Basement Bettas

Raising Show Quality Bettas

Another lesson learned

Betta fry in BubblenestWoke up today with one of our 1 week old spawns totally gone. There were only about a dozen of them.. but it was a spawn I really wanted. So I tested the water and found the ammonia had gone high enough to be lethal. I usually have large mystery snails to add to the tanks when they get free-swimming.. but right now I only have one. I did get some pond snails last weekend from the local pet shop and added them to the tanks.. but they obviously did not do the job with uneaten food. This was an expensive lesson as it cost me my fry. We will redo the spawn and be more careful with the water in the future. In the mean time I did some water changes on the other spawn tanks. Using some stiff tubing and air hose I sucked up most of the gunk on the bottom and dripped in some more r/o water. Every body else looks good.

In the past I really did not do much to the spawns untill they were a few weeks old. With the new water and set up it looks like I may have to do some partial changes even during the first week. Since they are so small and sensitive at this time I will have to be careful to make sure all things are done gradual. Today I removed about 2/3 of a beanie from each fry tank.. and replace it with new water. Then, several hours later, I did the same thing again. I will try to do some slight changes every other day from now on. Nutritious food and frequent water changes are the best way to have happy healthy bettas with great fins.


November 25, 2010 Posted by | Day 2 Day, Info You Can Use, Spawns, Water Quality | , | Leave a comment

Fish for Sale

We need to make room for upcoming spawns so we are selling some very nice young fish like the male pictured as well as some of the fish we have chosen to breed. This male is maybe 12 weeks old and will continue to mature. He has several nice sisters for sale as well. To see him and our other fish for sale see our AquaBid auctions.

November 21, 2010 Posted by | Bettas for Sale, Half Moon, Juvies, Multicolor Betta | , , , | 3 Comments

Water In, Water Out

Valves controlling flow to betta barracksI realized I had not finished the series on my barracks. We left off getting them online with the sump. I put the first barracks on the top 2 racks and did my plumbing, guessing on the placement of the bottom two. When the time came to add these in, I had to cut and redo the PVC. I also had issues with water leaking out of the fittings I set up for the lower barracks. So, in the future, I will build these from the bottom rack up.

My output is a ½” hole drilled in line with that back gutter. It is located relatively close to the bottom.. the bottom edge of the fitting about ¾” off the bottom. The bit I used to cut the hole did not make the opening big enough for the fitting to slide through, so I took my Dremmel with a sanding bit, and sanded a bit off to allow the fitting to slide through. I then took aquarium sealant and put it on the inside around the hole. This is done before adding that back piece of the barracks to make it easier to work in this area. I also added sealant to the opening itself and around the outside opening. Then, insert the fitting and twist slightly to spread the sealer. I then sealed even more around both the inside and outside.. completely covering the edge of the fitting. Set the barracks aside and allow them to set up and cure.

The water into the barracks is accomplished with a piece of PVC drilled with a hole over the center of each cell. I used the Dremmel with a small drill bit to drill holes along the length of the PVC. The end is capped and the other end has a fitting that is attached to the PVC and has a hose nipple as well. Water is pumped from the sump to the valves that control water flow up to the barracks. These hoses attach to the PVC that lies on the top of the barracks. Water is pushed up to the PVC and it flows across the pipe and through the holes that were drilled. The flow rate is controlled by the valve. Having the valve is nice as we can shut water off to a barrack and remove it for cleaning or maintenance. We can also use a gentler flow for younger betas till they get bigger.

I had originally wanted to use tubing attached to the output and just bend it down to the filter in the sump. The larger ¾” tubing is not easy to bend. So, I came up with using a short piece of tubing to join two nipples… one from the output and the other attached to a PVC drain. I used 1” PCV for the drain because it was the biggest I could cut with my cutters. It seems to handle the water flow ok. But, if you have the means to cut the larger sizes you might go with 1 ½”.

