Put a bottle in your tank


Yes, I realize most people don't like putting phony looking stuff in their tank and I also hate things like sunken shops, sunken planes, sunken chests etc, but I do like putting natural stuff in my tank. In the 45 years since I have been diving I have seen all sorts of things under water from boots to Oldsmobiles. I never put a boot in my tank and I think I would have a problem with the transmission fluid if I tried to put an Oldsmobile in there, aside from the fact that it wouldn't fit through my front door. But every where I have dove, from Australia to Tahiti, to the Mediteranian, along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the US I have always found bottles. So, to me, they are a natural part of the reef. Oldsmobiles are also except for the problems I mentioned. Now, throwing a bottle in your tank is stupid and it would look silly so you have to first do some things to the bottle to age it first.

A finished bottle looks like this. This was a new bottle that I "built" to look like this and I think it looks natural. If you don't think so or if the thought of a bottle in your tank makes you nauseous, go and watch TV, I think Oprah may be on.


To make this, I first find a bottle, or go to the liquor store and buy something. After you drink it, wait a day to sober up. Then sandpaper the bottle to get all the shine off.


After all the shine is off and it is scratched up, make sure you are still sober and put the bottle in a paper bag and lightly hit it with a hammar.


Take out all the larger pieces and throw out the small ones. Making sure you are still sober figure out how the pieces go together taking care not to cut yourself to many times. If this seems hard or if you are a Sissy, go with that other guy and watch Oprah, I think she is giving away Oldsmobiles.
Using Goop glue or aquarium silicone, glue the larger pieces together. I prefer Goop as it is very sticky. Leave a large piece out.

Neatness does not count at all, sloppy is better and if you cut yourself don't bleed to much on the bottle as the cement won't stick.


Go out to dinner and have a nice glass of merlot, maybe keep the bottle for the next time. After it cures, take a Dremmel tool with a carbide wheel and grind down the sharp edges, even on the inside. "Wear Goggles" or you may be a guest on Oprah as a guy with glass in his eye. Get all the edges dull. This only takes a couple of minutes.

Then mix some Sakrete mortor mix or cement, wet the bottle and smear cement all over the bottle trying not to be neat.


Let it cure a day or two. Go out to dinner again and this time have some Pino Noir, it is better. Put another coat of cement on the bottle. The next day do it again only now, blob some on in a place or two. Now if you like you can cement on an oyster shell, rock or picture of your X girlfriend.
Don't smooth anything out, the sloppier, the better and if your X girlfriend was really homely, that is even better.

Let the thing cure in a bucket of water for a couple of weeks and throw it in your tank and glue some corals to it. Have it partially sunk in the bottom and put some rocks on it. You will be the envy of all the fish geeks and your ugly old girlfriend will never come to bother you again.


Grand Marnier bottle




There are 11 bottles in my reef. The Idea is to place them so they are hard to see, but you do get glimses of them. Don't just put them in the front with nothing partially hiding them. They make an interesting addition and even if you can't keep fish alive for more than 10 minutes, most of the comments will not be about your dead fish. Most people will just want to know why you put a bottle in there.


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Paul B
I have been keeping fish since about 1952. I started with saltwater the week they were imported to New York City in 1971.

My first SCUBA dive was on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia while I was on R&R from Vietnam in 1970, and since then I have acquired almost 300 dives. About half of those were in New York where I mostly dove for lobsters, urchins or just exploring some of the 2,000 wrecks around Long Island.

I have bred blue devils, clownfish, seahorses, pipefish, bangai cardinals, watchman gobies, clown gobies and a few others. My 100 gallon reef tank was started in 1971 and is currently still running.

I have two aquarium related patents. The first patent was a seahorse and reef fish feeder and the latest one is the Majano Wand. I recently published a book called "The Avant-Garde Marine Aquarist" and have spoken four times at aquarium clubs.

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