Betta Fish Sorority Tank Guidelines

College may be what you think of when you hear the word “sororities”. But it applies to the world of betta fish as well. Because even though these little finny critters have fighting built into their DNA, three or more females can actually get along in a tank, with minimal fin loss. The same can’t be said for males obviously, because sooner or later there would just be one, but a sorority tank is a good way to keep a number of sisters in the same water.

Yes there may be some nipping. It can happen in even the happiest of sorority tanks.  There may be some chasing too. But this is normal and shouldn’t be taken as anything super serious. In next to no time a pecking order is established. Everything is generally peaceful as along as everyone knows their place and stays in their place. And as long as you set things up so they can all get along.

First rule is you need three or more females in the tank. Two doesn’t work because one is usually either running for her life or spends her life cowering in a corner somewhere hiding from the dominant one. You simply cannot establish an orderly hierarchy with only two fish. Although not as aggressive as male bettas the females are still considered somewhat aggressive and can’t be let to focus that on one fish.

Then too if you do decide to go with the sorority tank set up, remember that any female could snap at any time. So some days things may get a little wild and crazy with one female taking out her problems on the others. In that case, a time out may be in order for the overly aggressive one. Giving the others a breather while she calms down.

This is also why a bare tank won’t do. You want to provide lots of decorations, plants and other ornaments that make for perfect hiding spots and safe havens for the less dominant fish. Giving them somewhere to seek shelter until the one chasing them has had a chance to forget why she was.

And it can never hurt to add a Spotted cory or two to help keep things cleaned up.

Then, as this site points out,  when choosing which female bettas to let join the sorority, it’s better that they come from the same fry hatch. That’s because there is less chance for them getting too aggressive with one another if they are sisters. Plus they will be more or less of the same age so they can grow up together.

Fourth, be careful that you correctly identify the betta’s gender. It’s easy to mistaken a young male for as a female until their fins or colors or attitude has fully developed. You simply can’t put a male betta in a tank with 3-6 females. You wouldn’t want to know what happens next. Especially if the male tends to be on the more aggressive side or isn’t such a ladies man who doesn’t know how to treat a female right.

Lastly, of course see to it that you’re bringing home healthy female bettas. Bacterial and fungal infections are the least thing you want for your sorority to experience. Problem is if one is sickly the others will do what comes naturally. That is thin the herd of the weakling. Which probably isn’t what you had in mind. And may not be the natural outcome if the one that is sick has half a chance to recover.

As this video shows, it can be quite entertaining to have a tank full of female bettas.


Why Betta Fish Make Good Pets

How does the sight of colorful, exotic fish in an all glass aquarium right at the center of your room sound? Relaxing, huh? Indeed setting up such tanks is a very popular hobby among homeowners. These finny creatures exhibit tranquility at its finest. They move so gracefully watching them tends to take our stress right away.

Bettas in particular do more than just provide stress relief. Simply put they help divert your attention from your cares and worries by occupying your mind with betta fish care and maintenance.  Such diversions can be addictive. Plus when you slip into your role as the official fish caretaker, all your work, worries, and life’s problems are set aside at the same time. At least just for a moment while you take in your fish’s antics and set about to meet his needs. Which might account for the growing enthusiasm for keeping these guys.

But don’t get too excited just yet. There are some things you need to consider when taking care of bettas, much less keep them alive.  Heathy fish like regal crowntails can live as short as a few weeks to a couple months. But given the best condition, they could last as long as four to even five years plus in some cases. Given that potential for a long lifespan, the last thing you want is become the worst betta fish owner going so you cut that life short.  So let’s learn more about the care and feeding of these lovely tropical fish.

Now if you’re considering getting a betta fish or two you want to be well prepared. It’s not as easy as getting a bowl, throwing some gravel on the bottom, adding water, and you’re done. That is not exactly what you’d call a “betta-ready” set up. You see, establishing a balanced fish tank with pristine water, plants and substrate actually takes knowing what to do or not to do. Which luckily you can fit onto a short to-do list like the one that follows.

First on your list should be buying the proper sized aquarium. Ideally you want to duplicate conditions found in the wild. Unwritten rule: the bigger the better. Contrary to those tiny bowls used to house some of these Siamese fighters in some pet stores, wild bettas are found in shallow rice paddies. Which says anything smaller than five gallons is going to cramp their style. So if you’re able to set up at least a 5-gallon tank for your feisty blue plakat, they’ll thank you for it.

It also goes without saying that the condition of the water is crucial if your halfmoon or veiltail male is going to thrive in his new home. You want to maintain constant water temps between 76-82 degrees. As you know they’re tropical fish so they really do require tropic-like temps. For that reason they appreciate warm water. Hence, setting up a heater is essential to keep them comfortable. But comfort aside, this shields them from possible water temperature variances which can do them harm in over time.

Regular water changes are beneficial too. Never ever do a total water change due to the fact that this tends to send your beloved fighting fish into shock. And betta fish diseases are so not fun. Instead, you need to change a bit under half of the water once per week if you’ve got a filter installed in the tank. For those who have none then do some sort of water cycling twice a week.

One other thing about the water. You want it to come in with a neutral pH. And you must place the right kind of water as well. The simplest move would be to use tap water that has been treated or aged. Accomplish that by buying water conditioner to eliminate the chlorine which can kill your fish.

Other supplies you might want to buy are aquarium ornaments and plastic plants which can double as hiding spots as well as lighting, a thermometer, and a water test kit.

Oh and let’s not forget about the importance of a proper fish diet.  With a bit of a caveat.  Because these guys  want you to believe they are always hungry.  No starving may be more like it.  But that doesn’t mean you should give in to their act. Instead, pet fish should only be given 2-3 pellets specially formulated for this species of fish at most twice a day. Otherwise you risk overfeeding which can lead to all sorts of problems.

But fish do not live on pellets alone.  This is why you want to include some frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms make for great special occasion treats. Sure high quality betta pellets, with labels that show fish products at the top of the list, are perfect for everyday meals. Still the trick is to vary what you feed every day since these guys can be somewhat picky eaters.

Unlike setting up a goldfish in a bowl and calling it good there’s more to keeping bettas than meets the eye. Of course you only have to do this with the fish you want to thrive. Otherwise they’ll lead short miserable lives. And then you won’t have to worry about them anymore.

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