Hiding places for larger cichlids

7.3IDIDSL

Member
Just wondering if anybody has any ideas for caves/hiding places for larger fish? Also if anybody has any pictures of caves they have built I would like to see them.

I have a fake coral cave that I got from the local fish store. It sits in the corner of the tank and has 3 holes on the front that the fish can go through. I have a texas cichlid in my tank that was maybe 1.5-2" when I bought him. Right away he claimed this cave as his own and loves hiding in it. That texas cichlid is now approx 5" and getting pretty big and can no longer fit through the holes in this cave that he loves. He has started digging the gravel out around the bottom of the cave and somehow making his way under the bottom of the cave. Once he is in the cave he pretty much takes up the whole cave with not much room to move around and last night he was stuck in the cave having trouble getting out. I decided I would stick my hand in the tank and pick up the cave and let him out. When I did this I scared him and he freaked out and squeezed his way out of one of the wholes in the cave. I still can't believe he made it through the whole when I look at him and the size of the whole.

Unfortunately on his way out of the small hole he tore up the top and bottom of his body a bit and hurt one of his fins. Last night he was sitting in the corner of the tank flapping his right fin but his left fin was flat against his body and he was not moving it. I felt terrible and was afraid he was going to die on me or something. Fortunately he seems back to his normal self today.

I have since removed this cave cause I don't want him to hurt himself. I now want to remove all of the fake decorations in my tank and put in more natural decorations like stones/rocks. The first thing I want to do is get some sort of cave for my texas cichlid to hide in.
 

Aquagirl1978

Member
Look for nice large river stones and get some aquarium adhesive and make one. In the long run it will be better because it will be to your specifications and you won't have to keep buying new ones to accomodate his growth.
 

gmen4life

Member
yeah my tanks have rivr rock in um works awesome
 

platy ben

Member
I would suggest clay pots, not only will they give your fish a hiding place, but they are very porrous, giving your beneficial bacteria plenty of surface area to grow on
I would also suggest making natural caves with driftwood
 

Nutter

Member
platy ben said:
I would suggest clay pots, not only will they give your fish a hiding place, but they are very porrous, giving your beneficial bacteria plenty of surface area to grow on
I would also suggest making natural caves with driftwood
+1. Terracota/clay pots are the easiest & quickest (not very natural though). They can be siliconed together to make quite impressive structures & don't be afraid to put big holes in them (file the sharp edges smooth). I like the natural look & use large hollow logs for caves for American cichlids. Split the logs in half lengthwise & silicone them on top of rocks for really big caves with two entry/exit points. That way the fish can swim in one end & out the other. (I'll post a couple pics for you later when the tank lights have come on)
 

mglentaylor

Member
Hidding place for larger fish

We have a blue heron that regularly eats our fish from our outdoor pond. One period the heron had his/her fill, so we installed three very large slabs of 1"+ thick granite slabs flat-wise supported by stacks of granite blocks, from a ledge in the pond. We have never seen the blue heron again. When the sun shines on a hot day the fish come out to play, otherwise the granite slab grotto remains their cozy home.
 

Vash

Member
Here is exactly what you need.
 

Aquarist

Member
Good morning,

Great link from Vash. I know several of our members have ordered those cichlid stones.

I'm also a big fan of using clay/terracotta pots. Make sure they are new (never seen dirt or chemicals), not glazed or painted in any way. Just a plain pot. I have photos in my profile if you care to take a peek.

Ken
 

chris T. anks

Member
I agree, large river stones and some adhesive. That way you won't run into this problem again, you can make it as big as you like. Good luck and lets see some pics when you are done.
 

Akari_32

Member
i've made caves out of a rock bowl (u know, for replites. I'll get a pic in a few minutes) and a couple of rocks from the garden (well cleaned, of course), but it was for ADF's and corries so it was only a couple of inches tall. its a good concept tho >.<

here they are! all its missing is to be surounded by gravel ^_^
 

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