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Diy Hidey "cave"


toothless

Here's another project made possible by plastic canvas (check DIY media basket for pic)....

You know the silk plant/flower section of home improvement stores? Well, that is where you can find the silk ivy used in this project. You can get enough for several caves for less than ten bucks. They're the ones that have the wire inside of their stems so they are pliable.

Anyway, you just pull each individual vine out of the spike at the base. Snip off the exposed wires at the base of each vine. Then, you want to make a small hook in the end. Slip the hooked end of the vine into one of the holes of the plastic canvas in the side. Loop it over to the other side and either snip one of the holes and run the vine trough it or secure it with some fishing line. A dab or two of aquarium sealant really helps keeping things secure.

Heres a diagram of how you do the vine stems on a canopy fashion. I omitted the leave to avoid confusion:

View attachment: DIYcave.jpg

Once you have it constructed, clear a place for it to sit in the tank. Swish gravel to the side so the plastic canvas bottom sits nicely on the glass bottom. Then, pour some gravel over it so that the gravel falls through the leaves and onto the plastic canvas base. This will keep the cave stationary.

If you have a bare-bottomed tank, you can still easily construct this hide/cave. Instead of using plastic canvas, use a piece of plexiglass, you only need to figure a way to weigh it down. Firstly, use a file or sandpaper to sand the top edge of the plexiglass to remove the sharp edge. Next, you can use superglue to "tack" the vine into place. Then the aquarium sealant is used to make the final seal/connection. I suggest making a small loop in the ends of the section of vines so that the aquarium sealant has something to hold onto. Glue river rocks, gravel or whatever to the plexi-glass wherever you like. OR You can cut the plexiglass a little larger than what you intend the cave to be and glue the stuff to the flaps of plexiglass on the outside of it. Again, the possibilities are endless.

Heres a few pics of the plastic canvas way:

DIYcavepic.jpg

peekaboo.jpg

In the last pic, you see the intended recipient thoroughly enjoying the the safety that such a cave provides. Hes a big ol pleco that outgrew all of his other hidey caves.

Remember, if you have fancy goldfish in the tank this would go in, then be WELL and SURE to make the loops large enough so that no fancies can get trapped under them. ;)

Happy tinkering! :D

Paul

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hey that's a very good idea!

but is the metal wire inside the silk ivy exposed to the water? and won't it rust?

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Guest Chishower

Posted

Looks cool. My pleco could use another hiding spot.

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If exposed to the water, the metal inside can corrode, but not rust. However, it is fully encased in the plastic and at the point of cutting the bare wire back, a dab of aquarium sealant will stop it from coming into contact with the water. Using a dechlorinator like Prime or Amqual Plus to remove any metals leached into the system, as does waterchanges.

So, In short, I would have to say that this is a safe project for pretty much any fish or aquarium habitat. ;)

Paul

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Great! It's cheap, and it looks good. I'm definitely gonna make one when i get my plecos :D

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aw awesome paul! im gonna have to give that a try! my plecos looking a lil down in the dumps lately :)

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:) Sweet! My two Big Old Commons may get a real kick out of that! Nice work Paul! B)

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If your only using the plastic coated wire to tie off sections of vines or stems, yes, it wll work fine. But, for safe measure, dab some aquarium sealant on each spot of wiring to coat the exposed metal. Make sure its on there good so that your goldies dont pull the sealant off and then get scratched by the metal.

Remember, metal is not the wisest thing to have in your aquarium. But, small amounts here and there aren't bad for goldfish tanks if you keep the tank well maintined. Just avoid coppers....... ;)

Paul

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I'm having my first real look around the DIY and everything looks so cool!!!!!!!!!! I gotta try some of this, especially the hidey cave :)

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is it safe if i make a hall in that plant cup ofcurse it has to be a plastic one i got alot of those and i used to have a plant cup in my tank and my fish liked it very much. i think if i clean it good enaugh and boil it for 10 min it should be ok right? ill put in bigg plant cups so my fishies wont get stuck in there. ill post photos when i do this ;)

this is ok to do right?

Edited by golden lionhead

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Guest fishdude

Posted

wow that's coooooool!!!!!!!!!

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I JUST saw this! OMG that is such a great idea! I came here looking for hidey cave ideas, but something like this never occured to me. I was just thinking of doing the clay pot rolled in gravel again, but THIS is awesome! I ran right out to the store and bought some awesome plants. I found some that even look like water lily leaves. I think Im going to use an old plastic undergravel filter square to stick the plants too. It will be easy to stick the stems in the grid. I have a couple laying around because I dont really like the whole undergravel filter thing, I dont use them. Ill post it when Im done. THANKS PAUL!!!!!!

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OMG this is so great. I have 60 gal tank that I want to decorate and I'm off to nooppee now. Thank you so much for this whole section. What great ideas you people have!! :heart

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I hope it's okay to reply to this since it's a pinned topic...

I'm going to try this! When we first got Ginger, we seriously did not know he was a moor; the tank he was in said he was a fantail and his telescope eyes had not yet developed so we got a log for the tank. He loves this log, he's always swimming laps through it (over and over again, it's so cute, lol) but I'm afraid he'll injure his eyes on the harder material or he'll outgrow it (it also has a hole in the top that he used to go into but he has outgrown that and seems to have smartly stopped trying to get in that hole, he ignores it completely). So I'm definitely going to try this cave, we bought some silk ivy and some aquarium sealant recently. Thank you!

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(rolling eyes) It's such a good thing you guys can't see how bare and ugly my tanks are.

This requires a much larger rubbermaid container! (smile)

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Great idea! I've bought that sort of ivy before just as a backdrop plant and my bettas love it. I'll definitely be trying this with the leftover mesh I have from making dividers though.

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