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DIY betta barracks


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Hey all,

I have been playing around the idea of using 1.25 plastic bottles as a betta separation tank when the babies reach maturity. I was wondering if anyone had actually thought of using the bottles as tanks.

My idea was to collect about 100 plastic bottles (So, far i think i have 20 bottles).

Once I had collected them all, strategise how I am going to make my sump filter and drippers and etc.

Initial ideas as below

  1. To let the water run through out the piping system.
  2. Fresh water will be siphon through a tube to each bottle.
  3. The sump filter will have the normal separation and heater.
  4. Bottles will be located in a styrofoam box to retain water heat.
  5. In the bottle, the bottom layer will be fill with pebbles and java moss.
    The purpose of the pebble and java moss is to cultivate good bacteria to reduce nitrate and ammonia in the bottle water.
  6. Each bottle will have its own water outlet which connects to a discharge tubing.
    Water will overflow into the discharge tube into a main discharge pipe.
  7. Water from the pipe will flow back to the sump filter and the whole cycle start again.

In theory, the clean water will circulate to all bottles and water discharge out from the bottle will also had been recycled in each bottle from biological filtration in the substrate.

Here is just something of what I am thinking of.


So, in theory, I am planning to get a 5 shelf system unit and on each shelving I will have a styrofoam box with 10 - 20 of 1.25 bottles. In total, I will have 100 - 150 bottles all up.

Also, I am doing this as I am on budget and I am still a student. I can't afford to have a betta barracks tank made of glass or plastic. I will have to spend money on good water heater, pump, 100 litre storage container, couple of decent size styrofoam boxes, various measurement of aquarium tubings, drippers, valve control, t junctions and etc.

So that's my DIY plan. Comments are very much welcomed.

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sounds good - to save on piping you could let bottles overflow into the styro box and then let it drain back to the sump...... under bed storage trays work well too.....

re 1.25 litre bottles - they don't give Bettas much swim room at all.... 2 litre bottles would give much better swim room even though it would mean less containers in the system.....

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Thank you for your comment. I had thought of 2 litre bottles, but the only thing is that I need to ask all my friends to donate their 2 litre bottle to me. Currently I had limited stock of 2 litre bottle which I use to store rain water to do my regular water changes in my spawn tank. Also, I can only fit 8 2 litre bottles in the box I already have.

I could always find a larger box to fix about 20 2 litre bottles :D

I like the idea of water flowing into the styrofoam box. The reason I chose to stick to tubes going to main discharge tube and not into the box is that it is harder to manage the water in the box. There is a chance that some of the water in the box will not be drained out completely due to the surface of the box. The box itself act as another collection container just in case one of the fighters do decide to go for a dive into the beyond. I can quickly find him and put him back into his swimming pool.


In a second thought, by making holes at the bottom of the box also allow the water to drain down to the sump filter.

This can only happen if I have only one shelf. I am planning to use 5 shelving unit.

So, I think I need find another strategy to make it cheaper to build

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try drinking fruit juice. they come in rectangle-ish 3L bottles. I've been using them to keep my guys warm through winter.

I don't know much about barracks, but I'd suggest you throw in some java moss/fern into each bottle with the fish... excess filtration and it gives them something to hide behind methinks.

good luck and keep us updated on how you go about it :bighug:

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Thanks guys for your comments.

Mumofthehorde, I had yet to put this idea to the test. I first need to find a styrofoam box that can fit a 91 cm shelving unit. From my estimation, I think I can fit 20 x 2 litre bottle with no problem.

The java moss idea into each bottle will definitely help with filtration and a soft bed for them to lie on. Also, with the stones in the bottle, this will if my theory is correct, will help with the ammonia problem as well. A good substrate for good bacteria to grow in.

MT Syndrom, I haven't looked drinking fruit juice yet. Here in our place, we are not a big fan of fruit juice. But, I will look into this as well as another alternative.

The reason why I am using plastic bottles as barracks because i can use my soldering pen to make holes easily and save money on drilling holes on perfectly fine aquarium tanks. :D

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Stones in the bottle only makes a place for muck to deposit and have to be cleaned out - bare bottomed bottles will leave the muck to float round or be easily vacuumed out ....

Re drainage of the boxes - drain from the side and put an elbow / t piece on and run all drains down the same line of piping to the sump.... use the sump for filtration and removing nitrates/ammonia etc not the bottles themselves.....

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Thank you for your detail comments.

I will keep in mind about the stones in the bottle and the bare bottom bottles. I will test both and see which one the betta likes bast.

As, for the drainage from the box, I can picture it now especially having the t piece install to have just one pipe connecting to the sump filter.

I think this will make my life easier.

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