Betta sorority the inside scoop of setting it upThe topic of a Betta sorority is somewhat unsettled in the aquarium hobby. Some fish keepers content keeping multiple Bettas in a fish tank is asking for trouble, while others have managed a sorority of Bettas without too many issues.

If you have a mind to cultivate a Betta sorority yourself and need to learn the pros and cons, we can help. This Betta-focal guide will walk you through all aspects of setting up a Betta sorority, including how to start and manage one and other related concerns. Stay with us as we help you analyze all aspects of Betta sororities and get that much closer to making an informed decision.

What Is a Betta Sorority?

Betta sorority is a term in the aquarium hobby for multiple female Bettas housed in a single tank. The number of Bettas in a sorority can vary, but experts recommend a group of at least five females. Aquarists avoid adding a male Betta to the mix, fearing aggressive behavior.

How To Start a Betta Sorority

The process of starting a Betta sorority isn’t at all too complex. However, Bettas can be a little hostile at times, even with their own kind, that is why it is best to keep a close eye on the setup until you’re sure things are working out.

With that caveat out of the way, here’s the equipment you’ll need to establish a Betta sorority:

– Fish Tank

Experts recommend keeping a single Betta in a tank no smaller than five gallons. If you plan on creating a Betta sorority, keep that guideline in mind and add five gallons for every fish you intend to add to the tank.

For example, the tank size for Betta sorority arrangements of five fish should be anywhere between 25 to 30 gallons and no less. Doing so will help give the Siamese Fighting Fish plenty of room to move around and avoid unnecessary run-ins to keep aggressive tendencies under control.

Additionally, aquarists should note that Bettas are surface-feeders and like swimming to the top to breathe. A fish tank with more width works better for Bettas than one with more height.

– Filter and Water Heater

All aquariums require a water filter and your Betta sorority tank is no different.

However, since a sorority means keeping multiple fish in one tank, you’ll need to select a filter that’s suitable according to tank size.

It’s best to opt for a water filter with adjustable flow capacity to ensure the tank doesn’t have a strong water current. Note that these fish don’t enjoy a high water flow, and it can damage their delicate fins.

Bettas are tropical fish and thrive in water temperatures ranging from 75 and 80 F. That’s where a water heater (and a thermometer) can come in handy to provide your Betta with the ideal environment.

You’ll need water pH settings between 6.8 to 7.5 to keep your Bettas comfortable, however it is best to try and maintain a stable pH level at 7.0.

– Other Requirements

Substrate choices for a female Betta sorority include pebbles, marble, and gravel. Moreover, you should note that selecting pebbles and marbles can add time and effort while cleaning and maintaining substrate hygiene.

On the other hand, a gravel substrate is much easier to handle and doesn’t trap debris, which also helps control water conditions. Furthemore, You can utilize a siphon to keep your gravel clean from time to time.

Since Bettas are somewhat tricky in terms of behavior, it’s best to add plenty of shelters and hiding spots for the fish. You can add PVC pipes, rock structures, or other suitable decorations that provide a den for the fish to hide in. This can also be an effective strategy to help keep your Bettas from fighting each other.

Another great way to provide your Bettas shelter is by adding aquatic plants with extended leaves to the tank. Aquatic plants can also enhance water conditions by providing oxygen and using up nitrates as food.

Nonetheless, if you’re a beginner fish keeper who doesn’t want the added stress of caring for a live plant, you can choose to work with artificial plants instead.

How Do You Keep it Successful?

A sorority of Bettas is a contentious topic in the fish-keeping world. Some aquarists advise against housing even two female Bettas together. On the flip side, some have managed to house and maintain a successful Betta sorority without too many hassles.

If you’re wondering about a set formula for a sorority arrangement that guarantees success, we’re sorry to disappoint. Nonetheless, you can pay attention to certain factors to increase the chances of a peaceful sorority of Bettas. Here’s what some of those factors are:

– Number of Bettas

When it comes to Betta sororities, the more, the merrier holds true.

