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Hi! 

So I am getting a bunch of different bristlenose plecos (albino and chocolate to start) and I don't want to spend $8 each cave right now in order to have enough caves. I need to many. I looked at some pleco cave racks and pleco cave dimensions. I have an idea but need someone's opinion. I want to get a 3 inch by 10 foot piece of pvc, because of the large opening, and then cut it into 20 - 6 inch long BN pleco caves. I know the back is open which is one reason I came on here, can I put the tube up again the back glass so it is closed? Also, on the bare bottom tanks I will sand the pvc to sit flat. If I can't put it up against the back wall I can use a 3 inch pvc socket cap instead.Would pvc be too rounded for plecos? I have seen ones spawn on wood and in logs similar to pvc.

 

Thanks

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On 6/17/2021 at 9:51 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

I don't have a pleco so take my knowledge with a grain of salt but I've seen the PVC thing a whole lot on youtube so I think you're onto something. I've also seen people stack and glue them together into small pyramids (I don't know if the plecos use the "upstairs" or other fish do.) Caps would be inexpensive too. 

I watched I few master dean video with the slate ones and his zebras loved them, so I was thinking for my larger tanks I would glue them.

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I think the slate ones are super cool but I have no idea how much slate costs. If you get 1 decent sized piece you could potentially cut pillars out of your pvc and make multiple compartments.

...on subject of caves...I saw a clever 3D printed corner cave on Etsy that you can bury under substrate yet see inside it on the outside corners I thought was cool. 

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On 6/17/2021 at 9:52 PM, lefty o said:

in my experience, as long as they can get in it, its somewhat dark, and they feel secure, it will work for pleco breeding. preferable to have only 1 opening it seems, but i have had them breed in ornaments with multiple openings.

Good to know! Looks like I can make 20 caves for only $16. I really didn't want to get caps because that would affect the price at $3 each

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On 6/17/2021 at 10:12 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

I think the slate ones are super cool but I have no idea how much slate costs. If you get 1 decent sized piece you could potentially cut pillars out of your pvc and make multiple compartments.

...on subject of caves...I saw a clever 3D printed corner cave on Etsy that you can bury under substrate yet see inside it on the outside corners I thought was cool. 

Can you please explain the pillars a bit more?

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On 6/17/2021 at 11:16 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

Well, better yet, dollar store, plastic cutting "board" sheets. That kind of plastic. Flexible, but thick enough, you could glue it, and easily cut it. Wouldn't be expensive. 

Great idea I'll have to try that, Dollar Tree is right next to lowes so I'll look there. I am just wondering where the pleco caves go in Option A?

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Hardware stores sell end caps to most size pvc you just slip it on. Dollar stores are AMAZING unpainted small ceramic or terra cotta pots my Bristlenose loved until I got the caves. Wood with a cave under and tilted so the backside it touching the substrate but I do not know if they would spawn in the wood but sleep they do. 

Edited by Guppysnail
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my plecos have successfully bred in a arch of a rock (before I provided them an actual cave). I have since provided them various options and they seem willing to use just about anything. they do seem to prefer to have a back to the cave and not just a pipe. Another relatively inexpensive option my wife came up with is using watering stakes;

https://www.amazon.com/Plant-Watering-Stakes-Automatic-Terracotta/dp/B07M8WKZDZ/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=watering+spikes&qid=1624020727&sr=8-3-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyTUgzQzZZQTlVNjhEJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNzc4MjExMUNJVjFXWUFITU1DUiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzkyNjAwMVdESzFCR0czU1VLRiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

they are very similar to "pleco caves" and you can pickup 6 for about $18 on amazon, it may be possible to get 1-2 at local stores even cheaper. Even my large female bristlenose (who I swear is wider than the spike itself finds a way to fit in there).

Picture is of one of my young males hanging out in a spike. I think they look a lot nicer than white PVC.

20210524_222716.jpg

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My plecos fight over a way too small one-inch diameter piece of PVC. I use end caps on the PVC and my guys/gals prefer the smaller diameter over the larger diameter ones. Too large of a cave makes it too easy for the female pleco to escape. Part of the mating game is the male traps the female in the cave until she lays her eggs. If the female can easily swim out, the game ends. I've got the plant watering spikes in my tanks also, but they really prefer the smaller PVC. The YouTube channel Freshwater Exotics recently showed the holes in a riverbank during the dry season that plecos breed in. They were pretty much perfectly round and not very large. When the rainy season comes and the water level rises, the plecos move into the holes and breed.

