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Old 10-25-2005, 04:31 PM   #1
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Location: Bristol, Connecticut
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Making a cave

Hi, I am in the process of setting up my new aquarium. The tank is 8' long, 30" wide and 24" high, 300 gallons. The tank will be heavily planted with driftwood and rocks. Eco-complete will be the subtract. Filtering will be a Eheim Pro 3 and an Eheim Pro II 2128. Co2 will be used. I start setting up next week. The tank has been in my back yard for a month, I've been going crazy looking at it. I have eight friends coming over Sunday to bring it in, it is glass!!!

I have some cave dwelling fish going in the tank, Clown Loaches, Polkadot Loaches, Blue Rams & Bolivian Rams. So I want to include a nice cave. I went to 4 of my LSF's today and found lot's of rocks but no matter how I put them together they won't look natural.

While looking at the rocks I remembered a post I saw, somewhere, where someone used Styrofoam to make caves and make a backing on his tank. The tank was large, 150 gallons I think. So, here are my questions:

1) would it be practical to use Styrofoam to make a cave?

2) how would it hold up over time?

3) how would you stop it from floating (aquarium sealant?)?

4) can it be painted?

5) if it can be painted, what type of paint can be used?

Thanks for any help, Michael


300 gallon Tang - 180 gallon - two 125 gallon South American - 75 Tang - 40 CAE - 20 Cyprichromis grow out
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Old 10-25-2005, 07:01 PM   #2
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300 gallons...should be an AWESOME tank.

I don't know if I can answer all your questions but I can help. Here are some links that may be able to help you.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...kground_ii.php <-- background and caves
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...eatherrock.php <-- feather rock caves
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/diy_caves.php <-- PVC cave
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/diy_pvc_cave.php <-- another PVC cave
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...chlid_cave.php <-- rain gutter cave

I've tried the PVC cave (the one where black PVC is used) and it look good except it takes a lot of aquarium sealant, rocks, and time to make. I've also used terra cotta pots and thats worked pretty well. You can lay rocks against them to make them look more natural.

The rain gutter cave seems pretty cool too.

10g - 3 Feeders, 1 Bolivian Ram, 1 Bluegill?
40 Breeder - Eastern Painted
50g Rubbermaid - Mississippi Map
I work at an LFS..
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:05 AM   #3
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If you can see this post have a look.
It's a friend of mine whos just started making the 3d backgrounds.
have a look at the finish product with all the shells and rocks cemented in it.

That one will be siliconed to the back, but a cave covered in concrete will hold itself under water no worries.
Dimidiochromis compressiceps,
Astatotilapia latifasciata
Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos
Labidochromis caeruleus
Cynotilapia afra 'Cobue'
Pseudotropheus acei 'Msuli Point'
Aulunocara stuartgranti 'chipoka'
Labidochromis freibergi
Oreochromis mossambicus
Etroplus suratensis
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Old 01-12-2006, 04:18 AM   #4
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buy your styrofoam, cut it to how you want it, do all your shaping, go buy a 40 bag of cement, mix it up to where its medium thickness, not to much water, put small thing coats of this over your styrofoam and let dry for a couple of days, then was it really good or let it stay in the tank for a week or two until all the traces of it are filtered out, you could possibly go to your local marine shop and buy some of the water proof paint they use on boats and what not, iono if it would be toxic or not
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