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Old 09-28-2013, 08:56 AM   #1
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DIY cave ideas

I want to build a decent size cave system for my pleco, if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:58 AM   #2
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I want to build a decent size cave system for my pleco, if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them
Are you wanting this to look natural or just functional?
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:01 AM   #3
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I prefer the natural look, but as long as it does its job I'm happy with anything. I'm just looking for something that's cheap, as I'm a poor highschool student haha
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:15 AM   #4
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I prefer the natural look, but as long as it does its job I'm happy with anything. I'm just looking for something that's cheap, as I'm a poor highschool student haha
Haha I understand. Im a poor college student lol
Pvc pipe is about to be your best friend I think! What you can do is get the pvc, silicone, and a bag of sand or rocks. Coat the pvc in silicone and roll in the sand or rock. Let dry and done!
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:46 AM   #5
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Hmm! Cool idea! Might have to try that!
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:27 AM   #6
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I was thinking of something like that, I read on a different thread on here that someone did something similar with a water bottle, would that work?
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:32 AM   #7
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My husband got a huge rock and carefully used a grinder to create the cave , free




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Obviously soaked it for days , but it's like a sand stone, we have quarry's with it over here in Tenerife ... My Pleco loves it
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:36 AM   #8
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You can make coconut caves.
Get a coconut, cut it in half, take out all of the meat and boil the hard part (I don't know what they're called).

You can do this before or after boiling but cut out an opening on the front of the hard, brown part. You can silicone the two halves to get her to make one hug hut or have two smaller ones.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #9
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I'm thinking I'm going to combine the PVC pipes with natural slate rock caves for almost like a miniature version of a rock wall 3D background I'll post pictures as soon as its done hopefully today
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:53 PM   #10
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Slow and annoying process haha
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:00 PM   #11
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I have made 2 caves from pieces of slate. Bought a 12"x12" piece for lowes and broke it up with a hammer then used silicone to hold it together.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:28 PM   #12
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Just finished the base of it, I'm going to put in some under sand caves which should be cool
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:37 AM   #13
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Just finished the base of it, I'm going to put in some under sand caves which should be cool
that looks quite good, is that natural rock slates you've found and thrown together? what adhesive have you used, aquarium-proof silicone or something like that?
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:56 AM   #14
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I used three rocks to make a cave. Two round rocks and a flat rock to place on top. I got the rocks from the lfs. My pictus cat fish and rainbow shark each have one.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:44 PM   #15
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Those look really good, well done.

There are other glues you can use for this kind of build. One type is two part epoxy putty. Oatey's is a brand known to be safe that is much cheaper than the stuff sold for aquarium use, but it has a very short cure time. So you have to have all your pieces ready to go and be able to assemble them in just a couple of minutes, or mix a new bit of putty for each new assembly step. It's also a pale tan shade, so it won't match dark rocks, but often you can hide it completely so it won't show at all.

The aquarium branded stuff comes in a dark blue and dark red, meant to match common coral colors, and while it has a much longer open working time, it's quite costly to buy a tube. Same basic method, just cut a slice, mix together to one uniform colour and go. You get about twenty minutes working time.

And it may suprise you, but crazy glue is also water safe, and fish safe. But it does not work very well on very rough or on porous surfaces. But it might be worth a try with flat smooth rock. It's fairly cheap, as glue goes, and little is needed.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:01 PM   #16
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I just ordered some slate pieces from eBay. I'm excited to get them and design a few caves for our tank. Can you buy the epoxy at walmart or a local hardware store? It just has to be 100% silicone correct?
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:25 PM   #17
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Epoxy is not silicone at all. It's totally different, but some brands are known to be safe for tanks and livestock. The stuff sold in aquarium stores is very expensive, but safe.

Oatey's is brand sold for use by plumbers on water pipes. I buy it at Home Depot. It is safe also, I know several people who have used it and had no problems as well as myself. It's just fast curing so you only get a few minutes to assemble after it is mixed, and is a pale colour.

You can also use tank safe silicone.. if it is tank safe, it's fine. GE makes one, I forget if it is type I or type II that is ok.. but if it says anything about preventing mould or mildew, it's NOT ok. Only silicone, not acrylic or any other type, and if it says it is for bathrooms and kitchens, it's not the right kind. They all have anti fungal stuff in them that's not safe.

There are some other glues that are safe too. The one thing they all share is price, it's fairly high, and I am not sure what brands are available in any given place. But Oatey's is, I think, American made.

Silicone is likely the least expensive, but you can end up with a lot left over and it does not keep, even if tightly closed, it will cure and have to be tossed out. The epoxy putty lasts a long, long time kept well wrapped so you can use it again later.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:27 PM   #18
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Most people use GE silicone 1 door and window
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:11 PM   #19
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Thanks. I knew it was a number one or two, just don't have any on hand to check right now.
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