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Home-Made Aquarium Caves -- How?


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#1 ShinySideUp

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:16 PM

Further to my rant about clown loaches (see another post) I want more cave space but resent paying the huge monies that LFS's require for driftwood/bogwood/artificial caves, etc. Has anyone built their own edifices? How? What material did you use that won't pollute the water? I've heard poystyrene is inert but then it's not exactly sinking material either. Any advice or links?

#2 bristlenoseitplecoman

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:31 PM

I have heard about plant pots being good caves as long as they are clay.

#3 KrystaK

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:44 PM

Pot plants are good :)
Or Plastic piping (Often used in plumbing, can come from any hardware store)

I'm currently making a 3D background, out of polystyrene and cement :)

#4 ShinySideUp

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:57 PM

Pot plants are good :)
Or Plastic piping (Often used in plumbing, can come from any hardware store)

I'm currently making a 3D background, out of polystyrene and cement :)


Doesn't cement leech in to the water?


Having said that I expect you mean poystyrene cement

Edited by ShinySideUp, 17 April 2012 - 11:58 PM.


#5 thereverendturtle

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:37 AM


Pot plants are good :)
Or Plastic piping (Often used in plumbing, can come from any hardware store)

I'm currently making a 3D background, out of polystyrene and cement :)


Doesn't cement leech in to the water?


Having said that I expect you mean poystyrene cement


It's polystyrene with a couple of coats of cemented then sealed with a clear urethane.
Clay pots and pvc pipe are your best options.

#6 gearhead65

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:42 AM

I just picked up some slate tiles at Home Depot to make a cave for my clowns. Only about $1.50 (USD) per tile. They come 12" by 12", but they're easy to break up and stack to build your cave however you want.

#7 5teady_2012

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:44 AM

slate, or plant pots, coconut shells...
Angle grinder with cutting disc, aquarium sealer to stick things together if needed. simple as that :)

few examples.

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#8 Salam

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:26 AM

slate, or plant pots, coconut shells...
Angle grinder with cutting disc, aquarium sealer to stick things together if needed. simple as that :)

few examples.


+ 1 :good:

#9 Miss.Ward

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:03 AM

i have used a few large rocks and pilled them up to make caves the fish love it and its cheap

#10 Gilli

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:00 AM

Use any of the suggested and make them look more natural by growing live moss or plants on them :good:

#11 ShinySideUp

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:03 PM

I bought some angled pieces of square-section, brown PVC drainpipe today, put them together to form a small tunnel system and dropped it into the front of the tank to see what the fish made of it. The main lights were out so I watched them by the blue light. The Cory's were the first in -- I love cory's they are so inquisitive and tame -- but the Clowns were close behind (especially when I dropped in a catfish pellet. Anyway, I watched them for a while and all seemed well so left them to it. Later, I thought I'd better take it out as it was just dropped casually into the tank and doesn't look that good only to find that my largest clown had set up home in it!

I'm looking forward to this weekend when I can have a go at making it look more natural and larger. I'm thinking of sinking the bulk of it into the sand and just leaving the entrance holes exposed with natural stuff stuck around them to disguise the pipework.

If it looks OK I'll take some pictures.

#12 Tizer

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:45 AM

I use brown plastic downpipe, smeared with aquarium sealant which is then rolled in dry cat litter (which i use as my substrate) leave it to cure for 24 hours then plopped into the tank. Im also doing the same with some of these:

Posted Image

Also use half a dozen coconuts with holes drilled in them, or cut in half.

Edited by Tizer, 20 April 2012 - 08:46 AM.


#13 PlumbersMerchant

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:16 PM

is that old clay 4" ? you would be better selling that and buying plastic. that stuff can cost a fortune ha ha. really interested in this, caves sound like a cool addition to any tank. looking forward to pictures



#14 Lunar Jetman

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:59 AM

I think I'm going to have to have a go at creating one of these for my tank. A quick pop down to Wickes and/or B&Q in the next day or so to look a their piping is in order!



#15 CezzaXV

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 06:59 PM

I've made coconut caves, just by cutting coconuts in half then removing the flesh. The coconuts only cost me 40p each and I got two caves out of each coconut.




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