Coconut Cave




Introduction: Coconut Cave

Make a cheap and easy cave for your fish, reptile or rodent with a coconut and a few tools.

Mum recently got a BiOrb Life for an anniversary present (aww) and found ideas
for coconut caves on the net. However, to my horror, there haven't been any on Instructables.
So, we decided to rectify this with our method (which is mostly improvising with the tools at hand,
as Dad likes to take every single tool he owns with him when doing a job).

Apparently, these can be used for fish, reptiles, rodents, near about anything that's small
enough to fit. And coconuts are cheap =D

Anyway, lets get started!

Step 1: What You Need:


1 coconut


Drill (Or a hammer and nail, if your father hasn't hidden them all)
Marker Pen

Improvise if necessary. Flat head screwdrivers make good chisels.

Step 2: Drain the Coconut.

Drill or pierce the coconut eyes. Shake over a sink or bowl to drain the milk/juice/fluid
(whatever you wanna call it, we've already had this debate in my house).

Step 3: Saw the Coconut.

Saw the coconut to your desired size. If you do it in half, the you can make two.
How's that for economy? =P
If you can, clamp the coconut while you cut it, 'cos it makes life a lot easier and safer.

Step 4: Remove the Flesh.

Chisel the flesh out of the shell.

Step 5: Sand the Shell.

We are putting our cave in a fish tank, so sand the shell down to make it safe for
our fishy friends. I'd probably recommend doing that in any case, so other animals
don't chew the fibres and such. Some people like to leave it though, so it's up to you.
We used a coarse grade sandpaper.

Step 6: Make the Door.

Time to make the door to our cave. Draw the door in to make life easier.
We were going to use a dremel tool but found we had none big enough.
So instead we drilled holes close together near the line and knocked it
out with a hammer. A hacksaw would do the job too.
Sand the doorway to make it safe and smooth.

Step 7: Boil the Shell.

If you plan to use this in an aquarium, you need to remove all the tanins from the shell.
This prevents the water from turning a rather dashing shade of brown.
It also sterilises, so no bad bacteria messes with the water conditions.
Boil the shell in a pan for ten minutes, repeating the boiling process until the water turns clear.

Step 8: And There You Have It!

Our finished coconut cave, ready to be put in an aquarium, tank or cage.

Mum also wanted to make a coconut cave to go over the bubble tube in her BiUbe,
which you can see in the second picture. She used a rounder coconut and cut so
she had roughly two thirds of the shell. She used a dremel tool to drill the hole for
the bubble tube to go through.

We're going to grow java moss over the caves, so I'll update when we get some.

For now though, we'll leave you to it. Go nuts!

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    2 years ago

    Are there any easier way to chisel the flesh out? Boiling may be?


    Reply 1 year ago

    Back home in ja we just put sugar on the flesh and that softens the jelly making it easy to spoon out


    8 years ago

    Hey, does your coconut last forever/long time? I thought about putting skulls in my aquarium, but I read that they dissolve in a matter of days in the water. Thought this might be the same for the coconut


    Reply 8 years ago

    Hi, I'm not really sure how long it would last, unfortunately we had to disassemble our fish tank about 6 months later. I'd expect it to last at least a year but that's just a guess.

    Thanks for your comment, and if you make a coconut cave, good luck!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great alternative to using pots. I never thought of this, it's a great idea! I have a couple of caves with a clump of java moss filling the empty corner of my aquarium, now I'm waiting for my chinese algae eater to go in one! Great instructable, 5*


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Looks damn good. Too much work for me, but great alternative to plastic caves. Step 7 looks like a face also.


    13 years ago on Introduction

    this is great... coconuts are boiling as i type!!... only in your pictures of them boiling.... how come you got 3 halves my coconuts only gave me two halves :(


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    We made another coconut cave to go over a tube in my Mum's other aquarium =]


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea. However the picture in step 3 is disturbing, looks like a face


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    Haha so it does, I never noticed that before.