6 Reasons Why a Betta Sorority May Not Work!

Are you an aquarium enthusiast or aspiring aquarists? The chances are that you have come across the term betta sorority. Whether to keep betta fish together or not is a topic that remains to be a debate of every day.

I guess you might have heard someone or you do ever refer betta fish to Siamese fighting fish. Many aquarists continue to advocate for keeping several betta females. This is because they tend to be less aggressive than their male counterparts.

Betta sorority is for advanced betta fish keepers and may as well turn hell. Anyway, domesticating betta fish is surrounded by unending myths, and this is one of the great myths that riddle the world of keeping Betta. Let’s explore more in-depth and find out more about betta sorority.

What is Betta sorority

It sounds funny, right? Betta sorority is the concept of keeping a group of female bettas in the same tank. Typically, aquarists keep five or more female betta fish. Every guide for keeping bettas in the same tank talks about try and error.

Essentially, it offers insight to minimizing possible heated fights among the bettas. Therefore, betta sorority involves a setup that fish enthusiasts try to find if it can succeed.

Why should you avoid Betta Sorority

Many aquarium enthusiasts can have happy and healthy betta sorority tanks. However, this needs patience and vast expertise. For beginners, it is not wise to start with a betta sorority. Here are some of the reasons as to why you need to run away from betta sororities.

The bettas are constantly stressed up

Even though sorority experts may claim their bettas do not fight, the truth will remain that betta fish are aggressive. Such aquarists fail to understand that the submissiveness to tank mates is another form of stress and, indeed, excessive one. 

It is ideal to understand that the horizontal stress stripes are visible in some bettas but can’t be seen in some bettas because of their colors. Therefore, the lack of stress stripes does not automatically mean that the Betta is healthy. For instance, stress stripes can be easily seen on the red and blue bettas, but you will never see them on the yellow or white bettas. 

There are other various signs that show whether a betta is stressed or not. Things like darting, clamped fins, quick breathing, and low appetite signify that the Betta is stressed up.

Diseases spread faster

In a stressful environment, the immunity drops so fast. A betta sorority is stressful to the fish; therefore, the risk of spreading diseases and illness is very high. Just in a short while, all the bettas in your sorority tank will be infected and possibly die.

It is easy to lose your female bettas to parasites who take advantage and feed on the compromised fish. The fish will not only suffer but also be stressed as the owner is finding solutions to the problem.

Bettas are fighting fish

They have always been aggressive, whether male or female. They will always strive to defeat fellow Betta. Due to their aggressiveness, they are called Siamese fighting fish.

They often get injuries

It is very common to find torn fins and scales in a betta sorority. They get open sores that make the fish susceptible to different bacterial infections. The fish whose fins are torn end up unable to swim this remaining at a specific lonely place. Loneliness increases stress and chances of early death.

Even they get killed

This is the worst scenario. Bettas get killed by fellow ones in the same sorority. However much you follow the instructions on how to keep bettas in a sorority, there will always be unexpected death. Being highly territorial gives a reason to avoid sorority because no one would be happy knowing their pet’s life is at risk. 

Keeping bettas is expensive

Keeping multiple fish in one sorority may increase the risk of sickness and injuries. You will be required to have sufficient funds to cater for their medication.

Additionally, you will need enough extra tanks, heaters, filters, and other materials to create a hospital tank. This is very expensive, and you may end up spending too much to give the Betta a wonderful place to survive.

How to set up betta sorority

The entire process of setting up betta sorority is fun and interesting. After selecting an appropriate tank for your new, small and lovely friends, you need to get some stones or gravel and have them inside the tank. With a considerably higher number of hiding holes, you will reduce heated wars among the bettas.

Additionally, you need to get synthetic and natural plants and betta toys. Enough hiding holes and the conducive environment will offer each Betta in the sorority a specific place of rest; therefore, minimizing chances of the fish fighting. Simply, what you need to keep betta sorority is a calm tank with plenty of supply of rest.

Like any aquarium, you will need to fit a filter in your betta sorority. Also, make sure to offer the right medication to your betta fish whenever they get ill.

This entire setup process may be resource-draining, and there is no guarantee your bettas will live for long without hurting one another.

Tank Requirements for a successful betta sorority

It is possible to have your female bettas live in a sorority. However, this might not always be the case for all. As you decide to set up a betta sorority, you need to consider physical and emotional changes that your betta fish will need to adapt when changing the environment to a community tank instead of an isolated tank.

One of the great challenges will be rushing for food while in the shared tank. Remember when Betta lived in an isolated tank had no competition for either food pellets or live food offered.

Additionally, they will compete for spots to rest and as well have to identify and mark her long-term territory. This may subject them to stress. The other significant pitfall is sharing shelter and living in close proximity with other territorial aggressive counterparts.

