As mentioned, breeding bettas will cost a good bit of money, time and space.. my first set up was a basic breeding for 1-2 spawns and my start up cost about $1200-$1500 minus fish. A lot of money went into paying for shipping as a lot of items I couldn't get locally.
Basic items will be a breeding tank (or two) that is 3-10 gallons roughly - keep in mind the smaller the tank the more work it will be, but it will be a bit easier.
A grow out tank - I recommend at least two and I also recommend them being at least 29g as it gives them more room to grow and ultimately they can last a bit longer in them growing (until the males will need to be separated).
May also need a "holding tank" for all those females you haven't sold when a new batch of fry need to move into the grow out tank. I've seen people use either multiple tubs or aquariums that are easily 55g - 125g.
Many many jars/cups, etc to house the juvenile males in once they start to fight - can't be too small as they still need some space to grow. 32oz deli cups are the smallest recommended.. but larger would be better. Also a way to heat all of those cups to the right temp - temp plays a big part in their health (short & long term) and their growth. So they need to be at minimum 78F steady.
IAL is something highly recommended.. I go overseas to get mine.
LOTS of food - for both fry, juveniles and adults.. live cultures, BBS, frozen, etc.
Multiple heaters (bigger, adjustable kind) and live plants... so many "little stuff" it will take a long time to list..
A good breeding stock.. store fish are fine just as long as you know you don't have guarantees of what they will produce and it may take a few generations to get some negatives out of the line (it will take at least 4+ months to breed the next generation), so it will be a long process.
Hours a day will be needed.. on my "easy" days I can spend at least 2+ hours doing the simple/small water changes.. the other days (more often than the "easy" days) I spend 4/5+ hours doing water changes, cleaning, culture working, etc. So if you have a job or go to school keep this in mind that it will take most of your free time daily at keeping up with spawns.
Also take into consideration if living with people your electric and water bill will also raise.
Last edited by Myates; 04-14-2013 at 10:31 AM.