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Advice Needed On Betta Tank Design


fishbites
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G'day everyone,

I'm getting hooked on Betta's at the moment and before rushing out to buy some more, have been thinking about fixing up a home for them in advance. I've been reading these forums for a while now and picked up on a lot of good ideas and am amazed at the resources (certainly learning a lot - thanks!).

The design below is what I have come up with in an attempt to be quick, easy and cheap but still provide a good home for my new fish and a couple of old ones.

If anyone has any advice or comments I'd appreciate it before I rush into things (there's a lot I don't know so I appreciate the advice anyone can give).

BettaTankDesign.jpg

Basically I'm looking to convert an existing fish tank - the idea of an undergravel filter was to allow a simple filtration and also avoid having to cut slots in sheets of perspex like other DIY tanks on this forum. I'd probably idle a couple of sponge filters in the back section just to keep them cycled incase I need them for a hospital tank/fry/etc. The back section could also house a couple of females and a few plants such as java moss and riccia which can be used in spawning tanks. I'm not sure of whether to go with a 2ft tank or a 3ft tank at this stage but the same design should work for both I think.

Thanks in advance for any advice or warnings of things to be aware of when I finally start this project.

Regards

Wayne

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Hi Wayne

My first thoughts are...

- If you are wondering "Hmm... 2' or 3'?" - go the 3'! The moment you are tempted to spawn anything - and you will be - you will need every stitch of space you can get. You will almost certainly want to keep a couple of your best babies. Always go more/bigger because it saves you doubling your efforts later.

- The UGF is a good idea from a circulation point of view. So long since I've used one that it didn't occur to me. Not great for the plants, but you could keep those in little pots. I personally believe that Betta tanks should always be cycled anyway, like any other aquatic system; uncycled tanks are occasionally a necessary temporary evil, but should not be our default if we want healthy fish.

- To circulate water through each Betta compartment you will still need a way for the cleaner water to move from the filter compartment back to the fish compartments, and so on around, which means some form of perforated barrier. Maybe I am misunderstanding the drawings but I can't see how that's going to happen. What are your plans to get the water across?

- You may find that you need a way to keep the females out of view of the males, or the sexual tension could be too much for all concerned.

Finley :)

Edited by Finley
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Finley you're right about the 3ft tank I think - I have a couple of dozen fry at the moment and might even get them to adulthood yet so will need a bit of room just incase there is a good one amongst them. Lost my crowntail last night though - don't know what happened to him but found him this morning laying across some java moss :P so now have even more room than expected.

I think a larger tank will also make better health conditions for the fish - more water to circulate and easier to keep quality better. With a 3ft tank I could probably fit 2 compartments on each end of the tank with 4 in the middle and therefore house 8 males and still have a 2ft x 8" compartment for the powerhead, plants, and a couple of females.

Re the return water - I didn't think of that! Maybe if I use a small powerhead on the UGF to draw the water and then return it via a spray bar (pointed to the bottom of the compartments). A small valve could be used to control the volume of water returned to the compartments with the rest of the flow from the powerhead going to circulate the back part of the tank.

The UGF plates could be kept narrower than the tank so that only the betta compartments are over the UGF plates and the rest of the back of the tank could have a peat substrate with plants growing.

To keep the females/males from viewing each other too much, and between compartments, I was thinking of making a few java moss or riccia walls - just sandwich the java moss/riccia between some sheets of gutter guard cut to size and as it grows out will provide a nice green environment for the fish. Not sure I have enough java moss or riccia at the moment but will have to try to encourage my plants to grow a bit more while I sort out the design and build the tank.

Any other comments or ideas gratefully accepted...

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  • 2 weeks later...

G'day Betterazzi.

I've got the UGF plates and power head, all the plumbing needed for the return to the compartments, plenty of gravel and glass to make the partitions.

Have still to work out what fish I want to stock it with apart from the single male VT I have and 1 cambodian female and 1 multicolour female. I saw some very nice fish in the classifieds section and am keen to try my hand at breeding some nice bettas compared to my trial with the few that I have now.

The african cichlids have been breeding like rabbits and taken the last 2ft tank I had spare so don't have a spare tank at the moment - will try to look out for a 2nd hand tank and see how I go with it as an experiment before I go all out on a new tank.

Now all I have to do is find the time and try to cut the glass accurately as possible. I'll try to get a start on it in the next couple of weeks and will post pics I promise.

This weekend I made a DIY filter for the fishpond - surprised myself at how quick and easy it was.

Regards

Wayne

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  • 2 weeks later...

Picked up the rest of the glass I needed today from a glass place near where I was working. Bit of luck I went in there really - the manager was a bloke I went to school with years ago - he had the pieces I needed cut to order and rough edges taken off for only $10...

Also picked up some plumbing for the return water plumbing....

So this weekend I hope to make a start on the tank and will post pics if I don't make a mess of things....

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  • 6 months later...

G'day Manda

This tank has been up and running now for about 6 months - working quite well really but not overly happy with the overhead plumbing. The tank ended up being a 3ft tank rather than the planned 2ft above and has the capacity for either 5 large (30x15x25cm) or 10 small (15x15x25cm) compartments - removable glass dividers make the large compartments into 2 small compartments. The light is a 3ft Arlec aluminium light that sits neatly on the top of the glass and lights the tank enough to see the front compartments and let the back compartments have enough light to see the fish in there. Now I have some glass diamond drill bits I'm working on another tank with a submerged plumbing system using a powerhead to power a small DIY sponge filter in each compartment.

Here is a shot of the front of the tank...

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Compartment 1... with a Copper/Orange Dragon HMM who has never regrown his chewed tail but is pretty happy in his own little world and hasn't eaten any more of himself since.

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Compartment 2... My first ever bred and raised male VT along with a clump of Peacock moss that is starting to look nice at last.

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Centre compartment (undivided)... with 10 of my cambo babies - 5M & 5F all living happily in the one area - only fights occur at feeding time to see who gets to the food first! I've got some nice small clumps of moss starting in here, along with some chain swords and a small windelov java fern just starting to really look good.

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4th compartment... with male CT (cambo, red/white/blue, and maybe marbled pattern) with some chain swords and java moss just starting to take off.

IMGP2542.JPG

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5th compartment... Turquoise BF HMM along with a nice clump of subwassertang (sp?)

IMGP2541.JPG

The back of the tank has 4 compartments for fish and one double size with contains the power heads and heater.

Overall I'm happy with it and the fish are healthy and eat like pigs. The next one will be a big improvement on design though I hope and be able to contain 12 fish in comfort with a central pump and heater compartments so the tank can be viewed from both sides.

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