Non-PVC caves.

  1. bruiser Member Member

    Hey, I decided to build a couple caves for my soon to be cichlid tank. I didn't think I'd like the look of the classic pvc style that i've read so much about, but i tried a couple thing with it anyways, and no matter what i did, it still looked like a piece of pipe.

    So I went to Home Depot today and bought a couple slate tiles, smash them into pieces, and started building..

    this is what I've came up with so far.. not real happy about the one in the middle, but I think i'm gonna try to save it with some modifying.

    pretty easy to put together, only took about an hour.. $15.00 covered both tiles and the silicone.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. GMCMaxx Member Member

    That's a great idea. I've been wanting to add more dimension to my tank, but I really didn't want to add any more driftwood. I want to keep my tank mostly stone and rock with live plants. With your idea I can build whatever shape I want and keep it looking natural as possible.
    Thanks for the idea!
    BTW: Do you have to use a special kind of silicone that isn't harmful to fish?
     

  3. bruiser Member Member

    Hey GMC, Yeah you should just go to you local fish supply store and get silicone there.. some say other kinds are fine, but its not much more money, and theres no worrying.

    One thing I will say about building with tile like I did, try not to destroy the factory edges too much.. the broken edges look a lot cooler, but if you can keep one factory edge you'll save yourself a lot of trouble lining/standing the pieces up.
     
  4. Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    You just need to be careful of the glazing on some tiles as it can contain toxic chemicals. Most will be ok but theres's no real way to tell which ones are safe & which ones arn't. If you want slate, try your nearest pool table manufacturer. They usually have heaps of offcuts of natural slate that they will be only too happy to give you. They have to pay to get rid of it otherwise. For silicone you can either go & buy some from your LFS or look for GE silicone. Read the package carefully. Somewhere on it it should say that the fully cured product is completly safe & non toxic. It should also say that it is acetic, (think that's how it's spelt). When you use it it will smell like vinegar. When building with slate, try to have all of the pieces running in one direction. As in lying on top of each other. This will give it a much more natural look.
     

  5. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello Bruiser. Looks like a great DIY project! I hope you share some photos of your tank once you're all set up with the new caves.
    Ken
     
  6. Betafish305ca Member Member

    Welcome to the site... That ias a very
    Cool idea!!! Way to try ur own thinhg
     
  7. harpua2002 Fishlore VIP Member

    GE Silicone I is aquarium safe and cheaper than buying aquarium silicone. I used it to reseal my 75 gallon cichlid tank and there's been no problems. :)
     

  8. speed0factory Member Member

    hi your cave look great, and i think i will look better with some moss attached to it. haha :D
     
  9. GMCMaxx Member Member

    +1 about the moss
     
  10. steed1172 Well Known Member Member

    another plus for moss! il stop by and see if the home depot by me has some slate soon.(or goto the fish store at my monthly trip)
     

  11. bruiser Member Member

    Just make sure the tile(s) you get are not glazed with anything!
     
  12. steed1172 Well Known Member Member

    im waiting to goto LFS.. better prices :p
     
  13. bruiser Member Member

    Good thinkin.. I have one of my really small home made slate caves in my 33g and my khuli loaches I got yesterday have already moved in and seem to love it!

    Tomorrow I'm going to go to the grocery store and get a coconut.. and see what kind of creation I can make out of that. I was told but someone on another forum, that kribs LOVE coconut caves. So I guess we'll see.
    I'll post some pics when I get it finished!
     
  14. Fano'fish Initiate Member

    I once saw someone make a cave out of PVC, but he spread silicone on it and then rolled it in gravel so that it camoflaged the pipe. Looked pretty cool.
     
  15. FishVixen Member Member

    I know it's an older thread but I mix gravel and silicone together and shape it in a glass bowl of whatever size or shape I want. Then let cure 24 hours and remove it from bowl (be sure to wear heavy gloves. It gets messy) put it in tank and blend into gravel. Cheap, quick and looks great. I have sold them for $15 for a larger cave. So far only to friends though, It's a hobby not a business.
     
  16. Hussain Member Member

    +1 to moss, it would look great!