Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > DIY Projects
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 05-03-2011, 03:34 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mommytron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: vermont
Posts: 3,053
Cave materials?

I'd like to make my own rock cave. I have a really tall tank and am trying to think of something tall and narrow that I could turn into a cave by siliconing rocks or aquarium gravel to it. PVC pipe is a thought, but would only have a small hole opening, and I'm wanting something with a large opening in the front. What are my options for aquarium-safe materials?? TIA
__________________

__________________
-Rachel
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
mommytron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 05:31 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
glassbird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 449
There is some pretty big PVC available out there. I have seen 4 inch stuff at the big box stores. You could put several shapes together, including a couple "T"s to give you openings. And you can use a jig saw or hack saw to cut chunks out, too. (Be sure to clamp it down before cutting.) Glue the pieces together with tank-safe silicone, and then paint it with Krylon Fusion. Use a color that will blend with whatever you are going to glue on top. I used a dark brown on PVC, and then used tank-safe silicone to glue brown gravel over the paint. That way, any missed spots do not show.

Just be sure to let the Krylon Fusion dry for at least a week before you start gluing stuff to it or put it under water.
__________________

__________________
glassbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 150
I think it depends on how natural an appearance you want. I used slate floor tiles and hacked them into pieces. I initially had a tall cave with 2 floors and a full back, about 12" tall, but decided to split it up into 3 individual objects.
I used GE I Silicon.



Something like this could be made as tall as you need.
__________________
36 Bowfront
j2112j is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 05:52 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mommytron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: vermont
Posts: 3,053
Awesome, thanks for the tips! Can Krylon Fusion be found easily at hardware stores? I'm going to have to start looking around and see what materials I can give to my husband to build a cave for me (he gets to do all the cutting and painting, I get to do the gluing )
__________________
-Rachel
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
mommytron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2011, 05:53 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mommytron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: vermont
Posts: 3,053
awesome caves, j2112j.... that looks like it could be beyond my ability though, lol
__________________
-Rachel
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
mommytron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2011, 05:55 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
mommytron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: vermont
Posts: 3,053
this is the paint i picked up .... just want to double check to make sure it's the right stuff and is aquarium safe

__________________
-Rachel
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
mommytron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 06:11 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
glassbird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 449
Yup, that's the stuff. I mostly use the flat black (sold as "camo" paint, for hunters I guess), but also use the flat brown sometimes. I recently branched out into some of their "special" finishes, with mixed results. The "hammered copper" looks ok, but not a whole lot like the cap. But the textured brown was a disaster. The color is nice...sort of a dark dark brown with a rough texture and tiny gold sparkles...but the spray nozzles can't handle the paint for some reason. THREE cans in a row had to be returned! I got 2-3 sprays out of each...and that was it! PITA!

I think what you have in the picture is satin brown. If you want maximum hiding, try to find the flat brown. (But the satin brown will work pretty well.)
__________________
glassbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 06:44 PM   #8
member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 675
Ive been building alot of caves and rock formations using the slate as well, also picked up a bag of river rock at home depot. The unpolished type found in the garden section. Its a little bit harder than it might seem to get some of the formations you want, mostly because the silicon takes so long to cure, but once you get the knack of it, its not too hard.They have 4 different bags of rock, small, med large and xtra large. They only run about 5 dollars per bag and it gives you alot of different options. These are some of the first ones.. def a work in progress. Look much better wet of course.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20110509_153257.jpg
Views:	114
Size:	201.9 KB
ID:	36773   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20110509_153504.jpg
Views:	118
Size:	203.2 KB
ID:	36774  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20110509_153752.jpg
Views:	131
Size:	176.6 KB
ID:	36775  
__________________
pantherspawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 07:37 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tinley Park, IL
Posts: 173
Are these cave materials for salt or fresh water?
__________________
warvillian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 10:07 PM   #10
member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 675
The ones i used were for freshwater
__________________
pantherspawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 05:36 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
glassbird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 449
Wow! I like the river rock ones! I may have to try that! Be aware though that the silicone that shows will become more visible underwater (I have no idea why, but it is very annoying). Also, depending on your water, it may turn white after a while. This happened to me when I glued a bunch of lava rock together for retaining walls. Eventually, the white was covered in algea and it is now not really visible at all. The one way that I found to prevent silicone from showing up was to sprinkle sand on the wet silicone and really pack it on.

Another thought...for the slate trapezoid in your pictures...make sure that one is far enough away from your glass that if it collapses it wont hit the glass on it's way down! I had a slate "table" sort of arrangement in my tank once, and the silicone gave out...it just collapased downwards, so no harm done. But if it had hit the glass...
__________________
glassbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 07:43 PM   #12
AA Team Emeritus
 
Wy Renegade's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,754
Try a terra cotta (clay) pot. Purchase the size you want, turn it upside down, use a masonary bit of the appropriate size to drill the size of opening you desire (drill a side or enlarge the bottom opening). You can also cut the pot in half using a masonary blade or tile saw (half a pot makes a nice cave). Cover the outside using two part epoxy and sand/gravel. If you want to get really creative, buy some expanding pond foam and use river rock and foam to build structure off of the pot.
__________________
the Bog

"Listen to some of these guys talk, and it's like they were born from their momma's belly with a fishkeeping encyclopedia in one hand and an API kit in the other" (unrevealed).
Wy Renegade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 10:20 PM   #13
member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 675
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassbird View Post
Wow! I like the river rock ones! I may have to try that! Be aware though that the silicone that shows will become more visible underwater (I have no idea why, but it is very annoying). Also, depending on your water, it may turn white after a while. This happened to me when I glued a bunch of lava rock together for retaining walls. Eventually, the white was covered in algea and it is now not really visible at all. The one way that I found to prevent silicone from showing up was to sprinkle sand on the wet silicone and really pack it on.

Another thought...for the slate trapezoid in your pictures...make sure that one is far enough away from your glass that if it collapses it wont hit the glass on it's way down! I had a slate "table" sort of arrangement in my tank once, and the silicone gave out...it just collapased downwards, so no harm done. But if it had hit the glass...
Yeah i plan on doing the sand sprinkle as well.. wanted to wait til i was finished, will just add a bit more silicone.. and the slate, has a bottom on it that will sit under the gravel for stability.. I also plan on running anubais nana and baby tears up and around the slate and just some baby tears or java moss on the river rock. Good advice though, thanks.
__________________

__________________
pantherspawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cave

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Filter Materials itafx General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 1 01-02-2008 02:27 PM
materials for making live rock crook280 DIY Projects 1 01-11-2006 09:11 AM
testing materials duckkbutter Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 17 06-19-2005 01:39 PM
Tank Cover Materials Hypostomus Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 5 04-20-2004 12:55 PM
Tank materials nguyen27 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 3 11-23-2003 09:36 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.