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Old 05-03-2011, 04:34 PM   #1
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Cave materials?

I'd like to make my own rock cave. I have a really tall tank and am trying to think of something tall and narrow that I could turn into a cave by siliconing rocks or aquarium gravel to it. PVC pipe is a thought, but would only have a small hole opening, and I'm wanting something with a large opening in the front. What are my options for aquarium-safe materials?? TIA
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:31 PM   #2
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There is some pretty big PVC available out there. I have seen 4 inch stuff at the big box stores. You could put several shapes together, including a couple "T"s to give you openings. And you can use a jig saw or hack saw to cut chunks out, too. (Be sure to clamp it down before cutting.) Glue the pieces together with tank-safe silicone, and then paint it with Krylon Fusion. Use a color that will blend with whatever you are going to glue on top. I used a dark brown on PVC, and then used tank-safe silicone to glue brown gravel over the paint. That way, any missed spots do not show.

Just be sure to let the Krylon Fusion dry for at least a week before you start gluing stuff to it or put it under water.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
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I think it depends on how natural an appearance you want. I used slate floor tiles and hacked them into pieces. I initially had a tall cave with 2 floors and a full back, about 12" tall, but decided to split it up into 3 individual objects.
I used GE I Silicon.



Something like this could be made as tall as you need.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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Awesome, thanks for the tips! Can Krylon Fusion be found easily at hardware stores? I'm going to have to start looking around and see what materials I can give to my husband to build a cave for me (he gets to do all the cutting and painting, I get to do the gluing )
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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awesome caves, j2112j.... that looks like it could be beyond my ability though, lol
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:55 PM   #6
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this is the paint i picked up .... just want to double check to make sure it's the right stuff and is aquarium safe

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Old 05-09-2011, 07:11 PM   #7
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Yup, that's the stuff. I mostly use the flat black (sold as "camo" paint, for hunters I guess), but also use the flat brown sometimes. I recently branched out into some of their "special" finishes, with mixed results. The "hammered copper" looks ok, but not a whole lot like the cap. But the textured brown was a disaster. The color is nice...sort of a dark dark brown with a rough texture and tiny gold sparkles...but the spray nozzles can't handle the paint for some reason. THREE cans in a row had to be returned! I got 2-3 sprays out of each...and that was it! PITA!

I think what you have in the picture is satin brown. If you want maximum hiding, try to find the flat brown. (But the satin brown will work pretty well.)
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:44 PM   #8
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Ive been building alot of caves and rock formations using the slate as well, also picked up a bag of river rock at home depot. The unpolished type found in the garden section. Its a little bit harder than it might seem to get some of the formations you want, mostly because the silicon takes so long to cure, but once you get the knack of it, its not too hard.They have 4 different bags of rock, small, med large and xtra large. They only run about 5 dollars per bag and it gives you alot of different options. These are some of the first ones.. def a work in progress. Look much better wet of course.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:37 PM   #9
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Are these cave materials for salt or fresh water?
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:07 PM   #10
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The ones i used were for freshwater
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