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Betta barracks!


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#1 Maryanne

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 06:37 PM

I've finally got the ball rolling on my betta barracks project. I've purchased a few things so far, and will use this thread to chronicle the building and eventual running of the thing.

Official price list:

Shelving unit (48inx18inx72in)                    $119 (was $99, but the special ended the day I went out to buy it <img src='http://www.ultimatebettas.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sader1.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':(' />)
Pondmaster magnetic drive 700 gph utility pump    $85
All PVC fittings and valves and pvc cement        $82
Bio balls and prefilter                           $10
100' of airline tubing                            $6
100 airline valves                                $51
Gutter (30' needed)                               $18
12 Gutter caps                                    $36
Returned pvc pieces due to reworking design      -$35
-------------------------------------------------------
Total so far:                                     $372

left to buy:

- UV filter

had on hand:
- 300 watt heater
- 20 gallon for sump
- lid for the sump


#2 Dakota-Rose

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:17 PM

Awesome! I want to make a betta barrack myself, so this will be helpful :D

#3 Maryanne

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 08:21 AM

Alrighty! Well today I hope to set up the shelving unit itself. I know I want to go with a 20 gallon sump, I just don't know if I need to go with the 20L in order to get a solid 4 shelves of fishes. It kind of depends on the height of the gutter - which I don't have. I might go to the other hardware store in town to check out their gutters.

I also called my LFS and ordered 100 airline valves. They should be in by Tuesday. I decided to go with the airline valves instead of emitters because they would be much easier to replace and clean should something clog the works.

#4 Maryanne

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:53 PM

Whew! I did a lot of work on the barracks this week! Just a few more bits to clean and silicone before we turn that bad boy on.

Overall view. Due to the pig cage being along that left wall, I decided to set my sump back there too, just so that it is out of walking space and doesn't jut out.
Posted Image

Each shelf has spray bars for the water to pump into the jars. I didn't have enough room to have shelves with the jars on top of the gutter with the spray bar above that, so I moved the gutters under the shelf. We'll see if this causes problems. Each gutter is anchored so that one end is above the lip on one side and below on the other to produce an angle for the water to flow. Plus my floor is crooked :P
Posted Image

Since those shut of valves were SO big, instead of having a shut off for each individual spray bar like I would have liked, Instead I can shut off the bottom shelf, or the bottom two shelves. These will also be used to regulate pressure so that all of the pressure isn't on the bottom rack.
Posted Image

There is also a main shut off valve up at the top.
Posted Image

I don't know what I was trying to illustrate in this picture... but each of the airline tubes is siliconed into holes drilled in the pvc. Then zip ties are used to hold the spray bars and gutters together.
Posted Image

Once again, a poor picture in retrospect. This is the lower end of the gutter - the one below the lip of the shelf. Each gutter has a large hole drilled in it and a short pvc pipe siliconed around it. The water will flow down to this hole, through the pipe and then through a thick piece of tubing to the gutter below it.
Posted Image

The two bottom gutters flow right into the tank. You can also see the intake barbed fitting to connect my sump pump to. There is an overflow valve to regulate pressure of the whole system.
Posted Image


Things I still have to do:
- fix some of the siliconed airline tubing emitters. a few popped out during construction.
- buy more airline tubing emitters. I am 32 short. I decided to go with 44 emitters per shelf as that is how many beanie baby containers it can hold with the new under shelf gutter system. Also too many is not a real problem. They can just flow back into the gutter or be shut off.
- Silicone the tubing into the gutter flows.
- clean out the sump
- make overflow holes in my containers.
- hook up the sump
- let 'er rip!
  • Nelson likes this

#5 Maryanne

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:49 PM

Ok, so I did a bunch of the things on my todo list.

I cleaned out the sump, put in the divider that keeps the bioballs on the return half of the tank. Put the sump on the other half and hooked it up to the system.

I ordered the other airline valves. They should be in on Wednesday.

I made some overflow holes in the jars. It gave off some fumes though, so I only did a few.

I cut the drain connectors that connect the gutters on the higher shelves to the ones on the lower shelves.

Then I turned off all but the top shelf and turned it on.

There were some problems.
1. Some of the airline connections leaked. I think I should have drilled the hole to be slightly too small rather than just the right size. The airline tubing I used had a slightly smaller diameter than the foggy silicone kind. I might switch to that kind of airline tubing and re-silicone the whole thing.
2. Some of the airline valves leaked a bit. This isn't much of a problem, just something to watch out for. I should have probably used better airline valves.


I'll look into fixing these and then I can start tuning the system and have it running! It is a really promising start. :D

#6 Nelson

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:15 PM

:D That is beyond awesome!

#7 Lee0623

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:30 PM

Damn!!! You are awesome!!!

#8 Maryanne

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:04 PM

This weekend I plan on re-siliconing the emitters (ugh going to be a huge pain), buying the rest of the airline valves to finish the setup, and then come Sunday or Monday depending on when I finish the silicone job, it should be ready to rock!

#9 majerah

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 10:02 PM

How awesome!

#10 Ciddian

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 10:48 PM

really nice job! :)




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