DIY rockpile suggestion

  • Nina_W
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Nina_W created the topic: DIY rockpile suggestion

When making a Mbuna habitat, and creating the rockpiles they enjoy so much, we face a few big problems:

1) They're heavy, so difficult to maneuver
2) They must be stable, so it's difficult to create caves
3) They must have lots of space for fish to move through, which seems contradictory to the very nature of 'rock'
4) They must look good, eliminating easy alternatives like a pile of pvc pipes.

I've found that an excellent way to minimise weight, maximise stability and creating height (both so that the fish use the higher up parts of the aquarium, and for dramatic effect) is to use black plastic plant holders as an 'underlayer' - like so:


1. First, of course, you need your plant pot. This time I'm using a rectangular ones, but round ones work just as well:

(The cup of tea is optional, but recommended)

2. Then, some heavy duty scissors work wonderfully to cut it full of holes:

Don't go too overboard, you still need it to be stable. Cut both large holes and small holes, to allow smaller fish to escape larger fish chasing them.
If the edges are sharp, I take sandpaper to them to remove anything that could injure a fish.

3. Now this plastic pot is as unattractive as a pile of pvc pipes, so definitely not ideal for a display tank (but very useful in breeding/hospital tanks, lots of hiding, easy maintenance). Disguise your newly created holey-pot with rocks:


Practicing outside the tank is a good idea, there are fewer fish that will try and bite you, and it's much easier to see how high you can stack rocks but still maintain stability.

5. And here are some at work, inside my aquarium:

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  • Sissy
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Sissy replied the topic: Re: DIY rockpile suggestion

Great post! This info will definitely prove helpful after we move, and I set up the bigger tanks. :)
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re: DIY rockpile suggestion

That's a great idea Nina, the next time I give Africans a try I might try this
www.aquariumlife.net/projects/diy-decoration/7.asp
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  • Nina_W
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: DIY rockpile suggestion

Big-Ken wrote: That's a great idea Nina, the next time I give Africans a try I might try this
www.aquariumlife.net/projects/diy-decoration/7.asp


that's a great idea, Ken.
The final tank there is spectacular!

With one concern, that I realised now only - how would you clean inside each little hole?
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toni-a replied the topic: Re: DIY rockpile suggestion

WOW
what you have shown makes me very tempted to have an african tank...
Very useful indeed, besides the calcareous nature of our soil and the hard alcaline water we have here, makes them perfectly suited to our environment
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  • Brooksie
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Brooksie replied the topic: Re: DIY rockpile suggestion

I like that Nina... Good idea! I wish I had known about this before!! The tea cup makes the difference too !

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  • ehall67
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ehall67 replied the topic: Re: DIY rockpile suggestion

Great idea! Looks great Only question is you idnt glue it did you? I wonder if I could hum

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  • Nina_W
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Nina_W replied the topic: Re: DIY rockpile suggestion

Brooksie wrote: I like that Nina... Good idea! I wish I had known about this before!! The tea cup makes the difference too !


Thank you :) It definitely does!

ehall67 wrote: Great idea! Looks great Only question is you idnt glue it did you? I wonder if I could hum


The top of the tank has braces every foot or so, rocks are heavy, and you MUST be able to remove (or, at least dramatically move) them to be able to clean. I've been tempted by gluing, more than once, but realistically, even if I did, it would only attach smaller segments to each other, not whole parts.

Remember, you must be able to vacuum underneath whatever you put in with these fish... so you must be able to lift/maneuver it with relative ease.

(ask Rocksor about glue used for coral reefs to glue rocks together - he knows more than me :) )
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BRYCEisBOSS replied the topic: Re: DIY rockpile suggestion

I like it!
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cebosound replied the topic: Re: DIY rockpile suggestion

good idea. i have tried something like that before. glad to hear i'm not the only one trying new tricks. :)

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