Part 1Preparing for The Female Betta Sorority Tank
- Consider tank volume. There is no strict minimum volume for a community tank; however, most community tanks that include multiple fish will need to be at least 10 gallons. Anything under 10 gallons will be problematic due to high bioload (the amount of living organisms in your aquarium that make waste). Make sure you have the space and financial resources to purchase and maintain a tank of this size.
- In addition to tank volume, make sure you consider a tank with a hood or lid- betta fish are known jumpers!
- Understand fish “personalities.” Like people, fish can, and do, have different personalities. This means that some fish will be a lot more territorial than other fish and that the fish you choose for your female betta community may not make compatible tank-mates.
- You will need to prepare a “plan B” in case one of your fish is too aggressive for a community tank.
- As a contingency plan, consider housing the overly-aggressive female separately and solitarily. (PLEASE NOTE: It is very difficult to know which betta is causing the trouble and if she is the only trouble-maker)
- Learn how to care for your betta fish’s habitat. Make sure you monitor temperature, provide treated water, monitor the pH (it should be between 6.5 and 8), add some aquarium salt to the water to prevent your betta from getting diseases and parasites, and change approximately 25% of your tank’s water once a week with treated water (in addition, perform a 100% water change once every 2 months).
- Keep a clean habitat for your bettas. Your tank needs to be cleaned once a week or once every two weeks if it has a filter. Scrub the inside walls of your tank, but never use soap. Make sure the fishes’ waste and uneaten food that have accumulated in the gravel or sand of your fish tank are cleared out.
- Learn how to feed your betta. Bettas should be fed once or twice a day. Skip one day a week so your bettas’ digestive systems can take a rest. These fish are carnivores, so make sure you include dried bloodworms or dried shrimp.
- Keep in mind that your betta’s stomach is the size of her eyeball. Be cautious of overfeeding! Your fish will overfeed if you provide too much food.
- Remember that bettas won’t like flake food, even if it is marketed for bettas. This is because they are true carnivores!
- Recognize the signs of a healthy betta. A healthy betta will be active and alert, will eat regularly, and will react aggressively to any outside stimuli. Common health issues include fin rot (characterized by frayed or disintegrating fins) and Ick (characterized by white spots on fin or body).
- Include at least 3, and more preferably 5-7 female bettas in the tank. Never keep less than 3 females together in a community tank. If you attempt to keep only 2 females, one will typically assume a more dominant position and will bully the other.
- Remember that the more fish you intend to house together, the bigger of a tank you will need to purchase. A 20-gallon tank is recommended for more than 5 female bettas.