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.