Clay pot caves - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Question Clay pot caves

I bought a few 4" clay pots to make some extra caves for my tanks... I have loaches, BN plecos, and bolivian rams that I figure will all appreciate the extra "houses".

I was hoping you guys would share your favorite methods of making pot caves, or maybe even some photos, so I can get some ideas... I have already cut one pot down the middle, so now that one is two. I was thinking of covering them with moss, maybe.

Has anyone had success turning them upside down and making the hole on the bottom bigger? What other tricks work well?

Thanks in advance.

Amy
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:07 PM
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I drilled some out, i prefer the ones without holes on top.

They go in my "breeder" tanks with no substrate, so nothing fancy.

I use pvc pipe in a lot of them now though.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 11:46 PM
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My apisto, GBR, gold ram, and angel breeder uses two clay pot dishes (the thing the pot sits on) and makes something like this [] but on its side and files a hole in the side, he says his apistos love it and breed readily in there, he makes the hole just large enough for them to get in and out.
For his rams he just uses one of the same dishes just flipped over and his rams love that.
I've also tried to flip the dish on top of the pot to make a sealed cave but it kept falling off, I haven't gotten around to using silicone to seal it but my apistos loved it while it was there.
I've heard that you can maybe use a hammer a smack the hole to make it a little bigger and file it down to get rid of the jagged edges but knowing myself I would break it into pieces.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses!

I didn't think to buy the saucers when I bought these pots... they seemed too small for me to make anything with them! Next time I will pick up a couple!

Please keep the ideas coming! I have a few tanks I'd like to put these in, plus I'm helping the daughter of a friend of mine set up her two new tanks as well. So I'm on the hunt for lots of bright ideas & cheap plants! LOL

Amy
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 12:26 AM
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Ah saucers that's what they're called. Derp. Good to know.


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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aa79606 View Post
I bought a few 4" clay pots to make some extra caves for my tanks... I have loaches, BN plecos, and bolivian rams that I figure will all appreciate the extra "houses".
You may want to watch for any territorial behavior triggered by the extra "houses".

I have a tank housing two German Blue Rams. Other than the occasional short charging of the male towards the female at meal time, the two have been living well together (with the male being dominant).

So, one day I added an empty clay pot, resting on its side. Days later, the male ram liked it and began stationing at the clay pot pretty much all day. At meal time, he left the clay pot for food and then quickly returned to guard the pot. But when he saw the female, he was so upset to the point of ignoring the food and gave her an extended chase through out the tank until the female went into hiding.

The behavioral problem at meal time repeated for a couple days. Then I removed the clay pot. At first, the male continued to station at the same spot where the pot was. But gradually, his territorial behavior subsided. Now he is back to his old self by sharing food with the female.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the warning! I will watch out for aggression... I have 6 sub-adults and I'm hoping some will pair off. So far, the loaches are more interested in the caves than the rams are.

Amy

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You may want to watch for any territorial behavior triggered by the extra "houses".

I have a tank housing two German Blue Rams. Other than the occasional short charging of the male towards the female at meal time, the two have been living well together (with the male being dominant).

So, one day I added an empty clay pot, resting on its side. Days later, the male ram liked it and began stationing at the clay pot pretty much all day. At meal time, he left the clay pot for food and then quickly returned to guard the pot. But when he saw the female, he was so upset to the point of ignoring the food and gave her an extended chase through out the tank until the female went into hiding.

The behavioral problem at meal time repeated for a couple days. Then I removed the clay pot. At first, the male continued to station at the same spot where the pot was. But gradually, his territorial behavior subsided. Now he is back to his old self by sharing food with the female.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:34 AM
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I like using half buried driftwood to make "caves". Barring that, coconut halves work well also. Clay pots are functional enough, but not very aesthetic.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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It's a 55 gallon and I have a couple of large pieces of driftwood, one in each corner, that have "nooks" all the way around them... plus I'm trying to get the tank more densely planted.

I wasn't thrilled at the idea of how the pots would look at first, but I'm getting used to it. So far we just cut one pot in half, and tucked the halves in between the plants. I'm hoping the plants will grow up and over the pots and mostly obscure them.

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I like using half buried driftwood to make "caves". Barring that, coconut halves work well also. Clay pots are functional enough, but not very aesthetic.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:48 AM
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You should look into coconut halves if you get the opportunity. Plants, moss, etc can root into them, and they sink without soaking. They look a little more natural than pots.

There's a company that makes something called "cichlid stones" also. They're made for breeding cichlids, but look pretty convincing. I have a couple, and like the look. I used them for my Apistos for awhile before I set up the driftwood. If you face the opening backwards, they look real. Of course, if the fish stay inside, this may not be a good thing.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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Good suggestions! I was wondering if coconut halves would rot like bamboo does... Also I guess I'm just trying to get this done as cheaply as possible. I've seen some stone-looking caves at one local store, they're not too pricey, but you've got a point about not being able to see the fish if they don't come out! I have a pair of jewels in a 29g that never ever leave their cave, they just lay eggs and tend fry, lay eggs and tend fry. The tank looks empty.

Anyway my daughter and her friend each sanded a clay pot half this afternoon, then tied java moss to them. I read that the moss will attach more easily if the pot is roughed up. I wish I had taken pictures... I'm helping her friend get her first tank set up. She took her pot cave and some plants home with her today. I'll be giving her some guppies and some cherry shrimp when her tank is through cycling.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 02:36 PM
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I think you could also cover a pot with a coating of silicone & coat it with the same gravel/sand you use as a subtrate. Then it would be camoflaged!
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:19 PM
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Yep, I have seen the pot halfs when siliconed and covered in the substrate, and they looks good! It takes some practice to get the silicone coating thick enough to hold enough substrate, but the clay pots are cheap, so practice till Ya get it like Ya want it! My Buddy did this for a Vivarium we setup about 15 years ago!

Good Luck!
Drew
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:24 PM
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Drew - I'm thinking about turning my 55 into a riparium, I never thought about camo clay pots for the plants! lol Great idea, thanks!
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:35 PM
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I would think that java moss, or fern should be able to attach to the clay pot. I've seen both clinging pretty well to rocks. I like your idea about roughing up the pots. That will probably help.

And as far as coconuts, they take years to rot.
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