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DIY egg tumblers

12675 Views 33 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  TheeMon
I have one Idea, but was wondering if anyone knew where to get the parts for one like this ?
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tropheus duboisi breeder said:
I have one Idea, but was wondering if anyone knew where to get the parts for one like this ?
Cleveland OH has some great plastics store for the clear plastic, but I'm sure Chicago if that is near you must have some too. The plumbing parts you can get at a Lowes or Home Depot type store.

Still, for Tropheus and other eggs I would use a different tumbler system, one that allows you to tumble the eggs without bumping any hard surfaces. You use plastic clothespins to fasten 4" brine shrimp nets across the top of a 15 gallon tank, and then using more pins, direct the water flow from pieces of airline tubing that have all been connected to a powerhead in the 15 gallon tank. When you have one or two airline tubes directed right, the eggs will tumble in the middle of each net where it is down in the tank water level without even touching the netting. I have incubated Tropheus, Frontosa, Ophthalmotilapia, and Cyprichromis eggs in these and some of those eggs are so delicate this is the only system that has worked for me. You also get much higher survival rates from the "easy" eggs such as Mbuna.

You need a big sponge as the prefilter, a piece of tubing to come off the powerhead, a marble to block the end, and short lengths of ridgid airline tubing to poke through the larger tubing as connections for the airline size tubing. You only need one of these setups for about a dozen mouthfuls. Nearly everything for this you can get at a petshop, maybe even the marble. The clothespins I find at a dollar store. I write the dates and species on the sides of the tank with a marker.
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fishwolfe said:
lets see some pics of this tumbler please :D
In a back issue of FAMA
Its not for tropheus its for mbuna's. I think im leaning towards the one you made fishwolfe
i wouldnt recommend the green net.some eggs made it thru and some are posting this here to make sure you see it if you build one,this works alot better and is going to post it in my other thread too.
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Leviathan25 said:
Very nice! :thumb:

That is easily the best DIY tumbler I've seen to date...

2 questions:

What did you use for screen material?

What is the clear plastic section made of and where did you find it?
netting is a soft cloth-like probably a polyester, bought from Wallmart in bulk, the clear tube is a piece cut from a flouresent light cover, like the colored ones to change the light in your aquarium but clear, a 5' section was only 3-4 dollars. the rest was pvc.
parts and tools

florescent light bulb cover, was approx 6' in length for about 2-3 dollars, find it in h-depot by the light bulbs, the long white is 1/2 pvc also a couple dollars, at h-depot, across from where you get the pvc ic pvc fittings, 1x1/2 tee, 2x end caps, don't remember what size, 1-1/4 maybe( but they fit perfectly inside florescent tube(that will help you find them. fittings are only 20-50 cents each, 1x pvc glue, buy the cheapest, used a end fitting from a hob filter(the very bottom piece)if you don't have any extra ones lying around, can be bought at fish store for cheap. go to
w-mart for netting in their fabric dept, smallest netting they have, large netting will damage eggs and cause them to drop through. also a couple dollars, 1x piece of HARD air line tubing from fish store, they sell it in 1 or 2 foot lengths, only need about 5-8", again depending on size of tumbler.
ok ...assembly time; first thing is determining what length overall tumbler is to be, can adjust as you go along, total length when done should be less than water level to gravel(not total tank hieght) cut florescent tube with box cutter to approx 4"-5" in length(after sloppy cutting job-use a pair of sissors to trim around again) keep this as long as possible as this is where the eggs are. the 2x end caps need to be drilled in the center with a 7/8" spade bit, this will create the exact hole for the pvc to fit into tightly, can be trimmed to fit with an exacto razor or box cutter for best fit after drilling. top and bottom are 2x pieces of the 1/2 pvc tube cut, this is where you'll have to experiment for overall length adjustment. apply pvc glue to 1/2 pvc cut tube lengths and stuff into end caps(through 7/8" hole), just enough to potrude through(let set 15 min) cut netting large enough to cover 1 end cap normal opening (not drilled opening)with some excess overlap, does not need to be glued, slip the florescent cut tube over netting and end cap, slide down to curved part of end cap(this may be a tight fit, a little twisting will get it)

drill hole in top of tee with drill bit the same size of hard plastic air tube, then pvc glue tee to other cut 1/2 pvc tube/end cap, not the one you just put the netting and cap with florescent tube assembly. next, slip top end cap/pvc tube with tee indside floresent tube, now use same drill bit as on tee to drill hole through florescent tube but not all the way through end cap(refer to pic of assembly) use a smaller drill bit(smaller than the screw your going to use)(find one laying around somewhere-must be stainless or brass as not to rust- 1/4" long)(small)this will secure top, screw will self tap the pvc when screwed in as long as you didn't drill the hole to large for screw, insert screw, then remove it again, while the tupe is still assembled, cut a narrow "l" slot left then up from screw hole, this will allow the top to be removed for eggs to be placed in and or removed(twist and pull off) easier than trying to unscrew under water.cut a secton of hard air tube, insert into tee, leaving enough exposed to apply air line onto and enough to go slightly below end cap and visable into florescent tubing.(now you can apply some pvc glue where it goes into tee ONLY if you are going to use an air regulator for adjusting air pressure from pump(can be bought at fish store) if not, you can leave this unglued and raising or lowering the tupe while the air is on will regulate the amount of tumble. pvc glue bottom filter screen to bottom opening of pvc, or some netting and a rubber band will work too use a sponge pre filter over bottom to prevent sucking up all the junk in tank and possibly killing eggs, cut a small piece of sponge and stuff into top cap(cut hole to slide over plastic tubing)so eggs don't accidently get sucked out. For mounting to tank, I used a suction cup I had lying around(or buy from w-mart or fish store) drilled hole in back of tee to slightly smaller than suction cup tab, stuffed it in with some pvc glue, let set. Let entire assemble set overnite.

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i used light protectors too,but i couldnt fit any pvc inside tightly enough.i used 1" on the outside and some silicone to hold it to the protector.i like the way you hook it with the L cut.
i used light protectors too,but i couldnt fit any pvc inside tightly enough
when I cut the bottom netting, I left it long enough to overhang the pvc, and it was a snug tight fit over the pvc without any gluing.

I made this one and it is very simple to make and has had a lot of use.
And made from bits and pieces you normally have laying around.
awesome website geetee !! without hijacking this thread, do you think you could answer a question or two about your bucket filter design. I'll pm you. Thanks Rich

ps nice egg tumbler
pps you inspired me to start a website also with diy's
I have found myself in the situation where I needed a tumbler now, and mine was in use. I modifided the base of a gravel vac to be the large tube, and used netting with a rubber band to hold the eggs. This will not work if there are other fish in the tank, but it has helped me before.
BUMP, theres been several Q & A's regarding holding fish and egg tumblers, thought this post might be useful :popcorn:
could i buy egg tumblers from a lfs or is that a thing that most don't sell and your lucky if you can find one there?
some online stores, sometimes on ebay, mostly DIY, never seen one yet in a retail store. Not that hard to make, more like a craft than a project in terms of easy to make, once you have the supplies, one like mine can be made in under an hour.
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Hey Shawn, more pics huh? well, since I sparked more interest in this, I"ll build another with more step by step pics/instructions. The last one was fairly tall and would really only fit a 30tall or larger, I'll do a build up for a shorter profile to make it more versatile. Take notes on the first page of the thread as the materials will be close to the same. More to follow
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