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DIY A Guide on How to Build Slate Caves

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#1 CanadaPleco



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Posted 13 October 2009 - 02:48 AM

Name of author: Husky_Jim
Topic: Caves
Website of origin: PlecoFanatics.com http://www.plecofana....ad.php?t=25954

ince many members asked about how I make my slate caves, here is a guide on how to build them for your plecos.

First of all you need the following tools/materials in order to make the caves:

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1.Dremmel Cutting Tool

2.Nesccesary Slate plates

3.Diamond Cutting Discs for Dremmel

4.Hammer (preferably a small one)

5.Silicone Pistol

Here you can see several slate pieces.Try to 'imagine' which will be the best piece for your caves!

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Here you can see the Dremmel along with the Diamond cutting Discs.

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Here you can see the disc fitted on the Dremmel. Don't try to cut slate with any other type of Disc - because of the slate's composition, it won't work. Diamond Discs are the best for the job.

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Here you can see the hammer that I use. Try to find a small hammer with a 'thin' side as the one pictured in order to 'remove' smaller pieces of slate.

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This is the silicone that I am using. Of course it is 100% pure silicone which is suitable for aquarium use.

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In order to cut the necessary straight pieces for the two sides and the back of the cave, I always start with a straight piece of slate.

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The dimensions of the pieces depends of the size of your fish. I personally make my caves in different sizes almost every time, judging by my fish. Here are the three needed pieces.

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Now choose the bottom piece. Try to 'imagine' how the cave will look like when finished and select the best piece.

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Now, after you have selected the desired piece, use the hammer and hit the edges gently in order to shape them to look more natural. Here you can see two bottom rounded pieces.

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Now it is time to use the silicone to glue the side and back pieces to the bottom of the cave. First, apply a thin layer of silicone to one of the side slate pieces and gently place it on the bottom piece.

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Continue the same way attach the other two pieces. Here you can see the results...

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Then you have to wait 30 minutes (depends of the type of silicone used) until the silicone sets. Now you have to find/cut the top slate piece. As it was described above, try to change the shape of the slate with the hammer or with Dremmel (if you prefer straight shape). Here you can see the top pieces and the other parts of the cave.

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Now apply a thin layer of silicone to the top of the side and back pieces. Place the top piece on top of the other other half of the cave and accordingly wait 30 minutes for the silicone to set.

Then you have a beautiful cave for your fish! Simple as possible!

Here it is!

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I personally never had a problem with the caves, never had an injured fish, and of course they are 100% safe to use!

I wish you a lot of spawns and I hope I helped on this!


Used with permission of the author.

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#2 animeavatar


    Pleco Fry

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 04:12 AM

Can I just stick slate together using silicone? Where'd you get the slate?

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