It’s inadvisable to house less than four Bettas because this can lead to extreme bullying of the weakest Betta in the group. In such cases, the bullied fish experiences high-stress levels and will eventually die if not taken away from the aggressive group.

A group of five Bettas (or even six) is ideal because it helps keep any fish from being singled out. It’s crucial to get the tank size right in a Betta Sorority. Keep in mind that if the tank is too small, the ideal number of Bettas won’t do much because the lack of space will likely result in bullying or skirmishes.

– Age of Bettas

There are fewer chances of Betta sorority tank mates fighting each other if they’re younger. The rule may not hold for all Betta males who are known to start nipping at each others’ fins when they’re only a few weeks of age.

However, female Bettas can be a different kettle of fish. Younger females being introduced together aren’t as aggressive. Plus, their easy-going nature will allow the fish to get used to each other’s presence and hopefully forge out a peaceful method of existence that continues as they age.

– Betta Appearance

Bettas are renowned for their fighting spirit. They’re also likely to attack or bully fish that look exactly like them. That’s why aquarists hoping for a successful Betta sorority should try and house Bettas that look different from each other.

The good news is there are many Betta varieties to choose from with different sizes, colors, tail types, etc. The difference in appearance will not only help keep aggression levels in check, but it’ll also add to the beauty of your sorority tank.

Take caution not to be too adventurous with looks. Hence, they are pretty notorious fin-nippers, so it’s best to create variety through colors instead of differing fin or tail shapes and sizes.

– Introducing Bettas in the Tank

A crucial aspect of setting a Betta Sorority with success is timing the introduction of Bettas just right. Once your fish tank is ready with all the necessary equipment and has been cycled, you can safely add all the inhabitants of the sorority at the same time.

Adding all the female Bettas in one go helps keep the fish from fighting each over the territory since they’re all new to the environment.

If you make the error of introducing one or two fish before the others, this will give them time to mark out preferred areas. Then when you add the other inhabitants, the older fish will take to defending territory they consider their own. This will increase the chances of fights breaking out.

How to Place Bettas for a Sorority Tank

A Betta sorority with male fish isn’t unheard of, but it’s not recommended. Male Bettas can be highly territorial and aggressive, which is why it’s best not to take such chances when setting up your Betta sorority tank.

On the same note, it’s essential for interested parties to be able to tell the difference between male and female Bettas to establish the sorority without any hiccups.

Additionally, before listing out the differences between male and female Bettas, You should note that sexual dimorphisms in the species become apparent after two months of age, and you can’t call the gender of the fish until they’re at least eight weeks old.

Thankfully, this section is designed to help you learn the intricacies of the gender of Siamese Fighting Fish to ensure your tank is all female! Here’s how:

  • Male Bettas typically have longer and more delicate ventral, caudal, and dorsal fins. Females of the species have noticeably shorter fins, and their ventral fins have a comb-like appearance.
  • Female Bettas aren’t as colorful as their male counterparts. Males have a more flamboyant style, and their colors are pretty intense. If you want to increase your chances of landing more female Bettas, it’s best to choose the one with duller tones.
  • Much like Goldfish, male Bettas have longer and more streamlined bodies. The body shape of females is more rotund and not as long as the males. However, don’t be tempted to distinguish the gender of the species based on form alone. Look out for other differences too.
  • Female Bettas have a tiny white spot on their undersides, referred to as the ovipositor tube. This tube is located near the Betta’s head, around the ventral fin. The ovipositor is used to lay eggs, and only females have this organ.
  • Male Bettas have a more prominent ‘beard’ than females. The term ‘beard’ is used for the thin membrane beneath a Betta’s gills and sports a different color from the rest of the body.
  • Female Bettas aren’t as aggressive as male ones are. That’s why the more hostile Bettas will typically turn out to be male. You can carry out the mirror test to confirm the difference in behavior. Place a mirror next to the Betta tank. If you notice your fish flaring up its gills to show dominance, you’re dealing with a male Betta for sure.

