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DIY 90L Betta Barracks...


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OK. Managed to get a little done, over the w.end. went to a plastics shop and had the rear partition cut to size. I've chosen grey PVC, as it's not nearly as reflective as Black acrylic. I'm not too sure about this colour, though, and it may be up for painting or covering of some sort...


I also got a couple feet of 38mm PVC pipe. This will form the uptake section for the filtration. I have a spare outlet fitting that came with the internal filter that I will take from the 70L. The outlet tube is a good 5mm too small in dia. to fit the pipe. Never mind, I found a piece of clear tube that will serve as a perfect collar to fill the gap. Fit's snug as a bug.


After a little drilling and cutting, I was able to fit a irrigation T-Piece into the bottom of the uptake. This T-piece will eventually draw water/waste from each of the compartments in the front section. HINT: If you try this. place the end cap over the PVC and drill thru both at once for accuracy. More on this later*


...and all together


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With powerhead attached...


...and in place behind rear wall


*Back to the drilling story, and a quick health and safety course for you all. PVC plus high power drill plus brand new drill bit plus holding work in one hand whilst drilling, is a bad combination...


...drill went straight thru the tube and kept going! All good though, looks like more damage than there actually was.

That's all for now. Back soon. :(

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OK, between bouts of worrying about my Platinum girl, changing her water and medicating, I've managed to get some work done on this.

First pic shows the rear panel measured and marked for cutting/drilling. Also, observe the drawings, to get an idea of what I'm aiming for.


Had a scrounge around thru my car model building tools and found my #11 X-Acto knife. Employing a technique used to cut plastic sheeting during model building, I drew the back edge of the X-Acto repeatedly over the PVC sheet, scoring the material away between the drill holes.


This technique is tiresome, labourious and tedious (especially when cutting 3mm sheet!), but it's easy to be accurate and affords pretty good control over ones work.


And oila...I mean, viola...I mean, walla! One section done! Only three more to do.....!!


Incidentally, these slots are for water to flow into the compartments. My main gripe with my previous barracks, was that the "holes in the wall" technique did not compensate for varying water levels, meaning the flow was one minute fast and effective, the next intermittant, then stopped. Once the water lowered to the next row of holes, flow would speed up again. Not good. The slots will allow for 3 inches (75mm) of water level variance.

I now intend to spend the next 24-48hrs figuring on an easier, similarly accurate, way to cut the rest of the slots!!

Back soon! :lol:

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Progress. After discovering that those little rough discs in my "Dremel" kit were cutting wheels and not just sanding discs, I was able to make short work of the remaining slots. A little rough here and there, but as each will be covered, it matters not. I've also cut-to-size what I intend to use as a background. This is a 3mm sheet of flooring underlay. Any ideas how this stuff will hold up under water? I'll seal it well, but just need to be cautious...



I redid the filter uptake, as well. Wasn't entirely happy with the idea behind the first attempt. Now I just have an inverted "T" of PVC pipe, into which the waste water will be drawn.


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I had originally intended to drill the (uptake tube) holes differently. There were to be two located one either side of centre and one at each extremity. You can see this in the pictures of the plans, above. I figured that there would be greater water velocity nearer the filter, than what would be seen at the two ends. Hoping to reduce the pressure difference to near zero between each barrack, the holes have been relocated to two pairs either side of the first and third barriers. I also hope that the larger diameter pipework will help to balance the system out.



That's all. Had a busy w.end, so only got a little done today, and this is where it's at....


I think I've got the bug now, though, so expect to see much more over the coming week.

Bye! :D

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It does look awesome! Good luck. Just a few little questions, did u check with bostik to see if the silicone you used is aquarium safe and won't leech chemicals into the water that will kill your fish and also the same about the underlay, are u sure it won't leech chemicals also? I'd hate to have u finish it off, stick all the fish in and have them all die within a day....talk about sad! Best to be sure, to be sure, to be sure....yes I am Irish!

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Thanks for the concern, Cass. Believe me, I have everything crossed (yes, everything :lol: ), in the hope that doesn't happen. That'd really suck.

THIS POST was where I got the info for the silicone. I'm fairly confident that it'll be OK. I think.

Nothing wrong with being Irish, BTW! Weren't for the Irish, there'd be no flyscreens on Submarines...we all know how invaluable they've proven!!

Edited by Ghengis
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No, not clearly, I must admit, but I have aluded to it a couple of times...

Basically, those black fittings at the bottom? Those will have extensions added to them, just another length of tube with holes drilled along the sides, that will act much like HOB filter siphons, only horizontal. They'll be joined in the rear section to the PVC "T". Water will then uptake from the cubicles, via these "siphons", toward the powerhead. See that little downturned "snout" on the powerhead? That'll hook up to a (custom) spray bar mounted low in that area, firing straight into the tank floor. The churning water will overflow back into each compartment via the vents/grilles at the top. I will probably need to remove some of the vanes from the impeller or add an irrigation flow control (or both) to ensure there is not too much current in the cubicles.

