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Need Suggestions


Chasing Sanity
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So I've given up on finding a suitable betta tank for my boys, so I'm going to make one! I'm planning on using clear Perspex for the tank and black for the dividers.

This is what I'm planning

tank.jpg

If I use an internal filter, am I able to get the flow to circulate like I can see in my head? Or am I better to make a spray bar that runs the entire length of the tank? Are my dimensions suitable for keeping bettas? I can make it deeper, but not so much taller or longer because then it won't fit in the space I've got. Any suggestions?

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20cm x 20cm x 20cm will give you 8 litres of swimming space for each fish so that part should be fine I think.

Re the water flow - If you use one of those small powerhead filters (like an Otto) you will get plenty of water moved from the pump compartment to the other end but it will probably be slowed a lot by the time it gets to the last compartment on its return to the pump - all depends on size and number of holes in the black dividers really.

In my diy tank I have solid glass dividers (which end about 2cm above the floor of the tank) and a pipe running on top of the tank with screw in things to attach airline hose to - these feed water from the powerhead/sponge filter into each compartment and the water drains back into the filter section via the gravel and an undergravel filter (which I might dispense with yet). With the airline hoses removed it acts like a spray bar. Try the system your way and if it doesn't work just put holes in the overhead pipe - you'll get small jets of water and the excess will still flow through to the heater compartment.

At only 20cm deep and high - you will need to find a really small heater for that area too - in mine I have to lay the heater at an angle because I didn't think of the size of the pump and heating compartment in relation to what was finally going in there.

Sorry if none of this makes sense - thinking off the top of the head here...

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I like the concept that you have here...looks like it could work well. Without trying to spruik my own work, have a look for my DIY Barracks thread in this section...there may be something to help you with your ideas.

Again, nice plan, keep us updated!

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*roffles* I have yours bookmarked for reference Ghengis!

I'm just trying to stay away from a full length rear divider. Got a friend who will get me a good price on the perspex so hopefully I can stimulate the local economy thanks to Kevin.

What is the ideal slot width? I'm hoping to get them lasercut so I will find out how small they can go.

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How are you going to bond the perspex? I've heard from a few people that there is a special thing you use that melts the plastic rather than using silicone, as apparently silicone seals on perspex are not ideal. Not sure how true it is, but it could be worth looking into before you get everything cut *lol*

I'm curious why you've chosen perspex over glass, is it the ability to slice and dice, or weight, or something else?

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Check out the local glass suppliers and see if they have any offcuts you can buy - most will throw perfectly good glass in the bin but if you can find one who will keep you pieces around the size you want then it works out really cheap.

I just picked up enough to make a 80cm x 40cm x 30cm betta barracks for myself - all 6mm glass plus some 3mm glass for cover sheets - plus found a nice piece of mirror 90cm x 20cm in their bin - grand total - $10 The last one I built the glass cost $32 but that was because I had them cut it to size for me.

Only added expenses are:

  • a tube of silicone
  • a decent glass cutter (get Toyo brand from Japan or the new trade brand on the block is Star that's made in Korea). The crummy cheapos cutter at hardware stores don't even cut butter - the good ones are only $30 and will never wear out with home use and proper care.
  • sandpaper round a block of wood will take the sharp edges off the glass easily.
  • some masking tape - great for holding the tank together until the silicone sets.
  • plus filter/powerhead, heater, light, stand, and any other plumbing you need.

If you just make the dividers out of thin perspex - cut them a couple of mm narrower than needed and hold them in place with poster holders siliconed onto the front/back of the tank. Any expansion or contraction of the perspex will be covered by the poster holders. Or you could suction cup them on instead of using poster holders like I've done with my barracks.

Otherwise - Chaddy in this thread used a mesh from a craft store and it looks quite tasteful and neat in his tank. Ghengis' thread on building a tank is really good to follow - thanks Ghengis!

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I don't think I've ever seen poster holders... I'd like to make permanent dividers, but I'm starting to see how useful removable ones could be. I'm so excited by this project, I'm dying to get started but I need funding! But I can go hunting and pricing things until I do have the cash.

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CS a lot of map or poster sales places sell the hangers - just plastic strips that have a slit all the way along to grip on the top & bottom of posters so they can be hung against a wall. Silicone them to the tank, cut the hangers to length and slide in your divider and that's it. You can buy similar things for binding small amounts of A4 paper together - they are a lot thinner though.

Keep hanging in there and checking out places for glass and other stuff - you'll find some like I did I hope.

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