the hatchery

Home Up

a peep into my hatchery set-up 


NOTE: Since this page was published, more changes have taken place. The hatchery has been moved to another location while I moved myself and a simpler version of my fishroom to a house in West Hills. I promised Mr.181 (who now lives with me) that I wouldn't let the bettas take over the new house (this time LOL), so I figured it was best to reorganize myself, and to simplify, simplify, simplify. Please see "my fishroom" to see photos of my current simplified set-up. Sorry, photos of the current hatchery are not available. Meanwhile, feel free to visit the previous hatchery set-up as photographed below.

My fishroom has been a constant work in progress over the last 4 years. It has had many lay outs and "looks" over time but now I have finally completed it to my liking. I kept adding tanks, and more tanks and more tanks until I had no more room, none whatsoever, ziltch, NADA. Still I was wondering how I could manage to squeeze in a few more? Well, now it is officially over because being unable to bend the laws of physics, I have to reluctantly accept the fact that THAT'S IT; there is, indeed, for sure, very very very very sure, NO MORE ROOM. (huh, what part of NO did I not understand?). I have finally taken photos of it and can now share the final version of it with you guys. To see a larger version of any photo, click on it. Some don't get much bigger but some really do!

My initial system!! This 8 feet long one foot deep acrylic tank had 48 compartments with flow through system and an outside canister filter. Water flows from one side, through all 48 compartments and exits from the other end. Young males of all colors were displayed here :)). From left to right:

A view from the top, young males socializing, and right, a shot of the system from the side. 

Currently the system has been retired because I decided to make my own version of the system, one that would be more flexible in the sense that it would allow me to either have compartments with males, or have an open tank for females or juveniles. This is working better for my (demanding) needs, but one day when I get a bigger fishroom I will resurrect the system, which is currently sleeping away on the bottom shelve of my gorilla rack. 

Here is a view of the Top two shelves of my gorilla rack: on top, my new system, consisting of several separate tanks with removable compartments and below it, on the middle shelf, my fry tanks. (12 of the 14 I have)

More tanks have popped up just about everywhere. Good thing I am skinny :) there is little room left to move around! No, they are not crooked, I was when I took the photos (cause there's no room to back up and fit the whole thing in the frame LOL). So I had to be a bit creative with my angles :). Left above: a bunch more fry tanks. Right: grow out tanks for smaller spawns. I use strong metal shelving that can support heavy weight. 

Remember that each gallon of water = 8 Lbs. It adds up quick! 

All wood shelves have been treated against mold and moisture. Otherwise they  go bad on you. Keeping your tanks covered will help reduce the amount of humidity in your fishroom and reduce 
the occurrence of mold growth.

Please do not email me with questions about the system or fishroom, because I will not have the time to reply and your email will simply be deleted. 
Thank you for your consideration.

Well, I try avoiding jars as much as possible, but I usually have at least about 100 of them at any given time. That number can grow dramatically and I always have a large reserve of clean 1/4, 1/2 and full gallon ready to go. I use plastic jars that are square, allowing better viewing of the bettas and better usage of the precious shelf space. All my shelves are white and my fishroom is kept very clean. 


Thanks God now a day I no longer have to do my jar cleaning myself. I actually have an assistant who comes and does it for me hehehehehehe. Life is good. Worry not, I am still a slave because with that many tanks there is ALWAYS more cleaning/maintenance to do.

Above, towards the left,  you can see some of the spawning tanks I now use. Fries will need to be transferred at day 4 with such a set-up, which I do not recommend for beginners. You guys are best spawning in the traditional 10 gal tanks. 

In a fishroom, there is always a certain amount of mess, because you need a million things at hand at all time. Cups, fishnets, medication, chemicals, and many other strange tools and contraptions you collect over the years, some good, some completely useless LOL. They all sit there and look at you (and you at them) daily. I have the great habit of putting things back in their place so I know where to find what and also my fishroom looks less messy that way. I have storage bins under my betta packing table with lots of drawers. In there go all I need for my shipping tasks and other betta related tasks. Food is stored in another cabinet. Hoses yet in another one. Spare parts in another, and etc... ;). Being anal retentive is actually a great asset when it comes to bettas. I use no less than 60 fishnets at any time. I never use the same net twice. This way I prevent the spread of diseases from one betta to the other, or worst, from one tank to the next. Fishnets are sterilized every time they are used. Hands are washed with antibacterial soap every time they handle any sick, sickly or 'suspected might possibly and just in case it is' sick betta. When it comes to my bettas health, I am not kidding around.


Below - right: brine shrimp are hatched 24 hrs a day, seven day a week in a cool food bin purchased with its cover at Smart and Final :)). Works great!


Itís a betta invasion!!! HELPPPPPP!! :)). They are everywhere! In my living room, my dining room, even my kitchen!!! OK, so I did retire the kitchen 10 gal tank last year LOL, but I compensated this offence by upgrading the 3 X20 gal tanks (below right) to a 60 gal tank and 2X30 gal tanks. I'll have to snap a new photo one of these days :).

From left to right above:

My living roomís 60 gal grow out tank, my dining room 50 gal tank and my previous three 20 gal tanks. Now a day all my tanks are bare with plastic plants, for easy maintenance.  I am happy to report that since I became the proud owner of a python system, cleaning all these large tanks has been piece of cake (well, almost!! :)) ).

Under my kitchen sink is a monster water filtering system that can produce both  R/O water and regular water and even mix them together to any degree I please. Water coming out has no traces of any harmful chemicals, so I no longer use dechlorinators etc... Water is also sterilized with the help of a UV sterilizer and then routed from the kitchen all the way to the other end of the house to the fishroom where it is stored in a 50 gal storing tank. An automatic shutoff system prevents any flooding of my fishroom while filling my tank. Now when the tank is full, the water flow stops hehehehehe. Water is then heated with 3 heaters until it reaches a well monitored temperature comparable to my jars and tanks. Then when I need water I turn on a switch which starts a special pumps which pumps water out of the storage tank and routes it wherever I please. There is a long hose on that baby! :) I can go back all the way to the kitchen. When we do jars, we use the adjacent bathroom and have the hose fill a bucket there for easy filling of the jars. It works GREAT :).

Well, I am sure many breeders have much more elaborate set-ups, but this one works well for me. I am after all, just a hobbyist. For those of you just starting, give yourself some time and know that my set-up did not happen overnight. It took about 3 years to fully develop. I remember days when all I had was two small tanks on top of a TV stand. So as you see, the longest journey starts with a first step. Setting up a fishroom is a very expensive and work extensive process, hence it is often necessary to do it gradually. Also as your bettabilities grow, so will your fishroom. Just remember to keep it under control (or at least gracefully "look" like you are trying to LOL).

Well, thatís about it for my humble set-up, I hope you enjoyed your tour of my fishroom, home and bettas  homes. (My friend was telling me other day: ď Well, those bettas sure are nice to allow you to live in their house!!!Ē LOL!!!!!)

What can I say folks, I am a very very sick person :)) a full blown bettaholic !!

Somebody call a doctor!! Quick!!!