Introduction: Creating a Bunny Shelter and Fish Pond With Natural Elements - Our Handmade Garden Project

Give your bunnies a snug and secure home by crafting a cozy shelter using baskets, pipes, and bricks. This innovative approach combines sturdy materials with a creative design to provide your furry friends with a comfortable, safe, and weather-resistant haven. Follow these easy steps to build a delightful and functional shelter that your bunnies will love.

Get the full making video in our Facebook Page:

Supplies

  • Large Fruit baskets
  • GI Wire
  • Angle Grinder
  • Concrete Mixture
  • PVC Pipes 2" and Fittings
  • Straws
  • Wire mesh
  • Paint And Brush

Step 1: Arrange and Tie the Baskets

  • Position Baskets: Arrange baskets and stack them on top of another.
  • Secure with Ties: Use zip ties or strong rope to fasten the baskets.
  • Ensure Stability: Make sure the baskets are tightly secured to prevent movement.

Step 2: Creating Entryways

  • Mark Openings: The front part of the baskets were marked for the entry and exit points and the bottoms were cut as it will be fixed to the ground bed.
  • Cut Openings: Carefully cut openings in the baskets using a utility knife or angle grinder, ensuring they are large enough for your bunnies to pass through comfortably.
  • Smooth Edges: Smooth out any rough or sharp edges to prevent injury.
  • Check Placement: Ensure the entryways are at a convenient height and location for easy access.

Step 3: Concrete Cover

  • After cutting and smothering the baskets, they were covered with concrete mix and let to dry.
  • The concrete cover was made from in and out of the basket, and was brushed with water to make the exteriors smooth and flat.

Step 4: Design Layout

  • Lay a foundation for the shelter. Surround the area with bricks and fill the area with soil.
  • Cut a foot deep and wide drain around the foundation.
  • Lay 2 x 4 bricks and place the 2 baskets on them.
  • With concrete, plaster the shelter and the bricks.
  • Created a roof with concrete. Later this roof will be used to plant some garden plants.
  • Plastered the foundation boundary bricks with concrete from outside.
  • Plaster the drain's base and wall with concrete. This drain will shelter ornamental fishes later in the project.

Step 5: Making the Bridge

  • On a rectangular wooden frame fix GI mesh with a staple gun.
  • Bend a 3 feet mesh and create the tunnel bridge.
  • Place the bridge between the two shelters.
  • Insert 1 wooden panel each as the base for the shelter.

Step 6: Creating Concrete Blocks

  • We took approximately 30 plastic bags and inserted concrete mix.
  • Let them dry and unwrapped the plastics.
  • We made concrete blocks that will be used as patios in our project.

Step 7: The Pipe Setup

  • Divide the 2" PVC pipes into small pieces approximately 10" length.
  • Cut the top parts in curve for them to be able to support the railing pipes.
  • Here we used round saw blades to cut the curves.
  • Place the supporting pipes around the foundation and fill them with concrete. Let them dry.
  • Place the railing pipes on them, connect the L-fittings from all the corners.
  • These pipes will be the water supplier for the fountain.

Step 8: Placing the Blocks

  • Place the unwrapped concrete blocks around the drain from all four corners. These will add beautification as well as a boundary to our project.

Step 9: The Straw Cuttings

  • Measure and Cut: Measure the straw to 2" and cut about 20 of them with scissors
  • Drill the pipes: Use a 6mm drill to make holes in the railing pipes, 10" apart from the front three sides.
  • Insert the straws: Insert the straws in the holes and use super glue to make the water tight.

Step 10: Making the Bridge on the Pool

  • Used 2 carved cardboards to make the mold for our bridge.
  • Filled the carved area with sand to make the arc.
  • Filled concrete above the sand to complete the carve and let it dry.

Step 11: Water Supply for the Fountain

  • Drill a 20mm hole in the 2" railing pipe.
  • Insert a 20mm water supply pipe.
  • Seal the pipes with concrete.
  • Cover the area with the concrete bridge.

Step 12: Colour It Up

  • Used weather proof emulsion paint to cover the project.
  • Used varieties of colors to decorate the railings, shelters, roofs and patios.
  • Left the drain/pool's bottom colorless.

Step 13: Decorations and Assembly

Natural Elements: Used natural elements like stones, pebbles and grass to add a rustic touch to the shelter. Added the pebbles as substrate for the aquarium. And added the

Water Pump: Added a 20watt water pump to the 20mm water supply pump and left the pump in the drain/pool. This pool will be filled with water later for the fishes.

Personalized Touches: Consider adding personalized touches such as name tags or painted designs to make the shelter unique to your bunnies.

#Notes for the pool


Fresh concrete can leach lime and other compounds, significantly increasing water alkalinity. Curing can take several weeks, and during this time, regular water changes can help reduce the alkalinity.

Introducing banana stems or Alocasia stems into a concrete fish tank can help in neutralizing the alkalinity caused by the concrete, making the water safer for fish.

Test the pH, hardness, and alkalinity of the water before and after adding the plant stems. Ideal pH for carp is between 7.0 and 8.0.

Adding Plant Stems:

  • Preparation: Rinse the banana stems or Alocasia stems thoroughly to remove any dirt or pesticides.
  • Placement: Place the stems in the tank. You can weigh them down with stones or other materials if they float.
  • Monitoring: Leave the stems in the water for 3-5 days to a week, checking the pH regularly. The stems will release tannins, which can slightly darken the water but help in pH stabilization.

Additional Considerations

  1. Substrate: Ensure the substrate is also safe and does not contribute to water quality issues. Gravel or sand should be thoroughly rinsed before adding to the pool.
  2. Aeration and Filtration: To ensure adequate aeration we introduced the water fountain and for the filtration systems we introduced natural aquatic plants and substrates to maintain water quality.
  3. Cycling the Pool: Before introducing the fish, cycle the pool to establish beneficial bacteria colonies that will help in breaking down waste products. This process can take a week.
  4. Water Changes: Regular water changes are essential to maintain water quality. Initially, frequent changes might be necessary to manage the alkalinity.

Post-Treatment

  1. Removing Plant Stems: After the water parameters stabilize, you can remove the plant stems. By then, the water should be safe for introducing fish.
  2. Introducing Fish: Gradually acclimate the carps to the tank water to avoid shock.


Step 14: The Final

With the frame assembled, the bricks and pipes arranged, and the wire mesh and straw in place, your bunny shelter is nearly complete. Add a splash of color with bunny-safe paint, and decorate with natural elements, and natural grass to create a cozy and inviting space for your furry friends. Personalize it with their names or unique designs. Ensure everything is secure and safe, and your bunnies will have a comfortable and charming shelter to call their own.

In conclusion, our delightful handmade project stands as a testament to creativity, hard work, and a deep love for nature. By utilizing fruit baskets, concrete, soil, grass, plants, water, fishes, PVC pipes, straws, and paints, we've transformed a simple concept into a vibrant and functional garden oasis. The bunny shelter, encircled by the concrete pool, creates a harmonious blend of land and water, providing a safe and enriching environment for both our furry and finned friends.

This sweet garden DIY is more than just a project; it’s a sanctuary where bunnies can hop freely and carps can swim gracefully. The lush greenery and thoughtful design reflect our commitment to creating a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing habitat. Every element, from the substrates enhancing the water quality to the carefully chosen plants, showcases our dedication to the well-being of our animals and the beauty of our surroundings.

We hope our journey inspires others to embark on their own creative ventures, fostering a deeper connection with nature and the joy of handmade endeavors. This garden is not just a space but a labor of love, where every detail is infused with care and passion, making it a true masterpiece of natural harmony.

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