It does look as though there won't be much room for filter media in the upright PVC piece, but I am relying on the fact that I'll have all of four fish in 80-90L of water, so the bio-load will be very low. All I should need, is just enough media to culture sufficient bacteria to handle this light load. In all honesty, the "filter" is more about water circulation, in this instance, with actual "filtration" playing second fiddle.

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Ahh, I see. So you're not too fussed about how the water flows through the filter media? I wondered about that because there didn't seem to be any filter compartments. So is the aim of that back area more to hide heater and pump rather than acting as a filter?

Edited by Bettarazzi
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I could easily turn that area into a "sump" type filter. I could connect the powerhead outlet to the fittings at the bottom, drill multiple holes in the

PVC "T" and cover everything (up to the line of the vents) with media. This way, water would pump into the compartments at the bottom, and overflow out the vents, down thru the media and up the PVC. That sort of system would have about 25L of filter volume and likely handle a (relatively) massive bio-load.

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Updates, soon. I actually had the back panel siliconed in place, this arvo. But I ripped it apart, cos the silicone sucked. Or I suck at applying silicone, one or t'other.

Will reglue tomorrow and post pics soon.

Sorry to keep you waiting, divy :D

Edited by Ghengis
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So I decided to flag the flooring underlay angle. I've had a small portion sitting in four inches of water for about four days and there isn't a thing, structurally, wrong with it. Im confident that it'd hold up for an extended period in water, no probs, but I have no way of testing for what it could leach into that water.... One less risk to worry over.

Did bugger all last week, but got a little done on the weekend...

Holes drilled into PVC "T".


...these actually have fittings siliconed in place, now, but don't have a pic of that...

Uptake tubes. Note renegade hole on the completed one. This was pulled apart and re-done, along with the others.


As I said, the underlay has been turfed. It it's place, the venerable black plastic folder covers


...cut and siliconed in place. Only used minimal silicone here, just to tack the pieces down. They'll be properly stuck later...


...actually, that isn't the "siliconed in place" pic, but nevermind. You get the idea :D

Edited by Ghengis
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As well as doing all that, yesterday, I decided to glue the rear panel in place. Once again, I tried doing this myself. Without tape. Lemme tell ya, black silicone DEMANDS that one use tape. It was a mess. After ripping that out again, and spending last night cleaning up the glass (again), I measured everything properly and ran guide tape in the appropriate areas.

I also found a spare pair of hands, which just happen to be far prettier than my own. Thanks, babe! :(


I'll let the tank sit overnight and order the divider glass tomorrow...



That's all folks! Back soon :D

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...there was actually one more thing...


This is what I came up with for the filter outlets. This is totally experimental, for now. Instead of a spray-bar arrangement, I'm

trialling a pair of 90* elbows. Crude, yes, but I'm hoping also effective.



Picture, if you can, short lengths of clear rubber hose jointing the black fittings at the bottom. Hopefully this demonstrates how the

filtration will work. The horizontal of the "T", btw, is full of bio-balls. The vertical section, coarse, then dense, filter media.

The uptake tubes.


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OK, boys and girls, time for an update.... Started out on Wednesday by (finally) ordering the glass for the dividers, along with some more PVC sheet and binder covers (thanks Woolworths!)

Glass, PVC and binders


The result. The black area will conceal a plant in each barrack and also provide a hiding place at flaring time.


A quick mock-up



Edited by Ghengis
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Two done! Gettin' closer!! I didn't have the spare set of hands for this silicone effort, so there will be a bit of clean up to do


My goal for this weekend was to have this at a stage that it'd be ready for water by tonight. As you can see...


...and a brief word from our sponsors. The BEST cold beer!!


I decided, rather than build a whole new stand, I'd just add to an existing one. This is only temporary, until I build something new and more permanent


I'll let that sit a few days, do a bit of detail clean up here and there, then fill it with water and allow the silicone, turps etc to leach.

Should be ready for fish in about a week and a half. Nearly there people!!

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Easy, B'azza, all will be revealed.... Here's a hint that I posted elsewhere, a sketch I did up at work of two different scenarios for filtration that would work in this application...

This is the set-up I'm going with. Should be self-explanatory:


...and the other idea. A sump system, based on the concept of a Marine set-up overflow.


The issue I have with this, is that it won't pick up ditritis on the substrate, as it operates as a surface skimmer. The other issue was the massive amount of media that would be required to fill the rear chamber, which is about 28L. It's one thing to say that you can't have too much filtration, but for four Bettas, that would be serious overkill!

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