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Betta Cave


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#1 dt78

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 12:24 AM

Hi all,

I've seen a few different betta caves in the DIY section and when I posted pictures of my tanks in a different thread people seemed to like the cave I made for one of my bettas so I decided I'd post it here incase anybody else might be interested. Basically all I did was glued together some left over river rocks from an old tank setup I had. For the "glue" I used aquarium silicon.

Here's a picture of it:



So it's not really a cave but more of a tunnel but this was just a quick one I put together to see if it would work (I wasn't sure the silicon would adhere properly to the rocks). Now that I know it works, I will probably be making some more for my other tanks. I think this concept could be used to make any size cave you wanted and possibly multi-cave systems.

So here's the steps I took to make the cave/tunnel:
  1. Wash and separate out the rocks by size and shape. Saving the longest ones for the roof.
  2. Build both of the walls of the cave. To do this layer the rocks like a brick wall using the silicon like mortar. Rocks with similar heights and kind of flat tops and bottoms work the best, but after all, they are just river rocks so I used small rocks to fill in any gaps.
  3. Build the roof. This was done by laying one row of rocks side by side glued together and then gluing a row on top of them so that each rock on the second row is glued in between two of the bottom rocks.
  4. Let the sides and the roof dry until the rocks no longer slip around. To make the walls even on the inside I laid the walls on their sides while drying and used extra rocks to hold them in place.
  5. Glue the roof to the walls.
  6. Let it dry 24 Hours and you have a cave/tunnel.
I should also point out that I did all of this on wax paper to prevent the silicon from getting onto my table.

Hopefully this is understandable to everybody but if not feel free to ask questions.

#2 Dazed

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 02:34 AM

Oh dang, smile-222.gif great cave. I would love to make huge chain of caves (I'll need a larger tank though coverlaugh1.gif ) . I like how it's different from the other ones I see. Thanks for the idea.

- Lester thankyou4.gif

#3 Weirdkid

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 03:54 PM

That looks awesome! I keep finding great ideas on here and will eventually put them to some use =D

#4 Ruthcatrin

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 09:02 PM

oh now I like that idea, I've always used the clay pots, but i like those better!

#5 Khandurian

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 07:20 PM

Looks almost natural! Good job!

#6 Herman's mom

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 09:08 PM

Where did you get the rock? Silly question, sorry smile1.gif

#7 RedEarSliders

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 03:30 PM

You can buy bags of river rocks from home-depot for like 3$ each.

#8 Stormphyre

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 04:00 PM

Nice! This would be awesome for my fire-bellied toad habitat too!

#9 kate_whatever

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 12:46 PM

looks great! I love the natural look may do this instead of terracotta pots.

#10 andywoolloo

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 04:10 PM

it looks so nice!!

#11 dt78

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 01:12 AM

Hey...I'm glad to see all of you like this cave. Since posting this thread I ran across an article on plantgeek.net which is very similar. Instead of using the river rocks to make the caves, they used pieces of slate. They also made them more elaborate, including one that actually created a terrace so you could add substrate and plants on top of the cave as well. I really like the idea of the terrace and the look of the slate so I thought you guys might like it too.

Here's the link: DIY Slate Cave.

I really like the look of the slate, but I guess my only concern is that there seems to be a lot of sharp edges that could possibly hurt bettas and cut their long flowing tails. If you could round of the points I think they would be very nice. I think you could possibly make the the terrace with the river rock as well. It might be a little more difficult due to the round rocks though. The slate stacks together much better.

#12 cnickgo

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 01:25 AM

Well dt... I liked your cave idea so much, I'm making one for my guys new tank! Currently under progress. How did you trim excess sealant?
some pics..



Thanks for the great idea!




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