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Old January 19, 2010, 01:57 PM
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Hey guys, so it looks like my 2 hobbies have intermingled with each other. i plan on building a computer INSIDE of a 50 -+ gallon aquarium. The aquarium will be custom made from acrylic, i keep massive amounts of aquariums. And i have built about 100+ acrylic tanks for friends and clients.

Here is the plan
tank dimension will be 4 feet long 1.5 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide. with a compartment in the middle for the computer.
the computer compartment will be as tall as the tank but it will be seamless so it will look as if the computer is sitting in the water about half way up the tank, where the pc will be mounted. will give it a floating effect.

in the tank i will be putting 10 baby cariba piranha's. i can only keep them in here for about 4-5 months. then i will have to restock because the fish will be getting to big for the tank size. then i will add something else. pics to come soon.

drawing up plans now :[

parts i have:

4 x sheets of 1 inch thick acrylic 4'x8'
2 x sheets of 3/4 inch thick acrylic 4'x8'
3 x sheets of 1/2 inch thick acrylic 4'x8'
fluval 404 canister filter
2 x laing d5 pumps
about 30 feet of tubing
lots of acrylic cement lol
25' dvi cable
lots of cable sleeving and extension cables

what i need:
build a jig system to properly press the acrylic sheets for a seamless look. i already have some for similar foot print tanks but this is totally ALOT wider then any other 4 foot tank i have made before.

full size cheap0 computer system, probably will end up buying on here piece by piece
if you have any atom boards you wanna sell this might also be an option

from rough math about 5-10 gallons of mineral oil

thinking..... lol
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Last edited by RONEDOGG; January 19, 2010 at 02:36 PM.
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Old January 19, 2010, 02:00 PM
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cool, cant wait to see this :)
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Old January 19, 2010, 02:01 PM
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wow, that looks really interesting, can't wait to see. The biggest drawback I can see is that having an aquarium next to me would limit my comfort I guess and I wouldn't want to move it around!
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Old January 19, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Looks like it'll be a great and interesting build. Some concerns i have are, condensation in the housing area of the pc which also ties into what kind of temperatures you want to keep your aquarium at as the heat from the pc will have no where but the glass and water in it and maybe screw with the temps.
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Old January 19, 2010, 02:19 PM
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hahah yeah i was thinking the same thing. so what i am going to do is just have the tank about 6 feet to my right against the wall and just have extended cables for everything. or this will just be a htpc computer and i can place the aquarium in my living room where another tank of basically same dimension is sitting now. then just run my 25' dvi to my 42 inch lcd. and use wireless mouse and keyboard. still some decisions to be made and alot of plans to be drawn, and most important math to figure out the pressure around the box inside the aquarium. if the pressure is too much i will have to go whit a cylinder in the middle to house the pc. because of its structural integrity.

time to make my acrylic skills shine lol. I don't mean to toot my own horn but im probably one of if not the best acrylic AQUARIUM workers i have met in my area. i will post up some pics of some of the other custom tanks i have made for people in the past. my favorite one is 7 feet tall cylinder 2.5 feet wide made from 2 inch acrylic heated and bent and about 1 month of work every day to complete. it is seamless as well.
i will pop over my buddy's house sometime this week to snap a pic of it. made me jealous i had to place to fit a tank with that much weight in one spot lol

Also pondering mineral oil submersion of the pc. with air stones in the mineral oil to give it the more blended in look. well no matter how i build this. the computer is gonna look out of sorts lol. no pcs in the bottom of the amazon lol
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Old January 19, 2010, 02:23 PM
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That is one kind of computer i have not seen on here yet, A Mineral oil one. I have seen Water cooled, TEC, phase change, normal passive and active coolers. I am interested to see how this will turn out. I'm hoping you use mineral oi.
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Old January 19, 2010, 02:27 PM
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@Arinoth

yes that was my major concern off the top. so i think i have devised a plan if i don't go with mineral oil. i will make the bottom of where the pc is house meet with the bottom of the aquarium and then put fans in the bottom of the aquarium and the top. for good air flow.

another thing i figure might work. water cooling. piranhas are kept in waters from 75-80F so about 24-26C. witch is more then acceptable for water temps for cooling the pc. only draw back to that is being as the water will be drawn directly from the aquarium the tubing and sharp bends inside water blocks will clog and cause issues for the pumps. so i would have to pre filter the water or use a canister filter for the tank and use the output of that for the input on the wc setup in the computer. because of the volume of water i don't think i will have problems with the water getting too hot. i will just not use a heater in the tank.

Some might also question the fact that the water blocks are copper and might contaminate the water. but actually in trace amounts copper is good for aquarium plants. so if it don't contaminate the water to over 100 ppm of copper i should be safe. again testing will need to be done extensively lol
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Old January 19, 2010, 02:41 PM
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Are you suggesting using the water the fish are swiming in for your coolant? I really don't think that would be a good idea. you really have to worry about corrosion then. otherwise you have to find a way to keep the water deionized and de-mineralized.If that's what your planning... now if you made a channel in the back to act as your rad for your loop, it would heat the water for the fish and keep your coolant separate.
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Last edited by Overclocker~4.1; January 19, 2010 at 03:03 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old January 19, 2010, 02:50 PM
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yeah good point. what i could do is use a heat transfer system. with a heat transfer plate. hmmm still i think the water blocks and whatnot is just too much. still a idea tho i love wc.
im leaning towards the mineral oil i believe. or just air cooling. mineral oil is not exactly safe. but if i can seal the area where the oil is kept from dust it might just work. testing with some p3 p4 pcs i have here before i put anything nice in it

All suggestions will be taken on this build. as there is sooo many obstacles in this project it would be great for more heads involved lol
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Old January 19, 2010, 03:02 PM
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Well, wouldn't a modded fishtank top work? You would be able to use it for some nice lighting affects and be able to hide your cables. even use it to house your HDD's and Optical drives. and it would keep dust out/
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