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Old 02-01-2009, 12:11 PM   #1
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Question Hideaway for my Pleco

I have a 55g tank and I have some fake plants and a fake 1/2 log that my Pleco hides in. The problem is he has outgrown it. I was thinking of using some rocks to make hime a new home but after looking at some slate slabs I found the $$$$ was a bit extreme and my tank is high and long and not very wide so a good sized cave could block off the center of the tank. I was wondering if anyone has used PVC or ABS pipe in their tanks as a decoration or a house for fish. If so can you tell me what steps need to be taken to make it safe.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:20 PM   #2
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PVC should be good to go after a good cleaning to remove dirt and oils.

If you want to make it look a little slicker than a piece of PVC pipe in your tank, coat it with some aquarium safe silicone and cover it with your substrate.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:45 PM   #3
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If a cave is going to take up half of your 55g tank, how large is your pleco? He may be too large for the tank.

Also, slate tiles(for floors) aren't all that expensive, and you can pick up regular pieces of slate at any landscaping/greenhouse shop for a reasonable price.

PVC is just fine to use in aquariums, if you are set on going that direction though.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:15 AM   #4
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Mine has a piece of 4" PVC pipe to hide in, but he's outgrowing that, so I'll have to soon get him a piece of 6". I left mine plain, after a while algae grows on it and they have something to clean... it keeps them busy. Black ABS is not rated safe for drinking water and some claim it outgases and is toxic to fish. I dunno that for sure so I just use sch40 white PVC. be sure to sand/round off the sharp edges when you cut the pipe. using silicone to stick gravel or sand or rocks to it is a cool idea.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the helpful tips.

I also spoke to someone at my local Big Als and he recommended the PVC as well. I really liked the suggestion about covering it in the same substrate as is in the tank. I will probably go in that direction.

The Pleco is probably getting too big for the 55 gallon but my wife kind of loves him and will not let me get rid of him. I have not measured him but my tank is 12W x 48L x 21H and he almost touches the front and back glass. I estimate he is 10 or 11" long.

My sister and brother in law are installing much larger tank in their house and if they go Freshwater I might move him to their place. I think their tank is going to be in the 250 gallon range as it is being custom built to fit inside a wall in their rec room.
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