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Old 09-14-2013, 01:44 AM   #1 
RainbowsHaven
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Thinking about making a silk "Plant Cave" -- What's safe?

I tried to buy my boy Gallifrey a little plastic/ceramic "lantern" from Petsmart to hide in but it clouded up the water terribly, he didn't seem to like it much, and some tears that had been in his fins seemed to get bigger after adding it. Although I'm not sure it was tearing his fins after only a day (I think something else was the cause), I took it out just to be safe.

Afterwards I did a 50% water change and one of his taller silk plants lopped over and created a little archway. He keeps swimming through it and hiding in it. I was considering leaving one plant like that and buying another since the back-top of the tank looks pretty plain without the 'fallen' plant floating in it, but then I got to wondering... Could I weave some plants together to make a little "plant-cave" for him to hide in?

The easiest but also most expensive thing to do would be to just buy a bunch of silk aquarium plants from petco/petsmart and weave/tangle them together to form a little cave or tunnel. However, I'd rather have something sturdier that ends up being cheaper to make.

One idea I had was to buy some soft wire that I could use to make a base cave/tunnel shape, but it would have to be wire that wouldn't rust! Then I could use some misc. silk plants from garden ridge or walmart to weave a pretty little cave.

That idea has two problems, though... 1) Will the wire rust? Would it harm the fish tank? and 2) Would silk plants that weren't specifically aquarium plants harm the tank? Could I make them safe by cleansing them with very HOT water?

If my idea won't work, does anyone else have any other suggestions? Things I could use to craft a base for the cave/tunnel or a cheaper way of getting the plants?

Last edited by RainbowsHaven; 09-14-2013 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:07 PM   #2 
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They do have wire out there that has plastic wrapped all around it, the only problem is where you cut it will be exposed, I imagine you could easily dip it in hot wax a few times. I can't tell you the wire i'm thinking about, but it's definitely wire wrapped in green plastic. Definitely rinse the plants, though I have been told that you can make a 1/10 bleach solution to rinse it in, then rinse it off, then let it air dry then rinse it again to be thorough. As a matter of fact, do that with the whole thing once it's done. Especially the wire.

Just my two cents. Make sure to post pics if you do make one!

Last edited by Skuldane; 09-14-2013 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:38 PM   #3 
LizbethDawn
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Someone made a floating hide using the craft mesh people use for dividers and put silk plants all over it. You could do something like that and use silk greenery from the craft store just rinse it really well and make sure there's no exposed wire.
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:31 PM   #4 
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Take the same plastic craft mesh that you use for dividers, cut it in a long strip, and then bend it so that it forms an arch. From there, glue whatever silk greener or flowers you want onto it. Soak the flowers first to make sure that nothing is going to cloud or bleed (I've never had it happen with flowers that I've gotten from all over, but it is a possibility, so always check), and you've made your flower arbor/cave. :)

To get the craft mesh to stay in an arch shape, you may need to take some of the flower stems that have wire in them, and thread it through the craft mesh. To keep them from rusting, dot hot glue or aquarium sealant on the ends that are exposed. This will "seal" them inside the plastic and prevent them from rusting. I hope this helps!! :D
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:34 PM   #5 
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Hot glue... Why didn't I think of that. Ingenious. Gold star for blue fish =P
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #6 
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I recently found my old hawaiian flower lei from when i was a kid and cut it apart, soaked the flowers in hot water, and put them in some of my tanks. Today i went to the dollar store and found out that they sold hawaiiain lei's that are rainbow if you want something colorful and cheap.

Also, fabric and craft stores are selling little baggies of fabric leaves that are autumn themed that you can use.

I don't know much about hot glue, but i think some types are safer than others.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:35 PM   #7 
pastelcarousel
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Fishing string would probably keep things together as well! c:
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:57 AM   #8 
RainbowsHaven
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PastelCarousel, I was just thinking/wondering that! I figured that or undyed embroidery thread might also work well. Fishing string is an even better idea though! I figured if I cut the craft mesh into more of a cave shape I would need something to tie the back together to keep it round and cavey.

You guys have given me some really great ideas! I'm really excited to give this a try--maybe not this paycheck, but definitely soon. We have a local Garden Ridge with TONS of fake plants (5-6 isles!) so plant-shopping will be the best part. I'll make sure to update if/when I make it!
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Old 09-15-2013, 01:22 AM   #9 
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I can attest to the magic of craft mesh. Best $3 I've spent on tank decor so far is that craft mesh- thanks to someone here for the suggestion I read in a different thread last week. I made three "loops" out of craft mesh and suction cups and all three fish love them They're sleeping on top of them as I type this.


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Old 09-15-2013, 02:41 AM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fidget View Post
I can attest to the magic of craft mesh. Best $3 I've spent on tank decor so far is that craft mesh- thanks to someone here for the suggestion I read in a different thread last week. I made three "loops" out of craft mesh and suction cups and all three fish love them They're sleeping on top of them as I type this.

Haha, that's cute! :D Maybe I'll price some craft mesh tomorrow at work!
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