Every aquarium enthusiast understands that stress is the leading cause of disease outbreaks. Therefore, you need to make sure the bettas in the sorority suffer from minimal stress by keeping the high-end quality of shelter.

For this reason, give special attention to water quality to lower susceptibility to diseases. Anyway, here are smart tips for setting up a betta sorority and do it successfully.

Minimum tank size

If you are intending to start a betta sorority, your tank should be 10 gallons and nothing less than that. However, a bigger size is recommended and more suitable despite being expensive.

Female Betta fish need ample space to swim and create their territories because they are naturally aggressive. With significantly larger space between them, you will have won the trick in reducing the eruption of fights.

When buying a tank meant for a sorority, it is advisable you go for the longer tanks instead of, the deeper ones. Longer tanks will help the female bettas more space to spread, create distant territories, and run away from bullies. A great betta sorority will include plenty of toys and some synthetic or natural plants.

Provide lots of hiding spots

You must provide lots of hiding places for the bettas in your new sorority. This can’t be stressed enough. Multiple forms of protection will lower the chances of Betta on betta fighting.

Plants are the best option ever as they make the sorority safe and feel more natural. To provide a sufficient hiding place, you can use natural freshwater plants, synthetic plants, plastic aquarium shelters, driftwood, and rocks. Also, don’t forget to include toys. For beginners, java moss is ideal as you become an enthusiast, you can incorporate betta bulbs, java fern, and Anubias.

Keep in mind that the objective of providing plenty of hiding is to block sightlines. The more shelter you provide within the sorority, the lesser the chances of fighting. Getting enough hiding places might beef up the expenses.

Make sure to cover the tank

Bettas are known to jump; therefore, proper covering of the sorority is ideal. Remember, we said that longer tanks are ideal as compared to tall tanks. Covering your tank will ensure you don’t have any of your new small friends jumping to the floor.

A filter and heater

Clean water is a must for your Betta to live healthier and happier. While some aquarists say that changing the water frequently can work, it may not be perfect.

The filter removes any trace of dirt from the tank constantly, thus ensuring it is ideal for your betta fish to live in with minimal stress. One of the great reasons you need a filter is to minimize ammonia.

Your betta sorority will need a heater. The ideal temperature for Betta is 78°F, but you can keep it between 76 and 80°F.

Tips when Adding Bettas to the Sorority

You already know that keeping more than one Betta in one aquarium is not a walk in the park. The ultimate test when starting betta sorority is choosing which species to keep. Now that you have your sorority setup complete, let add some bettas to make the tank a complete betta sorority.

The right number: You need a minimum of four female bettas in one sorority. Indeed, a higher number is better and recommended. With less than four bettas, you risk the weakest being bullied to possible death by tank mates. However, having too many can turn more disastrous. A 10-gallon aquarium tank is ideal for only six bettas.

Ensure they are all female bettas: You need only females in your tank, but how do you identify female bettas? The surest way to identify a female betta is checking for the ovipositor on their bellies. Shorter fins are also an ideal way to choose.

Pick younger female bettas: Young bettas are not as aggressive as adult ones. Therefore, choosing the younger bettas would be an excellent option.

Choose bettas that are familiar with each other: Familiar bettas tend to be less aggressive than those that are new to each other. When selecting, it is wise to pick those who were closer to one another when in their cups.

Pick bettas that appear different: Even though bettas are known to be all beautiful, it is a good idea to consider keeping those that have slight differences. By doing so, you will minimize chances of fighting as studies show that they tend to be calm with those that are not closely similar to them. It would be best if you have different types of Betta in each sorority.

Add all the female bettas at the same time: After choosing the species to keep, it is now time to add them in the sorority. Adding them to the tank at the same time is the best. It reduces the fighting that could result when creating territories.

Final Words!

This is the ugly truth about betta sorority. Either it doesn’t work, or later it turns to mourn when your pets are dead. Even though betta sorority remains questionable, it is possible to start one and thrive.

 If you want to start one, make sure to use the tips above. However, you must know the success of betta sorority highly depends on the personality of individual Betta.

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Sujit Modak Aquarium Tales Owner
Sujit Modak

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my aquarium blog. Fishkeeping is my passion, and I started this fascinating hobby back in 2006. Besides my engineering profession, I deeply studied many fishkeeping topics since I started building my home aquarium. I researched effective aquarium filtration and lighting of planted aquariums. I am keeping 20+ species of freshwater and saltwater fish as my aquatic pet collection. I successfully experimented with a complex ecosystem inside the aquarium, biotope aquariums, aquaponics, etc. I would love to share some learnings from my hands-on experience of the last 14 years. Hopefully, my sharing will be somewhat helpful to make your aquarium journey awesome! 

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