you do, so you're in good shape.

For a tank that large, I'd say 8-12 females would be on the money since you're also keeping other fish. I've had no issues with 6 females in a densely planted 10g and 10 females in a 20 long, but I wasn't keeping any other fish.

Female bettas are super fun and have a ton of personality. They're very much underrated.

If you do decide to go the petstore route when buying your fish, call them and tell them you'd like to special order X number of females. Both Petco/Petsmart near me only receive a couple of females with every batch of males.

Also, if you have a Meijer store in your area (super Wal-Mart style place common in the upper Midwest) they keep the female bettas together in a group tank already - the males are in cups. You might be able to find a group of females that already know each other quite well that way.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyzzaRyzz View Post
, heres a picture:

That is a seriously beautiful tank. You MUST share pictures when the sorority convenes.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:56 PM   #14
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HEY GUYS!!

I started the sorority!
Actually, i started on the fourth or March, but I didnt want to make a post til i had something to post, and now i do!

The actual post will be on my journal, [the link is in my sig], but heres a sneak peak for you guys!!

I originally bought six girls from Petsmart [the only place that was selling female bettas ATM, I check four places] on the fourth and six more the next day. =D

On the ninth, two of the girls werent acting right, and by the 12th, one girl had died and the other was starting to pinecone.
So, the 14th, i returned the two girls, and ended up getting three new girls, so im up to thirteen girls!

I have pictures of all of em, and have made a semi list as tyo whose more aggressive and submisive, but youll have to see the post in my journal for more details! =]

**Note, post in my journal not actually written yet, LOL. Ill post again when it is! **
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