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A Twist on the DIY Coconut Cave

By Jubs

Post by: Jubs on November 02, 2007, 12:01:08 AM
I bought a coconut the other day with plans to make a cave as I made some a fews ago and the fish loved them but I had since sold all the tanks and moved across country and didn't have any... Well I started thinking about and I really don't like the looks of a plain coconut cave. I have seen people that kind of Jimmy rig java moss on them and they look like crap with moss only covering the inch or so then floating all over the place  :hmmm: So I came up with this idea and figured I would share it in the DIY and do a how to write up with pictures...


I am going to skip the cleaning out steps of the coconuts as you can find articles all over the net on that...

After cleaning out the coconut I had these ( the small cave is because the coconut was scored really low so instead of tossing it I decided it would work good for my shrimp to hide in ) ...



Then I decided I would drill them with a small bit on my Dremel just big enough to get a needle through. Here you can see the difference between the standard Dremel bit and the smaller ( it will require a smaller collar )



With that out the way I started drilling the holes... Here is the finished product...



Inside view...





Then you will need to get a spool of thread and a sewing needle. I used green thread but you can use any color or even fishing line (I like it to match as close as possible personally).



Get some Java moss and take a small amount as you don't want it layered on itself too much as it will kill the lower layers, so spread it out a bit.



Do small clumps like that all over the looping between holes to hold it down against the coconut. I forgot to take pics part way through but here it is fully covered...




The in tank pics are crappy as my batteries were dead and the camera wasn't wanting to meter the light correctly...

Shrimp Approved!!!



... and the other in a different tank.



Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Essabee on November 02, 2007, 12:18:29 AM
Thats good work Jubs and great pics.

I want to ask one question though - Why did you make so many holes and use thread (which has a limited life) instead of using super glue to attach the moss?


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Gen Gen on November 02, 2007, 12:39:07 AM
hehe i have two coconut pieces that look just like that!


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Jubs on November 02, 2007, 12:39:52 AM
I haven't been having much luck with super glue or any glues lately ( epoxy ) so I went this way. Also, in the past making moss walls I have noticed restricting the moss more rather than letting it flop anywhere it wants ( single layer of craft mat versus sandwiched between ) works better for me and grows the way I prefer better once it gets going. Later on it will be trimmed and shaped to my liking. I have done this with driftwood in the past and it really gets nice and thick. The holes will also serve as places for the moss to get an extra foot hold and be able to hold itself to the coconut with time so when the thread has dissolved it will be able to hold itself.

I think the next ones I do will be with flame moss  :hihi:


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Gen Gen on November 02, 2007, 12:45:35 AM
i have some... was given some last year with some java and taiwan moss but to me it all looked the same lol. i stlll cant tell it apart.


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: ShieldWolf on November 02, 2007, 02:31:32 AM
"Shrimp Approved!!!" That cracked me up for some reason.  :rofl2: Interesting take on a great idea.


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Mollielover on November 02, 2007, 04:27:53 AM
wow! they look great!


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: wendyjo on November 02, 2007, 07:03:04 AM
Ya know you could probably sell these here and on aquabid and ebay.  I know I would buy one.


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Jubs on November 02, 2007, 07:29:54 AM
"Shrimp Approved!!!" That cracked me up for some reason.  :rofl2: Interesting take on a great idea.

:hihi:
wow! they look great!
Thank you :)

Ya know you could probably sell these here and on aquabid and ebay.  I know I would buy one.
I was thinking about it I will have to look into it and figure out what the cost would be and what not. Plan on buying a bunch more moss this weekend  and hoping the moss I bought from Bulrush gets here today.


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Lori on November 02, 2007, 07:38:14 AM
I love it!  Great job, Jubs...and I think flame moss would look amazing.  I just wish it grew faster.  It would take quite a bit to cover the shell.   

Thanks for sharing!!


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Jubs on November 02, 2007, 07:56:52 AM
I love it!  Great job, Jubs...and I think flame moss would look amazing.  I just wish it grew faster.  It would take quite a bit to cover the shell.   

Thanks for sharing!!

Thank you ! I think it would look good as well. Yeah didn't take that into consideration though...  :hmmm: You're welcome, thank you for the compliment and insight on the flame moss !


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: mikedmatthews on November 02, 2007, 08:36:24 AM
you know lori, if you want something that grows faster you could always attach hair algea instead.


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Lori on November 02, 2007, 11:20:08 AM
LOL!  Mike, you're the only person I know who actually LIKES the clumps of hair algae in their tanks. 


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: wendyjo on November 02, 2007, 12:03:52 PM
Well if you decide to sell one send me a pm :)


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Lori on November 02, 2007, 12:05:20 PM
Jubs, if you don't want to wait for flame moss to grow out, you could also do that will taiwan, fissidins or peacock moss.  All would look nice on those caves.  Just a thought. ;)


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Jubs on November 02, 2007, 01:57:34 PM
Well if you decide to sell one send me a pm :)
Will do  :)


Jubs, if you don't want to wait for flame moss to grow out, you could also do that will taiwan, fissidins or peacock moss.  All would look nice on those caves.  Just a thought. ;)
Yeah I am looking at want possible mosses I think would look nice. I have a small bit of weeping moss but I don't think I have enough to cover much yet  :duh: < throwing so much of it out...


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Tropical Dude on November 02, 2007, 02:31:00 PM
I think that is awesome. ;D

I bet I could do this with a PVC cave too :hmmm:.  It would be a whole lot easier than gluing rocks ot it and would look better and be more natural looking.  Great Idea. ;D


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Jubs on November 02, 2007, 02:40:33 PM
More than likely you could. I would suggest at least sanding it a bit to get some roughness on the outside so the moss has something to grip to. I tried putting moss on egg crate and it just grew wild and egg crate was very exposed and looked horrible. Maybe even use some Krylon Fusion plastic spray paint to get a green or other darker base to work with.


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Tropical Dude on November 02, 2007, 05:13:55 PM
Black PVC isn't very visible anyway so I don't care.  I will try it and let you know how I do.


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Steve Hampton on November 02, 2007, 07:42:55 PM
Soooo, how many Pina Colada's can one get from one coconut cave? LOL! Very cool idea Jubs.


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Jubs on November 02, 2007, 10:22:42 PM
Soooo, how many Pina Colada's can one get from one coconut cave? LOL! Very cool idea Jubs.
  :hihi: Actually I tried the "milk" and the meat and both were umm... not so good! Thanks Steve!


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: EowynJane on November 03, 2007, 10:27:43 AM
Great idea Jubs!  Thanks for sharing!  I will try that out if I end up making the coconut cave for my BN (I probably will).


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Clint on November 03, 2007, 12:14:09 PM
hey Jubs, can I make this into an article?


Title: Re: A twist on the Coconut cave...
Post by: Jubs on November 03, 2007, 01:54:55 PM
Great idea Jubs!  Thanks for sharing!  I will try that out if I end up making the coconut cave for my BN (I probably will).
Thank you and good luck with it let me know if you need anymore tips!


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