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Question About Betta Barracks


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Having one of those times where the simplest of questions have you confused.

Hoping this will make sense...

OK, so I have the barracks, and am stuffing the back section where the filter/heater goes with lavarocks & filter floss.

It seems there is only one opening on one end for the water to go through to the sections (I thought there would be one on each end).

Question is: do I put the filter on the far end (away from opening), and then put the rest of the media infront of that... or reverse it?

Which would be more effective?

Hoping these pics will make more sense ... this would be the reverse way, not set up probably, just chucked in there to try and give the photo a better idea.

LordFroggyton002.jpg

See the gap.. filter should go here or on the other end?

LordFroggyton003.jpg

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Might be just me, but I think all you need is water movement which can be achieved by an airstone and airpump. The wool provides surface area for the bacteria to grow and to cycle the tank.

Hang on back filter can also be used though.

But with that barracks, I think that 1 end of the barrack may have cleaner water compared to the other end.

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Interesting.

The HOB filter came with it. I also thought that with only one gap on oneside, the far end wouldn't be as clean as the other... it's 4.5ft long, so is quite long...

Thanks for the comment, Kertaz. :)

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You should be aiming for water to flow in a single direction through the system. Dirty water flows out of compartments, past the filter wool, through the filter, then back to the compartments. Where you put the HOB kinda depends on where the gaps are for water to flow which I can't make out in the pic. You have to force water to go where you want it to others it will just take the path of least resistance. If the uptake and outflow of the HOB at in the same section, water will circulate mostly in that area.

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Ahh.. this is all tricky for me, the equipment part of fish-keeping really confuses me.

So put the HOB on the far end, away from the gap into the sections, yes?

. If the uptake and outflow of the HOB at in the same section, water will circulate mostly in that area.

Makes sense. With the HOB though, it has both of those.... so will it not work properly?

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This might sound a bit strange, and god knows how you'll achieve it, but as razzi said, you need directional flow. > > > >

There's been plenty of DIY barrack designs out there on the interwebs, and the major criticism of this "flow through" design (with gaps at the bottom) is that there is progressively-less flow from cell to cell.

I always wondered if some sort of tricky system might help, like installing an Aqua one sponge filter and hooking up a custom (DIY) spray bar and shoving the airline under each gap - say facing left to force flow through the cell equally.

It'd look messy tho.

my god barracks are wrought with design issues.... I'm sure you'll work it out - put your mad scientist cap on.

x

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To be honest I don't think the designer of these barracks intended for it to be used with a HOB. Maybe a smaller one might work? Can you hang it on the right end wall with the uptake drawing from the back section and outflow going into that first small compartment on the right? You could fill that compartment with a sponge or filter media like Seachem Matrix. Then just use the back section for the heater and if you're going to have a light over the barracks you could also have plants in the back section to act like a refugium.

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Arrg I'm going to have to read these through again later... not sinking in... think I just woke up, don't remember falling asleep but..

Thanks for the help so far everyone. :)

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Ripper!!!!!!

with the back chamber.... don't stuff it full of wool.... put in some rock.... a bundle of wool (5cm thick will do the same as 10cm thick).... and any other filtration media you wish..... purigen / matrix / macropore / etc....

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Interesting - thanks again.

So bundle of wool is better than filter floss.. I do have about 2-3 garbage bags worth of wool under my bed aha. Or do you mean a bit of the floss/wool, rather than knitting wool?

Brought Lava Rock from a landscaping supplier - Matt & Nicola said it would be best as it has a lot of surface area.

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yes filter wool / filter floss - or for a cheaper alternative go to a store like spotlight and get a roll of dacron - works just the same but many $ cheaper.....

Re the lava rocks - they are ok as filter medium but a product like matrix is even better..... I use coral rubble in my Tang setup (it raises pH though so no good for Bettas)..... for your setup you won't need a lot of rubble (rock or matrix) .... if you want to cut the ammonia issues you can use the likes of macropore or purigen as well (both are resins that soak up the nasties and can be recharged - macropore is rechargeable in salt water but with purigen you need bleach to recharge it)....

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Ooh OK, I have a bag of it - found it in the cupboard (shown in piccies).

Ah, thanks again - you've been a great help as always! :)

Ahh, as the diagram... I just realised that the water flows through each section, but once it gets to the last one - there isn't a gap back into the filter/long section! Poor design maybe? Is there another way to do it - or should I ask dad and see if he can chop it up and make a hole?

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Wayne's picture is exactly what I meant. Didn't have a drawing program at work. I still think filling the back section with plants is a good idea. If you fill it with filter media, most of the water flow is in the bottom because of the design. Filter media in the HOB and in the 1st compartment from the left, the one the HOB outflows into would provide more effective filtration because you're forcing more water to flow past the filter media. The plants will provide a little bit of nutrient uptake.

Ahh.... I was typing same time as you. So how does the water get to the back? Surely it's not completely sealed off from the front, whats the point of that? It could be we need to reverse it and put the HOB on the left end.

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Would be hard to drill a hole in the glass on the left end for return water flow.... and to put the HOB filter the other end you might have to modify the spilway so it fit properly.... that's assuming there's a way for the water to go from the right hand end into the back chamber..... weird design if there's no water flow into the back chamber....

for plants to be effective in the back chamber you would need fast growers to uptake the nutrients but the height is too low to accommodate them.... lower plants will tend to be slower on the uptake.... perhaps a big moss clump would be more useful than trying to grow plants in the back chamber?

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One easy way to find out if the water gets to the back is to fill up the front and leave it a few hours to see if any of it ends up in the back :P

If not, you may have to remove the middle divider meaning the one that separates the barracks from the sump and lift it up a few mm and re silicone it in or something like that :)

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Re the lava rocks - they are ok as filter medium but a product like matrix is even better..... I use coral rubble in my Tang setup (it raises pH though so no good for Bettas)..... for your setup you won't need a lot of rubble (rock or matrix) .... if you want to cut the ammonia issues you can use the likes of macropore or purigen as well (both are resins that soak up the nasties and can be recharged - macropore is rechargeable in salt water but with purigen you need bleach to recharge it)....

Just to be clear, Matrix is the one that gets rid of your ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. The Purigen is used instead of carbon for chemical filtration, it absorbs disolved organic solids/obours etc in the water. The filter wool does provide some surface area for bacteria but the Matrix is far better and easier to maintain. You can buy 200ml containers of Matrix and little bags of Purigen which will both be plenty for your size tank.

As for drilling holes, it's not all that hard if you can fit a drill in there. I've just drilled some holes in my barracks, I'll upload a Youtube movie of it if you like.

Edited by Malloy
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Ahh.... yes it's completely sealed off on one side.... seems like a poor design to me...

I think I'll see if dad can pull it apart and raise it a bit..

I was going to put a bit of Java Moss in each section for the guys to hide in.

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If you lift the central divider, how will the water pass through the filter media if you put filter media in the back? You need ALL the water moving from the living quarters and passing through the filter media. Water can easily form stagnant areas and what could end up happening is that water only flows in the bottom part of the tank.

So let me get this right. The central divider is completely sealed off. If you pour water in the back it doesn't flow to the front. What if you keep filling the back section all the way to the top? Does it flow over into the front?

Maybe these barracks aren't designed to be a recirculating system. Maybe the back section is simply so you can use a single heater to heat all the compartments.

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