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Author Topic: Betta Community Tank  (Read 3151 times)
FishLover123
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« on: September 30, 2015, 12:55:11 PM »

I didn't know where else to post this so I posted it here, even though I'm not really a beginner. I don't know if anyone remembers me, but I had posted topics about my 5 gallon and the future 20 gallon. I set up the 20 gallon in late May, and I think I'm finally having success with it! No more dead fish! happy Anyway, I currently have 6 Harlequin Rasboras and my female betta, Uranus. They are doing great, she has never flared and she only swims up to them. She hangs at the top. My tank has lots of fake plants for cover. I'm planning on adding 3 more Harlequins to the tank in a week or so. I don't want any more ammonia spikes! I also have 6 ghost shrimp and a marimo moss ball. Here's my tank readings:
pH: 7.2
ammonia: 0
Nitrates: 0-20
Nitrite: 0
GH: 25
KH: 180

Temperature: 77 degrees fahrenheit

Would there be too much aggression if I added 1 or 2 more female bettas? I don't know if they would be too stressed. I know a lot about sororities but not so much about betta community tanks. Also, when algae appears, could I add 2-3 otos? Thanks for the help!
~FishLover123 fish09 goldfish
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Netti
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Gender: Female
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Posts: 2,302



« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2015, 06:03:05 PM »

I've never had a sorority myself, but from what I have read others say, sororities work best in heavily planted tanks, and rather crowded conditions to avoid the forming of territories. I can't remember exactly the ratio of female Bettas to the gallons in a tank, but it is quite a lot. Also, the females should all be new and added at the same time, best if they have already been in the same tank and never separated. I don't think that these requirements would change in a community tank, and I would rather suggest to not even try it in a community tank. Especially since the crowded conditions would make it harder on these other fish.

Your Betta and Harlequin Rasbora tank is a lovely mix. My older son has a 15 gallon tank with a male Betta and 6 Harlequin Rasboras, it has been quite successful for more than 2 years.  happy
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40 gallon long South Asian, 10 gallon Betta tank
Aquatot
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Gender: Female
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Tanks: 2 g shrimp-only, 5 g, 20 g, 55 g, and 150 g
Posts: 2,297



« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015, 04:50:03 AM »

I did once manage a sorority in a community tank, but it was a slow process. I'd definitely agree with Netti that all the females should be brand new to the tank at the same time. Your existing female has already established her territory and is unlikely to take kindly to newcomers. If you introduce one or more bettas who are feistier than her, she could get hurt. Or if she's feistier than they are, they'll definitely be attacked.

One possible idea, which I incorporated when I attempted my sorority, would be to introduce the ladies to each other in a quarantine tank, which would be neutral territory. You'll need to quarantine your new bettas first anyway, although of course you don't want to risk exposing Uranus to anything they might be carrying. I had all the females in QT together, with careful observation. You'll soon see who's shaping up to be the dominant fish, and if you have one more prone to bullying, you can use a tank divider so that they can still see each other and posture, but not harm one another. That worked for me, allowing the more timid ones to get used to the bossy ones (I had four), and when I introduced them all at once to my 20 gal, they already knew each other. The territory was new, but as they'd already established their hierarchy they settled in pretty well together.

All in all, I'd say it's doable, but risky, and I definitely wouldn't recommend trying it while you have an already-established female in place. It could be something to try when there comes a time she's no longer with you, but be prepared to have spare tanks on hand in case it doesn't work out.

I had tetras and a BN pleco when I had my group of females, and they weren't bothered by the bettas at all. But of course, all bettas are different and my experience may not match yours.

Personally, I'd say enjoy the betta you have along with the rasboras, and certainly go for the ottos, but not just as algae eaters. They're great little fish in their own right. And although they eat algae, I don't think they have much of an impact on the algae levels in the tank. You'll still need to supplement their diet with algae wafers and other suitable foods.
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A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dan's our man! Always was, always will be.
FishLover123
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 08:12:27 AM »

I have two extra 2 gallon tanks in case something happens. Could I take Uranus out and first add the two new bettas? I don't thin Uranus would fight because she's seen a male and female betta before(I put her tank up to a males) and she's not interested. I know it would be a risk but a love bettas and I want to save as many as possible(they aren't from the same tank at all my LFS). Thanks for the replies. Also would otos or cories be better? I know cories like sand, but my gravel is pretty smooth and it's small. Thanks again!
~FishLover123
(Uranus is in the cup, that's when I first got her)
(Neptune is flaring at Uranus)
(There's a shrimp in my 20 gallon, I have 6 right now)
(And my moss ball, with a pregnant ghost shrimp, Big Mamma the 2) happy


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Aquatot
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Gender: Female
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Tanks: 2 g shrimp-only, 5 g, 20 g, 55 g, and 150 g
Posts: 2,297



« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 10:31:11 AM »

What a pretty girl! happy

Hmm... I guess you could remove her first, but I still wouldn't put the new ones in and then add her later - you'll face the same issue, only they'll be the ones with the established territory. By then, they'll also have established a hierarchy that Uranus will upset. IMO, the only way is to introduce them all at the same time. You could remove Uranus while the others are in QT, and perhaps allow her to live beside them in a separate tank for a while - at least then they'd see each other and you could gauge who's the most likely to be dominant. While the 20 gal is betta-free, you could rearrange the plants and decor so it's effectively a 'new' tank when they all go back in. Uranus would be establishing new territory along with the others.

