Aggression Between Female Bettas

Question: I have some questions regarding betta sororities. I have 5 females in a 10gallon tank. They’ve been in their pre- cycled tank for about 3-4 days now. The first day I had some aggression ¬†with 2 of my bettas the first 2 hours (both have minor fin damage), but the other 3 seem to get along fine. The next day, the one I thought would be alpha female is hiding in one of the caves 90% of the time the past few days. She’s been chasing the other out of the cave when they try to enter.


I think she may have swim bladder because she swimming in short bursts just to get around. She’s acting like she’s floating to the top of the tank against her will and sometimes float on her side. Is that normal symptoms for SBD? Can they get SBD from fighting? Also, I was wondering about her hiding all day in the cave. Do you think she’s just hiding till she feels better? Or is she just too stressed out. I know this one is not shy at all, and it just seemed odd behavior to me.

If she’s stressed, I want to move her from the tank. I care about my fish I want to do what’s best for her if she’s not compatible with other girls. I’m going to try feeding her some peas later today and see if that helps. I’ve already put some aquarium salt in there to help her fin damage. Any info would be helpful. Thanks!

*Answer from BettaGeek:
It’s pretty common for female bettas to chase each other around. Make sure they are getting their own amount of food. They are still Betta fish after all haha. The best thing to do is heavily plant your tank so that when fish are getting chased, they can hide dry easily. What I do for my Betta community tanks is buy regular plastic plants for aquariums. BUT instead of putting them on the tank bottom like they are designed for… I simply rip the bottoms off and let the plants float on their own.

The fake floating plants will create a great place for the females to run around in. You will notice that some of the plant will half sink while the other half floats at the surface. Betta fish do most of their hanging out on the surface because of their labyrinth style breathing and it’s a great place for the plants too. In this video you can see the floating plants setup < youtube video here

As far as your fin rot.. you need to get your fake plants in there as soon as possible because the other fish are most likely nipping at the fins. You need to keep an eye on all of your fish’s fins because they will nip the fins away tell death sets in. I swear they all sort of pack up on a weaker fish and when that happens that fish must be removed (put in different bowl so fins can heal).

Also make sure the filter isn’t moving too much surface movement to stress the fish out too.. I have seen this a lot too.

I wouldn’t worry so much once you get your tank heavily decorated. Lots and lots of fake plants are needed. Follow that method I said and your Betta fish will live a safer life. As far as the bloatedness.. You have the right idea by feeding it a pea. Also, start starving the fish a bit to help digestive problems sort themselves out.

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