Each barrack is lined up over the one below so the drain can run straight down. I have a length of pipe leading up for overflow protection and for air. You do not want to cap this as the air is needed to drain properly. The water over flows the back of the barracks, runs down the gutter and out the output and into the drain. Water falls down the drain to an elbow that routes the water to the filter in the sump.

I had plans of water flowing in the sump through various mediums.. each filtering the water a bit more. I opted to get a basket from Lowe’s that you put pond plans in, and put a filter medial that houses bacteria to filter the water in it. On the top I  have a pad that reduced nitrates and over that a sock filled with peat moss. The water flows through the peat in the sock where the ph is lowered and heave metals and other things are filtered out. Then the pad removes nitrates and then trickling through the filter media will remove the ammonia, nitrates and nitrites. The water then is heated in the tank and pumped out again with a submersible pump.

Every three days I siphon the bottom of the cells and run a tooth-brush along the water line to remove deposits there. With three barracks online right now the system holds about 45 gallons of water. I probably remove about 20 gallons when I clean, so do about a 45% water change. So far the fish are thriving. The length of the cells [9” long by 6” high and 4” wide] allows for lots of swimming that I hope builds strong fins.

Overall I am pleased with the design and performance of my barracks. I am happy enough with them to do another four in time to hold about 96 bettas. My older barracks, with smaller cells, I have hooked to a 10 gallon sump. Water in that system flows sideways through each cell rather than out the back. I prefer the newer design but these will still accommodate my betas just fine. I will house my show fish in the 22 cells of this system and adjust the water in the sump to be similar to the water they will experience at the show they are headed for. I will also be able to run meds in that if needed should they be exposed to anything.

As much as I enjoy my fish, doing hours of water changes is not a way I like to spend my time. The barracks do require a bit more expense up front. The cost per cell is about $4.17.. a bit more than beanies.. and you still  have the sump and plumbing costs. But instead of taking an hour of every day to clean 48 beanies, I spend 15 minutes every third day. Beanies also need to be scrubbed out at least every other week as they get nasty.. even with care. And that takes even MORE time. The barracks have been running 3 months now and look like the day I installed them. They have given me a lot more time to do what I enjoy.. looking at my fish and hanging out with my son.

November 12, 2010 Posted by | Betta Housing, Fish Room | , , | Leave a comment

Another import..

We decided to get a male to go with the female on the previous post. We won her auction and posted a bid on a nice double tail mail.. but was beat out in the bidding while I was sleeping. I know better, should have just hit the Buy it Now button and been done with it. So, we bought a similar male. Huge dorsal and has a long body for a double tail. We have the pineapple here from this breeder to cross into as well so we should have some very nice fish in the Spring. I want to continue the blue and yellow marble pattern on the female. The other male had more yellow fins.. did not fade into the black edging like this male. Since I am always thinking about what class a fish could go into.. I would prefer a clean bi-color. But that can be worked on if future generations. They should be shipping to the transshipper today. I may not have them untill next week. I can’t wait!

November 8, 2010 Posted by | Bi-Color, Double Tails, Imported Fish | , , , | Leave a comment

Oh no.. another import

I finally have a lot of spawns here.. so don’t need any fish. Matter of fact, we are down sizing to get ready for the young ones. So.. I had no business on AquaBid. My favorite breeder, GreatBettas, has a beautiful double tail female that is a really a neat color. I place a bid.. the auction closes in about 12 hours. Will see if tomorrow I own yet another Betta. Here is the picture and video of this beauty.

November 4, 2010 Posted by | Double Tails, Marble Betta | , , | Leave a comment

Fish for Sale

We currently have several nice fish for sale on AquaBid. The guy pictured here is Copper Splash. He is a very nice, show quality Halfmoon male. He matured late. The shows are done and I have already bred two of his brothers.. so I do not need him. I have a sibling female that can be ordered if you place the winning bid on him. check out his other photos as well as some very nice metallic females.

November 3, 2010 Posted by | Bettas for Sale, Copper Betta, Fish for Sale, Half Moon | , , , , | 2 Comments