Before the sleek and portable MacBook Air, iPhone and iPad, there was the original Apple iMac, released in 1998 and available in an array of vibrant colors or “flavors” like grape and strawberry.
When Jake Harms was faced with disposing of an old iMac at work, he felt there had to be a better use for the iconic colorful computer. Inspired by a photo of a Macquarium – a fish aquarium built into an old Mac computer – he spent several years developing the perfect curved fish tank to replace the iMac’s curved cathode ray tube screen.
Harms now sells his iMacquariums online to Apple fans and fish enthusiasts looking for a unique, “retro” way to house their finned friends.
Harms obtains the dead desktop computers from local recyclers: The recyclers donate working iMacs to schools or families and send the non-working models to Harms. He spends about two hours polishing each iMac with a high-speed buffer to remove any nicks and marks, making the computers look shiny and new.
After the cathode ray tube screens are removed, each iMac case is fitted with a 3.5-gallon tank with a built-in filter and lights.
While the iMacquarium’s tank is too small for typical goldfish, it’s spacious enough to accommodate 1-3 betta fish, fancy guppies, dwarf frogs, red claw crabs or other small tropical fish.
The recycled aquariums are priced at $250, including U.S. shipping, and, of course, are offered in an assortment of fun colors: blue, aqua, white, smoke, red, flower power and blue dalmatian. International shipping is also available.
Have a broken iMac and feeling crafty? Harms now sells a $175 make-your-own-iMacquarium kit, complete with fish tank, hardware and video instructions, to help anyone recycle their old desktop into a distinctive home for your aquatic pets.
However, Harms recommends that DIYer’s have a professional remove and dispose of the cathode ray tube screen, which contains hazardous chemicals and thousands of volts of electricity.