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Old 03-24-2004, 10:36 PM   #1
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Sheesh! Get a room! said EEk to his fish

ok, so while I'm not actively trying to get my cockatoo cichlids to breed (i just learned about the nitrogen cycle last week) but it looks like it might be imminent. I need to get my fish a room so they can do whatever kinky things fish do when we're not looking.

My tank doesn't have a cave per'se and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas? I want to keep a natural look to the tank so a clay pot won't work. I was thinking of getting a small plastic bowl (like for cereal) and cut a proper hole in it for the entrance. Then I was going to somehow glue matching substrate to the outside of it, so when i put it in the tank, it'll look like a cave in the gravel.

it's the somehow that has me stumped. I don't know what I should use. I guess I could use some silicone or something.. someone mentioned cement. I made a weird face when he said cement, but he said he had done it before and didn't have a problem.

any suggestions?[/i]
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Old 03-24-2004, 11:01 PM   #2
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Someone else made a DIY cave a while ago, heres the thread:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=20028

They said they used aquarium sealent from petsmart.
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Old 03-24-2004, 11:25 PM   #3
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What he said, just take aquarium safe silicone and cover whatever you want to make a cave out of with gravel.

On a natural note, two pieces of slate placed together often make a nice breeding cave.
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Old 03-25-2004, 01:31 AM   #4
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Either use rock or I saw the DIY cave and it looked great! I want to make one, but there isn't room in the community tank for it.
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Old 03-25-2004, 03:10 AM   #5
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whoa, that cave does look good.. i've already got something in mind along with a piece of driftwood I have already in the tank..

gears are turning! I also have a slate based cave idea in mind, but how do I know if it's safe for the tank? pH levels and stuff?

*edit* any thoughts on the cement thing? someone i know wants to try that but isn't sure how it will affect his tank.. i'm curious too
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Old 03-25-2004, 06:19 AM   #6
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Thats a no go on the cement. The chemicals in the cement will leach into the water. Aquarium safe silicone glue is the only sure way to go (and it works great anyway).
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Old 03-25-2004, 10:54 AM   #7
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From what I understand slate, shale, and granite should all be safe. Sandstone is iffy, I guess b/c it's hard to know what minerals it contains. Tho Rainbow Rock at the LFS should be ok. Unfortunately I have no source that you could reference to check on this. So hopefully one of the experts will confirm.

You want to avoid anything like limestone, marble, tufa anything that you would add to a cichlid tank would mess with the hardness.
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Old 03-25-2004, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
You want to avoid anything like limestone, marble, tufa anything that you would add to a cichlid tank would mess with the hardness.
Rift lake cichlids! (and probably others)

Dwarf cichlids like it soft and neutral.
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:59 PM   #9
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Oops! I stand corrected
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:09 PM   #10
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Actually smilla, depends on the dwarf cichlid and where it comes from. There are African dwarf cichlids that DO need the higher hardness levels. No time to find em now, but wanted to mention it.
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:42 PM   #11
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I guess in the future I will merely state "some cichlids". I try to be pretty careful about what I say, especially as I don't want to lead somebody in the wrong direction. Unfortunately I think I've seen the words "hardness" and "cichlids" together so often, that it slipped out without thinking about it!
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Old 03-26-2004, 10:13 PM   #12
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I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go with a slate based idea.. it will make a nice contrast to the huge driftwood on the opposite side of the tank. i might even design it in a way to help difuse the strong current under the filter.. we'll see though. gonna go to home depot later today..
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Old 03-28-2004, 12:45 AM   #13
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*hits self on head* African dwarf cichlids--I always think South American for dwarfs!
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Old 03-28-2004, 09:35 AM   #14
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IMO, the best thing for something that won't take up a lot of space and yet be sufficient would be a premade cave or other structure from the lfs. They aren't that expensive, you know it will be safe, and after sitting in the tank for a few months no one will be able to tell it's fake. In my gallery, I have a fake tree stump in the black tank. It was completely hollow, and home to my talking catfish. It looked very authentic.
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