Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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russp 01-17-2012 01:54 PM

Cichlid Cave Size
I want to make some caves for my African Cichlids and was wondering what diameter they need to be if I use PVC pipe. Right now the fish are fairly small in my 29 gallon but I want to make the caves big enough to move to a bigger tank when the fish out grow the 29. Since I have mostly black substrate, I'd like the caves to be dark also; is black plastic pipe safe in an aquarium? It's my understanding from a plumber it is the same material as the white, just not rated for the pressure of a home's water supply. What else can be used? I was looking at black plastic tumblers and coffee cups from Party City and thinking they coud be hidden with rocks, plants and fake driftwood? Also, is it better to have the cave open on both ends or just one?

Not sure how I ended up with this as a reply, I was trying to start a new thread.

Byron 01-17-2012 01:59 PM

I moved this to start a new thread.:-) B.

SomeDudeAtHome 01-17-2012 02:33 PM

I just read an article talking about something similar to this. It pretty much said that the male and female should be able to fit through the hole of the opening and have a little room to move around inside. Also open at one end would make them feel more comfortable and safe. You could use black PVC or white. Which ever you choose you could put some aquarium silicone all over them then roll them in some gravel or something for a more natural look.

Tazman 01-17-2012 02:49 PM

As long as the fish can get in and out then they can be whatever size you want.

Lake Malawi is full of rocky structures on the bottom so you can pretty much do anything with them.

Providing a few smaller holes which will allow a female in but not a male will be beneficial if you want to encourage breeding and provide a safe area for the female to retreat to should she feel threatened or get harassed too much.

I have a ton of experience with cichlids so if you want any help please ask away.

russp 01-18-2012 09:01 AM

I guess what I'm really asking then is what size (width) can I expect the fish to get. I know length is 4 to 6" but how fat do they get? Don't want to do 1-1/2" tubes if they are 2" or more. They are three color of zebra cichlids (red, yellow and blue).

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