By Patchin Curtis (extracted from a PVAS forum thread)
Wanting to breed Purple Emperor Tetras (Inpaichthys kerri) in a more intensive manner, I opted to fabricate some breeding baskets. After researching online, I narrowed the design down to two possibilities: replacing the bottom of a glass 2.5 gallon tank as Ted Judy shows, or using plastic pond plant baskets as L.R. Bretz shows.
The weight, fragility, and construction time for the glass tanks quickly tipped the scale in favor of using plastic baskets.
Materials: Active Aqua 9" square black plastic pond plant baskets by Hydro Fram, white craft styrofoam rods 1" in diameter and 8" long, Darice black plastic canvas #7 mesh 10.5" X 13.5", zip ties, GE Silicone II tube, box cutter, caulking gun, scissors. You could opt to use pipe insulation in place of the styrofoam rods. Also, you could use black locking tape (like velcro) to attach the lids to the basket, but I decided that this wasn't necessary and would actually complicate putting on and taking off the lid.
Steps: 1) Using box cutter, cut out the bottom of the plastic basket along edge where the lip meets the area with holes; 2) smooth out the rough edges with the box cutter and sanding paper, just enough to prevent lacerations to fish; 3) Cut the black plastic canvas to size to fit inside the basket forming a new bottom; 4) Put a bead of silicone caulk along the edge of the plastic mesh and place in bottom of basket, smooth out, and let cure 6-24 hours; 5) Attach styrofoam cylinders to sides of basket having slits in rim using zip ties; 6) Cut black plastic canvas rectangle to serve as lid to prevent jumpers.
That's it. The majority of time was spent researching and ordering the materials. Once everything arrived, construction was very rapid. Tip: the black plastic canvas mesh is much less expensive at Michael's than from Amazon. You'll find it in the needlecraft section of the store. It's primary use is for needlepoint. Here are some pictures.
If you look closely you'll see that the holes in the bottom of the plastic pot aren't entirely open due to the manufacturing process. The black plastic mesh provides a much more open hole structure increasing the likelihood that eggs will fall through the bottom to safety.
Fits perfectly in any standard tank of 12.5" width or more such as a 20 High, 20 Long, 30 Breeder, 55, etc.
Leftovers can be used as harvesting aid for microworms.