Help With A Blind Cave Fish Set-Up? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Help With A Blind Cave Fish Set-Up?

So I'm considering setting up a tank to display Blind Cave Fish, Astyanax fasciatus mexicanus, and want some advice. I want to set it up to look like they're actually in a cave with stalactites and stalagmites and all that. I've seen where people make their own backgrounds out of foam and cement and I'm thinking that is a good method for making my rocks also. Does this sound do-able?

I'm unsure also whether it matters what kind of foam or cement is used. Do I need to worry about the cement leaching anything out into the water and harming my fish?

Here's a picture of kinda what I was thinking it would look like. The blue beams are LED lights (either blue or white), with small airstones below, and black sand and the back and sides of the tank painted black.

(and yes, the pink blobs represent the fish )

Thank you so much, I'm really looking forward to this project.

-Katie
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by iheartmypitbull View Post
So I'm considering setting up a tank to display Blind Cave Fish, Astyanax fasciatus mexicanus, and want some advice. I want to set it up to look like they're actually in a cave with stalactites and stalagmites and all that. I've seen where people make their own backgrounds out of foam and cement and I'm thinking that is a good method for making my rocks also. Does this sound do-able?

I'm unsure also whether it matters what kind of foam or cement is used. Do I need to worry about the cement leaching anything out into the water and harming my fish?

Here's a picture of kinda what I was thinking it would look like. The blue beams are LED lights (either blue or white), with small airstones below, and black sand and the back and sides of the tank painted black.

(and yes, the pink blobs represent the fish )

Thank you so much, I'm really looking forward to this project.

-Katie
No picture?
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 06:27 PM
DIY rock wall background heres what you need

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-25-2010, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Okay so according to that (and other DIY backgrounds I've seen) the people silicone the foam in first and then cover it with the cement. Is that the way I want to go with this? I'm not sure whether I should put a glass lid on the tank and attach the stalactites to it or attach them to a crossbar or two and just lay them across the top of the tank. Either way, should I attach them and then cover them with the cement? Or cover them first and then attach them where I want them? I'm kinda worried that if I try to cement the ones on the bottom of the tank after attaching them I'll just get cement all over the sides of the tank (which I don't want to do). So should I maybe attach them to some egg crate or something and just set that in the bottom of the tank and then fill it with sand?

Also, what do you think as far as a background goes? Would it look better if I did the same sort of thing for the background or just make it solid black?

Hopefully this tank will go in my parents' SCUBA shop, so I want it to look GREAT!
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by iheartmypitbull View Post
Okay so according to that (and other DIY backgrounds I've seen) the people silicone the foam in first and then cover it with the cement. Is that the way I want to go with this? I'm not sure whether I should put a glass lid on the tank and attach the stalactites to it or attach them to a crossbar or two and just lay them across the top of the tank. Either way, should I attach them and then cover them with the cement? Or cover them first and then attach them where I want them? I'm kinda worried that if I try to cement the ones on the bottom of the tank after attaching them I'll just get cement all over the sides of the tank (which I don't want to do). So should I maybe attach them to some egg crate or something and just set that in the bottom of the tank and then fill it with sand?

Also, what do you think as far as a background goes? Would it look better if I did the same sort of thing for the background or just make it solid black?

Hopefully this tank will go in my parents' SCUBA shop, so I want it to look GREAT!
I wouldn't attach anything to any aquarium equipment. Like you said, just cement it to something else and then cover with sand. :o Aaannndd... I think black backround would look suhweet. They are Blind Cave Fish after all. They should live in darkness as such. :D

:[ I'm a bad man
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-26-2010, 11:14 AM
but they are blind lol.if it was sunny yellow only we would know lol

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-27-2010, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, slight kink in those plans.... my dad wants to put it in an area (almost like a room divider) where people will be able to see both the front and the back of the tank, sooooo.....

How do I keep it dark and cave-ish looking if I can't just paint the back and sides of the tank??

If I can't come up with anything good I'll tell him to suck it up and pick a different spot or I'll make the tank for myself and say screw him (I don't really like tanks like that anyway, I feel like it stresses the fish out more)
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-27-2010, 05:04 AM
tell him nicely the fish we are keeping need really dim lighting dad your gonna kill him with all those light then your going to hell for murder =S

joking bout the murder part but the fish will die if it's too bright at it elevates it's stress level an it cannot cope.you'll have a macabre tank for display instead.

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-29-2010, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, so my new question about it.... I want to have two or three LED lights in the tank as kind of a spotlight type thing, something that looks like this:




So the light set-ups Ive seen before are for like moon lighting and that sort of stuff and it's all diffused to go throughout the whole aquarium, but I don't want that. I've seen little one-bulb spot light sort of things for sale but they're kind of expensive, so I'm thinking I could probably just make my own. That part is pretty straight forward (the boyfriend knows how to do all that electrical stuff) but my question is about reflectors. I'm assuming to get it to make straight-ish beams down I'd need some conical reflectors behind them, and I read on here for DIY lighting to use vapor guard or that ducting tape, but would this even work? I mean, if I made little cone shaped reflectors out of ducting tape, would it actually make the LEDs look the way I want?
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-29-2010, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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I've decided my dad gets guppies, I want to keep this tank for myself :)
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