I purchased the Aqua One Betta Barracks system because I had a great deal of bettas and was running out of space to put them. I'd tried the old breeder's trick of cleaning out soda bottles and soldering holes in the sides for water movement then putting them in a filtered tank, and that sort of worked, but I thought perhaps that a professionally designed system might do the job better.
Here is my review of the system after owning it for a few weeks.
One of my initial concerns was that because the individual chambers only hold 1.2 liters of water each, or 0.3 of a gallon, that the fish might not have enough room to swim and be happy in. After a few weeks trial I have determined that most bettas seem okay with the small space, and the small spaces are not dangerous from a health perspective, as the system is continuously filtering the water. Would I recommend these as lifetime tanks? No. However for someone who is breeding, or wishes to display bettas, these are a great little investment.
An additional investment you'll need to make is a small self starting siphon. Though liquid waste is filtered out through the back, solids tend to collect in the bottom of the container within just a day or two, so to keep the fish healthy, you will need to siphon out those wastes or clean the entire container every few days. A small siphon is the best option as it allows you to clean the tanks without frightening the fish and stressing them on a very regular basis.
Of course, as all 12 tanks are running from the same water supply, if one fish becomes ill, all the fish will. This is true for any betta system. It's therefore a very good idea to quarantine any sick looking fish immediately. As anyone who has kept a number of bettas knows, not all bettas will be susceptible to all illnesses. Stressed bettas are much more susceptible to sickness and some simply seem to have dispositions to common ailments like fin rot that others don't.
One aspect of the Aqua One betta barracks I must address is the noise. Constant trickling, which you may find soothing, or alternatively as torturous as the old Chinese water torture. The pump that powers the unit isn't exactly silent either. I'll be shopping around for a new one as there is a fair bit of vibration that makes the unit hum constantly.
All in all, this isn't the unit for the casual betta keeper, but an amateur interested in breeding may very well find the convenience of 12 pre-made filtered and heated bays to be a boon around breeding time.
Michael on January 21, 2012:
Guys where can u purchase these from in Australia
Jay on February 14, 2011:
Panda, I recently bought a second hand betta barracks too and the taps were rusted. I soaked them in some WD40 overnight. This loosened the tap adjustments, then while they were still coated in WD40, used a fine grit sandpaper to remove the rust. A fiddly job, but the taps came up sparkly and new looking. Needless to say, make sure you clean them properly and flush out any remaining oil from the taps. I also found that it was easier to keep an eye on the water level of the sump if you remove the colored plastic film off the front glass...
Panda on January 14, 2011:
I bought one of these tanks from a friend who bought it second hand... some of the spouts have stopped running. and the flow control taps seem to be rusted and I can't adjust them. do you know where i can find information on cleaning and replacing them, and also cleaning out the filter properly?
I love my fishies and want them to have a nice house :)
BJBenson from USA on May 21, 2010:
I love Betta fish. Thank you for this info.