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bristlenose breeding

Bristlenose Breeding Area

How Design and Set Up Your Own Bristlenose Breeding Area

If you’re going to get into Breeding Bristlenose Catfish then the first thing you’re going to have to do is set up a Bristlenose Breeding Area. Therefore you need to consider the scale of your Bristlenose Breeding operation.

So before you go any further consider how much spare time you have to dedicate to your new hobby. Breeding Bristlenose, just like any other fish can be take up quite a bit of your time. Therefore don’t bite off more than you can chew. You can just breed a pair of Bristlenose in a community tank of other fish or you can set up a series of tanks dedicated to just breeding lots of Bristlenose. So consider carefully the extent you can afford to take your new hobby. Having said that though, the way you design your Bristlenose Breeding Area and what you take into consideration can help enormously in lightening your workload.

Therefore what I’m about to write about here is what I took into consideration when I designed my Bristlenose Breeding Area and how I made things easier just by the design I used and what I took into account. In reality how you go about your own set up might be different to mine but hopefully as you read on you can use some of my ideas to design you very own Bristlenose Breeding Area.

Once you’ve decided on the scale of your operation then consider where you’d like to set it up. Most people will invariably decide on a room in their house and as such set it up as a fish room. For me though, I went about it in a different manner as I had a corner in my garage that was fairly clean and also quite convenient.

My Bristlenose Breeding area is compact and has 3, 2ft tanks.

Therefore the first thing I did was enclose an area into a small cabinet. Firstly to keep out any dust and secondly to keep in the heat. If you live in a climate where the weather gets cold during the winter then you will find that your breeding tanks will radiate quite a bit of heat that will be lost to the surrounding area. By enclosing your tanks in a small cabinet though, you will find that the heat will be trapped inside the cabinet and as such your aquarium heaters won’t have to work as hard and won’t consume as much electricity. So what you’ll find is you’re creating is a small micro climate to help save on energy.

The next consideration when placing your tanks in a cabinet might be condensation. This can be a problem during the cold weather. The best way to eliminate this is to ensure the lids/covers on your tanks are left in place. I’ve found that if I leave the covers off I will get condensation inside the roof of the cabinet but if they are left in position there isn’t a problem. It’s for this reason that I’ve elected to place the electrical power adapter on the outside of the cabinet.

Electrical Power Adapter, positioned outside the cabinet. This set up requires 3 Aquarium Heaters, 1 Air Pump and 1 Light. The other cord is for something else.

So you can see by placing your Bristlenose Breeding Area inside a cabinet in your garage, you can save on power consumption during the winter. During the summer though, it may be a different story. Firstly consider how hot your garage gets during the summer. Is your garage insulated or do you typically only get a handful of days each summer where the temperature might be a problem. Obviously you can leave the door open on your cabinet for ventilation or maybe you’ll need an alternative way to cool your Bristlenose Breeding Area when the temperature gets too hot?

These are all considerations you will need to take into account right from the start. With my set up, my garage is insulated and it does do a fairly good job of keeping the temperature down during the summer, plus I do have other means of cooling the area as well on those extra hot days.

The next thing you will need to take into account is the proximity of your Bristlenose Breeding Area to a source of water. Having water close by will cut down on your workload enormously. If your source of water is some distance from your breeding area also consider the route you need to take when transporting the water. If you have to carry water in buckets you probably won’t want to have to carry it over your best carpet or timber floor. Plus don’t forget you’ll have to dispose of used water as well, so having a sink nearby is helpful.

60 litre Container of aged, heated water with submersible heater and power pump. Be careful not to pump the water level below the heater. I use the same power socket so I have to unplug the heater to use the pump.

Also consider having some aged/conditioned water at hand. This will definitely save you time with water changes. I have a 60 litre container at hand with a submerged power pump. I’ve also got an aquarium heater submerged in it as well so I can pump warm, conditioned water into a tank I’ve just cleaned while I’m cleaning the next one. Remember, you don’t need to have the heater going all the time. Just switch it on long enough to warm the water before a water change.

This is just another reason why my garage is so appealing to me. It is firstly very close to our laundry and secondly it has a concrete floor so I can spill as much water as I like and it’s not a problem.

Bristlenose Breeding Area Light
The light takes an energy efficient globe, has an on/off switch and clamps onto a metal bracket so it can be easily removed.

Next up you will need to consider lighting. If you’re going to place your Bristlenose Breeding tanks in a cabinet then you will definitely need some form of artificial lighting. This will also add to your electricity consumption but I’ve found that one light with a power saving, 10w fluro globe provides all the light that’s required. In fact I’ve managed to grow Java Moss, Water Sprite, Wisteria and Riccia Fluitans under this light, no problem at all. Just remember, if you paint the inside of your cabinet with some white or lightly coloured paint you will greatly add to the brightness inside. Also if your cabinet is placed in a brightly lit area/room, lit by outside light, you can leave the doors open and the light off when the weather is warmer.

Also the ergonomics and the practicality of your Bristlenose breeding set up, inside the cabinet, is important as well. Firstly consider your shelving and most importantly it’s ability to easily hold/support the weight of your breeding tanks. Remember water is heavy and 1 litre of water weighs 1 kg so make sure your shelves can carry the weight.

Therefore I’ll say it again,  make sure your shelves can carry the weight. It cannot be understated. Also it is essential your shelving is rigid and relatively even as well. Glass tanks full of water don’t go well on uneven surfaces and that’s of course why you should always place a layer of foam under your tank (this should come supplied with your tank). If a glass tank is placed on an uneven surface and it doesn’t develop a leak straight away then rest assured, it will, and you’ll be sorry.

The Air Pump is positioned to the right. I still need to tidy up the air lines and electrical cords. The door is hinged at the bottom so it drops down, out of the way. The rag on the top left blocks the hole where the electrical cords exit, to help keep in the warmth.

Next consider the arrangement of your Bristlenose tanks inside the cabinet. I found I could fit three 2ft tanks inside my area which was 1000mm deep x 700mm wide x 840mm high. You can see how I’ve arranged them in the photos and have placed the back 2 on a rigid timber stand.

Also consider that the height is right for you as well. You will find that you will have to siphon the tanks with lots of small Bristlenose fry on the bottom so make sure you can see in ok and it’s comfortable for you to do so while your are tentatively trying not to siphon your fry.

You will also need a position for your air pump. Make sure you have room to route your airlines and power cords so they don’t get in the way. You can see from the photos mine are a bit of a nightmare and I am just about to redesign this aspect so it looks a bit tidier and is more practical.

Finally as you can see, placing your breeding area in a cabinet inside your garage or shed can work quite well or you may even be able to place the cabinet inside you house as well. This may in fact just give you more options as to where you can place it inside and may even make it easier to place it near that all important source of water.

Ultimately though, how you design your own Bristlenose Breeding Area will depend on your own situation. What works for one person might not work for another. One persons design may not work for everyone as sometimes you only have to change one aspect of a design to make it no longer viable.

Therefore take plenty of time when coming up with your own design. Finding smarter and easier ways to do things will save you time and ultimately money. If you go into it with the mindset that you can design a 6 tank set up that is less labour intensive and more cost effective than you friends, that only has 4 tanks, then you’ll be able to look after you Bristlenose in a manner that you can sustain. Which not only be good for you but your Bristlenose as well.

Therefore you can see there is much to consider when designing your own Bristlenose Breeding Area and how well you become at breeding your Bristlenose might just ultimately depend on your design and just how well you can set it up.

Best of Luck!