PVC caves? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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PVC caves?

I bought a couple little pieces of pvc pipe, I'd like to use them as caves for my shrimp. They're plain white, which wouldn't be very pretty in the tank.

Is there anything I need to do, other then rinse them well, before putting them in the tank?

Any suggestions on how to make them look nicer? I was thinking of tying some Java Moss to them. Not sure it would attach though?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 08:33 PM
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- Scuff up, attach java moss/riccia/Java fern/anubias.

- Scuff up, paint with krylon fusion paint.

- Smother in silicone, roll in sand/gravel.

- Hide among stones/rocks/plants.

- Bury ends in sand.

-Charlie
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 09:00 PM
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As an alternative - ABS plumbing pipe is Black or dark Gray in color and might also be available at your local hardware store.
I do like the silicone and then roll in substrate suggestions though. Post up some photos of what you end up doing with them!!!!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 10:16 PM
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Bamboo from the nursery, they sell them as stakes often.........cut to size, boil them for 1 hour or so. You can moss them up etc.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 10:21 PM
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Nice idea Tom.

For the PVC, I have even seen people glue on rocks and such and make small little caves into the substrate.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 03:00 PM
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+1 on painting with Krylon. Works great, the only downside is that it's susceptible to scratching and showing the white pvc through after various moving etc. Depending on pipe size, another option is schedule 80 pvc which is a dark grey. Still doesn't look completely natural but better than sch 40 white stuff.

You could also spray with expandable pond foam and embed rocks or gravel into it before it sets - http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...tml#post949656
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 03:12 PM
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Painting pipe is a bad idea, you end up with paint flakes everywhere.

Go natural, Bamboo comes in larger sizes also, look around, you can order it on line I suspect.

Moss etc will attach very well etc.

If you need something a bit different in shape, they sell different clays for pottery and you can heat/fire it if you have access to use/rent a kiln or some can be done at lower temps in the oven. Then you can make whatever shape you want. Porous clay is good for plants and mosses.

I guess pipe is okay for breeders etc, bare bottom tanks etc.....

Regards,
Tom Barr

Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 03:16 PM
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bamboo is the best option...

looks way nicer, more natural
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 03:37 PM
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You can dye pvc with black fabric dye (it comes out a dull greenish black but looks black underwater. It doesnt scratch and lasts indefinitely. You can also take it outside and hit it with a torch for some interesting brownish black effects.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 08:51 PM
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I covered some pvcs in gorilla glue (it's a water based epoxy)... Let it cure a little where it gets puffy but still sticky. Roll it in any color sand you want. And stick on a few pebbles. You can sculpt it a little too if you want.

Over time algae will grow on it. It will look pretty natural.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Oooh, great ideas!! I love the idea of the bamboo! Right now I put the pipes in as they are, I want to see if the shrimp will even use them before I start buying adhesive and spending the time making them and curing them, etc. Garden season is just around the corner for us, so I will be checking out the bamboo at my garden center!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-09-2010, 09:30 PM
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While Krylon Fusion paint for plastic dries to the touch in a short period of time that doesn't mean the job is done.
It takes about a week for the coating to finish catalyzing. After that point the paint is part of the plastic and won't peel or flake. It doesn't scratch through as easily as it will at day one, two, or three either.
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