2004 20" iMac G5 reincarnated as a fish tank.

mrjamieb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2012
9
0
I picked it up today, gutted it as soon as I got home & have measured it up.

All that's left to do is order the glass/perspex/whatever I choose to use which is proving a pain in the arse because nobody will cut glass/acrylic 35mm wide :/ I'm sure I'll find somewhere though.

I'll do my best to track my progress here, because if anybody cares it'll be somebody on these forums! :D

Here it is in its stripped down state. It took about an hour to unscrew and remove everything cause I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect and because I wanna sell the guts of it on eBay as they're all good besides the logic board. So if anybody's interested I've got...

1GB of Crucial RAM
A 20" display
A 250GB HDD
A CD reader
All the screws that come with them

I'm sure they're worth something to someone!

Everything's working, the thing fired up when I plugged it in, it just forced itself to shut down every time just before it reached the login screen which I'm told is an issue with the logic board.

 
Last edited:

hatem ben arfa

macrumors newbie
May 30, 2012
11
0
I picked it up today, gutted it as soon as I got home & have measured it up.

All that's left to do is order the glass/perspex/whatever I choose to use which is proving a pain in the arse because nobody will cut glass/acrylic 35mm wide :/ I'm sure I'll find somewhere though.

I'll do my best to track my progress here, because if anybody cares it'll be somebody on these forums! :D

Here it is in its stripped down state. It took about an hour to unscrew and remove everything cause I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect and because I wanna sell the guts of it on eBay as they're all good besides the logic board. So if anybody's interested I've got...

1GB of Crucial RAM
A 20" display
A 250GB HDD
A CD reader
All the screws that come with them

I'm sure they're worth something to someone!

Everything's working, the thing fired up when I plugged it in, it just forced itself to shut down every time just before it reached the login screen which I'm told is an issue with the logic board.

Image
I'm officially interested in seeing it. Seems a little small for a fish tank mind you.

Also, will you be able to see the metal in the back once you're done? Any fancy design ideas to make it look... pretty?
 

mrjamieb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2012
9
0
I'm officially interested in seeing it. Seems a little small for a fish tank mind you.

Also, will you be able to see the metal in the back once you're done? Any fancy design ideas to make it look... pretty?
Instead of using clear perspex for the back and sides I'm going to get glossy white so it retains that smooth look, the only clear piece will be the front.

I was considering using mirrored perspex for the back and sides to give it way more depth and to make it look as though there are twice as many fish but I think that might stress them out a bit!

There's only around 45mm from front to back of USEABLE space so with 3mm thick perspex it'll be 39mm front to back inside so I will need some tiny fish! There are a few local places I can get those though... I wouldn't put anything it that was too big. Even if the smallest ones turn out to be too big, i'll just use it as a nice little relaxing feature in my room.
 

burnout8488

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2011
537
9
Endwell, NY
What kind and how many fish do you plan on putting in there? Seems like you might want to get some extremely small fish that won't be crammed into such a small, thin tank!

Monthly cleanings and filtration seem impossible for an iMac G5 shell... will there even be a layer of sand/gravel at the bottom?
 

basesloaded190

macrumors 68030
Oct 16, 2007
2,693
5
Wisconsin
Cool idea, but i already feel bad for the fish you are going to throw in there. Any metal that gets touched by the water is going to corrode and kill the fish. If you can't change/filter the water, the fish will die from the ammonia and nitrates they produce.

Sorry to be stick in the mud about this, but I'm a fish guy :)
 

mrjamieb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2012
9
0
Cool idea, but i already feel bad for the fish you are going to throw in there. Any metal that gets touched by the water is going to corrode and kill the fish. If you can't change/filter the water, the fish will die from the ammonia and nitrates they produce.

Sorry to be stick in the mud about this, but I'm a fish guy :)
No metal will be in contact with water, I'm putting together a tank to fit inside the shell of the iMac which will fix to the rear panel of the iMac as that's the most stable part, being connected to the metal stand/bracket, and the front of the casing can be popped off by loosening one screw at the bottom, it takes seconds & will give complete access to the top of the tank for cleaning & feeding.

----------

What kind and how many fish do you plan on putting in there? Seems like you might want to get some extremely small fish that won't be crammed into such a small, thin tank!

Monthly cleanings and filtration seem impossible for an iMac G5 shell... will there even be a layer of sand/gravel at the bottom?
I forget what they're called now, my girlfriend's dad is taking care of that part, being a "fish guy" ;) All I know is that they're hardy little cold water fish that barely grow! Nevertheless, I won't be putting many in. There will be a layer of sand which should look pretty good, emerging from the bottom part of the casing. Once I've put the tank together I'll take detailed photos of the iMac casing from inside & more as I actually put it together so everybody can see how it's done.
 
