Hacker finds better use for a Windows machine

[Patrick Becker] had an ancient PC on his hands with a blown PSU. He converted this into a stylish home for his Betta splendens.

The aquarium itself is fashioned from a piece for construction glass block with the top cut off. This allows for a window that looks through the tank and shows off the motherboard on the other side. He patched into the AC connector so that the original power cord can be used to control the pump. A lighted pump button was added to the front panel and a fancy bezel fitted to the viewing portal in the side of the case. He finished off the project with a PVC pipe for air and food. His blue screen of death now features water and a real fish.


  1. kirov says:

    +10 internets to whomever links to the completed .pdf of the hack so we don’t have to use that abortion of a site.

  2. alex says:

    that title isnt flamebait

  3. tehgringe says:

    Yay! – Re-use…I like it.

    Go on HAD readers, say it …

    “Oh, well case mods like this have been done before” – if you say it a vagina will grow on your nose :)

  4. atomriot says:

    thats not a windows bos, that looks like it used to be a redhat box

  5. Pedro says:


    Is there a cash alternative to the 10 Internets? I’ve already won several…

  6. tim says:

    that PDF link only works with “pro membership.” Fail

  7. BigBubbaX says:

    Wow, by far the most useful application of a Windoze computer I’ve found yet!

    Absolutely amazing, I need to make one.

  8. Joeman3429 says:

    BigBubbaX, that’s racist =p

  9. HogieWan says:

    how is that a “windows computer” – you can install a lot of different OSes on that box

  10. tehgringe says:

    Oh noes- I has a virus. I clicked on the link above and loads of adverts appeared…

    I tried with that site, but its so fucking busy – like trying to read a magazine in a strip bar – far too many distractions.

    It also has no boobs on there, which is surprising considering the number of ads – I expected to see plastic boobs, v14gr4, and some notice warning that I have 2,438 virus detected and I need to download this Chinese virus scanner to get rid.

    Scratch all that…the site IS a virus.

  11. RoboGuy says:

    The article says “His BSoD now features water and a fish.” Is there a pipe that connects to a monitor tank w/ a BSoD background (awesome), or is that line an odd attempt at a joke?

    I only read the first page of the instructable, but I couldn’t find where it says that the computer used to run Windows. Did somebody at HaD assume that all dead computers are Windows? Did they think that PC == Windows? Is this just petty OS bashing?

    As a side note, I’m sick of the OS bashing, as I’m sure everyone else above grade four is. Windows is fine. So are Mac OSes and Linux distros. Choose what makes you happy, and don’t try to start stupid fights on the internet.


    Seriously? If you hate Windows, why not wipe it and replace it with Linux or make a Hackintosh? The only solution you can think of is technological evisceration? Are you some sort of technophobe?

    …I think I just broke my “no stupid fights” proposal…and in the same post, too…

  12. googfan says:

    water cool w/ fish…

  13. ben says:

    lol you shoud try this with an old crt monitor and it’ll look like a screensaver

  14. L Stark says:

    I used a coffee pot and a hot plate-painted the coil reddish with some fingernail polish.

  15. Kyoorius says:

    Here is something that didn’t quite make it into mass production, but it was a functional prototype.


  16. Anonymous says:

    Well, at least it’s a better fate than having Ubuntu installed…

    (See, HaD? Two can play the flamebait game.)

  17. Ian says:

    So does anybody remember the Macquarium? Been around a LOT longer.


  18. Keb says:

    This will make a very bad aquarium for living fishes, they need more volume, else the water will get unhealthy very quickly

  19. vikki says:

    my cats would love this, nice mod

  20. TBJR6 says:

    I was hoping the fish tank worked as a cooling system and the processor worked as a heater for the fish tank.

  21. NishaKitty says:

    Flamebait title is stupid, totally agree with RoboGuy. Grow up. Also indestructables confuses me, DIY is generally done when you have less money to go store buy everything. Why would DIYers pay to access stuff…

    Also there must be some better stuff to post out there than “I made a fish tank out of a computer stuff?” Isn’t the idea getting a bit old now?

  22. cornelius says:

    I’m also in complete agreement with RoboGuy, OS bashing is highly annoying (along with uppity-ness the OS ??? is best and should everywhere and in anything). Use what fits the tasks that need to be done.

  23. Zymastorik says:

    WTF do you guys just import the Instructables RSS feed now or what? This is so yesterday and it’s just not very.

  24. ChalkBored says:

    “I only read the first page of the instructable, but I couldn’t find where it says that the computer used to run Windows.”

    Watch the video on the first page.
    It’s currently running XP. He used nlite to strip it down, but says the PC’s still too old to run it very fast.
    It manages to run some webcam software which looks through the tank from inside the case.

  25. Arsehole says:

    The title is just a bit of humour, some of you are taking it too seriously! I have a mac and a vista pc, the mac is more reliable and faster, vista is much more flexible, ie a lot more programs for fiddling with stuff are available.

    If I had to only have one, windows it would be.

  26. RoboGuy says:

    Ah, you’re right.

    Still, the title is uncalled for, along with that BSoD comment.

  27. Sigg3 says:

    I’m a fish tank hobbyist and I just want to ask people to please consider the fish when doing projects like these. This tank seems somewhat small for such a big fish, but other than that looks okay. The website instructables have several other fish tank hacks, however, that are harmful to its inhabitants. Fish is not dead decoration.

    F*kc the children. Think about the fish!

    • Caleb Kraft says:

      Beta naturally live in rice paddy pools that are quite small. This is actually a decent sized tank for a beta. I would be more concerned with the heat from the computer. Generally you don’t need to change the water very frequently, especially if you have a little vegetation in there, but with a warm tank, it seems you would get more unwanted growth.

  28. Sigg3 says:

    First two questions having seen the video:
    How does he change the water? The tank’s so small it should be changed at least once every two weeks. How will he retrieve the fish when it’s dead?

  29. Agent420 says:

    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish ;-)

  30. fartface says:

    N00b project. It’s been done before by lots of casemodders.

    I did that in a WORKING pc 5 years ago and I was not the first but probably the 100th. It’s not hard to make a real fishtank window. and it works great because the heat from the PC running keeps the fishtank at 80-90 degrees F which is perfect for many tropical fish.

    Biggest problem was cleaning the damn thing. removing the side cover to go to the sink was a PITA. but then I also had an air bubbler to give it more visual action.

  31. Richard Nibbler says:

    Good job on that frackign tiny wind – wonderful. You’ll see the fish 20% of the time. Or less.

    Way to think that one through einstein.

    And the rest of you hack-a-day-tards, give up on the OS wars. No one gives a crap anymore. Go get laid.

    Richard Nibbler

  32. Sigg3 says:

    @Caleb, Thanks! Don’t know much about this species.

  33. Found your site on google. Great info, shocked how much I don’t know about. Will certainly take note of this blog to keep updated. All the best. Jack

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