Betta Breeding Tank Set Up

Breeding Bettas, Siamese Fighting Fish, Part 2 – Setting Up your Betta Breeding Tank Area

Please note: This post has been updated and you can find a link at the end of this page to go to the update.

So you’ve made the decision you want to breed some Betta Fish so I’ll salute you straight away. I guarantee that if you do your homework and have a love for Bettas you will get vast amounts of pleasure from this very satisfying past time. It can be very exciting waiting to see the results of your work as your fry grow from minute dots that you can barely see to juvenile fish that take shape and form color.

Therefore you’re now confronted with the task of deciding where to start. Well the first two things you will need to do is set up an area for your Betta breeding tank and select some Bettas to breed with. Now maybe you’ve got your pair picked out already and maybe you’ve made a good choice, but then again maybe you haven’t either. Therefore I’ll write about this topic a little later but for now this post is about how I went and set up an area for my Betta breeding tank.

First of all, research is once again important and the more you do the better. Remember once you fill your tank with water it won’t be easy to move and probably impossible once you have fry in it. Therefore get it right, right from the start. The biggest reason why some, lots or all of your fry won’t survive will be you. What you do, what you don’t do and what you misinterpret is important.

Therefore one important point is this, your breeding tank needs to provide an environment where the water can be maintained at 27 C (80 F) and not only that, the air above the water in the tank needs to be humid and at a similar temperature. Now this can quite easily be achieved by placing a lid/cover on the top of you tank to keep the warmth in, but remember this. You are going to have take the lid off to remove the parents and feed the fry each day. You don’t want cold air rushing in when the lids off because this may cause some temperature fluctuations within your tank.

Therefore where you place your breeding tank is vitally important and is the very first decision you will need to make. It is preferable and beneficial to place your breeding tank in an environment that has a similar temperature to the tank water i.e. 27 C (80 F) especially if you live in a cold climate or wish to breed during the winter. If you live in a hot climate then of course you may have the opposite problem, keeping it cool enough.

Now I live in Melbourne, Australia where winter overnight temperatures can drop to about 0 C (32 F) overnight. We also don’t heat our house during the night, nor was I interested in heating a room or did I have a room to turn into a breeding room. Therefore I decided to set up my breeding tank in the garage. Now I know you’re probably wondering why I’d want to heat the garage instead of the house and the short answer is, I didn’t, but before I tell you why consider this.

I chose the garage over the house for lots of reasons here’s just a few;

If there was an accident it would be easier to clean up the mess,

Microworms and Vinegar Eels do smell (fry food),

It was easier to set up and heat on a smaller scale,

It was close to the laundry so I had easy access to water. Having a tap close by is important as you don’t want to have carry buckets of water long distances.

Plus for lots of other obvious reasons as well.

Therefore where you set your tank up is important. As I said before (it’s worth repeating), once it’s set up and full of water and fry you can’t shift it. It will be stuck there for several weeks so consider your own personal situation and find the most appropriate position right from the very start. Consider your local climate (weather) and the season you choose to breed in, as this will also affect how you go about it.

Therefore I’ve chosen to breed in autumn and into winter and this is how I went about setting up an area for my breeding tank.

Firstly as I said there was no way I wanted to heat the whole garage so what I decided to do was build a small enclosed area where I could set up a controlled micro climate.

Breeding Tank Set Up

I used cement sheet for the walls and two doors. It was all made from scrap I had in my garage Notice the doors don't go all the way to the top to help keep warm air in. I will eventually get around to painting it but I'm not too concerned about the appearance. It's how it works that matters.

Breeding Tank Set Up

Here it is with the doors open. The tank on the left has 10 day old fry while the tank on the right has just been set up. After I've finished using the tank on the left I will orientate it in the same direction as the one on the right. That way I will be able add the the 30 litre plastic container in between. This is an example of the importance of planning. Originally I just had the tank on the left and the plastic container where the 2nd breeding tank is. But I had to remove the plastic container when I added the second breeding tank because I'd orientated the left tank in the wrong direction. Now I can't shift it until the fry are old enough to be moved. Also notice the shelves at the rear. These were pre-existing and come in handy for storage. You may want to add shelves to keep juvenile males after removal from the breeding tank. I will probably add another area soon for this purpose but you can incorporate this right from the start if you want.

So what I did was section off a small area of my work bench and enclose it. In my case the area was 120 w x 90 h x 80 d cm (48 x 36 x 32 inch). Now the size you chose may be different to this but here are some of the things I considered.

Firstly it allowed me to place two breeding tanks and a large plastic container inside which I could store water in. Plus there was room for shelves to store equipment, food and of course individual fish in smaller containers for later on.

So the next question was how to keep it warm inside. Well, what you will find is the tanks will radiate heat inside the enclosure which will in effect lessen the work the aquarium heaters need to do to keep the water at a constant temperature. So the end result is less energy required to heat your tanks and a more constant temperature.

The next important consideration to take into account will be electricity. I had an external power point just around the corner and decided to add a 6 way power outlet with on/off switches. As you can see from the photo I’ve got 2 heaters, 1 air pump and 2 lights plugged in. I mounted the power outlet on the outside just in case condensation became an issue over time. Therefore I cut a hole in the side for the power cords to exit and then plugged it with a rag to help keep the warmth in.

6 Way Power Outlet

6 Way Power Outlet

Hole for Electrical Cords

Hole for Electrical Cords

I added a Rag to keep the warmth in.

I added a Rag to keep the warmth in.

Next up you will need to add a light. I used an 8w fluorescent light as it doesn’t use much power and provides plenty of light. The only problems is it isn’t great for filming as you’ll see with my up coming videos. Apart from that it was fine.

8 w fluorescent light

8 w fluorescent light

Therefore this was the basic set up I used. I’m sure there are probably many different ways you can go about setting up an area for your breeding tank.

This set up cost me next to nothing to make. Remember when you do this for the first time you never really know what will work best for you. You can copy an established breeders set up if you like but if you place the emphasis on providing the right breeding environment for your Bettas rather than spending a fortune or making a complex set up or dramatic changes to a room in your house you can use your first few spawns to work out exactly what YOUR needs are. Then if you decide this is a hobby you’d like to do more permanently or on a larger scale then you will have the knowledge and experience to design a set up that will suit YOUR needs and circumstances.

Just in finishing here are two more points you may want to consider with your set up.

Firstly, what is the power supply like to your house? Do you have frequent interruptions that last for some time? If you are breeding Bettas during the winter you will rely heavily on the power supply to you aquarium heater to keep your fry alive. If you set up a small micro climate like mine it will keep your fry warmer for longer if you lose power to your heater. Also have you got a standby aquarium heater? What will you do if your heater fails for some reason? Sometimes it pays to think of contingencies as you really don’t want to spend 4 or 5 weeks raising fry and then lose them because the water got too cold in your breeding tank for some reason.

Secondly, when you set up your Breeding tank make sure you have good access from above so you can easily see into your tank. This means you may not want to place it on a bench or shelf that is too high. In a later article I will write about how I clean my breeding tank and how if you decide to use my method you will have to be able to easily lean over the top of your tank so you can see in, while cleaning it. As you will also discover once your breeding tank is set up there are several advantages in viewing inside your tank from above as the view and what you can and can’t see will be slightly different than viewing it from the side.

Therefore this post was about how I set up my breeding area and there’s a fair chance yours will be different to mine but I hope you found the information beneficial in setting up your own Betta breeding area.

POST UPDATE: Click Here.

Breeding Bettas, Siamese Fighting Fish, Part 3 – The Betta Breeding Tank

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