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Old 03-31-2004, 10:05 PM   #1
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A perfect African cichlid pad

Just wondering if anyone knows what diameter I should be aiming for if I wanted to use pcv pipe for my mbuna hangouts...2", 3"? I'm rethinking the whole rockscaping thing, and trying to come up with ideas for a pcv pipe/rock layout that will make my setup safer for the fish but still offer a lot of hiding places and look natural.

Also, if I wanted to paint the inside of the pipe a darker color, what paint is not toxic in a fishtank?
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Old 04-01-2004, 12:20 AM   #2
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Do you really think that fish that was missing was stuck between rocks?
Are you going to glue the pipe to the rock to ensure it can't move? Maybe I am being unimaginative, but I can't figure out how you intend for this to look? Have you tried lace rock--it forms caves and cannot be moved by the fish.
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Old 04-01-2004, 06:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Do you really think that fish that was missing was stuck between rocks?
Yeah, because when I feed them, they forget the pecking order and all come to the top of the tank. Once they feed, the male kenyi, currently the tank champ, chases them all back into their niches. I didn't see this guy once in a week and a half. Now, as far as how he got stuck, it's quite possible that the alpha male kenyi chased him into a tight spot. He isn't sick, there's no sign of damage beside some superficial scratches that are healing--plus when I got him out of the tank and in the QT he was back to normal within a few hours.

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Are you going to glue the pipe to the rock to ensure it can't move? Maybe I am being unimaginative, but I can't figure out how you intend for this to look?
So far, the only idea I have thought of is taking a pcv tube 2" in diameter (this should be enough I think) and cutting 6-inch pieces out of it, maybe 8 pieces total. When I pull all the rocks to rearrange them, I'll stack the rocks like normal, but place tubing inbetween the rocks. This will ensure the cichlids have their pick of hiding places. It may also allow me to remove a few of the bigger rocks. I'm not sure if I would glue endcaps to the tubes to close off the "caves" or leave them open. I'm probably doing a crappy job at explaining, when I get home after work I'll sketch something and post it.

Quote:
Have you tried lace rock--it forms caves and cannot be moved by the fish.
It's a more specialized rock that is difficult to find outside the lfs in my area, and is a bit more money than I want to spend
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:06 AM   #4
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I wish I had pics to show of my 80 gal. My fiance and I have spent a small fortune on lace rock, but it will last forever and looks great.
After you sketch out your idea, I would really like to see it.
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Old 04-01-2004, 06:18 PM   #5
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I've used PVC a few times with Mbunas, 2" seemed to work the best
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Old 04-02-2004, 03:57 AM   #6
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Well, I started drawing up the rockscape plans, but I realize it won't work, because there will be tons of spaces and bad angles from the rock on top of the pcv. Basically, it can be done, but it will look really ugly. So, back to the drawing board.

Is styrofoam bad for the tank? I'm thinking I can make styrofoam "rocks" or a backdrop, this way I can cut them to size, and hide the tubing better. I've seen something like it here:

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...background.php

this one's cool, made from gutters...click here

The cool thing about it is I can make two different ones, so when I add fish I can remove one and replace it with the different one instead of spending hours nervously shifting rocks around.

LOL, I just can't seem to leave my tank alone.
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Old 04-02-2004, 08:46 AM   #7
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That first one looks mucho sweet. My only concern would be unknown chemicals in the concrete etc. leeching into the water. I'm sure that the ph increase is because of the lime in the concrete mix.

As long none of it ever breaks off, it should be fine. I wonder what type of styro he used on that one. It looks like the type that has a lot of (for lack of a better term) plastic in it. Not like blueboard or a styrofoam cup, more like the type that's used as packing materials for electronics. It flexes instead of breaks.
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Old 04-02-2004, 03:39 PM   #8
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Here is a link for you http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/...itt_rocks.html

But please forgive me if I got that link from you!

If you do decide to go with PVC, you can color it by using silicone and covering that with black sand, or whatever color sand you are interested in, which would add color without bulk.
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Old 04-05-2004, 08:28 AM   #9
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I don't know much about sand or concrete/cement for that matter. Is play sand and colored sand interchangable? I'm just wondering if using the above recipe, using black sand instead of play sand, would be ok.

The idea of making a bunch of black caves sounds good. They would look really cool in my tank...
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:23 AM   #10
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Tahitian moon sand would be a wonderful choice, and is an inert sand. I am really liking this idea too.... 8)
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