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Thread: DIY cichlid condo

  1. #1
    DIYFK member tamrissa's Avatar


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    DIY cichlid condo

    some people love the natural rock cave some like stacking slate and making a 'condo' of sorts but i noticed any time i needed to catch a fish or move something to clean i had to rebuild the whole condo from scratch and it was getting kinda annoying! hubby decided he was going to putty some of the pieces together and make modular pieces to build it together and be able to change up the look but when it got down to doing it and all the work he ended up just building one big piece no heavier then any of the large rocks i have put in already, separate legs but notched out bottom so the stands are in a groove and dont slip and slide and makes lining it up easier. and left the top able to come off so we can algae growth a top and keep swapping it out for a grazing surface for our mbunas.

    i didnt take pics all the way through which im sad i cant share the whole build but i can show you some and tell you how to... for what we did.

    here are some of the rocks, after a quick trip to a local garden center we had a bag of pond rocks a few slabs of slate and some flagstone slabs.
    once all were tested washed up and ready, we used a grinder with a zip cut wheel and zip cut the pieces down to the sizes we wanted and then used a 1 inch belt sander to grind down all the edges and points so they were smooth.
    Click here to enlarge

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    this is very messy work so doing it out in a backyard or a ventilated garage is advised and please make sure to wear protective masks and/or goggles.. safety first!

    hub cut notches groved into the flat stones for where the legs/supports for the next level would be sitting and he drilled holes and put dowels in to hold them in place and reinforced and covered them with a bonding putty many of you may have heard of or even used, aquastik.

    Click here to enlarge

    so once it was puttied and bonded up he held it together with clamps and bungie cords and let it set up for a day and a half to cure...

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    once it was all cured up we water tested soaked it to be sure nothing was going to crumble test help make sure all was cured etc. then we got to the looks...

    here it is pre painting/beautifying

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    Click here to enlarge

    he used an aquarium and pond safe primer in a light grey then proceeded to paint it with a light grey krylon 'fleck' spray paint that is water safe, then coated it with a sealant clear coat to finish up. between layers and work he used a heat gun to help dry and cure before adding the next layer or step.

    im not sure exactly what he used will ask him and update this post for exact products used, but here are some pics of the finished product and our fishies love their condo!

    Click here to enlarge

    look forward to any questions comments etc.
    Last edited by tamrissa; 10-18-2012 at 01:54 AM.
    ~If wishes were fishes, I'd need a bigger tank!~

  2. #2
    Moderator megaphoenix's Avatar


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    That looks fantastic, and it is ingenius. I love it and I hope you tell hubby that that is an excellent piece of DIY for me.


  3. #3
    Banned kracken's Avatar


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    Very nice, you should charge them cichlids rent lol just how heavy is it approximately?

  4. #4
    Qwerkinator! qwerk's Avatar


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    Oh Em Gee! Love it! Click here to enlarge

  5. #5
    DIYFK member GoggleEye's Avatar


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    Really like the condo. Great DIY project. Thank you. I think my Discus would love it. Want my address LOL, Great hiding places.
    85 Gallon BB Aquarium Discus Only

    Have A Great Day

  6. #6
    DIYFK member fiesta90150's Avatar


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    thats very cool. good work

  7. #7
    DIYFK member tamrissa's Avatar


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    thanks all! hub is super awesome he snapped some pics of all the dif paints and tools he used for this and the background which i will post a diy for as well. when hes up and im on here i will ask him what all was for which project so i dont mix any info up. im going to be making a min condo for the fry/grow out tank so i can take lots of pics along the build and post the progress as it comes together.

    thank you all again, i .. and my fish are super happy with this project/decor.
    ~If wishes were fishes, I'd need a bigger tank!~

  8. #8
    Moderator megaphoenix's Avatar


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    I can't wait to see the mini condo project.

  9. #9
    DIYFK member Snaf's Avatar


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    The condo came out awesome! Good work.
    10 Gal - Honey Gold Gourami, Picuts Catfish
    10 Gal - 42 Red Cherry Shrimp, 8 Neons
    40 Gal - 3 Northern Diamondback Terrapin's, 6 Black Phantom Tetra, 3 Blue Gourami's, 3 Green Severum
    55 Gal - 6 Electric Yellow labs, 1 Electric Blue Johanni, 2 Red Tops, 2 Red Zebra's, 1 Reef Cichlid

  10. #10
    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    neat idea, might have to build one for my Convicts have 5 pairs in a 30 gallon and 2 Tiger Oscars.
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

  11. #11
    DIYFK member TOMCAT858's Avatar


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    Great Build that is Awesome!
    Aqua Bridge:60 Hex, 55 gal and 75 gal w/Bichirs and Cichlids, filtered w/46 gal Sump/Refugium, DIY 5 gal canister, Cascade 1500 and Marineland C220. 5 gal column w/3 ADF's. 36 Bowfront w/ Fancy Guppies, Lemon Blue eyed BNP's. 26 Bowfront Growout/Hospital w/Fancy Guppy

  12. #12
    DIYFK member Kordova's Avatar


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    Really like this idea! May have to steal it but use it in my own style! Thanks for the post! Click here to enlarge

  13. #13
    DIYFK member GrandmaBeansPlace's Avatar


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    Great work, the fish will love it.
    Blessed Be!
    55g 3 Dragon's Blood,1 yellow Lab,3 Masoni,3Zebra,pair of Sunshine Peacocks, pleco
    20g 6 Angelfish,1 Bristle nose,4 Krebinis

  14. #14
    DIYFK member TheChairman's Avatar


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    This one of the simplest yet best ideas I've seen yet

  15. #15
    DIYFK member Brightness's Avatar


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    brilliant idea ...

  16. #16
    DIYFK member Caroline1380's Avatar


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    Awesome!
    Caroline, cichlid momma

  17. #17
    DIYFK member mikey1355's Avatar


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    that's so cool, great idea

  18. #18
    DIYFK member riaanj's Avatar


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    That's way cool man.. Well done!

  19. #19
    DIYFK member cfosgate's Avatar


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    Great job! I have been inspired.
    Using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    DIYFK member rohit's Avatar


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    Great I will build one for myself

  21. #21
    DIYFK member tamrissa's Avatar


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    so its been age! lots happened in life and things got super busy but i received and email reminder to come on back! * smart idea Click here to enlarge

    saw this sticky and was thrilled so many of you like it, also realized what a slacker bumm ive been ... here are a few pics of the items used to cut paint seal the two projects * cichlid condo and faux rock wall behind.

    pond pro
    Click here to enlarge

    paint kit thingy
    Click here to enlarge

    paints used *not all on condo but for background as well.
    Click here to enlarge

    sanding sponges and blocks
    Click here to enlarge

    bits for drilling the holes notching creases smoothing rough edges etc.
    Click here to enlarge

    zip cutter & dif blades used
    Click here to enlarge

    best discs for this!
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    the condos still in use in one of my now 3 tanks * down from 11 cause ive stopped breeding them lol its held up beautifully through al the moves various decor changes etc. i have noticed that some times the top tends to stick to the frame and i have to be careful to pry it off first cause lifting it by it when it was stuck it let go about half way up and dropped down back into the tank EEKK! (i had forgotten the top wasnt adhered so my bad) i do like it being able to come off for algae cleaning since its on top also makes the condo a little lighter and easier to lift with its top off.

    Click here to enlarge

    glad so many of you enjoy this diy and would love to see pics of the finished product if any of you have made one!
    ~If wishes were fishes, I'd need a bigger tank!~

  22. #22
    DIYFK member Syed Mohammad Ali's Avatar


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    Great Job......

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