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Old 07-09-2004, 01:39 AM   #1
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DIY custom color caves for your tank =)

Now that I got my YoYo Loaches, I needed some more cave area. I got this idea from www.cichlidforum.com a while back and never did anything with it. Basically, you just get some PVC joint, RIT dye, and mix in some boiling water like so...

Boil a big pot of water:



Mix in a whole package of RIT dye:



Add PVC joints, check every couple of minutes. Here you can see my PVC is a weird shade of blue/purple at this point.



I kept boiling the parts until they were BLACK, then put in the sink to rinse. With other colors, you want the boil the parts until they are almost as dark as you want, then start rinsing them. The parts will darken slightly after you start rinsing them:



Once done, here is what you get:



The color comes out really nice and smooth. The color should not bleed unless you boild your entire fish tank. I am soaking the pieces overnight to bleed out any and all possible color, then I will add the pieces to the tank in the morning. I am probably going to use just the 3-way piece, and push it into the gravel.

Btw this was so simple I felt stupid putting it in the DIY forum so here it is...
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2x Sunburst Platys (2M, 2F) // 3x Neon Tetras (?) // 2x Cherry Barbs (1M, 1F) // 2x YoYo Loaches (?) // 1x Bushy Nose Pleco (M) // 1x Clown Pleco (?) //

*15H marine*
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-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
-2x Mushroom Leather // Metallic Green Star Polyps // Pulsing Xenia // Striped Xenia // Blue Mushroom
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Old 07-09-2004, 02:08 AM   #2
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I'm not toooo big on pvc in a tank... in a way I like it, sort of reminds me of something in a video game, like mario or something... but I usually prefer the natural look. I'm sure I've rambled enough here and there about my coconut shell ideas that you've probably seen them... one thing I said way back when and probably don't say it enough is that I'm more than willing to help anyone design their own. Some of the things I design require some work, creativity, and tools... but a few designs could be quite easy to do, very basic, and require nothing more than a handsaw and a pot to boil in... Anyway, I don't want to steal this post so besides grimlock, as he is the author of this one, if anybody did want to talk about the coconuts you can pm me or check out the classifieds or my gallery...
I do like the colors...
And don't feel stupid putting it in the DIY forum... I'm sure pleanty of people haven't thought of this as most seem to glue gravel to theirs... It's always nice to see and here all the other options... By the way, what is RIT dye?
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Old 07-09-2004, 02:23 AM   #3
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Coconuts would not fit in my tank very well. Yours look nice though, and so does the little snake in your gallery

The cave currently in my tank is made of two nice pieces of black slate that looks really nice. This PVC cave is just something additional to keep the Loaches happy and give them a place to hide for now if they get pestered. I am going to try to bury most of it is gravel so it blends right in. All I want to see is a pile of gravel and a hole. Since the inside is all black too, it should hide pretty well. No Mario Bros tank here (I hope)

RIT dye is cheap clothing dye you can buy almost anywhere. usually stores have it in the laundry section.
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2x Sunburst Platys (2M, 2F) // 3x Neon Tetras (?) // 2x Cherry Barbs (1M, 1F) // 2x YoYo Loaches (?) // 1x Bushy Nose Pleco (M) // 1x Clown Pleco (?) //

*15H marine*
-30# Live Rock
-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
-2x Mushroom Leather // Metallic Green Star Polyps // Pulsing Xenia // Striped Xenia // Blue Mushroom
-Remora + Maxi-Jet 1200 // 2x Maxi-Jet 600 // Maxi-Jet 400 // Visi-Therm Deluxe 50 // Current USA Orbit 2x 40w PC
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Old 07-09-2004, 02:29 AM   #4
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not to sound stupid... but couldn't you just buy black PVC?
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Old 07-09-2004, 04:06 AM   #5
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Sometimes the black ABS tubes don't come in the right shapes or sizes you want?

But the pieces in the picture I have seen at Home Depot in black ABS.
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Old 07-09-2004, 07:15 AM   #6
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found this just today.
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/diy_caves.php
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...chlid_cave.php
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/diy_pvc_cave.php
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Old 07-09-2004, 07:38 AM   #7
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I think you could do an interesting theme tank in black PVC. It's not my thing, but I think someone could make a neat looking tank with it.
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:15 AM   #8
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Black PVC would be nice but I can not find any around here (including Home Depot). With the RIT dye, you can make whatever color you want too

Here is a previous cave I did by siliconing rocks to it...



I am not using that cave. I never liked the white inside...
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*26 freshwater*
2x Sunburst Platys (2M, 2F) // 3x Neon Tetras (?) // 2x Cherry Barbs (1M, 1F) // 2x YoYo Loaches (?) // 1x Bushy Nose Pleco (M) // 1x Clown Pleco (?) //

*15H marine*
-30# Live Rock
-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
-2x Mushroom Leather // Metallic Green Star Polyps // Pulsing Xenia // Striped Xenia // Blue Mushroom
-Remora + Maxi-Jet 1200 // 2x Maxi-Jet 600 // Maxi-Jet 400 // Visi-Therm Deluxe 50 // Current USA Orbit 2x 40w PC
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Old 07-09-2004, 01:46 PM   #9
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sweet! i was hoping someone on the cichlid forums would write up an article about using rit dye, but it never happened. thank you thank you thank you!!! i'm planning on dyeing the intake pipes of my xp3 once everything gets close to being set up. i may make a few small pipe caves as well, but nothing fancy.

i'm assuming when you rinsed out the pot and pipes you did it in the kitchen sink? did that stain the sink at all?

btw, rit dye has been around for a long long time. it is a true permanent dye.
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Old 07-09-2004, 02:06 PM   #10
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The sink and pot are both stainless steel so nothing held the color of the dye. I did have to scrub the pot a bit but everything came right off with water and a paper towel. If I had to do this with a bunch of pieces, I would do it outside on a propane burner just in case anything spills. I had to stand right by the pot the whole time to make sure nothing bubbled up and spilled black dye all over my floor 8O

I have used RIT dye for a few things around the house. Sometimes when doing a solid color, it is better to use less dye but boil the pieces for longer to ensure the color is consitent. Also, keep everything stirred up at all times. If air bubbles develop inside anything, you can get some color variations. With RIT dye, any given material or color can work a bit different than you expect, so always experiment on one piece first.

Once the pieces are done coloring, I rinsed, soaked, drained, rinsed, then soaked them overnight. This morning, I wiped them down with a paper towel inside and out and got some black on the towel. After that, I did a final quick rinse and no more black came off. I was low on time because I rinsed the piece to a fault, so I just put it in the tank without burying it. When I get home I am going to try burying the Y pipe with just the two holes sticking out of the gravel.
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*26 freshwater*
2x Sunburst Platys (2M, 2F) // 3x Neon Tetras (?) // 2x Cherry Barbs (1M, 1F) // 2x YoYo Loaches (?) // 1x Bushy Nose Pleco (M) // 1x Clown Pleco (?) //

*15H marine*
-30# Live Rock
-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
-2x Mushroom Leather // Metallic Green Star Polyps // Pulsing Xenia // Striped Xenia // Blue Mushroom
-Remora + Maxi-Jet 1200 // 2x Maxi-Jet 600 // Maxi-Jet 400 // Visi-Therm Deluxe 50 // Current USA Orbit 2x 40w PC
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