Welcome to The Fish Cave

DIY Bristlenose Caves - by the inventor

Albino Bristlenose Pair The original and still the best. Firstly the story.... (You can always scroll down to the DIY...)
How I got the idea. The idea for the glass bottom design came to me with my very first breeding male Bristlenose, as years passed he affectionately became known as "Father Bristlenose". He was so keen to breed that he bred under a rock leaning against the back glass of the tank. This was discovered when moving the rock, his fry scattered everywhere and were soon consumed by the tank's cichlid inhabitants.

If he would breed at the back of the tank he might breed at the front of the tank? His rock was placed up against the front glass and effectively buried until there was only one opening to his new cave. I sat back and watched the entire spawning and raising process, fascinating to say the least. I highly recommend doing this if you are interested and have a willing male.

Nevertheless the same problem remained unresolved and when his rock was removed his fry were lunch again.

This was not good enough and so the search began for something I could make a glass cave out of. After numerous failed attempts a small terra cotta pot was reallocated from the garden. The terra cotta fulfilled all of the requirements, it was inert to the fish, cheap, relatively easy to cut and hopefully the fish would also like the general shape of the cave.

BristlenoseThe pot was cut, modified and siliconed onto an old glass tank lid. The curing process took 24 hours, it was washed and placed into the tank. His previous abode was removed and to my astonishment Father Bristlenose immediately took up residence.

In the week following his cave was checked everyday to see if any new additions developed. Father Bristlenose seemed to get used to me lifting up his cave and by the end of that week I saw a beautiful clutch of little orange eggs. He went on to produce many fry and he even outgrew "his" cave. He developed a small growth and this prevented his egress out of his cave, it was unceremoniously broken apart with a pair of pliers.

He was retired into a tank on his own and all but one of his ladies were removed, he continued to breed up until the day that a heater decided to malfunction. Father Bristlenose, his lady and his last batch of fry were no more.

The original cave still exists today and is used by one of my other overly large male bristlenose.


Anglegrrinder SiliconeEssentials Pot & Glass


Shopping List and Tools

Shopping List and Tools


Before you start cutting


Pot Halves


Cutting the Pot in Half

Problems Cutting the Pot

Preparing the Pot Halves

Making an entrance

Preparing the Glass

Checking & Preparing the Cave


Cave building half siliconedCave Construction


Siliconing the Caves


DIY Cave Underside ViewFinnished Cave


Final tips:

Goodluck and Happy Breeding these fantastic fish


If you would prefer to buy rather than build please have a look here.

Please be a little patient with me

This is my first attempt at writing a website. I am trying to build this by myself, that way when a problem occurs I will be able to solve it, well that is the plan and so all of the bad bits are mine. The site will be a work an ongoing project so please check back soon to see how the site progresses. For the moment please email me with your suggestions or questions [MatthewTech ] @ [] Soon I will post up a contacts and notifications page, well, as soon as I learn how to control php scripts .

cya Matthew

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