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Thread: Anyone have DIY cave ideas?

  1. #1
    jarrodaden's Avatar
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    Anyone have DIY cave ideas?

    I have been trying to make homemade caves and my clown loaches don't seem to care for them. They keep going into a split piece of drift wood and I am worried they are going to get stuck in there.

    My latest try was pvc coated with matching substrate and they didn't do for those either. I think they dislike them because the white pipe reflects too much light.
    Jarrod - Houston, Texas
    150 gallon - my African cichlid monster tank (I know it isn't a big as yours)
    17 gallon - Threadfin rainbows and corys lightly planted
    5 gallon - planted red cherry shrimp breeder
    3 gallon - planted red cherry shrimp breeder

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    25g - Reef
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    10g - Ichthyophthirius multifilis breeding colony

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    BeefyG's Avatar
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    I've had good luck with coconuts like the one in my avatar. They're decorative, all natural, and I've seen my mollies, gouramis, and goldfish hanging out in them. I actually got the idea from a website that was selling plain ones as cichlid caves. I don't know if clown loaches like them because I've never had any. I'm taking 10 decorative coconut caves that I just made to the GHAC auction on the 7th if you're interested. I'm bringing the following designs: star, heart, broken heart, four leaf clover, cheshire cat, celtic cross, princess crown, and 3 x jack skellingtons. Let me know if you want to see a pic of any particular one.

    Or you can make one yourself: Drill an entry hole or cut your design into it. Don't forget it is full of liquid or you'll end up unpleasantly wet and sticky! Drain it. Boil it at least twice to get tanins out of it. Promise to buy the wife a new pot because you just stained hers a reddish brown color. Scrape the coconut meat out (easier after boiling). Sand down any rough or sharp edges. Boil it again. Basically treat it like driftwood. Lastly, keep up with your water changes!

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BeefyG For This Useful Post:

    jarrodaden (11-03-2009), lilmissruffcountry (11-03-2009)

  5. #4
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    How long did you leave the PVC caves in there?

    It might just be that the clown loaches weren't used to them yet, or it could be they just prefer the driftwood and once they get bigger they'll pack up and move to the PVC. I've met many a clown loach that wouldn't leave their PVC caves.
    "Millennium hand and shrimp!"

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    I have used half a clay flower pot.
    They're cheap and you can make a clean cut with any power saw.
    'Dear Lord,' the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. 'Without you, we are but dust ...'
    He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four-year old girl voice, 'Mom, what is butt dust?'

  7. #6
    HepCaribou's Avatar
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    I don't have clown loaches, but have had good luck with terra cotta clay pot caves for other fish. I cut holes in them with a Dremel tool. My steps as follows -- it was easier than I make it sound:

    • Buy cheap pots, hopefully not contaminated with anything
    • Boil pots a while (sterilizes, and forces air out of pores/water in), then let them soak a day or 2 more (easier cuts, less chance your project cracks apart)
    • Obtain Dremel and a Masonry/Tile Cutting bit
    • Set up outdoors somewhere (I suggest a chair, goggles/glasses, gloves, dust mask and/or strong fan to blow dust away from you) ... there's going to be a LOT of dust

    For cuts, use the bit at an angle till you get a hole started, then you can just press-to-cut. Use your whole bit so you don't dull one spot. If you want a special pattern, I'd draw that onto the pots beforehand... my cuts tended to wander...

    You could also combine broken terra cotta, silicone, and a few cuts here and there for some less pot-like caves.

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  9. #7
    jarrodaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeefyG View Post
    I've had good luck with coconuts like the one in my avatar. They're decorative, all natural, and I've seen my mollies, gouramis, and goldfish hanging out in them. I actually got the idea from a website that was selling plain ones as cichlid caves. I don't know if clown loaches like them because I've never had any. I'm taking 10 decorative coconut caves that I just made to the GHAC auction on the 7th if you're interested. I'm bringing the following designs: star, heart, broken heart, four leaf clover, cheshire cat, celtic cross, princess crown, and 3 x jack skellingtons. Let me know if you want to see a pic of any particular one.

    Or you can make one yourself: Drill an entry hole or cut your design into it. Don't forget it is full of liquid or you'll end up unpleasantly wet and sticky! Drain it. Boil it at least twice to get tanins out of it. Promise to buy the wife a new pot because you just stained hers a reddish brown color. Scrape the coconut meat out (easier after boiling). Sand down any rough or sharp edges. Boil it again. Basically treat it like driftwood. Lastly, keep up with your water changes!
    I am really liking this suggestion.
    Jarrod - Houston, Texas
    150 gallon - my African cichlid monster tank (I know it isn't a big as yours)
    17 gallon - Threadfin rainbows and corys lightly planted
    5 gallon - planted red cherry shrimp breeder
    3 gallon - planted red cherry shrimp breeder

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    There are some good/natural looking artificial caves,etc. I have one that I glued (RTV) to the back of the tank to maximize plant area on the bottom.

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    BeefyG's Avatar
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    For pics of the ones I just made:
    http://houstonfishbox.com/vforums/sh...threadid=32052

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    go to home depot and get a can of that spray foam? GREAT STUFF. blow up a balloon cover with the foam then cover the foam with rocks? wood? plants? or whatever. let it dry overnight hen pop the balloon
    euchlid's problems

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