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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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

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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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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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.

Amy

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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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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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Did you coat it in poly first? I got a 9" tube with a 2" diameter on clearance at Petsmart for $1, I'm trying to decide what to do with it...

I used cut up pieces of bamboo to breed my plecos. Looks great when its wrapped in moss.
 

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I kinda skimmed through the posts a bit,an saw mention of drilling the hole bigger and how much success there was in doing so.I drill a hole in the side for my fish,to use it the same way.I made a video of it.The idea is basically the same as a wet saw and some tile.If you drill into it with a knife while using water,it makes it less prone to cracking.Same with tile,lol.Here is the video,in case it helps.

http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y79/majerah1/?action=view&current=Terracottapot002.mp4
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow Majerah! I never would have thought to do that, thanks for sharing the video! My hubby already drilled the hole in the bottom of one pot, but if we do another one, I really like the idea of the holes being in the side instead.

I kinda skimmed through the posts a bit,an saw mention of drilling the hole bigger and how much success there was in doing so.I drill a hole in the side for my fish,to use it the same way.I made a video of it.The idea is basically the same as a wet saw and some tile.If you drill into it with a knife while using water,it makes it less prone to cracking.Same with tile,lol.Here is the video,in case it helps.

http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y79/majerah1/?action=view&current=Terracottapot002.mp4
 

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That worked AWESOME Majerah! When I first started to watch I was thinking that will take 4ever, but it went very quickly!!! GREAT DIY Video!!

THANKYOU!!!
Drew
 
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