How Do You Know When to Break up the Betta Sorority?

Even the most experienced aquarists will tell you that keeping a Betta sorority is a risk. There are various reasons behind this, but mostly, it has to do with the feisty nature of Bettas.

And while fish keepers can take certain steps to give the sorority a higher chance of success, sometimes, things just don’t work out. That’s when reading the danger signs of an impending disaster can come in handy.

Here are the red flags aquarists should watch out for to know when the sorority just isn’t working:

– Increase in Fighting and Aggression

Suppose you’ve taken all the measures you could to help your Bettas coexist peacefully. But, for some reason, you keep noting your Bettas having a go at each other.

A few minor skirmishes between female Bettas right after being introduced to the sorority tank is normal. It will take your fish a little time to acclimate and get used to each other’s presence.

Nonetheless, regular nipping at each others’ fins and tails is a worrying sign that fish keepers shouldn’t overlook.

Female Bettas aren’t renowned for to-the-death fights, but continuous nipping can result in damaged or torn fins (or tails), setting up the perfect scene for bacterial infections and other problems.

– Spiking Stress Levels

Stress is a natural phenomenon, even for fish. Fishes in aquariums can experience stress for multiple reasons, including fluctuating water conditions, lack of hygiene, etc.

However, in Betta sororities, stress can result from being forced to live in an arrangement that doesn’t suit the species’ nature.

In the wild, Siamese Fighting Fish coexist with each other very peacefully. But commercially raised specimens have higher aggression levels due to being cultivated for fish fights over an extended period.

That means whether you get a peaceful natured Betta or an aggressive one is a hot-or-miss type scenario.

Bettas with a territorial nature can experience stress when they’re forced to live with other fish in the same tank.

– Identifying Stress

One of the easiest ways to tell if your Betta is stressed or not is to watch out for the appearance of stress stripes. These horizontal bands can appear on a Betta’s body when experiencing anxiety or fear.

If you notice such markings on your fish, all isn’t well in your fish tank, and it’s best to think about removing the stressed fish or breaking up the sorority. Doing so will ensure the health of your fish doesn’t suffer. Stress can cause several health concerns and, in extreme cases, can result in death.

– Fish Dying Off

The last, and perhaps, the most obvious sign that you should disband your sorority of Betta is the death of a fish. Of course, fish can die because of being ill, but Bettas in a sorority have higher chances of dying due to injuries sustained in a fight or stress-induced health concerns.

Besides, you can tell the cause of a Betta’s demise with relative ease by looking at its body. The presence of stress stripes, discoloration, or an overall pale appearance means stress-related factors were at play.

If there are bite marks, missing scales, tears in fins, etc., it means your fish lost the battle for its life in a fight. But, no matter the reason for Betta’s death, you should seriously consider breaking up the sorority because the same thing could happen to other members of the tank too. In other words, it’s better to quit while you’re ahead.

Conclusion

Betta sororityStarting a Betta sorority is a risky move. There are no guarantees that your arrangement will work out as you’d like, but taking precautions and playing it smart can certainly help better your chance of success. Here’s how:

  • It’s recommended that a single Betta tank should have no less than a 5-gallon capacity.
  • A Betta sorority with five members will do well with a capacity range of 25 to 30 gallons to ensure each fish has enough room to move about freely.
  • Bettas thrive in water temperatures ranging from 75 and 80 F. That’s where a water heater (and a thermometer) can come in handy.
  • You’ll need water pH settings between 6.8 to 7.5 to keep your Bettas comfortable. It’s best to try and maintain a stable pH level at 7.0.
  • Bettas are somewhat tricky in terms of behavior. That’s why it’s best to add plenty of shelters and hiding spots for the fish. You can add PVC pipes, rock structures, or other suitable decorations that provide a den for the fish to hide in.

We’re at the end of our Betta sorority guide and hope our readers have all the information they need to get started on sororities of their own by now. Just ensure placing relevant safeguards and carefully monitor the behavior of fish. Besides that, you’ll manage just fine.

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