Marcus Carroll's MacQuarium
I built this tank in Nov of 2004, and wanted to share some things I discovered that might help out someone else who is wanting to undertake such a task.

I had seen a Mac Plus that had been converted into a tank before, and had always wanted to do something like it, so I aquired my brother's old Mac (complete with keyboard and mouse), follwed the instructions (you can follow the links over on the left side of the page), and a couple of weeks later...viola!

All in all it was simple, but time consuming.  Like everyone else, I had a little trouble with the cutting out of the case handle, but drilling holes big enough for the blade certainly helped.  I have no filtration (simply because I didn't want to mess with it), which limits me to a betta; however, I like the undisturbed water the illusion of a 3D screen saver.

I have about 7 lbs of gravel, a sparse silk plant, and an L-shaped rock.  The backdrop is actually the default Windows XP desktop (which most find humerous).

The light is actually intended for one of those small plastic reptile cages, but works great since it is the same size as the handle well.  I wish the light cover was more than just a plastic cover though.  I think that if it had what they call a Prism cover, then the light would be more dispersed, and might give better light in the take. I did have to create a box to put the light in so that it wouldn't dip into the water.  The light appears to be sealed, but I really wasn't sure if it was the best thing to place it in water :). I wish it produced more light however, so I am thinking about putting together a panel of white LED's to attach to the top of the case for lighting.  We'll see...

The instructions tell how you shouldn't use a heater in such a small tank (1.5 - 2 gal), however, I have found people who have been successfully using a 25W compact heater by Hagen.  I thought that the water would be fine without a heat source, but the water is staying around 72 degrees, and with the weather getting colder, I thought I would give the heater a try.

The heater seems to be working well, however, water circulation is a problem.  With the heater in the back-left corner and the stick-on thermometer is on the front glass (in between the disk drive and the monitor cutout), I almost boiled my fish and snail because the thermometer was telling me it was 6 degrees cooler than it actually was.  Even with me stirring the water often to try and get an accurate reading, it wasn't working...and it was messing with the thermostat in the heater.  So I decided to move the water around.

I read somewhere that air stones will create small currents in the water, so I went out and bought a Hagen Elite 799 air pump, tubing, and a 4" bubble wand (I thought a single airstone would not be enough current).  When I plugged it all up, attached the wand to the back glass, and turned it on...there was more current in the tank than anyone knew what to do with.  The betta had trouble swimming in a vertical position, and had to do everything he could to keep from flying all over the tank; and the snail went all crazy, and was haulin' butt across the glass.  So I crimped the hose, and am only letting in about 1/4 of the air through.  It gives a nice current, some pretty bubbles, and the water is holding at a consistent 78 degrees.

I think I like the look of the tank without the bubbles,  but I need the bubbles to be able to use the heater, and I need the heater because the temperature in my office fluctuates greatly on a daily basis...especially on the weekends.  So I guess I'm ok with the tradeoff.

I have since added a Gold Mystery Snail (which apparently is a type of Apple Snail, ironically) to the tank to eat the sunken food.  He didn't move for a couple of days, but now appears in different parts of the tank every morning.  I like him, slow but sure. I don't know whether he will really keep the tank a little cleaner or not, but that's what people have been saying. Again, we'll see...

Thanks for taking time to visit.  Hope this helps some.  If you have questions about building a MacQuarium,
drop me a line and I'll see if I can help.


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MacQuarium with Red
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MacQuarium Links
Instructions for Building a MacQuarium
Instructions in PDF
Betta Education