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DIY Betta Barracks


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#1 WithLuck

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 09:37 PM

Hello ^_^

I am starting a betta barracks system. I will update this post as things progress.

3/23/12

* Recovered a 29 gallon aquarium from the bowels of my mother's basement.
* Bought a 5-teir shelf at wal*mart and put it together.

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3/25/12

* Bought 30 feet of gutter from Lowes and cut (most) of the pieces into 3' length.
* Bought 16 gutter end caps.
* Regretfully also bought a hacksaw and tape measure.

Please note that Lowes will not cut your gutters, so if you have a small car be prepared to either pay $60 for them to deliver it or have fun in the parking lot sawing it yourself. :lolsign:
PS Bring a hacksaw and earplugs with you.

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To Buy List
Shelf
30' of gutter
LOTS of 1 gallon jugs
Mesh OR gutter guards
Pump ... thinking about Ehiem 1000 compact -- Any suggestions?
PVC pipes
4 shut off valves
3 t-junctions
tubing
plastic container for DIY sump.
filter floss
Bio Balls?
sponge filters
UV light

Edited by WithLuck, 25 March 2012 - 08:29 PM.


#2 Stars

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:00 PM

Are you using the system for jarring or permanent homes?

For jarring betta fry, I say around 1 gallon is fine as long the water stays clean and heated.

If you are making permanent homes for bettas, I would try to go as big as possible, preferably bigger than 1 gallon. (1 gallon is the absolute min. size) If its possible, I would try 2-2.5 gallons per betta. I'd also steer away from HMs, they do best in larger tanks. Their heavy fins prefer large slow moving waters for swimming, smaller tanks can encourage tail biting and collapsed tails (unable to spread tail).

Don't forget to heat that room to 78F or find a way to keep the individual tanks warm! Sometimes people forget that in multi-tank system.

Sounds like a fun project though, love to see how you put it together.

#3 WithLuck

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:23 PM

Are you using the system for jarring or permanent homes?

For jarring betta fry, I say around 1 gallon is fine as long the water stays clean and heated.


I'll be using these for fry in future spawns.

Thanks. I was thinking the 1 gallon might be the best option, I don't know how long they will take to sell.

Don't forget to heat that room to 78F or find a way to keep the individual tanks warm! Sometimes people forget that in multi-tank system.

I can't heat the room up to 78 because it's the main living area/kitchen area, so I'll be using a sump with a heater & filter in it. I'll have a picture of the plans once the details are sorted out.

#4 Solitarianknight

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:54 AM

I wonder, is it safe to use heating tape in these types of setups? Looks like a fun project :P. Keep us posted!

#5 Maryanne

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:34 AM

1 gallon is better.

The problem with gutters is that it is actually kind of loud and it is hard to get the jars to sit on top of the gutter without help. Don't try and do what I did and put the gutter under the shelf or your floor will be wet.

The problem with using airline as your overflow is that it is going to be way too small of a hole. My overflow holes have 5/16 tubing in them. You need your out flow hole to be bigger than your in flow so that it doesn't overflow. Also it would be very possible for airline tubing to get clogged and then you have just overflowed your water onto the floor.


How is your system going to work? Are you only going to use the top shelves? Otherwise you are going to have problems getting the water into the 29 gallon tank. Usually barracks need the sump on the floor so that they only need a pump pumping the water up into the jars and then gravity will bring it back down to the sump. If you leave that 29 on that stand, you'd need a pump to pump the water up and around into the system, a smaller tank on the floor with a pump to pump into the tank.

Another tip. When drilling holes into PVC for any tubing, drill the hole slightly smaller than the outer diameter of the tubing. Also, don't use air valves to regulate flow. They leak way too much.

#6 Strick

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:19 AM

Sounds like a great project (and I'm sure you'll find plenty of great advice here). It would be wonderful if you kept this thread like a kind of journal, with pics and notes as you go along. Can't wait to see how it progresses!

#7 WithLuck

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 01:31 PM

1 gallon is better.The problem with gutters is that it is actually kind of loud and it is hard to get the jars to sit on top of the gutter without help. Don't try and do what I did and put the gutter under the shelf or your floor will be wet.

I was wondering how your gutters worked out and had been tempted to try it. Thanks for the heads up. I am leaning more towards using gutters because it would be easier and less scary with the overflow. Do you think I could put some kind of sponge or something in the gutters to quiet the flow?

The problem with using airline as your overflow is that it is going to be way too small of a hole. My overflow holes have 5/16 tubing in them. You need your out flow hole to be bigger than your in flow so that it doesn't overflow. Also it would be very possible for airline tubing to get clogged and then you have just overflowed your water onto the floor.How is your system going to work? Are you only going to use the top shelves? Otherwise you are going to have problems getting the water into the 29 gallon tank. Usually barracks need the sump on the floor so that they only need a pump pumping the water up into the jars and then gravity will bring it back down to the sump. If you leave that 29 on that stand, you'd need a pump to pump the water up and around into the system, a smaller tank on the floor with a pump to pump into the tank.


The 29 gallon will be the growout tank (I hope it's large enough?) and I'll be using the rubbermaid as a sump. ^_^ I'm also going to be making my own wet/dry filter for the sump.

Another tip. When drilling holes into PVC for any tubing, drill the hole slightly smaller than the outer diameter of the tubing. Also, don't use air valves to regulate flow. They leak way too much.

:ty:

Sounds like a great project (and I'm sure you'll find plenty of great advice here). It would be wonderful if you kept this thread like a kind of journal, with pics and notes as you go along. Can't wait to see how it progresses!


That's the plan, I'm glad you like the idea. Thanks ^_^

#8 majerah

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:27 AM

I have been talking with a friend whos helping me design a similiar setup.What we came up with which I have never really seen used in a barraks system,is the PVC pipes running as the inflow and outflow.This would make for more of a closed system,and a little quieter than gutters.Think of it like alot of little tiny drilled tanks set up to a sump.I know theres a way to do it,and it look decent and perform great.We thought of individual shut off valves throughout the system.Or just every few holding tanks.Not sure whats the best way to go about it just yet,but maybe you can expand on this idea.

#9 BettaBunker

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:50 PM

It looks good so far, but if you're going to use that for future fry, doesn't it need to be bigger so you can have more barracks?

 

On a side note, I think a thread like this one should be stickied!






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