Turn an Old iMac Into an Aquarium

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Ever wonder what happened to all those G3 iMacs from the dot-com era? Besides haunting our dreams — along with novelty mousepads and barefoot CEOs — piles of them await destruction. An enterprising Nebraskan has a better idea: turn 'em into personal aquariums.

Jake Harms, a 28-year-old in Omaha, Neb., first got the idea when the office where he worked wanted to toss a defunct iMac. He brought it home and tinkered with it, transforming it into an aquarium. (Hat tip to Inhabitat's Yuka Yoneda.)

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His process involves taking an Apple G3 iMac, disassembling it and then polishing each case to make it look new. Then he installs a custom 3-gallon fish tank where the monitor used to be, along with a filter, custom rope light, light switch and power cord.

A friend saw it and asked for one. And then another wanted one. And another. Harms made a website to sell his "iMacquariums" and then got overwhelmed with orders. Currently he has a bunch of iMacs awaiting customization and just needs capital to buy all the equipment for converting them.

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He's also selling a do-it-yourself kit with all the hardware needed, including the tank. The kit comes with a warning: "Danger! Do at your own risk!" Those monitors do hold a lot of volts.

"I save discarded computers that are on their way to be destroyed at electronics disposal facilities and I give them a new life," he said in a video about his project on the fundraising site Kickstarter. As of today, he's raised more than $7,400 of his $5,000 goal.

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Even though funding won't come through until April 16, Harms has received such a huge response that he's already started buying new materials. He's also posted photos showing rows of iMacs just waiting to be converted.

Have to hand it to the guy: Those computers never had such great resolution.

Photo: An "iMacquarium" made from a DIY kit. Credit: Jake Harms

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