Basement Bettas

Raising Show Quality Bettas

New Betta “Condo”

Betta Barracks

After using my previous creation for many months, design flaws became apparent. The water flowing left to right from cell to cell was not as good a flow as planned. Water added to the end produced a nice flow for the first 4 cells.. then after that there did not seem to be much. If you added something like meth blue and watched it move through the system.. you found it made it most of the way but not to the end. The flow pushed water but it did not seem to carry the new water evenly to the end. So, the thought that the first cells were getting better water changes than the last cells made me go back to the drawing board.

The new plan calls for the same idea of water flowing under a divider and over another divider.. but this time it was overflowing to the back of the cell into a gutter instead of the neighbors cell. Each fish will have its own supply of fresh water. Water will be dripped from above into each cell and the overflow will go out the back. There is very little access of another fishes water coming into a cell, hopefully reducing the spread of any disease. I also wanted bigger cells for the fish so the entire condo is 4’x1′. The individual cells are 4″ x 9″.. giving the fish 3 more inches of room and water than before. The other 3″ is the gutter that runs along the back with a 1″ outlet for water to drain into the filter system. Each condo will hold about 10 gallons and with four and the 30 gallon sump the entire system will hold 70 gallons of water. I will be able to shut off the system and remove 25 gallons from the sump whenever I need to.

Since I have some free time I headed to Lowe’s and got my plexi bought and cut to make the first prototype. I will eventually have 4 of these on a shelf unit.. all draining into a 30 gallon tank where the water will be filtered and pumped back up to the condos. From experience, they will need tweaking so I got enough to make one. I used just one sheet [under $50] and they cut it for me. First 3 cuts were free.. then I think it was .50/cut. I knew from before I wanted to use long pieces to reduce all the glueing so I have:

a bottom [4′ x 12″],

front and back [4′ x 6″] ,

2 sides [11.75″ x 6″]

back of condo [ 3′ 11 3/4″ x 5 3/4″]

overflow [ 3′ 11 3/4″ x 5″]

11 side walls to the condos [9″ x 6″]

Since I took lots of pictures I am going to break the construction into phases so the blog posts don’t get too long. Next post is getting things ready.


July 18, 2010 - Posted by | Betta Housing, Fish Room | ,


  1. […] shorter wall has a complete barracks system. I have had it up and running now for 3 months and love it. Each cell is 4″ wide by […]

    Pingback by Our Fish Room « Basement Bettas | December 27, 2010 | Reply

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  3. Funny, I just got on your site today 13 of Jan 2011 and saw what you make and bizarrely I arrived almost to the same built as you without knowing you made it. What I did for mine I place a plastic with a lots of little hole as inside back wall and my filtration will be sponge filter and I also place airline for bubbles since my inside back wall as plenty of little hole it provide a certain flow of water and also oxigen the condo, look at my site
    my compatiment are a bit smaller than yours but the fish are doing reaaly fine in it

    Comment by marc tremblay | January 13, 2011 | Reply

    • I am making a double sided one now that will have holds drilled in the back of the cells at the waterline. If power goes off I do not want the water below a certain level. I have the bigger cells to grow them out quicker.. there is a lot of water flow that keeps them growing. The room also allows nice even growth of fins. I use that plastic mesh you have in the bigger condo slid down between the over flow to keep the smaller bettas from escaping. They still manage to get into the next cells.. that is why I’m just drilling holes in the plexi. I plan to pull the younger fish into these 4″ x 6″ x 6″ untill they are big enough to handle the ones 9″ long and the heavier water flow. Yours looks nice. I plan on making a smaller one for administering meds or housing imports or new fish and you have given me some ideas. Thanks!!

      Comment by Basement Bettas | January 13, 2011 | Reply

  4. Do you sell your betta barrack? How much?

    Comment by lee | May 14, 2016 | Reply

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