By Eric Notarnicola of

Okay... you have an old Mac laying around, and want to build an aquarium...


A MacQuarium is an aquarium placed inside a classic Macintosh shell. In this guide I will show you how I made my MacQuarium, give some MacQuarium tips, and links to other MacQuarium sites.

Starting off:

You will need a classic Mac. I chose a Macintosh Classic II, although you can use a 128k, 512k, plus, SE, SE/30, or Classic.

Step One: Gut the inside of the computer. Take out the metal rack, the motherboard, hard drive, everything. Be very careful with the picture tube and related electronics. THEY CAN HAVE DANGEROUS VOLTAGES EVEN WHEN OFF!! Do not touch any circuitry or wires. On It is gutted it should look like this:


Step 2: Next, you should file or cut away all the little plastic roddy things coming out of the MacQuarium. Here is a diagram, from Andy G Ihnatko:

Step 3: Now is the time for the tank. I took 5 8x8 inch pieces of plexiglass and glued them together with epoxy. After the Epoxy has dried, I put a bead of 100% Silicone Sealant on all the edges to keep the water in.

This takes 24 hours to dry, 48 is recommended before you use water in it.

While that is drying, you need to cut away where the handle is on the back. This handle would prevent you from having a good water level, plus this allows you to feed your fishes easily. This is where you should cut:

Here is what the piece your removing should look like:

I suggest a dremel tool and a hacksaw blade to cut it off.

Next, you need to build a stand.

I used 4 8 centimeter wooden legs attached to plywood to hold the tank up to the window in the shell. Do NOT USE MY MEASUREMENTS!!! Every tank and computer type is different and for it to fit, you MUST measure your own.

Next day.

After the tank has cured for 48 hours, It is time to assemble. You need to test the tank for water tightness. If it needs repairs, fix them and wait another 48 hours. This is what it looks like assembled.

Now that you've tested for fit, you need to outfit your tank. This is what I used, but you can use whatever you like.

I added some blue gravel, plastic plants, and later, some lava rocks (From the gas grill- make sure to wash very well.)

You need to declorinate the water , or your fish will die. I got a bubbler pump, which aerates the water so your fish wont die. If you want certain fish, you'll need a heater. Don't get one too powerful, or your fish will die. Someone told me to use a 5 watt 6 inch heater. But don't take my word for it.

After it is all set up, you need to put it back together and fill it up. Put a small bowl in the tank, and pour the water into it. This prevents the gravel from being disturbed while pouring. Start the air pump and put the fish in carefully.



Normal silicone adhesive, which is most easily purchased in hardware stores, is deadly to fish. Silicone-Based Aquarium Sealant should be used instead. Christian Aeschliman

This MacQuarium was designed and built by Eric Notarnicola, who kindly allowed me to host it here. Eric can be reached at

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