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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So as I add rock after rock...*** been thinking, is there or has there ever been anyone to make an undergravel system of tubes or anything for these guys to swim in? I would assume you could use PVC or even if you knew someone that was into pottery maybe they could make somethin...make entrances come above the level of sand, but instead of having them be just a few inches long they make a few turns with other exits around the tank...seems like it would be doable and add tons of hiding space into the tank without taking up tons and tons of space with large rocks. Any input?
 

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It's an idea for sure but I like to see my fish. I do have some caves and such but I can still see them. With a system like that I'd constantly be worried that one might have died under there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, that would worry me too...but I figure if I keep count I can always use an air compressor to fit a tube up to the pvc and clear the pipes of any blockages or dead fish...I dont think they would really hide anymore than normal, but it would create tons of hiding spots for when they need it and hopefully help chill out some of the aggression.
 

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Yeah like I said it's an idea and with some more planning might even be doable but it's not something I'd undertake. If you have that much aggression, maybe you should consider your stocking. What's the footprint of your tank? It doesn't sound like to many fish, to me anyway, so maybe it's the species or not enough of each species.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i dont have any aggression issues right now...Im just planning for the future. I think I might do somethin like a underground jet system...but for the fish...maybe 2" diameter pvc or somethin...? I dunno, Its all just a thought...Id like to be able to get more fish than ud normally be able to have in a tank...thanks for the all input though.
 

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You'd have a heck of a time catching any of the fish. Not only would you need to take out your rocks, but you'd need to take out your tubing, and remove the substrate to put it back in. And the fish would probably unearth the tubes in their normal excavation.
 

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Laurel said:
You'd have a heck of a time catching any of the fish. Not only would you need to take out your rocks, but you'd need to take out your tubing, and remove the substrate to put it back in. And the fish would probably unearth the tubes in their normal excavation.
actually i bet it would make fish catching easier... they would all swim into the undergound tubing, then u block all exits but 1 and tilt it and pull it out, all the fish hiding in there would come out the open hole, and into a net
 

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I put a foot long section of 2" PVC in my tank when i first set it up, and put it at the very bottom underneath the gravel with a few rocks piled on top. They liked it, but it was tough to keep the gravel from sliding off over time. I still have it in place, and they still use it, but its underneath miles of rocks.which i think the fish would prefer. I guess you can do what your suggesting, but i think its a lot of work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yea, Im thinking I might try something when I get my next tank. I plan on getting one thats at least 180 Gal. so that would prolly give me more room to work with and maybe work better...esp for the smaller fish. I dunno...thanks again for all the input though.
 

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sounds okay but long tunnels dont exist in lakes, maybe on coral reefs.
 

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If your up to the work, You could use a long length of PVC pipe, and use elbows at each end, and perhaps in the middle, add some "T" sections to create a series of exits to make a network.
and silicone to it rocks and gravel to make it attractive. Then somehow start on top of that with another length to make another level. Thats kinda the idea i wanted to do at first.
 

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Mbuna would use them. Use the "T" sections for multiple exits and the fish will love them. Make it simple to put in and take out. Wouldn't cost much to play around with this for fun. Black PVC would look decent, I've gotten some black PVC at the large "box" hardware stores before

Mbuna like to move gravel. They would probably dig around the pipes if there is gravel.
 

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Yeah a walk through the plumbing section of the hardware store will reveal a ton of ideas. And it will be easy on the pocket.
 

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simply put some thin slate on the ground and the fish will dig under it and make there own caves... My fish have done it....
 

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I use the PVC but under the rocks in short (4" or 6") lengths, not under the substrate. To bury 2" PVC your gravel bed would have to be too deep for easy tank sanitation.

Agree with the others, you'd would see less fish less of the time, tank sanitation would be a problem, you'd have a hard time catching sick or holding fish.

I guess if I were going to do it to play around, I would want to use clear pipe and put it up against the glass in the bottom corners and maybe even make it viewable through the clear bottom of the tank. Us a mirror underneath?
 

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We have had great success with tunnels in our tanks, our Mbunas, Julie's and clown loaches LOVE them!!! Even our Frontosa's spend time in them.

We used both PVC elbow joints and t-joints with bottomless terrecotta pots on the ends (used a Dremel to make the edges smooth). We even created a system of rock retaining walls held together with silicon. It looks great since the PVC tubes are not visible. We found that sand substrate is the best to cover them up with first, it fills in all the potential gaps. We tried just stacking rocks and had problems with build-up and nitrates.

To clean them we just vaccuum them out with our Python during water changes. The tubes can actually make catching the fish easier, if you don't mind pulling the tube out to get to a fish. Just make sure the tubes are large enough for your fish to turn around in to prevent injury. :thumb:
 

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I would certainly NOT get the "black pvc" as it isn't PVC, but ABS, and not suitable for potable water. If it's leeching chemicals into the water, you don't want it in your tank.
 

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You are right it is ABS not PVC. PVC is no safer than ABS at fish tank tempuratures. It is not recommended for high heat or high pressure usage. ABS is used for potable water in many cold use applications, such as beverage lines and drinking fountains, and meets both state building and health codes in many states. We have used it in our tanks for years and have had no adverse affects. As with anything you put into your tank you should clean it first though.

Please refer to this earlier thread:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... 4a0d1630b6
 
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