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Old 12-20-2012, 09:59 AM   #1 
AyalaCookiejar
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Question Decorations not made for aquariums?

So for my newest two tanks I would like to add some decorations that are not specifically made for aquariums, mostly because I have a hard time finding ones that I think are safe enough.

I have heard of using terra cotta pots and coffee mugs... What else have you used? Any other specific precautions I should take?
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:44 AM   #2 
LittleBlueFishlets
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I bought river rocks at Dollar Store, and soaked them in hot water (letting the water sit overnight), then let them dry. I stacked them and used aquarium-safe silicone to 'cement' them, into swim-throughs or bridges. (Be sure to let dry for at least 24 hrs.)

I've also used silk plants from places like Micheal's. (I made sure they were glitter & fragrance free, with no 'decorations' like fuzzy centers, etc.) I soaked them in hot water (letting the water sit overnight) to make sure they didn't leach dyes, etc. Also, I only used the silk/plastic parts -- making sure there was no metal in the stems.

And I made my own 'hammocks,' using a silk leaf (from one of the above mentioned plants) and a silicone suction cup. I used a push pin to create a hole in the back of the suction cup, then pushed the 'stem' of the leaf into it.

I tried to use glass pebbles and aquarium-safe silicone to create a cave. It didn't come out like I'd wanted, but I'll keep working on it. Maybe a little swim-through would be better.

I've read that Legos are safe, and I'm thinking about getting some.... And I would think that anything plastic that's safe for children/infants should be OK, since the manufacturers (hopefully) wouldn't use any plastics or dyes that aren't safe for children.

And I've used terracotta pots. I boiled them first, then I removed the backs from some, and plugged up the hole with aquarium-safe silicone in others, so that the fish can't get stuck. I'd read that they can change the pH, but I tested it, and the ones that I got do not seem to affect pH.

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 12-20-2012 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:32 AM   #3 
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There was a big deal a few years ago about some children toys that had lead in the paint or something like that... But those are quite a few ideas I've never thought of! I think there is a michaels in Lincoln... Is it like hobby lobby? They have that, too, lol. I might be going there this weekend.

Where do you get the silicone?
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:40 AM   #4 
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Yes, Michaels is like Hobby Lobby. But Hobby Lobby seemed to have more 'glittery' (and expensive) plants. Another similar store around here is A.C. Moore.... And Walmart has silk plants too, in their Crafts section.

I got the Loctite Waterproof Silicone at Lowe's for about $4.50. Make sure you get the one that specifically says it's aquarium-safe. The tube will last me a really long time.

I think my next project will be to use the silicone to attach the silk plants to rocks. Or maybe to attach the plants to the tops of the rock swim-throughs. (Although my male VT likes to sit on it like a bench, so maybe I'll leave his alone. LOL)

I'm working on a rock swim-through 'condo' right now. LOL I made several swim-throughs, and now I'm stacking them one on top of another. It has three levels so far.

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 12-20-2012 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:49 AM   #5 
AyalaCookiejar
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This sounds like maybe something I should work on during art class... My teacher doesn't care what we do as long as we are doing something lol :p and I can't believe I've never thought about getting silk plants from Walmart!! Ah, I guess I was afraid that they would dye the water or wouldn't be safe or something.. Oh when the roads ar clear I'm definitely making a trip out there!
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:51 AM   #6 
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Oh, and PVC pipe works well, and is really cheap, too. You can get it at Lowes, in the plumbing section.

I got the little connector (coupling) parts. I think they're about 1" or 2" in diameter, and maybe 2" long. (They're used for drinking water, so I figured they wouldn't have icky dyes or additives.)

I tried the elbow ones, but my guys didn't like the bendy portion. I've have better luck with the straight pieces.

I can't remember how much they cost. Somewhere between 50-75 cents each.

Some people then silicone rocks or gravel onto them, to make them prettier or camoflauge them in the tank. I had trouble getting the gravel to stick though, so I just left them as is.

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 12-20-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:58 AM   #7 
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I got some good ideas by googling stuff like "DIY aquarium decorations" and "DIY aquarium pvc cave"
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:31 PM   #8 
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I've used food-safe, microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe dishware in one tank. I've got a teapot, creamer, and sugar bowl, as well as a couple of plates, a colander, and a big martini glass in my 45 gallon.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:57 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inuudo View Post
I've used food-safe, microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe dishware in one tank. I've got a teapot, creamer, and sugar bowl, as well as a couple of plates, a colander, and a big martini glass in my 45 gallon.
Oh, cool! I like your tank. I knew about using food/microwave/dishwasher safe dishware --- but I never thought to extend that to include teapots, creamers, plates, etc.

Hm. This could inspire a lot of 'holiday themed' decorating! (What holiday uses a lot of martini glasses? Maybe I can find a green marble to use as an olive. LOL!)
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:13 PM   #10 
AyalaCookiejar
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I just got a ceramic mug for one of my tanks. I'm going to have two one gallon temporary tanks for awhile, until my tanks cycle.
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