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On 6/18/2021 at 9:33 AM, gardenman said:

My plecos fight over a way too small one-inch diameter piece of PVC. I use end caps on the PVC and my guys/gals prefer the smaller diameter over the larger diameter ones. Too large of a cave makes it too easy for the female pleco to escape. Part of the mating game is the male traps the female in the cave until she lays her eggs. If the female can easily swim out, the game ends. I've got the plant watering spikes in my tanks also, but they really prefer the smaller PVC. The YouTube channel Freshwater Exotics recently showed the holes in a riverbank during the dry season that plecos breed in. They were pretty much perfectly round and not very large. When the rainy season comes and the water level rises, the plecos move into the holes and breed.

Are you suggesting 2 inch pvc as an alternative? You said 1 inch is too small and 3 inch is a bit big.

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On 6/18/2021 at 9:05 AM, Scott C said:

my plecos have successfully bred in a arch of a rock (before I provided them an actual cave). I have since provided them various options and they seem willing to use just about anything. they do seem to prefer to have a back to the cave and not just a pipe. Another relatively inexpensive option my wife came up with is using watering stakes;

https://www.amazon.com/Plant-Watering-Stakes-Automatic-Terracotta/dp/B07M8WKZDZ/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=watering+spikes&qid=1624020727&sr=8-3-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyTUgzQzZZQTlVNjhEJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNzc4MjExMUNJVjFXWUFITU1DUiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzkyNjAwMVdESzFCR0czU1VLRiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

they are very similar to "pleco caves" and you can pickup 6 for about $18 on amazon, it may be possible to get 1-2 at local stores even cheaper. Even my large female bristlenose (who I swear is wider than the spike itself finds a way to fit in there).

Picture is of one of my young males hanging out in a spike. I think they look a lot nicer than white PVC.

20210524_222716.jpg

I'll have to try them!

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On 6/18/2021 at 5:39 AM, Guppysnail said:

Hardware stores sell end caps to most size pvc you just slip it on. Dollar stores are AMAZING unpainted small ceramic or terra cotta pots my Bristlenose loved until I got the caves. Wood with a cave under and tilted so the backside it touching the substrate but I do not know if they would spawn in the wood but sleep they do. 

Thank you!

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I think @Guppysnail's idea for pots is even better! Those come in a lot of sizes and already have "caps" 

As far as option A for my drawing, the caves would only be under the slate, partitians could be created with another row of cut pvc. I don't think it's as good as option B but more stable. However you'd not be utilizing the inside of the pvc. 

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On 6/17/2021 at 9:44 PM, BriannesFishFam said:

Hi! 

So I am getting a bunch of different bristlenose plecos (albino and chocolate to start) and I don't want to spend $8 each cave right now in order to have enough caves. I need to many. I looked at some pleco cave racks and pleco cave dimensions. I have an idea but need someone's opinion. I want to get a 3 inch by 10 foot piece of pvc, because of the large opening, and then cut it into 20 - 6 inch long BN pleco caves. I know the back is open which is one reason I came on here, can I put the tube up again the back glass so it is closed? Also, on the bare bottom tanks I will sand the pvc to sit flat. If I can't put it up against the back wall I can use a 3 inch pvc socket cap instead.Would pvc be too rounded for plecos? I have seen ones spawn on wood and in logs similar to pvc.

 

Thanks

The plant watering spikes on Amazon are the absolute best. My plecos will use this before anything else. 

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On 6/18/2021 at 7:00 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

I think @Guppysnail's idea for pots is even better! Those come in a lot of sizes and already have "caps" 

As far as option A for my drawing, the caves would only be under the slate, partitians could be created with another row of cut pvc. I don't think it's as good as option B but more stable. However you'd not be utilizing the inside of the pvc. 

Sorry, what do you mean by I wouldn't be using the inside of the pvc, that is where the Plecos go right? Or do you mean something else?

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I personally wouldn't think so but a lot of others seem to think the small caves work best. I can say I have an aquarium decor log in my tank with Otos, while they don't breed there they love it, opening there is about 2.5. I say you should try your 3" and maybe try another size or a garden pot. The animals will pick for you. 

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