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Old 02-23-2013, 02:10 PM   #1 
TeacherTeapot
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Homemade Aquarium Decorations

I was considering adding some decorations to Beau's tank, and was wondering if anyone had any tips for making your own decorations? I really want to add a tunnel, but I can't afford $15+ for the ones in stores. I saw a tutorial for a DIY tunnel made out of PVC pipe and aquarium gravel. They recommended using a hot glue gun or gorilla glue. Are these safe for my little guy? What about oven baked clays if I go that route?
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:28 PM   #2 
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Here's a good thread about homemade decorations:
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=123181

Yes. PVC pipe alone, or covered with aquarium gravel, is something you can use. If you use a glue gun, it should be WHITE (not yellow) glue. Or you can use aquarium safe silicone.

I don't know what "baked clays" are, but if they are something you put in a kiln, yes, you can use them if they are glazed. If you're talking about terracotta pots, yes, you can use those also.

If you use terracotta pots with a hole at the bottom, you'll either need to plug it up (using glue or other material), or you can knock the bottom off. (This is the prevent inquisitive fish from getting stuck in there!) I soaked mine until they were soft, then used a chisel and hammer to knock the bottom off.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:30 PM   #3 
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My hot glue dries to kind of an opaque white, like watered down milk. That still ok?
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:10 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherTeapot View Post
My hot glue dries to kind of an opaque white, like watered down milk. That still ok?
Yes! Super glue and super glue gel are also safe.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:30 PM   #5 
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teacups and coffee mugs are also great for aquarium decorations, provided they've never been used or washed. generally, anything deemed safe for food-and-drink use will be aquarium safe as well, since the same risks of chemical leaching are present in both uses.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:35 PM   #6 
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If you have any bamboo growing wild in your area you can use it as well, I have been looking for some growing around here no luck yet but I am sure there is some somewhere, usually it grows close to water or just weird random places if people planted it
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:50 PM   #7 
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Thanks for all of your guys' help! I had been considering one of my many teapots (I collect unusual ones), and while I know I've never washed them, I can't vouch for the people who I bought them from. And unfortunately, while bamboo can be grown here, I live out in the boonies of Michigan and most people don't grow it.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:16 PM   #8 
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in a lot of places it's actually illegal to intentionally grow bamboo due to its potential to be a very fast-growing invasive species.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:34 PM   #9 
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Oh goodness, I just looked up what a small piece of PVC pipe costs at my local hardware store. Rather than $15+, it's going to be less than $1. Especially since I already have a hot glue gun and aquarium gravel... I honestly think this is the best idea I've had all day!
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:59 PM   #10 
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Um... aquariums usually have "Lucky Bamboo," not the fast growing outdoors bamboo.

"Lucky bamboo" is a type of Dracaena. It's what's sold at Petsmart.

"Bamboo," on the other hand, is a member of the grass family - and is what Pandas eat. It grows really fast and gets really tall - and probably isn't something you'd want in a fish tank.

@homegrown terror - what if you soaked and then washed the cup really well, using just lots of hot water? Would that be enough to remove any traces of soap or detergent?

@TeacherTeapot - oh yes! I use lots of PVC pipe and terracotta pots (with the backs removed or holes plugged) because they're cheap and safe! My guys prefer the straight PVC coupler pieces. They didn't like the elbow ones as much, probably because they can't see through them.
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