Last edited:

steggerwoof

macrumors member
Mar 16, 2012
42
167
Liverpool, England
I'm sorry but this is the stupidest idea I've ever heard of.

The poor fish you put in there will die from ammonia poisoning as stated earlier, they will also develop swim bladder problems as they won't have enough area to swim around in.

Even if you used tiny mountain minnows they still grow to a fair size.

As a fish lover I would ask you to reconsider, if you want a fish tank then buy a fish tank.
 

fenskezen

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2011
152
5
Wirelessly posted

I think it's an awesome idea. Try tropical fish called "neons". Tiny and colorful !
 

RobinHood5

macrumors regular
Apr 23, 2012
157
0
As funof an idea this it, it won't work. Your poor fish, no matter how small they are will never live in such a thin enclosure. Believe me, I'm an aquarium fanatic.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,733
1,892
What a waste!!!!!! Go ruin a windows xp machine for gods sake!!!!!
Given that we're talking about a powerpc era machine with a dead logic board, that's a pretty good candidate for recycling. The OP did strip it for parts. Perhaps others will use them to repair similar models.
 

07dodge

macrumors member
May 31, 2012
48
0
I disagree somewhat with the naysayers. There's been thousands of small aquariums, with those little neons (can't think of their name right now) it'll work. Maybe max of three, but they should be just fine in there.

I would also recommend cutting the back to allow more depth, 39mm is 1.5", even doubling that would help a great deal. You can do it creatively so it's not a dead giveaway.

Either way, I like it and will be watching the progress here
 

burnout8488

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2011
537
9
Endwell, NY
Probably Betas. They don't need much love, care, circulation, etc.
Bettas thrive when put in proper 5-10 gallon tanks, swimming around very quickly and exhibiting very energetic tendencies. It's sad seeing them in tiny tanks and bowls where they can't spread their wings, so to speak. Plus, this tank would not even be fit for a betta as it does not have any depth to it. The poor guy would barely be able to turn around.

Wirelessly posted

I think it's an awesome idea. Try tropical fish called "neons". Tiny and colorful !
Neons need water of around 78-82ºF, requiring a heater, and they require a cycled tank with ZERO ammonia. They cannot tolerate the nitrites/ammonia in an improperly cycled tank, which may take about a month before you can even put fish in. I don't see how this iMac will be capable of any filtration.

Fish-Wise: My guess is that you were referring to white cloud mountain minnows, which are somewhat tolerant of ammonia, and will negate the need for a filter....for a while. Eventually the small amount of water in the iMac will get too toxic and they will perish.

Honestly, this tank may be capable of sustaining one goldfish. But it won't be living a very happy life.
 

mrjamieb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2012
9
0
What a waste!!!!!! Go ruin a windows xp machine for gods sake!!!!!
Somebody else ruined this, so I bought it with the intention of turning into something else rather than letting somebody bin it. Use your eyes. Thanks.

I actually won TWO of these in separate auctions, identical models, so once the other arrives I'll gut it and see if the two front panels can be attached to more than DOUBLE the depth of the tank.

I'm considering using 2mm thick toughened glass too which will save a lot of space, hey there might even be room for a filter! Someone will manage to find something to whine about though so I don't expect anything positive in response to these plans :D I'll keep you all updated though
 

mrjamieb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 1, 2012
9
0
Can you cut the back off to give it some depth?

Then maybe mount it in such a way that people don't notice the thickness.
The back is where the support is coming from as the solid metal stand is connected to it, so instead I'm going to attempt to attach TWO front panels of the exact same design, slightly extend the screen size/cutout of the rear panel in order to keep the tank the same width/height allowing me to extend the depth :) I realise that even with 1/2mm thick toughened glass it's still going to be VERY shallow, and this is the best and most attractive way to extend it.
 

burnout8488

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2011
537
9
Endwell, NY
I'm considering using 2mm thick toughened glass too which will save a lot of space, hey there might even be room for a filter! Someone will manage to find something to whine about though so I don't expect anything positive in response to these plans :D I'll keep you all updated though
If you can find a way to successfully heat and filter this tank while making it have a very "livable" thickness for the fish, I will be impressed! It's certainly worth trying.
 

DarthMoops

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2010
180
43
Baltimore MD
The back is where the support is coming from as the solid metal stand is connected to it, so instead I'm going to attempt to attach TWO front panels of the exact same design, slightly extend the screen size/cutout of the rear panel in order to keep the tank the same width/height allowing me to extend the depth :) I realise that even with 1/2mm thick toughened glass it's still going to be VERY shallow, and this is the best and most attractive way to extend it.
OK. I was thinking, essentially, you would have a tank that you could slip the iMac onto the side. Maybe use the existing iMac support leg but cut it shorter, giving it the effect of being there when viewed from front.

An interesting project anyway! I googled around some, many examples of G3 iMacs as aquariums, only the for a G5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2GQl6SHcL8
 

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