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making a cave


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So i am going to be reworking my 30 gallon fish tank and i got the idea i would make a coconut shell cave and put it in a corner than make a hill over it so just the enterance is exposed any ideas on how to make it or is it even safe. I have never seen anyone make it and if it would work i think it would be great. Also any idea on cleaning it? Also it would be for my vampire shrimp (there would also be the air stone infront of it for the shrimp)

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It takes quite a bit to make one, getting all the coconut out. But it can be done. We sell them if you want something predone. But some thick gloves, and a flathead screwdriver to get the coconut out of it once you've cut it in half. Then use a drill and holesaw to make the hole in it.

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In drilling a round object it might be easier to wrap the coconut in a towel, put it in a bench vice with the area your drilling exposed and bore out the whole first. , Then cut the coconut in half  , also wood turning  chisels would be a good option because you can get them in a curved shape to scrape the coconut meat out 

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Done this to several coconuts.  Here are two good examples. Btw, these sink like rocks, still should boil to clean...


I wanted two holes so fish could have multiple ways in and out and still feel secure. The top holes were for plants initially. 

I bought the pre scored ones. With these, you can break it in half more easily.

First step( optional but only if you enjoy making a mess) is to drain the milk. Take a screw driver or something of the sort and poke through the circles at one end. If memory serves me, they'll be 2-3 indents on on end. Some will be easier to poke through. I ultimately took a small drill bit and slowly let it go through. Its very soft and little to no pressure should be needed. I drilled 2, one for drain and one for air exchange. After its drained you can crack it in half. Pick your imaginations here. Just smack it with something or into something. 

Once broke in half i used a flat tip screwdriver like a chisel and worked my way in a circle around the pulp. The idea is to wedge the pulp away from the hard shell. If you drive the screwdriver in and wedge towards the center the pulp should break away on pieces. Continue until all is removed.

Now the "fun" part. The holes. I opted to do 2-3 holes each. The location is entirely up to you and the tools you have. I used a spade type drill bit. I pre drilled pilot holes for the tip of the spade. I cant emphasize safety enough here. Be very careful. Things that can go wrong here.( this is unavoidably messy btw)

VERY slowly start drilling the spade into the pilot hole. Ideally you want the outer teeth to make contact and begin grooving at same time. They need to push through the opposite side at the same time or you'll get this...20210122_120201.jpg.4480dc6fa290bd168655150fbe0c2d38.jpg


Once you finish the hole go ahead and sand it, as it's probably sharp. I put top holes for plants. Had a crypt coming out the top of this one for the longest time. You can see two of the indents here(from where you drain the milk). Im pretty sure I drilled over the third one.20210122_120233.jpg.218d1f3945252059cde4bd3cd4d39e50.jpg

Hope this helps. As cory said tho, you can also buy them predone.


Forgot to say this, you can leave all the outer stuff on the shell. The shrimp will totally love eating away at it. My amanos devoured the outside and inside. The inside will likely have a dark layer below the white pulp. They loved it.

Edited by Shmaty
Closing thought
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