Building caves!?

Pretty much explains itself really. If you have questions about tank set-ups, tank furniture, (caves etc) chuck them in here!

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Tom26000

Building caves!?

Post by Tom26000 »

Hi

I have just tried to build some DIY slate caves without much success.

They are for my L134s and L260s. The slate splintered really badly when I tried to break it and silconing it together, well lets just say my fingers now form nice flippers!! :?

I understand how big to build the caves but can anyone shed some light on how I go about building some? I live in the UK just incase anyone references materials that I will need.

As a side note my four L134s are cracking little plecs. They are very active, eat almost anything and (controversial!!!) almost rival the L046 in looks!? :wink:

Many thanks!

Tom
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Rob
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Post by Rob »

Hi Tom

I build two different types of caves. One is all floor slate, (this is about 10mm thick,and the other is floor slate and roof slate.

The second is mypreferred, as the caves are alot lighter.

You can cut both the floor slates and roofing slates with an electric tile cutter, (www.screwfix.com £34.99) If you can, try and get new roofing slate as opposed to reclaimed as these tend to be very brittle.

The roofing slates can also be cut using a chipping hammer, which is basically like a long pice of metal with a sharp edge. The downside of this method is you can only get one cave lid, or cave base, per slate.

SO you need to cut the following:

2 pieces of floor slate 100mm x 20mm (the sides)
1 piece of floor slate 35mm x 20mm (the back)
2 roof tiles 110mm x 50mm


Finally, go on, get some photos of those L134 online!!!!!!!

Good luck mate

rob :lol:
The perfect white lie..."Of course I didn't pay that much for the fish honey"
Tom26000

Post by Tom26000 »

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the great advice regarding building some caves. I shall put it into action in the near future and let you know how I get on. :)

I am still deciding on which digital camera to get so I haven't the technology to post pics yet. Once I make the purchase there will be pics galore. :D Sadly it will be just tail shots of the L260s, very secretive little plecs. :wink:

Cheers

Tom
Des
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Post by Des »

Hi Tom26000,
I think Rob has answered all your questions but below is how I made mine.
I bought my Electric Tile cutter and black natural slate floor tiles from a B&Q DIY store.
I started indoors but soon had to move out onto the patio after I got a load of water on the floor,( from the hot grinding wheel churning the water from the water tray).
Once you get going its pretty simple.
Cut strips of 1" for the sides.
Then cut strips of 2" for the top and bottom
Cut the above strips into 4" lengths
Finally cut a piece for the back. (You can use the waste from the 1" strips.)
After making the caves, by siliconing all the pieces, I filed all edges to make sure there werent any sharp areas.
I have also bought some roofing slate but havent yet used them.Would use the same electric cutter though. When I do, I might use them for the top and bottom and use the thicker floor tiles for the sides and back.
Regards,
Des.
Ps I too have quite a few L134. They are cute arent they?.
wandj
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Post by wandj »

Am I the only one using bathroom tiles? Those square ones that are about 6" x 6"? You use them on shower walls, kitchens, etc. Usually have a porous, brownish/reddish backside and the other side is the fancy side. My Dad had a big box of extra tiles that were sitting in an old chicken coop for at least 15 years. I bought a $10 tile scorer (you can get expensive electric ones) and scored the nice surface. Then you snap and break them where they were scored. I'm all thumbs and I was able to make some nice caves. Used silicone to attach all the sides.

Good luck with whatever you use, but my material was easy enough that I could do it with one cheap tool and no cut fingers.
Des
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Post by Des »

Hi Wandj,
If they work for you, thats great.
I preferred to follow Robs advice( a few months ago), since his Zebras had bred in the caves that he made and was using.
I too had some bathroom tile caves but as soon as I added some natural black slate caves, the bathroom tile caves were vacant !!!!!, So slate caves it was, even though it was added expense.
I have found over the years that I have kept fish ,that eggs laid on porous materials are more likely to fungus.
Regards,
Des.
Tom26000

Post by Tom26000 »

Many thanks for all the advice guys. Looking back at the three caves I managed to contruct the other night I suppose they aren't too bad. :? However, I do agree if I want to cut natural slate with any sort of accuracy then I'm going to need a proper cutter.

All my plecs are still young at present so I'll put my three new caves in for my four L134s and have another go using the tips you have all offered when my L260s reach a decent size (so that could be a while! :wink: )

Des, I agree about the L134s, I am very pleased with them as a plec. Very actice when its feeding time, wonderful markings, eat anything I put in the tank (apart from other fish! :wink: ) and a decent price at £15 each.

Cheers

Tom
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