I spent over a thousand dollars on my first set up.. and I am still spending >.< Eek!
I didn't go as cheaply as possible (rather see the pair/fry in the breeding tank/grow out tank than them in a dark tub), etc..
2 10 gallon tanks - 1 for plant/infusoria growing, 1 for spawning
2 30 gallon grow out tanks
2 double stands for the tanks
2 very large and shallow rubber containers to hold the cups for grow out
1 large industrial stand for the rubber containers
6 heaters, plus a spare
2 air pumps - 1 with 4 prongs, 1 a single pronged one to use for placing air into shipping bags
Valves to control air flow
Lots of airline tubing
2 containers to grow out BBS
3 sponge filters, plus a spare
Medication for fungus
AQ & Epsom salts
Huge container of Prime water conditioner
A good digital camera
Will need lots of live plants - ones that Petco/Petsmart don't carry - typically you will buy these online.
Will need live foods - hatch your own BBS, I have 2 different worm cultures going on as well, which you may have to buy all those online, as stores tend not to carry cultures.
Also have "weaning" fry food that will help transition between live foods to pellet food.
Have multiple different types of pellet food - I personally have the easier to find Omega One, Attison's, NLS Grow.. and then some that you have to order online that are the best quality you can find out there... Black Gold, Pro Grow, and some specialty ones from the IBS store. They are for different stages - they need top quality food to help keep them healthy and grow.
IAL or oak Leaves- I am not using Oak leaves as you need so many of them, it's impossible for me to get enough from just 1 or 2 trees that I have around. IAL will make a big difference, and help keep fungus from attacking the eggs. That is an online order...
Figure out what you want to use to house the juvies in once they become aggressive - either glass jars, beanie containers or even the 32oz deli containers. Will need approx a 100 at least, possibly more depending upon how much you cull and how big the spawn is. These you tend to purchase online from ebay/AB/direct from the manufacturers, etc.
And I really can't even list all the smaller things you will need like turkey basters, shrimp nets, multiple thermometers, etc.
Expect your electric and water bill to go up some.
You will need to find a way to warm the jars, which could be anywhere from 10 to over 100 - depending on how many babies you choose to cull (kill). Either a space heater to keep your room above 80* constantly or using more tanks/containers to place the jars in with a heater or two.
I highly highly suggest researching for a long while before attempting to breed - you will learn that you will need to spend a couple hours at the least each day doing water changes and general care - you will also need to be able to feed multiple times a day, so if you have school/work you will need to find a system that lets you have time to do what you need to do in life, and still be able to feed during the day and do water changes when you get a chance. It will take a lot of time and patience to breed.. and even with the best set up, your pair may not be successful at spawning so you may end up having to replace the pair with another until you do get successful.
I'm not saying not to do it.. but it's not as easy/simple as it sounds. If money/time/space isn't an issue than by all means, research and go have fun breeding! But if any of those 3 are a problem then you may want to look deeper into whether or not you want to breed.
Do you have a plan on selling the fish? If you can't purchase online, are you going to be able to get a paypal account? Post ads/pictures on different sites and ship the fish properly? Will need boxes, packing materials, certain types of bags, heating packs (which can get expensive, not to mention most likely need online purchasing to get multiples and not spend as much money), foam sheets to cut, tape, etc. Have accounts such as a separate email, AB, Ebay and elsewhere if possible. You will have to make sure you can send them properly and safely - otherwise you will lose money for any death as you will either have to refund all the money (in which you lose the cost of your shipping materials and the price of shipping), or replace and you will lose the price of shipping materials and the cost of the replacement fish. If you can't sell/ship online, the only alternatives would be trying to find a local fish store that will purchase the juvies (you won't get much, most likely store credit or usually less than a dollar per fish), or placing ads in the newspaper/craigslist.
I took a couple months to make sure I had everything one needs to breed, and even with 20yrs of fish care and breeding of other species and lots of experience with bettas I still had a ton to learn about breeding bettas - and I'm still learning.
People do it differently, I personally don't want to make my set up to look/feel like it's just a business, why I prefer glass tanks over the rubber tubs, as I like to look at my fish.
But as far as buying items from just the stores near you - it's impossible to get everything you need from them. Online purchasing will need to happen to get the proper equipment/foods/plants/etc.
I wish you luck, lots of people here will be able to give you advice, but make sure to read all of the stickies on top and do lots of research elsewhere, find groups on FB too that have breeders there that can help with questions as well. Just take it a bit slow and make sure you have every duck in a row before you jump in.
I made a list of every little thing needed, no matter how insignificant it is.. and then recheck it over and over to make sure you aren't missing anything. Then you can find out how to obtain everything without going online.
I honestly can't give you any "right" way to breed, as others mentioned, there are a lot of different ways. I found a set up that works best for my space and time - but it will differ from yours. Get a list going, then if you are needing advice, post the list here and others will tell you if you are missing items, or alternatives, where to get things, etc.
Last edited by Myates; 11-28-2012 at 08:32 AM.