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  • View from the ocular.

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    More Photos

Aquarium with electronic fish. aka Secret Project.

Not so long ago was browsing You Tube and stumbled across several videos showing an actual working PC inside aquarium filled with mineral oil. That exact second it hit me – Do want! Having tons of spare parts laying around the corners of my apartment It seemed fairly easy and inexpensive to build one.

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Config:
Motherboard: Biostar TA790GXB A2+
CPU: AMD Athlon FX-62 x64 Dual core 2.8GHz
RAM: PQi 4GB
Video: EVGA Nvidia GeForce 210 512MB HDMI
Storage: 3.2TB total:
– 2 2.5 laptop HDDs 250Gb each in RAID 0. Drives that I had stashed were 5200rpm and will be quite slow standalone, striped, on the other hand, will be both quiet and quick.
– 4 3.5 desktop HDDs 2x500GB, 750GB and 1TB mouted in 3U hot swappable backplane.
Accessories:
– 3 port external MOLEX connectors came very handy got mine a while ago from newegg for about $5.
– PSU power extension cord – a must have item, mine was built into the old case.

And so I started.

First of all -the aquarium itself – $30 at Walmart.
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Quiet air pump – $14 Walmart. How can aquarium be without bubbles. As it turned out to be pump is not very quiet at all, but still usable.
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Donor case.
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Glued on/off and reset switches with activity lights under the top cover underneath feed door so it’ll stay hidden.
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Gutted the case, leaving back wall, IO panel and side fan mount.
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Further trimming it to fit and attaching an extension plate.
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Back side.
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Motherboard test fit.
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Fits like a glove. All rough edges and indecencies will later be covered by a hood.
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First dry run and windows installation.
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Gutting the power supply. Exposing it delicious internals.
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First fit inside aquarium.
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It sat really, really tight.
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So it was decided to get rig of a big, modular power supply and go with a tiny one that was left over from older microITX build.
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Now, there’s much more room for oil circulation.
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And gravel, and seaweed, and marbles and even a sunken castle!
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Now, proceeding to the filler – Mineral Oil. Got it from ebay at ~$15 a gallon. Apart from it’s main use as an aquarium PC liquid – it’s used as a horse laxative as well.
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All prepped and ready to be filled.
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Topped off and running on the shelf.
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Had to add some more oil later.
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HDD drive cage on the side.
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Bubbly.
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Got two neon glow wires from ebay automotive section for $10. Look really awesome in dark.
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So, there you have it!Two days labor, about $150 excluding computer parts and a whole lot of wow factor sitting on the shelf!
Besides that it’s a fully functional media center PC and a home file server.
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2 Responses

  1. Thats friggin awesome O_O I’d be so paranoid it’d break somehow XD

  2. How totally fun. What a great thing to have on a shelf for a topic starter. I bet it runs nice and cool with the mineral oil. It is so strange to me that mineral oil is non-conductive. Very cool indeed.

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