I still think it's risky, but the safest way is definitely to make sure you're not introducing any new bettas to a tank where there are already bettas with established territory and/or hierarchy.

Cories are lovely, but need to be in shoals, so you'd need at least six. That might be pushing your stocking limit unless you went for pygmy cories. I believe you can keep otos in groups of three or more, and they're generally smaller fish than cories (depending on cory species), so they'd be my preference, personally.
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A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dan's our man! Always was, always will be.
Aquatot
Full Member

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Gender: Female
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Tanks: 2 g shrimp-only, 5 g, 20 g, 55 g, and 150 g
Posts: 2,297



« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 01:52:11 PM »

Just an additional thought... you'll of course need to quarantine the otos as well, so you need to decide which new additions you want to add first. I'd personally go with the otos - you'll want to quarantine for a month or so, which gives you plenty of time to decide whether to proceed with the bettas.
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A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dan's our man! Always was, always will be.
FishLover123
Guest
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 03:07:17 PM »

Oh and I forgot to add that is also have a 5 gallon QT tank for the bettas. I think I'll go with otos, since it seems safer. I probably should have put my plants in an ugly way so that I could change it to look good when I take Uranus out. I'll try and post a picture of the tank soon. The picture kind of looks like my tank, but the coral thing isn't in there, and plants were added to the back. I wanted to get this root ornament, but it was $33 and I need to save more money. I still have Uranus's old tank still running, in case she decides to turn bad. Any other suggestions? Thanks for the help Aquatot!!
~FishLover123


* photo (1).JPG (395.86 KB, 1296x968 - viewed 281 times.)
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Aquatot
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Gender: Female
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Tanks: 2 g shrimp-only, 5 g, 20 g, 55 g, and 150 g
Posts: 2,297



« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2015, 06:35:12 AM »

You're welcome. Smiley So... you have your current 20 gal, a 5 gal QT tank, Uranus's old tank, and two 2 gal tanks? If I've interpreted that correctly, it sounds like you have some good alternative options should things turn risky. You'll need filters running on your established tank, or spare media you can borrow from established filters, so that your spare and QT tanks are good to go immediately and don't need to go through the cycling process. The 5 gal sounds good for quarantine, but don't forget Uranus will need to be in a separate tank beside the QT tank so all the bettas can see each other. I'd definitely recommend having a couple of tank dividers on hand as well - one for the QT tank and another for your 20 gal. That way, you can easily separate the girls if it looks like there's any bullying going on. Sometimes they need to be separated (but still in view of each other) and reintroduced a few times until things settle.

Bear in mind that all sororities will take a while to settle. Some never will. In that case, you'll need to have alternative setups for the fish that aren't suited to group living. You also need to be aware that betta hierarchies are only stable while everything remains the same. If you lose one of the fish, the others will squabble again (sometimes violently) until a new hierarchy is established. If one suddenly becomes more or less dominant than she was before, for whatever reason, the balance could be upset again. These things can work, but you have to be vigilant and prepared to step in if things take a turn. Constant observation is crucial, especially in the early stages.

Otos are a good bet. But I'd definitely deal with one new species at a time. Either get the otos first (making sure to quarantine them for a month) or begin your betta process first and leave the otos until the bettas have gone through their quarantine and initiation process. You definitely can't rush these things.
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A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dan's our man! Always was, always will be.
FishLover123
Guest
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2015, 09:56:33 AM »

Yep that's the scenario! Btw Uranus's old tank was a 3 gallon, heated and filtered.  happy I've heard I can just use those sewing grid things as dividers, is this true? I have a craft store nearby with cheap stuff. I'm wondering if I should just have Uranus and maybe add one more species, like a platy or two? I'm not sure yet.  Smiley
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FishLover123
Guest
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2015, 10:10:43 AM »

Also can a few mollies go in? My cousin has an overload of mollies and he needs to get rid of them. I think I'm just going to have Uranus, no other bettas. If no mollies how bout a dwarf gourami or a pearl gourami? I know they can be aggressive but is it worth a shot? 
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Aquatot
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Gender: Female
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Tanks: 2 g shrimp-only, 5 g, 20 g, 55 g, and 150 g
Posts: 2,297



« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2015, 12:06:00 PM »

Nooooo mollies. And definite no to gouramis too. Gouramis and bettas are a bad combination, as the betta is likely to see a gourami as competition, and may well attack it and kill it.

And IMO, livebearers and bettas should never be kept together. I learned this one the hard way. Once you have a fish that's potentially shooting out dozens of babies on a regular basis, you have a constant food supply for the betta. Bettas are notorious overeaters, and will gorge themselves (sometimes to death) on fry. Even without males present, females can retain sperm for weeks and continue to get pregnant. And juveniles can be hard to sex, so chances are you'll end up with mixed sexes or pregnant females one way or the other. I just wouldn't take the risk.

Tank dividers need to have holes in them to allow the water to flow through. I use condensation trays from the LFS, cut to size and punched with small holes using a spike or hammer and nail. It's a bit fiddly, but once you've made one to fit your tank, you've got a really useful tool for life.
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A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dan's our man! Always was, always will be.
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